Sometimes, Auckland cyclists – especially the more activist among us – take a certain stroppy pride in riding bikes. And promoting bikes. In a city that traditionally has been hostile to bike riding – to a level that cycle numbers here were significantly lower than the already very poor national average of ~ 2%. A bit of a scrappy “we know what we are up against, and we don’t despair anyway” attitude.
As cycling conditions slowly improve, maybe we can occasionally look away from our shores and realise that there are countries where the conditions may actually be worse, and where raising the cycling numbers from 0.6% to 1% is called a “revolution” by the Economist.
A great achievement (because we know how hard it can be to coax a society out of the cycling doldrums), and yet the result doesn’t sound all that awesome, even for NZ circumstances.
I certainly look forward to the day when I feel in my heart that I can absolutely, irrevocably, hand over the double-edged baton* of “Well, I am a cycling advocate in one of the worst cities for cycling” to some other citiy where tenacious people still have to do the hardest yards.
* Caution, methaphor juggling underway.
Bonus feature: Another recent Economist article highlighting how car use in more developed nations has peaked or started to fall. NZ is the same BTW. It’s a trend, and we are setting it.