Month: May 2015

Riding a bicycle can be as easy as walking, but faster.

You can help make riding a bicycle a normal, everyday activity.

You can help make riding a bicycle a normal, everyday activity.

It is not well known or appreciated that bicycles are ideal for short utility trips. And even in the most bicycle unfriendly city, many of the journeys we do every day are ideally suited to and achievable by bicycle. So while you are waiting for those separated cycle paths to be built, dust off your bike and practice doing some simple and easy trips around your neighbourhood. Yes, you may need to ride on the footpath slowly when it feels safer to do so, or walk up a few hills to begin with but hey, just getting started is the most important thing.

Ignore those people who are inclined to make cycling sound more difficult than it actually is. You will soon find that a short trip on a bike is as easy as walking. Ignore invitations to participate in events like ‘Bike to Work’ week. At least initially. Those are for seasoned #cyclists and may require you to ride a longer distance and in heavier traffic than you are prepared to do just at the moment. You are aiming to be a #wheeledpedestrian.

Just get into it gently. It may have been a long time since you have been on a bike. But you won’t have forgotten the buzz and excitement of rolling along as though you were on a magic carpet, or the sense of achievement of getting to your destination under your own steam. Go slowly. You don’t want to get all sweaty, do you.

You may also find that your bicycle is not as comfortable or as practical as you wish. There is a reason for that. You are probably riding a bicycle that has fat knobby tires. You will probably also find that you are leaning forward. This puts extra weight on your arms and means that you are having to lift your head up into an uncomfortable position.

This bicycle’s lack of mudguards may also make it likely that you will be covered in road spray if the roads are slightly wet when you are riding. There are bicycles available that can enhance your riding experience. They are perfect for the aspiring #wheeledpedestrian. Go on-line and have a browse. It’s quite possible that the bicycle you need is not available at your local retailer. It is also quite possible that your local retailer will not understand your needs and try to convince you to buy something that is not suitable for you.

Finally, share your story. Inspire others. Help make riding a bicycle a normal, everyday activity again.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat.

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The bicycle is not the main character in this story.

It's not about the bicycle, actually.

It’s not about the bicycle, actually.

It was mid-summer and we had gone to watch New Zealand’s only professional football team play at Eden Park. We decided to stop for a bite to eat on the way home. It rained a little. By the time we got to this bridge it had got dark. The sensible member of the travelling party had carried on ahead while the #NinjaPrincess and I dawdled a little bit. The bridge lighting was playing tricks with the rain and this was all set against a splendid backdrop.

I don’t remember whether our team won or not but I still have a strong memory of the day. That’s because I’m human and I seek human connections and happy experiences. My happiness quotient was overflowing. The bicycle played a very strong supporting role in this experience. But it didn’t take centre stage. I never allow that to happen.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat.

Get involved via: Twitter, FacebookFlickrVine or Instagram.

If the helmet is the solution, then the wrong question is being asked

It's asking a lot of a piece of plastic covered polystyrene.

It’s asking a lot of a piece of plastic-covered polystyrene.  (image via google)

It was a helmet like this,

that the young nurse was wearing,

when she swerved to avoid,

the door being opened,

by the motorist getting out,

of his parked car,

that led to her,

being run over,

by a truck,

on a busy road.

R.I.P. Jane Bishop.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat. As easy as walking, but faster.

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Recruiting now: Wheeled Pedestrians

Cyclists Dismount

 

Some traffic engineers and some politicians are fighting a determined but ultimately futile battle against the natural order. One day, this stupid sign will be erased and replaced with a red carpet. That would be the common sense approach; the human way. A ‪#‎wheeledpedestrian‬ is not intent on breaking rules. It’s just that some rules and attitudes are so stupid, they deserve to be ignored.

In the meanwhile, please take note of all the signs, physical and symbolic, that indicate how far away we are from achieving the grand prize; of creating cities that are great for people, rather than cars. One day, the quantity of #wheeledpedestrians will be one of the measures of a city’s quality. There’s work to be done.

‘Cycling’ is sport and recreation. ‘Riding a bicycle’ is everyday activity. No sweat.

Get involved via: Twitter, FacebookFlickr, or Instagram.