A T-shirt and a blast from the past: the Auckland Bicycle Association

A T-shirt and a blast from the past: the Auckland Bicycle AssociationOut of the blue came a photo, and a request. Theo Brandt had discovered a snap from the early 1980s of himself wearing a bike advocacy T-shirt. Theo’s question: if he could find a way to replicate this rad design, would we be able to help him get a fresh version printed up? Little did we know, this would lead us to connecting old friends and highlighting the hard work of a previous generation of cycling advocates. Because it turns out, when it comes to making Auckland better on a bike, truly we stand on the T-shirt shoulders of giants. Long before Bike Auckland, and before Cycle Action Auckland became Bike Auckland… …
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How the Dutch do it – a Q & A with the Bruntletts

How the Dutch do it – a Q & A with the BruntlettsCanadian couple Melissa and Chris Bruntlett have carved out a unique position in the conversation around bikes and cities, with their family-friendly focus, clear language, and a clever eye for a persuasive image. Based in Vancouver, their research consultancy Modacity – which grew out of an experiment in ditching the family car in favour of a combo of bikes, car-share, and public transport, and sharing their story with readers – is all about creating catchy and accessible and content for audiences eager to learn about how to bring bike-friendly cities to life. They also get around: the seed of Modacity was nurtured by a 2014 visit to New Zealand; and their 2016 visit …
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How one woman is turning Kiwis on to Euro-style cycling

How one woman is turning Kiwis on to Euro-style cyclingThe $67 billion global cycling industry has ubiquitous brands such as Taiwan’s Giant, which employs 11,000 people and has annual revenues circa $2.6 billion. But it also has plenty of entrepreneurs making waves at a local level. One such is Kiwi Emma Jonsson, a one-woman hive of energy whose mission it is to introduce New Zealanders to the practical and stylish cycling accessories Europeans have enjoyed for years. Emma sells retail through The Urban Cyclist website and to the trade through Velocity Distribution. The distribution business started first, five years ago, when Emma returned to New Zealand from a trip to Copenhagen with her Danish partner, Sebastian. She discovered there …
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Cycling to Middlemore – a health hazard?

Cycling to Middlemore - a health hazard?A recent guest post by Dr Rob Burrell struck a real chord. It was about the irony of how dangerous it is to bike to one of Auckland’s biggest hospitals – despite cycling being one of the healthiest commutes there is. Now, Rob’s anaesthetist colleague Dr Craig Birch follows up with his own story of how difficult it is to bike safely to Middlemore. Content warning: two grisly crashes, resulting in what would officially qualify as merely ‘minor’ injuries.  I have cycled to Middlemore Hospital, where I work as an anaesthetist, for many years – since 2001. Unfortunately, safety issues have meant that I’ve had to resort to getting in my car …
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You are here: everyday landmarks

You are here: everyday landmarksA joyful day! A new story from our resident teller of tales, Simon Vincent (search for ‘Simon’s stories’ to find more).  “I often find things catch my eye when I’m riding – sometimes it is because they are unusual or unexpected, but in this case it is things that I notice often and that stay with me,” says Simon, about this lovely list of landmarks along his regular routes…  As a child, I loved spending time visiting my cousins. The cousins were great, but what made the visits so special was that they lived in Blackpool – the Rotavegas of the English North. The (in hindsight, short) trip up the …
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Through Danish eyes: biking in Auckland

Through Danish eyes: biking in AucklandA guest post by Christina Bengtson, who grew up in Denmark, now lives in Westmere, and took part with her family in the recent Bike to the Future ride in support of neighbourhood bikeways. Christina explains how bike life in Auckland is steadily evolving to be a wee bit more Scandinavian… For me, cycling is a bit like knitting, in that I have no conscious memory of learning or of not being able to do it. Being Danish, there’s nothing remarkable about that. I do, however, have very vivid memories of my first times biking in New Zealand in 1990. I remember being questioned time and again on whether this was a good …
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Cycling Without Age comes to Point Chevalier

Cycling Without Age comes to Point ChevalierOne of our most popular posts of all time was about the arrival in Auckland of Cycling Without Age, an international movement that connects volunteer ‘pilots’ with retirement villages, bringing together younger cyclists and elderly people through the love of cycling. Using an electric bike-trishaw, CWOA allows less-mobile residents to enjoy fresh air while exploring the neighbourhood, reactivating memories of childhood bike adventures, and creating new friendships. So far, Auckland’s sole CWOA outpost has been in Browns Bay on the North Shore. Now, Greer Rasmussen is bringing Cycling Without Age to Selwyn Village in Point Chevalier, and will be launching it at a Bike Carnival in the village on Sunday March …
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Sometimes it’s personal (it’s always personal)

