How we rolled

Go-By-Bike Day NZ was Wednesday 16th February.

Some of the team got into the spirit and we met at Victoria Square for the free breakfast organised by the spiffing chaps at Spokes Canterbury, (the Canterbury Cyclists Association) among others.  (Where were you Soph?)  From what I understand the different venues were organised by different groups.  Vic Square had free coffee!  Click on Spokes to go to their website and tell ’em what a jolly good show, chaps!  Also in attendance was Cycling Advocates Network (CAN) whom last year I bought this excellent accoutrement from:

less cars, more calf muscles.

As was the nice gentleman from Velo-Ideale, emporium of fabulous bikes and pieces such as this: (it might not be the best bike shop in the world, but at least it’s not in Islington…)

coffee time, comin' through!

As sported by our very own Chief Executive on her awesome retro bike – and my own Boss-Lady couldn’t resist getting one for her new/old treadley either.

I noticed that the only coverage Christchurch’s-own bastion of mediocrity, The Press, provided the next day was a small article headlined “Cyclist hurt on special day for cycling” or something like that.  It went on to describe the one and only negative incident to mar an otherwise excellent promotion.  But I suppose “Hundreds of cyclists enjoy incident-free commute, free breakfast” doesn’t make for good (sensational) news.

Or does it?  Here’s a little feature on Canterbury Television about the event at Vic Square.

And how do we roll?  Well a little bit like this:

The Chic Cyclistas

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Go-By-Bike Day!

Yes yes, you say.  We get all this good stuff about why active transport is so great yada yada. So what are we doing about all this?  Aha!  I’m glad you/I asked!

Obviously I’m not the only one who sees the importance of getting people active (obviously).  I’m just the only active blogger promoting active transport who’s actually ‘bone idle’ (as my brother would say).  It’s a strange claim to fame, but I’ll take it.  I’ve just noticed that my bike has mysteriously become covered in cobwebs…

IT’S BIKE WISE MONTH!

Anyway.  I wanted to shine a light on this great event which is part of Bike Wise Month held every year in NZ during February.  Implemented and promoted by Bike Wise, a government initiative funded by the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Health.  I hope that doesn’t make it somehow less sexy, I just wanted to say ‘fair go’, the G-men are actually trying to do something positive.

This coming Wednesday 16th February is Go-By-Bike Day nationwide.  By my reckoning on the Bike Wise website there are about 80 events planned for Wednesday alone.  Let alone the rest of the month.  Go-By-Bike Day events tend to involve enticing commuters to cycle by offering free breakfasts to cyclists.

Here’s a link to the Christchurch event, they’re offering brekkie at 4 different locations in the central city.  I’m gonna try and get my whole team to bike to work and meet for a breakfast together so if you’re in ChCh bike along and I’ll see you there!  I’ll be giving away free subscriptions to ToC 😉  And while we’re at it maybe we’ll all wear our best ‘bib n’ tucker’ and make it a real cycle chic event.  Boss-Lady recently purchased a rather fabulous reconditioned granny-style, sit-up-and-beg (love that name) bike, complete with basket on the front.  Puts my mountain bike to shame.  But wait til they get a load of my retro suit!

Need some inspiration?  Look no further.  Well no, do look further but here’s a good start…

How to Make Biking Mainstream: Urban Planning Lessons from the Dutch

How to Make Biking Mainstream: Urban Planning Lessons from the Dutch by Jay Walljasper.

Another interesting article in Yes! Magazine.  The Netherlands have a story to tell when it comes to getting more people onto bikes and out of cars.

A commitment to biking is not uniquely imprinted in the Dutch DNA. It is the result of a conscious push to promote biking.

So it’s not easy but it is possible.  We just need the will to do it.

Some amazing stats in here:

In the Netherlands 27 % of all daily trips are made by bicycle. Doesn’t sound like much?  Compare it to the best of Europe: Denmark is 18 %, Germany 12 % and the U.S.? Try 1 %.  Oh dear…

Get on yer bike!

(Now where did I put my copy of ‘Learning how to Practice what you Preach in 10 easy steps…’)

A Design for Life*

Just a quick post about some cool stuff I’ve seen – actually ‘on-topic’ too…

The Riversimple Car: for those who've always wanted a sort of Pixar-animated flying beetle car.

As seen in this years Brit Insurance Designs of the Year nominations.

Now we’ve got our thinking caps on.  Making the ‘Eco’ and ‘Human’ friendly options more convenient than the alternatives.

The Riversimple car can reach 80km/hr (50mph) with a range of 322km (200 miles), with fuel consumption claimed to be equivalent to 300 mpg (miles per gallon). The cars will be leased with fuel and repair costs included, at an estimated $315 (£200) per month. The company hopes to have the vehicles in production by 2013; next year, it will release 10 prototypes in an unconfirmed UK city.

Imagine sharing the lease between a couple of families living close together.  Or whole neighbourhoods getting together to lease several.

The second image after the jump is about the urban cycle hire project.  Also check out the awesome and somehow sci-fi ‘energy harvesting’ paving slabs!

Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2011 award nominations

* Manic Street Preachers from the 1996 album ‘Everything Must Go’.  See a pattern emerging here?

It’s the best bike shop in the world, but bugger me it’s in Islington

This breaks my heart.

As the delightful Ms Sam Warland* said only this very day, “My Christmas list just got a whole lot longer”.

And I don’t even have a bike (yet).

Things to love about this place:

  • It’s called Bobbin Bicycles.
  • They sell a bicycle helmet in the shape of a bowler hat.
  • And yellow leather driving gloves, with that sexxxy cut out on the back of the hand. Rowwwrrrr. Down sir!
  • And a ‘Hello Sailor’ reflective collar.
  • And bicycles, lots of cute bicycles, but I don’t really care about the bicycles that much, I only put that in because otherwise you might think I am an accessory obsessed gurrl.

Things not to like:

  • It’s in Islington.
  • The prices are in pounds.
  • It’s in Islington.

That is all.

*Whose many charms cannot be enumerated on the fingers of my three hands.

Trailer Blazing

Sent to us by a friend and fellow MHP – practical ingenuity applied to a car-free existence.  And the capper?  They’ve managed to recycle old recycling bins.  I’m not sure if that’s ironic or just satisfyingly apt.

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Old recycling bins = FREE

Old bike parts, timber, fittings = $57.50

Looking like an enraged, feral hippie on a bicycle = PRICELESS.

With thanks (and apologies) to Steve and Beth.

Like riding a bike…

Elizabeth just sent me a link to her perfect bicycle.  Here’s a picture of it:

It’s called a Pashley Princess Classic and she reckons she might just be convinced to join the ranks of the cycling revolution equipped with this machine.

Here’s the specs.

Now with that stylish a road accessory she could also join in this.

And locally participate in this.