Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Who rents bikes?

Tramp's singlespeed outside the Auckland Public Library

I took my boys for a bus ride into the city centre on Sunday. We cruised around the art galleries, went to the library, checked out all the public sculpture, ate junk food and loaded-up on ice-cream. We had a good time despite the cold rainy weather. 

I'm not a public transport user and was pretty impressed with our new bus route into the city over the harbour bridge. It's a separate two-way bus lane for most of the way and is not affected by the congestion on the motorway. I wasn't however impressed with the expense. It cost me something like $18 for 1 adult and 2 children and it's only a 10 minute ride. I would have used about $5 petrol if I had used my car, but finding free parking in Auckland is a challenge.

$3 per hour or $15 for 24 hours. I think you pay with your phone somehow.

The photo above is taken on Auckland's Queen Street. The main street that slices down the centre of town. In the past year or so these hire-bikes have been available but I have never seen anyone actually riding one. Auckland City is a cold, wet place in winter. It's a hilly and dangerous place to ride around and although I applaud any cycling initiative I just can't see this business making money. I think over summer they might get some customers, but it's never going to take off. I wish them luck all the same.

5 comments:

purplefern said...

Hello! Found your blog--great stuff. My husband wanted me to tell you that he'll be happy to GIVE you the Kona Ute--if you fly us both to NZ for a holiday. ;-) In the meantime, we'll just bike NZ vicariously through you. Great family!

Antoine said...

That is a coincidence. Last night at work I stumbled on YOUR blog while searching on Google for Kona Ute information!

I think at 6' 5" (with long legs) I'm going to be too tall for a Ute or a Yuba Mundo. That's a shame as they are both great value. I will probably build up a Surly Big Dummy or put an Xtracycle on my old MTB when Carla is old enough to sit on the back safely.

I love your photos of the Ute doing the shopping etc around town. I must work at getting my wife as enthusiastic about utility cycling! It's pretty hilly in our part of Auckland.

Marla...O.A.F. with altitude said...

Antoine,

Don't know how you'll respond, but I tagged you.

purplefern said...

That's probably a good plan. I think the frame feels a bit small even for me (I'm 5' 9"). BUT, I do believe the price is worth some of the reported compromises. I was convinced that the Mundo was for me--but I couldn't actually ride it before buying. When my Kona guy actually HAD the Ute in his shop and I could try it out, I just had to have it. My husband is encouraging me to go ahead and buy the Mundo--my teen agers would be happy to ride it and I could actually compare them. I might. I think that the Big Dummy is out of the question, though ($$$).

Nick said...

Interesting bike in the top picture. That one's not for rent too, is it?