Nelson St official opening
Pink puns will be in overload this week as we count down to the opening of Nelson St’s spectacular pink pathway and protected bike lanes [and, fingers crossed, the announcement of the Official Name!]. Read on for everything you need to know about opening day, Thursday 3rd December.
I know, I know… we can’t wait until Thursday morning!! And yet… we have to. There have been a few reports of people trying to sneak a peek, but seriously: please wait. It’s still a construction zone and we’ve got to do the right thing by the workers who are doing their best around the clock to get this thing ready to ride.
And ready to ride it will be, on Thursday morning. It’s officially open to the public from 10.30 a.m. but we’ve got a whole day of fun lined up to celebrate, and you’re all invited!
It’s as easy as 1,2,3:
1. Early risers, come and fuel up at our Bike Breakfast
Meet at 7.00am at Scarecrow Kitchen, on the corner of Victoria St and Albert Park. Coffee is free (and so are the pastries this time) but space is strictly limited, so please RSVP to Kirsten ASAP!
2. The official opening ceremony takes place 9.00 – 10.30 am
Minister of Transport Simon Bridges will officially declare the project completed. Special guests include iwi partners, our chair Barb Cuthbert, Councillor Chris Darby, NZTA’s Ernst Zollner – plus a whole bunch of kids from Freemans Bay School. In a beautiful bit of symbolism, the kids will be first to bike on the bridge.
The kids and dignitaries will be gathering at 8.45 a.m. at the Canada St end. We know it’s a work day, but you are very welcome to be there with your own bikes if you can, ready to ride once the ceremonies are completed. Come one, come all, to show how keen we are! (Feet are fine too – it’s a shared path, after all).
Let’s just be sure to observe the protocols with courtesy, and above all let the kids go first. This is a chance to bless the bridge, to give formal and public thanks to those who built it, and to give the children their moment in the sun.
And once all the formalities are over around 10.30, it’s all yours.
3. Later that night, join us for the Official First Hoon
Dazzling by day, it’s going to be even more spectacular by night, as you’ll know if you’ve glimpsed the lighting test runs over the last few days.
We’ll assemble at Mercury Plaza around 7.30pm, and then ride en masse along the length of the bridge as the sun sets and the light show comes on. Of course, we say ‘hoon’ but it will be a very civilised group ride for the sheer joy of it. There will be plenty of pedestrians promenading too – it’s a shared space, not a bike race 🙂
And you might as well make a night of it, because all sorts of great things are happening nearby:
- By coincidence, it’s K Rd’s First Thursday night, with films and activities and late night shopping – so you can get some Christmas quaxing done too!
- The awesome Tumeke Cycle Space DIY bike workshop will be open as always 5.30 – 7.30pm on Thursday, welcoming anyone who needs to pop in and tune up their bike.
- Brothers Beer at City Works Depot on Wellesley St has a special offer on Thursday for anyone who arrives on a bike: $1 off all beers, $2 off their beers. Even better, the landlord has installed a handy new stairway to access the cycleway. Talk about synergy!
- And the Brewers Cooperative on the corner of Victoria St, open till 10pm, has a ‘bikers’ fuel breakfast’ that they serve all day.
Also: we’re keen to get some moving footage of the evening ride – e.g. a time-lapse from Hopetoun Overbridge as the sun goes down and the lights go up and the bikes appear would be FANTASTIC. If this is your kind of thing, let us know!
Any other tips? Any questions? Ask us below. And keep an eye on the FB event page for more updates and ideas of things to do before, during, and after the hoon. Here’s the run sheet…
PS Keen to know more about how this spectacular project came about?? We’ve been following the build in detail over the last few months – read about the transformation of the offramp, the creation of the Canada St bridge, and the design collaboration behind the lights, colour and kowhaiwhai. Almost impossible to believe that a year and a half ago it was just a twinkle in Max’s eye! Stellar work by NZTA and everyone who’s worked on it.