Bike-friendly tech & tech-friendly bikes: a letter from Silicon Valley

Bike-friendly tech & tech-friendly bikes: a letter from Silicon ValleyAlison Paulin is an Aucklander and long-time member of Bike Auckland/ Cycle Action Auckland. She shares her experience over the last few years promoting two-wheeled transport technology in the heart of the global HQ for information technology – sparking some interesting comparisons with how we do things here… I’ve been living in San Jose, California for three years now, and began working for the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC) soon after I moved here. I went along to volunteer – and ended up with a part-time paid job managing their valet bicycle parking services. Silicon Valley refers to the valley that (when it has water in it) flows into the San Francisco Harbour, …
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Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in Paris

Vive la cycling révolution! A Kiwi in ParisRoger Dungan is a Kiwi living and working in Paris, who writes about his experiences cycling on the roads of France at his blog Thousandth Fastest. We’re delighted to share his most recent blog post, on the surprising joys of city biking….  We need a cycling revolution. A gentle one, not an angry one. But a revolution nonetheless. There’s a limit to how interesting my tales of my half-arsed cycling efforts can be. Even for me. So I’ll be saying a bit about some other things from time to time as well.  This is one of those times. This is still bike related (the maxim ‘write what you know’ still applies), but …
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Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in context

Heading in the right direction? Experts put Auckland in contextLukas Adam has recently finished a spatial planning degree at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, and is moving back to Auckland to put theory into practice. As he discovered in his dissertation research, planning for cycling in spread-out cities like Auckland is mostly about infrastructure, but you can’t ignore the context… What’s the single biggest barrier to seeing more people on bikes in dispersed cities like Auckland? Safety (both real and perceived). What is the most effective approach for improving safety? Building physical infrastructure. Will ‘carrots’ alone be enough to encourage more people to bike? Probably not. Can’t we just cut and paste what they have done in the Netherlands? Not really. These were some of the messages gathered …
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Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen… through Auckland eyes

Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen... through Auckland eyesAucklander Keri Bloomfield is living the new parent dream – in Copenhagen, where she gets to bike around town with her baby as a matter of course. You can follow her her adventures on a beautiful blog (check out how to never be mistaken for a Dane while riding round Copenhagen) and via great videos on her FB page. Here, Keri gives us an overview of the top ten two-wheeled pleasures of her new home town… Before moving to Copenhagen, I lived in Auckland. A great city to live in but it was painful to commute in. Onewa Road, while giving me many hours of reflection in the car or bus, very nearly stole my soul – and Wynyard Quarter (bike …
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Orange you glad the Dutch Cycling Embassy came to visit?

Orange you glad the Dutch Cycling Embassy came to visit?(Sorry for the groanworthy pun, just trying to avoid another of those ‘going Dutch’ headlines…) On a rainy Monday night in Auckland, a standing room only crowd gathered eagerly to hear from the visiting Dutch Cycling Embassy. Most had arrived on bikes – including beautiful Dutch bikes, which formed a striking panorama on the Viaduct, outside The Original. Huge thanks go to the venue for hosting us at short notice; to the good people at Auckland Transport for running the event, live-streaming it (video available here) and providing valet parking; and to MR Cagney for support. A stirring speech of welcome was delivered by Councillor Chris Darby, one of our bike-friendliest city leaders, …
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Can Auckland go Dutch? A letter from Utrecht

Can Auckland go Dutch? A letter from UtrechtBrian Johnston was lucky enough to live in one of the best biking cities in the world for eight years. He’s been keeping tabs on developments in Auckland from a distance, and making comparisons… They say that the best things in life are free, and after having lived in The Netherlands I can confidently say that the Dutch know pretty well how to live that adage to the max. A nation of traders with a nose for a deal, no nonsense, and a strong belief in the right of all to do their own thing so long as it doesn’t impact on others. What has that got to do with riding a …
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‘Drive-and-ride’: California dreaming and some thoughts about Auckland

'Drive-and-ride': California dreaming and some thoughts about AucklandLast year during a trip to California, my wife and I satisfied a yearning for a bike ride by heading to the beach in a car. We decided to try a bit of ‘drive-and-ride’ – i.e. driving to somewhere suitable and comparatively safe and interesting for a bike outing. We headed to Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, where we joined hundreds of people swanning around on wheels on purpose-built cycling infrastructure and local streets. The ideal mix of house and garden eye-candy, beautiful marina, ice cream on the beach, and bars with live entertainment made for a very pleasant afternoon. I say hundreds of people, it could have been thousands; anyway, it was ridiculously popular. It was …
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Put a Bike On It – Jessica Rose bikes Portland

Put a Bike On It - Jessica Rose bikes PortlandPortland, Oregon: city of bridges, famous for its hipster attitude, craft beer capital of the States and possibly the world. Specky, beardy and full of artisanal products and people, it is of course also full of people on bikes. And it was this, not the weather (similar to Auckland’s, but colder, for longer), that brought me and my partner from halfway around the world in August to visit this inland city of just over six hundred thousand people. Portland did not disappoint on the bike count. We chose to stay at a guest house appropriately named The Friendly Bike Guesthouse, because it had a bike garage downstairs, and was very friendly on …
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We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are: Jessica Rose bikes Los Angeles