Sometimes it's personal (it's always personal)A good friend of Bike Auckland got skittled on Onewa Road on Wednesday night. He’s okay – well, he’s alive and recovering. The shock of the incident led to a conversation within our team that we wanted to share with you, below. And then came the tragic news of a car vs bike fatality on Te Atatu Rd on Thursday evening, which made it all the more horribly relevant. We are absolutely heartbroken for everyone involved, and for our Bike Te Atatu whanau who have worked so hard over so many years to try and make changes to prevent exactly this from happening. Every time an Aucklander – a family member, …
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From wheelchair to bike – Kelly’s amazing recovery

From wheelchair to bike – Kelly's amazing recoveryWe love hearing stories from our readers. They take us places we might not otherwise go – like on epic bike trips here or abroad. Or they show us something we’ve lost sight of, like memories of youthful hijinks or how the city looks through a child’s eyes. Or they share the power of bikes to carry us through difficult times and out the other side. Here’s a story that fits into that last category – and how! To learn more about Kelly’s inspiring journey, visit her Facebook page.   My name is Kelly Munford. In 2011, I had a serious car crash which resulted in me breaking my neck, breaking my pelvis, and suffering …
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Puzzle me this: which way to the pink path?

Puzzle me this: which way to the pink path?Several months ago we shared a wayfinding tale of woe by Neil, who tried to bike from the city home to Henderson by dead reckoning – and got dead confused. At the time, we nudged AT to address the situation for new riders, given the volume of people who are keen to try the city’s cycleways, if only they can find them. The city centre cycle network map is great, and there’s now one for Waterview, too. But in our experience, people also need simple, intuitive, and unignorable on-the-ground signage. This will be especially true over the next few years, with increasingly popular and connected bike paths, and more and more of …
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Women in Urbanism – widening the conversation about our cities

Women in Urbanism – widening the conversation about our citiesWomen in Urbanism Aotearoa is an exciting addition to the urbanist scene. I’ve been privileged to be part of the formation of this new group, which emerged in June with a social gathering to gauge interest. The room was packed with women eager to be part of the wider conversation about gender and cities. Off to a flying start! Women in Urbanism seeks to transform our cities into safe, accessible and equitable urban environments for all people by supporting and amplifying the voices and actions of all self-identifying women and girls. Why is this new group important to Bike Auckland? Because we are both passionate about how people move around, and we strive …
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Cycling Without Age – the right to wind in your hair

Cycling Without Age - the right to wind in your hairI adore travelling on public transport with my bike, and chatting with fellow travellers – almost every trip sends me home with a head full of stories. On Thursday night, returning home from Bike Auckland’s committee meeting, I parked my bike amongst the others on the ferry’s stern deck and looked around for someone to chat to. I was immediately attracted to a man wearing a high-vis rain jacket with a cute little badge… I simply had to know more! What sort of pilot was he? Glen Stanton, the owner of the badge, explained he was the volunteer pilot of an electric tricycle-rickshaw owned by the Aria Retirement Home in Brown’s Bay. Twice a week, …
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Bike challenge champ, volunteer extraordinaire

Bike challenge champ, volunteer extraordinaireWe didn’t make nearly enough of a fuss of Duncan Laidlaw when he topped the charts this February in the Auckland division of the Aoteaora Bike Challenge, for greatest distance covered by a bloke… a whopping 3002km in 28 days! Duncan’s a stalwart member of local group Bike Kaipatiki, helps out at the Roskill Bike Kitchen and various repair cafes, organizes our monthly Bike Breakfast meet-up, and is generally a very good egg. We threw a few questions his way to figure out what makes his biking brain tick.  What got you biking in Auckland? About 10 years ago I attended a Go By Bike Day breakfast at the Viaduct, and gave biking to work a go. I was a bit laddish, …
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Tumeke to move – new home wanted!

Tumeke to move - new home wanted!The wonderful “let’s fix it together” volunteers at Tumeke Cycle Space are looking for a new home. Their current location in Newton, shared with the Tangleball makerspace collective on Edinburgh Street, is slated for sale. Tumeke’s Alex Raichev says they’re looking for a space roughly the size of a double garage, preferably with street-level access and a storage area for spare parts and wounded bicycles. Ideally it will be free or cheap, and reasonably central – say, five kilometres from the Aotea Centre. Tumeke’s community bicycle workshop is currently open on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and on Sunday afternoons, and Alex says they’re open to sharing space with people working complementary hours. Got a space …
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Every little bit adds up – Saul’s ten years of biking

Every little bit adds up – Saul's ten years of bikingSaul Parkinson looks back on a decade of biking to work, crunches the numbers, and peers into the future… Small individual actions can seem insignificant, unless we take a more long term view. As February 2017 rolled around, I realised I’ve been commuting daily by bike for 10 years now! So, 10 years…that must be a few k’s, right? I did some quick sums and came up with some random numbers: 4000+ rides 35,000 km travelled 1 time caught in a hailstorm 2 grazed knees / bruised egos (achieved all by myself, care of 2 misjudged curbs) $15,000 saved in bus tickets, or $20,000 in parking costs (let alone car & petrol costs …
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