A simple idea: a great big community bring & buy for bikes. Hold it in a high profile downtown location with tons of foot traffic. Add bike groups and bike shops and bike fun and fantastic food and a classically warm Auckland ‘winter’ day, and BOOM. Yet more proof that if you build it, they will come. In fact, every man and his dog was there!
Massive kudos to Auckland Transport and the amazing events crew at Fresh Concept for pulling it off, and to everyone who took part and everyone who showed up.
Have to say, bikes look really good on you, Auckland.
We were there all day, with our giveaway goodies and our groovy Bike Burb lounge. So many smiling people showed up to say gidday, and so many of you left with fresh ideas about how to help nudge the city towards an even more bike-friendly future.
We especially loved connecting the existing neighbourhood bike groups (shout out to all the volunteers who helped in our tent!), and seeing new ones pop up on the day. The ‘Bike Burb’ bug really is like a ginger beer bug… a whole lot of fizzing going on.
The wharf outside made for the perfect test-ride runway… and the weather stayed kind.
And even if you were ‘just looking’, there was plenty to do. A bike storyteller (Tanya Batt, from Spoke ‘n’ Word) had the kids spellbound…
…and Mal’s big digger gave overjoyed littlies a chance to practice building a cycleway!
Bike-tracks inside gave riders big and small a chance to hone their skills. (By the way, if you’re an adult who’s learning to ride, keep an eye out for AT’s free lessons in the Cloud on winter evenings – it’s a magical place to master the art of staying upright on two wheels).
If you were concerned about becoming obsessed with bikes, and wondering if perhaps it all goes back to childhood, a cycle-oologist (courtesy of The Open Fort) was there to talk you through it.
Or if you want to help spread the joy of cycling, you can donate your extra wheels to Refugees as Survivors who’ll get the bikes into the hands of newly arrived New Zealanders, with the help of Teau and the amazing Mangere BikeFIT crew.
The ever-inventive Tom Beeston (remember his pop-up ‘free fuel’ cake stall?) was there with a nifty bike-powered saw… a few minutes pedaling was all it took to put another log on the fire, and the woodcutters were rewarded with cake. [Ed: Can we sneak a Tom Sawyer joke in here? I think we can…]
All day long, people of all ages and backgrounds added their smiley faces to our straw poll. Looks like you want to bike… well, pretty much anywhere!
The tangles of bikes, of all sizes and all kinds, parked everywhere inside and outside The Cloud, were tangible proof that Aucklanders are already doing it – biking here, there, and everywhere, in every season, to wherever they want to go.
It’s happening, folks. All the city needs to do is catch up… as fast as it can.
— all photos by Jolisa Gracewood, except for the one by Scottie T.