Getting Started

Discover the joy of cycling

 

Every year, more of us than ever get on our bikes, and no wonder! It’s a fun, free way for people of all ages to get where we’re going. And of course it’s great for your physical and mental health, and excellent for the planet, too.

 

Are you ready to cycle?

Join the crowd! One in three Aucklanders already regularly ride a bike, and one in five are thinking about it. To help you get started (or restarted) on wheels, we’ve pulled together some key tips, from buying a bike, to where to ride, to how to take your bike on public transport.

 

For second hand bikes, we recommend checking out one of the EcoMatters Bike Hubs, Triple Teez, Otara Bike Burb, Tumeke Cycle Space, or another second hand retailer like Adventure Cycles (Western Springs) or T.White’s Bikes (Eden Terrace and New Lynn). 

If you’re buying second hand from someone online, be sure it’s someone you can trust. Ask for the bike’s serial number in advance, search it on 529 Garage to see if it’s stolen, and never purchase an e-bike without the charger or battery.

Local bike shops are also your best bet for bike repairs, but if you only need minor repairs or adjustments, EcoMatters Bike Hubs, Bike Kitchens, and even pop-up bike mechanic stations (updated regularly on our events calendar) can offer free or koha-based repairs and assessments of mechanical problems. You can find a bike hub or bike kitchen near you on our Bike Auckland Discovery Map.

Auckland Transport runs fantastic (and free) adults bike skills courses, which range from complete beginner to advanced road riding skills. There are also the Kids Learn To Ride Sessions, where qualified instructors will help children at any stage to develop their riding ability.

Many of our Bike Burbs also run casual and social rides, which can often be tailored to your riding ability. Joining a Bike Burb can be a great way to make new friends while gaining some added confidence on your bike!

Auckland Transport provides an excellent collection of maps for different areas of Auckland, including a list of fantastic Suggested Cycle Rides. You can pick up a hard copy of most of these maps at the Bike Auckland Bike Valet, and at bus, ferry and train stations across Auckland.

The AT Mobile App is a good option for planning a route you need to ride. The app allows for the selection of Walking and Cycling when planning a journey, and will direct people on bikes to low-traffic streets and separated cycleways where possible.

If you want to find the best route for your commute, or a ride in your area that suits your style, asking your local Bike Burb for advice can be a fantastic way to get some local knowledge – and maybe even a buddy who wants to ride with you!

Bike Burbs are local community-lead groups who advocate for cycling in their own way, organise group rides and meet ups, and can offer the best advice on where to go and what to do locally. Join your local, or email us about starting one in your area.

Be sure to check out the Bike Auckland events calendar to find suitable events near you, and come along to our regular Bike Champions Forums, our social Bike Breakfasts, or our Bikes and Beers events!

Riding with kids is fun and easy, especially if you pick the right route and pack the essentials! Check your bikes are all in good condition before you set out, plan your route and bring suitable clothing, water and a snack.

The Bike Auckland with Kids Facebook group can be a good place to ask questions about cycling with children in general.

If you’ve got young children who are just learning to ride, be sure to check out Auckland Transport’s Kids Learn to Ride Sessions, where professional instructors can help get the little ones rolling!

T?maki Makaurau (Auckland) has a lot of family-friendly bike paths to explore – check out this collection we made of rides for kids, ask your local Bike Burb for fun places that suits the ages and abilities of your family, or come to one of our Bike Auckland family friendly events, and have a chat!

Did you know there are several Pump Tracks in T?maki Makaurau, where kids can test out (and develop) their bike skills? Tots To Teens has a great summary of them here

Find more places to explore on the Bike Auckland Discovery Map.

 

Here are our top tips to make your bike commute easy and enjoyable:

  • Plan your route: If you’re a less confident rider, consider riding the route slowly on a Sunday first, and have a think about how you might navigate any difficult locations. You can ask your local bike burb if someone could help plan a safe route, or practice riding the route with you, to build your confidence. Remember: There’s never any shame in hopping off and walking your bike if it’s easier or safer!
  • All clothes are cycling clothes: You don’t need special gear, but if you’re working up a sweat, you might want to consider getting changed at work. The important consideration with clothing is to be sure there are is no loose material which could get caught in the moving parts of your bicycle.
  • Check your bike before you set out: Make sure the tyres are inflated, the brakes are working and everything is adjusted properly. You don’t want to set out in the morning to find you’ve got a flat tyre!
  • Consider where you will park (and lock!): If you’re leaving your bike somewhere all day, make sure it is a secure location, and that you have properly locked up your bike with a quality lock, fastened to something secure. Consider removing e-bike batteries, and never leave your charger with your e-bike, unless it’s securely locked into a Lockydock.

If you’re not sure about the best way to get to work, or if it’s possible for you, feel free to get in touch with Bike Auckland or your local Bike Burb. We’re always happy to help someone to get riding in a way that works for them!

Subject to space, you can roll your bike on and off train and ferry services across T?maki Makaurau (Auckland) and it’s free.

When catching a train, the middle cars are the ones with space to store bikes – consider this when approaching to board, and board last to allow other passengers time to move further into the carriage. Some stations are difficult to access to if you can plan ahead and have a plan B if you can’t access with your bike.

On most ferries, bikes are stored on the rear (stern) deck. Some ferries have bike racks or hooks which bikes can be hung from – keep a look out for these options or ask a deckhand for assistance. When you move onto a vessel, remember to move away from the boarding ramp to allow other passengers to continue boarding while you secure your bike.

Join us

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

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