I got up at the unnatural time of 6am this morning so I could join the "Go by Bike Day" group ride into Takapuna. This is a community event held nationwide to encourage cycling, and specifically bicycle commuting. There were two groups riding into town from different directions and when we got there the organisers provided a free breakfast, coffee, bananas, massages, helmet-hair fix-ups, bike checks and a goody bag.
I rode the Pugsley with my 34/18T "road" gearing and it was hard work on the hills at that time of the morning.
The lycra-clad roadies just didn't get a guy riding a 36 pound singlespeed, but I had a few friendlier people come up and ask me questions about the bike. You get used to that riding a Pug. There were 350 cyclists at our local event.
When I got to the meeting point for the ride in It was just getting light. I thought I had the wrong day until I spotted a lone rider behind the coffee cart. The third rider to show up was the Mayor! I had a chat to him about the new local bike lanes. There has been a lot of controversy about the effect they are having on the rush hour traffic. He was probably just gathering votes, but was quite approachable and had made the effort to get out of bed early and dust off his old mountain bike.
The goodie bags were a bit sparse this year. Last time I got a Cat Eye rear blinky that I use all the time. This year it was bottles of shampoo and conditioner. What's with that? Are they implying cyclists don't wash?
The bagels were good. The coffee was good, and It was fun to ride with other people on the road for a change.
After stuffing my face, chatting to a few people and listening to the mayor's speech, I had to ride all the way back past where I had started to get to work by 10am. I have to work until 10pm tonight, but it was worth it.