Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Go by Bike Day

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.


Tim said...

Good stuff. We went to the Auckland city one in Aotea Square (in lycra - we stood out!) but enjoyed the breakfast as a different way to end our bunch ride.

Thought you might be interested in the Surly build update photo

Antoine said...

I never turn down a free breakfast.

Had a funny chat with a roadie on a carbon/alloy Avanti while we were waiting for the ride in to start. He just didn't get the 4 inch tyre/singlespeed thing at all. His bike was 7.5 kilos. I weighed mine last night - 16.5 kilos with no gears!

Antoine said...

I just clicked on your icon and your profile is not publicly available. Do you have a blog Tim?

Tim said...

Blog? I have random stuff scattered about the net from various parts of my life on different websites under various monickers that I forget about and then remember again at later dates. I had to find an old one so that I could comment on this blog... but last entry was July 06.

Jeff Moser said...

A few others and I are working on May's Bike to Work Week (finishing up with "bike day") here in Carson City. This is the first big thing I've tried to organize, so it's great to read about how other places are doing it. We'll be getting goodie bags or swag together too. Maybe for raffle prizes though. Probably skip on the shampoo and conditioner. I know I don't need it!

Jeff Moser said...

...and thanks for the link!