Bike Breakfasts in the Burbs

Bike breakfast, Auckland Art Gallery, May 2015
Bike breakfast, Auckland Art Gallery, May 2015

The monthly Bike Breakfasts in the city (organised by Cycle Action’s Kirsten Shouler) are an immensely valuable part of our network. Relaxed but regular, they’re an opportunity to get together and shoot the breeze, for those with an interest in how bikes fit into the city.

We know not everyone can make it into town first thing in the morning, so there’s been some talk lately of how to spread the love, and whether the bike breakfast could be a moveable feast.

For now, we’ll definitely keep the city meetings going on a monthly basis – you’d be surprised by how quickly a month rolls around! – but we’re keen to encourage everyone out there to set up “bike burb brekkies.”

How to start a satellite session near you:

It doesn’t have to be breakfast – it could be an evening in a friendly bar. The trick is to make it regular and reliable.

As Kirsten says: “Organising a monthly bike breakfast is an enjoyable and rewarding thing to do – all it needs is a local person to put up their hand to own the event and be the group facilitator. It’s so easy and important to keep it manageable – all you have to do is set a regular date, post a reminder, and be the person who turns up early every month… and stick with it for a while.”

Also, pick a friendly cafe – one that welcomes people on bikes and won’t mind if your group gets bigger over the months and years. (Fact: the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra began as three people learning to play ukes over breakfast in a corner of tiny Deluxe Cafe. Now look!). NB it’s not compulsory to show up on a bike, but it’s fun if you can.

If you’re already in a “bike burb” with a local bike group, you’ve got a great head start. Facebook is a great organising tool for this sort of thing; ditto Neighbourly, if you’ve got that going on. Also talk to local community groups, local businesses, put up a notice at the local library, community centre, and schools, and see who’s out there. And don’t be shy about striking up a conversation with the cyclists that you meet when you’re biking down the street, or stopping for a coffee – they’re a bike group waiting to happen.

To help get the ball rolling, and so we can stay informed about local issues, we can send a Cycle Action committee member along. Just give us some advance notice – and it helps if your meeting place is near a public transport node, or easily bikeable from a train.

So if you’re planning a get-together to talk about bikes in your hood, let Barb Cuthbert know, and we’ll be in touch!

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Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

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