The art of the unknown – a follow-your-nose adventure

The art of the unknown – a follow-your-nose adventureSimon Vincent muses on the art of ignoring the map, trusting your inner compass, and the treasures you stumble across when you decide to follow your nose…  The kereru loomed large above me. I was startled; it wasn’t. It was an art work. I was startled because I hadn’t expected to see it. Discovering something unexpected is one of the joys of riding paths you don’t know that well (or at all) – you will always come across something you hadn’t anticipated, and being on a bicycle gives you the chance to pause, savour and digest. We often think of the bicycle as a tool of freedom, for allowing us to go when we want, cheaply, and not held …
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Here comes the Canada St bridge – piece by piece!

Here comes the Canada St bridge - piece by piece!Check out these stunning photos (via NZTA) of the first two pieces of the Canada St bridge arriving on site. This gorgeous serpentine structure will be a crucial connection to the revamped Nelson St flyover for bikes and pedestrians. The bridge has been constructed offsite in seven pieces, which are being delivered to the site and installed in sections over the next month. Dates for delivery and installation are currently listed as 7 -11  September and 22 – 29 September. If you’re keen to see the first piece lifted into place – and who wouldn’t be! – that’s happening some time after 10pm on 7 September. (NB the work is weather contingent: if …
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Beach Rd stage 2 – official opening, 18 September 2015

Anyone riding or walking along Beach Road lately has been getting exciting glimpses of the progress on Stage II of the Beach Road separated cycleway… and it’ll officially open on Friday 18 September, with a small ceremony at 7.30 a.m. Swing by for a celebratory cuppa and a test-ride if you’re nearby or passing through!
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Around Savai’i on a ‘uila’ – a biking holiday in Samoa

Around Savai'i on a 'uila' - a biking holiday in SamoaIf you want a warm break in winter, enjoy cycling, and only have a week to spare, then consider circumnavigating Savai’i – ‘the big island’ of Samoa. Bruce and Karen Yarnton did, and shared their experience with us… Our plan was to cycle five of the six full days in Samoa, leaving one day for lounging on the coral sand and snorkelling in the lagoon. We traveled in June, when the average temperature was a high of 31deg C, so we planned to start early each morning and have the day’s cycling over with before the heat really set in. Circumnavigating Savai’i is a trip of approx 220km around the perimeter road, and the daily distances we …
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‘A deluge of money and outbursts of belief’ – the Chair’s report to the AGM, August 2015

'A deluge of money and outbursts of belief' - the Chair's report to the AGM, August 20152015 stands out for being the year of: a deluge of money; a sweet and irresistible force; outbursts of belief; and a major leap forward. Here’s a snapshot of the highlights, and a record of those who deserve our thanks. A Deluge of Money A national flood of $$. Our 2014 AGM followed close on the heels of the re-election of a National Government. At the opening of our Grafton Gully project, the Prime Minister John Key promised more money for urban cycleways. But who believed it would be a third of a billion dollars from central and local government in the next 3 years! The deluge of new cycling …
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Bike Breakfast – bright and early, Thursday 3 September

Bike Breakfast - bright and early, Thursday 3 SeptemberThursday 3 September is the date for this month’s Breakfast Conversation – come along and join the gang for this informal and lively get-together to catch up with news about Auckland bike events, cycle infrastructure developments, and bike life in general. Everyone’s welcome to drop-in to these regular monthly sessions at Mojo cafe at the Auckland Art Gallery, always on the first Thursday of each month from 7.30am. There’s no need to RSVP, just come along. Hope you can make it – we’d love to see you! Thursday 3 September, from 7.30am to about 9am @ Mojo Cafe, Auckland Art Gallery (1st floor – entrance from the cafe terrace off Albert Park)
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A crucial green light for a greenway – roll on, Mt Roskill!

A crucial green light for a greenway - roll on, Mt Roskill!Great news from the Puketapapa Local Board, which last night wholeheartedly approved the construction of a crucial link in the fabulous Greenways project that will connect the lovely sinuous parks of Mt Roskill, creating safe routes to the local school campus and sports facilities as well as a connection from the Airport to the city centre via the Dominion Rd back streets. Former Cycle Action chair and legendary Wheeled Pedestrian blogger Mark Bracey was there, and sends this report: The proposed cycleway in Mt Roskill was unanimously given the ‘green light’ by the Puketapapa Local Board at its August 27 meeting. That’s a big deal. It’s funded to a value of over $3 mil. What …
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Northern Corridor Improvements – what’s in it for bikes?

