I read with interest the Ask the Mayor article from the 13th Feb. Rachel Reese had a very reasonable list of reasons for needing to use her car most days.
I too had the same list of reasons why I can’t bike to work. I too have multiple places each day that I need to be, potentially 2 different hospital sites plus 2 clinics. I also have to look professional at work and don’t have time to shower after each trip. I have to carry heavy gear at times.
I am on call 1- 2 times a week and need to be able to get to the emergency department within 15-20 mins for the entire 24 hours in case of major incident or trauma, a very clear and reasonable rationale for using my car on those days.
I used all of these reasons, mostly valid, to explain the times I could not bike and simply extrapolated this reasonable argument out to say if I can’t bike sometimes, I can’t bike period.
However I am married to one of the most zealous bike enthusiasts in town and about 18months ago I became a reluctant biker.
I bought an electric bike and use it at least half the week, sometimes more. It allows me to bike to work and only develop a gentle feminine glow, rather than a serious sweat. I don’t need to have another shower at work and trust me I bike wearing just about anything, simply putting bike shorts on beneath my dress. I don’t need extra time. I can get almost anywhere n Nelson in 10 mins flat. With a 20 kilo bike, even with the motor, I am still definitely exercising and improving my fitness , plus I have zero emissions. I charge my bike at most every 2 weeks overnight for a cost of less than 1 dollar.
I don’t have the hassle of parking, there is a bike cage at the hospital that unlike the carpark is never full ( although gratifyingly getting fuller all the time). I have some funky panniers and can do a supermarket shop on the way home with no concern. At the weekends I only use my car when I need to; big shops, ferrying multiple kids, dogs to the beach etc.
Now I can’t bike every day, there are days when I have expensive and delicate equipment to carry that I just can’t risk. I think the key here is that no-one has to pick. It’s not all or nothing, part time biking is just fine. Even one day biking per week makes a huge difference when you add it up.
The biggest obstacle is our mental perception that you are either a car or bike person. I’m clearly both..but I’m pleased to say I’m slowly seeing the light and have to say that the sense of freedom, especially at the end of the long day is quite exhilarating.
If I can do it… surely you can try too.
"Girls in cycling friendly countries continue to cycle into adulthood, whilst in many other countries they tend to give up during the teenage years. Why? "
The film "Beauty and the Bike" follows two groups of young women, one from Darlington in England where nearly all teenagers have stopped cycling. Another is from Bremen where most teenagers use a bike. The film explores why the attitudes of the two groups towards cycling is so different.
We hope the film and discussion will be the first step in creating a cultural shift in attitudes towards cycling for teenagers in Nelson.
After the film, guest speaker Julie Anne Genter, a transport planner and transport spokesperson for the Green Party will give a short talk on the issues covered in the film followed by general discussions on the topic.
The bar will be open from 6:30pm until 7:30pm so feel free to come early for a drink and a chat.
For more information about the film "Beauty and the Bike" can be found on the website http://www.bikebeauty.org/New_2011_Edition_BATB/Home.html
To receive event updates or to invite your friends join the Facebook Event.
It's just over a year since we created our Facebook page. In that short time the popularity of our page has been the fastest growing of any cycle advocacy group in New Zealand and we now have more likes than almost any other group.
We say almost because Bike Taupo has 923 likes, 117 more than us and very close to 1000 ! We'd like Nelson to get there first and we're hoping you can help.
We need you to like Our Page if you haven't already and ask all your friends to do the same.
OK this challenge is a bit of fun but numbers are important. Showing how much support there is for cycling gives us a stronger voice when pushing for changes that make cycling safer and more attractive.
Increasing cycling numbers and reducing our overall dependency on motor vehicles is good for everybody. This is BNB's primary focus and the work that we do is relevant to you whether you're a road cyclist, mountain biker, cycle commuter, new to cycling, keen to start cycling or never ever in a million years want to get on a bike.
Creating better cycling infrastructure is not only good for cyclists, it's good for motorists too; It reduces cycle-motor vehicle conflict, reduces pollution and reduces congestion at a fraction of the cost of building new roads (and yes, cyclists do already contribute to the cost, even those that don't own a car: Road Funding in New Zealand).
As well as reducing the need for more roads, a healthier, more active population reduces the burden on our health service too - yes, cyclists are helping reducing your tax ! Of course a city that isn't clogged up with cars is also more pleasant to live, work or shop in and it's more attractive to tourists too.
Please help us create a healthier, more vibrant and a more prosperous city. Thank you to everybody who has supported us.
Thanks to all those that came to the movie night at The Freehouse Yurt last night and a big thank you to Mic at the Freehouse for the venu and for letting us use the newly laid grass for the bike tuneups.
Amme organises films every fortnight on Tuesday evenings at the yurt so if you want to be added to the mailing list send us an email and we'll pass it on. We were very pleased to be invited to talk at this one; It was a really good opertunity for BNB to give an update on what we've been doing and the positive things that are happening in Nelson. We hope to be doing more of these types of events in the near future so watch this space. If you have a film that you'd like BNB to show let us know and we'll try and arrange it.
A final thank you for Nelson City Councils for providing a box full of giveaways for the event last night. Expect to hear a lot more bells on the shared paths.