Duncan Laidlaw is our Deputy Chair. The Deputy Chair supports the Chair in leading the board and connecting with the crew and steps up if the Chair is absent.
What is your first memory on a bike?
I got my first bike in Fiji and was taught to ride by my father. It was a BMX and got used and abused for a number of years before being passed on.
What type of bike do you ride?
I have enjoyed cyclocross bikes for a number of years, initially because they offered disc brakes and the ability to mount a rack but also for the general geometry, rigid but not too rigid fork and the slightly wider tires allowing a hint of the wild off road combined with good pace into the wind on Tamaki Drive. More recently I have paired this with an e-bike for a more relaxing experience.
Cycling for transport, recreation, community; or all three?
Anything really. I have commuted to work by bike, led group rides for our local bike ‘burb Bike Kaipatiki and enjoy a ride with friends any time.
Have you always ridden or did something inspire you to make the shift to cycling for transport?
I have had an on and off relationship with biking for transport since I was a child. Growing up in Wellington, friends and I would go out for picnic lunches by bike in the school holidays until college. I got back into bikes again in Palmerston North while at university. This is where I had my first bike stolen. Then moving to Auckland for work I was first prompted to bike for recreation then got in to cycle commuting when the Monthly Discovery Passes were discontinued.
Where is your favourite place to ride in Auckland? Or in the world?
In Auckland it has to be an early start ride down Upper Harbour drive and along Hobsonville Rd to connect into the Northwestern cycleway to the city. Excellent riding, good pace, and just spot on on a still, crisp morning.
What attracted you to joining Bike Auckland’s Board?
I feel honoured to take a seat on the board for an organisation fueled by the passion of our cycling community where I get to work alongside our friendly and diverse advocates, crew and fellow board members. Joining was easy.
What’s your big, no-limits, dream for Auckland?
That we get to a point where cycling is not the political topic it is today and road safety, encompassing mode shift, is seen as a normal part of society by most people.
What suggestions do you have for people who want to really get into cycling like you have?
Find a bike and start pedaling. Like all skills, particularly those associated with fitness, confidence and comfort come with a little experience but the benefits for mental health, physical well being and the environment make it all worthwhile.
And to end, a question that’s not about biking…crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Neither, I don’t like peanut butter.