Northern Corridor Improvements - what's in it for bikes?The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has come a long way. When Transit NZ (motorway builders) merged with the LTSA (Land Transport Safety Authority) to form the NZTA back in 2008, it was pretty clear the motorway builders were still in control, and consideration for public transport, walking and cycling was far from their minds. Times have changed over the last seven years, although you still see vestiges of the old guard down in Wellington trying to construct a monstrous flyover around the Basin Reserve. We have a much more enlightened NZTA team in Auckland.  The motorway builders are still at it of course, in this case connecting up the Western Ring Route …
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Have gold card, will cycle – the new bike ambassadors

One of the things I love about getting around by bike and public transport is the people I bump into along the way: I feel like it gives me a snapshot of the new Auckland. A week ago, while en route to the airport bus, I met this smiley, friendly couple on the Devonport ferry with their bikes… As we shuffled round the deck dodging hail, Jim and Julie told me all about how they had moved from their family home in Pakuranga to an apartment in Newmarket. Now centrally placed with the train at their doorstep, they spend their weekends exploring Auckland cycle trails accessible by train and ferry. Julie seemed a bit apologetic …
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Off-road bike fun for the family – Sunday Cyclocross!

What’s cyclocross? It’s an exhilarating cross between biking and running, like doing mountain biking on a road bike with added muddy fun. If you’ve fancied trying it out but weren’t sure where to start, fear not – here’s a great way to get your feet wet (and/or your bike a bit muddy). And anyone can do it. As the poster says, “it’s for little girls, big men, and everyone in between”! This Sunday is the first in a series of all-ages Cyclocross Sundays across the city, brought to you by Auckland City Cyclocross, the Auckland MTB Club, and Auckland Transport. The day is designed so you can have a go and then – if you’re …
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Bike Te Atatu – Saturday morning kids’ ride and catch up

A quick note about a Bike Te Atatu get-together this weekend: Saturday 22 August, 10am at the Te Atatu Football Club, alongside Te Atatu Park on the peninsula. If you’re a local who’s interested in biking in your neighbourhood, or if you’re nearby and want to come and see what a thriving Bike Burb group looks like, then swing by and say hi! All welcome. Check the Facebook page for more details.
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Sometimes it’s the small things that count…

Sometimes it’s the small things that count…Duncan Laidlaw takes stock of some small but sweet changes at his local shops: One recent Saturday, I found myself at a loose end wandering Birkenhead Village  – okay, I found myself in the village waiting for Bloom Cupcakes to open – and what I discovered was exciting, even if to the average passerby it was almost invisible. We have bike racks! They might seem like such a small part of the picture that you’d say “so what?” And indeed, I was left wondering why I got so excited that I started wandering around taking photos – and so captivated I apparently missed someone trying to catch my attention. Thinking it over since then, I have come …
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How to go Friding – and a Friding challenge!

How to go Friding - and a Friding challenge!Friding is one of those ideas that strikes you with the force of a revelation: Riding. On a Friday. “The best day, the best way.” Couldn’t be simpler. It’s not formal, it’s not planned, it’s just giving people permission. Once a week, take your bike. And yet, as its inventors Nick McFarlane and Greg Wood say in a great article in today’s Herald, it’s extremely powerful too: “Our plan is to change the world one Friday at a time.” Greg gave us the downlow at the recent Pecha Kucha bike night, including this perfect image that captures the moment when the Sisyphus effect gives way to the snowball effect. And since today is the day before Friday, and …
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Announcing the ‘Sunday Best’ Ride – a splendid spring sortie!

Announcing the 'Sunday Best' Ride - a splendid spring sortie!I say, Auckland: mark your diaries for Sunday October 4th, and join a variety of vivacious velocipede enthusiasts on the inaugural Sunday Best Ride. In the spirit of the great London Tweed Run and under the auspices of the Auckland Heritage Festival, this all-ages event harks back to the golden age of cycling. The route is a leisurely affair, a 15km loop from the Domain to the Rose Gardens, via Ponsonby and along the waterfront, with stops for refreshments and photos. Friendly marshals will keep us spit-spot along the way. A small fee of $5 ensures you a place on the ride, and refreshments will be shared at start and end – sign up here to guarantee …
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Underused or better used? Chamberlain Park and the NW Cycleway

Underused or better used? Chamberlain Park and the NW CyclewayThe possible revamp of the Chamberlain Park golf course (the only Auckland golf course both owned and operated by Council) has been in the news quite a bit recently. Currently, it is a very large and lush piece of greenscape at the Mt Albert / Pt Chevalier border that is open only to paying golfers – but the Albert-Eden local board wants to open it up for new path links, and more recreational activities than golf alone. We won’t go into the discussions about the pros and cons of golf versus other activities here (some of this has been discussed on TransportBlog). As the Cycle Action organisation itself, we don’t have strong feelings …
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