We Don't Know How Lucky We Are: Jessica Rose bikes Los AngelesTall poppy syndrome, greener grass syndrome, whatever you like to call it – us kiwis have a habit of immediately thinking ‘they have it better over there’. I’m no different: I fell in love with Portland after watching Portlandia, and somehow I knew if I ever went to America that was where I’d find my people. People who already ‘got it’ when it comes to better cities and happier humans living in them. So, back in August, in a devious plan to escape the drab Auckland winter, my partner and I settled on a modest trip. We wanted to bike around Portland and see what it was like to live …
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Bikes vs Cars – a second showing, by popular demand!

Bikes vs Cars - a second showing, by popular demand!Bikes vs Cars: the name itself seemed so confrontational, almost antagonistic. But it’s brought people out in droves. This Sunday’s screening and panel discussion has SOLD OUT, with all 180 seats booked well in advance… and people are still clamouring for tickets! Luckily for those of you who have missed out, Fredrik Karlsson and The Vic have realised that a second screening is imperative so that everyone who wants to can have the chance to view this award-winning documentary. It will show again on Sunday 25 October at 3pm (albeit just the movie – without the bike-parking and bike panel discussion afterwards, and with tickets priced at $10). If you’re one of the …
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Free our streets for bikes! Taking inspiration from London’s FreeCycle

Free our streets for bikes! Taking inspiration from London's FreeCycleWaitemata Local Board Deputy Chair and bike aficionado Pippa Coom recently accompanied her mum Barbara Grace to London, to support Barbara competing in the 10th World Brompton Championship race. While there, she was inspired by the city’s massive “open streets” FreeCycle event, and is now dreaming of something similar for Auckland… I hadn’t been back to London in 5 years, so I was looking forward to checking out the explosion of cycling I’d been hearing about. From dispatches I was expecting London to have been transformed into a Copenhagen of the British Isles. The increase in bikes everywhere was really noticeable – but I was also surprised to discover this is despite many central London streets …
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On habits, habitats, and happy communities – a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress

On habits, habitats, and happy communities - a report from the Asia Pacific Cycle CongressBikes and bike people poured into Brisbane recently for the 2015 Asia Pacific Cycle Congress, which attracted around 230 delegates from Australia and New Zealand, and a keynote speaker from San Francisco. This year’s focus: the economic benefits of cycling, links to the health sector, and new opportunities for the biking industry. Claire Pascoe, NZTA’s Senior Cycling Adviser, was lucky enough to attend, and soaked up tons of bike news to share with us. Here’s her report: It was a refreshing (and unfamiliar) feeling to take along a presentation on behalf of NZTA that was a truly good news story of such a significant scale – “Yes, you heard right, we’re investing around $400 million …
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Objects in mirror are more vulnerable than they appear

Objects in mirror are more vulnerable than they appearIn August, London taxi driver Aliraj Miah aka @AllLondonBoy tweeted an alarming snippet of dash-cam footage. The driver’s door of a parked car is flung open, hitting a cyclist, who lands on the road in front of Miah’s taxi. Luckily, Miah has lightning reactions and eyes on the road  – and he brakes in time, no permanent harm done. Footage like that and stories like Anna’s remind us of the human face – and the human cost – of carelessly opening a car door. It’s one of the most common causes of bike crashes in New Zealand. And dooring will be an ever-present worry as long as bike lanes are installed precariously close to parked cars, and whenever cyclists are nudged to the side to let …
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Speed, bonny bike, like a bird on the wing – Jane rides the Outer Hebrides

Speed, bonny bike, like a bird on the wing – Jane rides the Outer HebridesIf you’re a paid-up member of Cycle Action, you’ll have received friendly emails from Jane Admore, our cherished membership secretary. She’s also an intrepid bike tourist, and is currently pedalling around the British Isles while waiting for a grandchild to arrive. Here’s her report from the Outer Hebrides…. We’ve only been away for 3 weeks, and yet it feels like we’ve had about 3 months of bombardments of new experiences. Barra, the largest southerly island of the Western Isles (or Outer Hebrides) is a gem. You arrive by ferry at Castlebay, a small town with – true to its name – a ruined castle in the harbour. It’s a day’s …
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Small wheels, big fun: our champ at the Brompton World Champs

Small wheels, big fun: our champ at the Brompton World ChampsWhat could be cuter and more British than the iconic folding Brompton bike? How about a whole bunch of Bromptons, whizzing past Buckingham Palace? Local fan Barbara Grace was lucky enough to not only attend but actually take part in the world champs in London this year – here’s her report:  I’ve had my green Brompton folding bicycle for 5 years now, and it is still the favourite of my three bikes. I’ve often thought I would like to take my bike to the home of the Brompton – so when I heard that the 10th Brompton World Championship was to be held in London this year, with an open ballot for the 575 …
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