On a glorious Saturday evening, thousands of Aucklanders and visitors took over Te Ara i Whiti, the pink path, and spilled out into the streets for a block party with bells on – and it was beautiful.

In lieu of a thousand words, here’s a link to our Facebook photo album, and you can also scroll to the end of this page for a slide show of moments from the day.

So many wonderful people played a part, and we’re keen to thank them all. (If we’ve missed someone below, please let us know!)

Firstly, a huge thanks to all our sponsors, without whom! As presenting sponsors, Barfoot & Thompson gave us the confidence to go large, and our immense gratitude goes also to Paperboy, Auckland Council, the Waitemata Local Board, Auckland Transport’s Walking & Cycling Team, the NZ Transport Agency, SKODA New Zealand, the K’ Road Business Association, Traffic Design Group, Brothers Beer, the Electric Bicycle Hub and Mercury Plaza, who all leapt aboard with enthusiasm.

We were honoured to have our new Transport Minister the Hon. Phil Twyford leading the parade alongside our Barb Cuthbert, Waitemata Local Board Chair Pippa Coom, Councillor Chris Darby, and cycling czarina Kathryn King. And a giant hug to our MC, Willa Cameron of Big Street Bikers, for keeping everything flowing on the day.

Essential support for the event came from Auckland Council’s Auckland Design Office/Activate Auckland team, in particular Barbara Holloway and Liz Allen; with logistical wizardry from Andy Dowding, Justine McKay and Sarra Emery of Janda Productions.

Our special thanks to Margaret Lewis for her visionary programme curation, along with Lara Liew from the Human Agency – and to all the wonderful performers and artists who brought their talents to the party: Mei Hill and Tania Remana, Angus Muir, the Caluzzi candyfloss queens Kita Mean & Anita Wigl’it, Nick von K’s Funky Space Cats, the Very Serious Cyclists, the hula hoop artist, the Big Pink Tinsel Monster, the Real Pyramid Schemer, David Merritt, the graffiti artists and all.

A standing ovation for The Auckland Street Choir, The Grow Room DJs and the Auckland City Scoundrels whose music brought the party to life. And Kiwi Connect’s Tuk Tuk, for bringing people to and from the party.

We also want to shine a special light on the merchants who made this a proudly local event: Mercury Plaza‘s manager Jason Ng and all the food vendors for their brilliant leap of faith in letting us take over their car park for the event; Michael Richardson and the K’ Road Business Association, whose makers and vendors and poets and artists threw their support behind the party and provided a rich array of treats and delights; and Maurice Wells of the Electric Bicycle Hub, who lent not only his bikes but also his basement to the cause.

Cheers to community DIY collective Tumeke Cycle Space for keeping the wheels turning with hands-on bike support. And our event volunteers, take a bow! You were fantastic. You showed up, set up, and kept things running like clockwork, powered by sheer goodwill and team spirit.

Team Bike Auckland: our tireless committee and dear friends who staffed the tent and helped in every way possible – you are the best. Special shout-outs to the talented Carol Green who had the initial vision of a band on the pink path, and then created the stunning poster that exactly captured the spirit of the occasion; and to our powerhouse of an Events and Partnership Manager, Olivia Lynch, who ran the show from go to whoah, and without whom we could never have attempted anything on this scale!

Above all, we want to thank you: everyone who came and enjoyed the party, young and old, on wheels and on feet, everyone who shared the word. You’re the reason we do what we can do – so there can be a lot more of this kind of thing.

You know, most of our advocacy work tends to happen behind the scenes and in front of screens; we campaign, consult, and organise; we get people round the table to make things happen, and report on the outcomes. So it’s a joy to get outside and celebrate progress towards a more bike-friendly city – and summer is the perfect time.

Inviting Auckland’s bike community and friends out into the streets to play was our gift to you. Let’s do it all again next year. Bring on 2018!

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3 responses to “Lightpath Festival a smashing start to summer

  1. A fantastic event – whilst there is obviously a huge amout of work involved in putting on events like this, for the participants it is really about just being given the opportunity to mix and mingle and having areas of the city returned to them.
    And to top it off it was stunning seeing the pied stilts and herons basking in the moonlight on my ride home alongside NW cycleway.

  2. I went but found it underwhelming. I know, I know, if I can do better… I just hope it grows, or maybe save the effort until it’s five years old or is all joined up to something (stage 3?). I’m all for cycling but I do feel slightly embarrassed (when the beauty of bicycles is just how far they can take you so efficiently) about all the fuss made of a very expensive few hundred metres. I remember a Dutch cycling advocate who was here for the unveiling being slightly baffled and making the point that in Holland they like their cycleways to connect…

    1. Hi Ian – we’re with you on that. Part of the impetus for getting people out in the streets to see and celebrate what there is, is to highlight the huge potential once it’s all connected up. For various reasons, Auckland struggles to put on ciclovia-stye events, so we figured we’d get a head start on building enthusiasm for more of them, by expanding the radius of an existing traffic-free environment.

      This is the first event Bike Auckland has done on this scale, too, and we plan to grow it. Next year for example the city loop will be smooth sailing and there’s heaps more potential to roam widely and explore. Stick around, and please come back for more 🙂

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