This site has been created as a place to document the rise, both locally and internationally, of mainstream bicycle culture via words, photographs. Why? Because I dream of living and working in a vibrant, sustainable city. This website is intended to contribute to achieving that dream. But it’s about more than just cycling.
Auckland has a great natural environment. But it is failing in the livability, mobility and sustainability stakes. Improvements in those areas are sporadic and glacial and with a business as usual approach, we face little chance of enjoying a cycling friendly city within our lifetimes.
The good news is that there are cities around the world that are modelling this new vision for us. There are also individuals and organisations around the world that are modelling how to achieve this vision. This site will be a place to disseminate the wealth of information and ideas in a digestible form about thriving, people-centred cities to an intelligent, non-cycling public.
I am also hoping that this site will be the beginning of something much bigger. I want it to be used as a way of engaging with a wider audience, to provoke conversations and to educate. I want to get a conversation going that a wider range of people can get involved in. There is a lot of expertise readily available but I would like to see it broken down into manageable bits and presented in a way that ‘non-experts’ can get excited about and feel inspired to join in. You don’t need to be a traffic engineer to know that it is often difficult and dangerous to cross the street or, there is a lack of suitable parking for your bicycle outside your local pool.
From there, I hope that this site will be a source of inspiration to provide direction for future campaigning options in the wider community. Ultimately, I want it to lead on to a campaigning focus; to get local people to connect and see ways that they can make their local community better for people (in general), not just cycling. The ultimate prize to come from this would be the creation of a full-time paid advocacy organisation like this.
Up until now, the media have been given a ‘free’ pass. The media need to be provided with opportunities to see cycling in a different light. The public and media need to see images like this and this. In order to do this, better storytelling needs to come to the fore; to convey compelling ideas to an increasingly expectant audience.
So it is safe for you to assume that this site will not be encouraging you to ‘claim the lane’, to wear a helmet correctly or encouraging you to stay safe by wearing ‘hi-viz’. That would just be encouraging you to enter into an arms race that we all know, can’t be won. So rather than just focussing on ‘more and better cycle paths’, it’s time to start addressing the need to ‘humanise our cities’.
‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.