You will have gleaned from dispatches that I've been cycling quite a bit this past year. And I'm hardly alone amongst the Public Address community in that. So I thought I'd see if we could productively share some observations here, under a waggish, attention-grabbing headline.
What are the routes like where you are? What's your daily or weekly ride? Your shortcuts, or ways to keep out of the traffic? Nicest dedicated cycleway, prettiest, or most interesting ride?
I cycle principally for exercise, but there's more to it than that. For me, cycling has it all over the dull, atavistic cacophony of the gym, because it places me out in the world. I see stuff. Things you don't see from the road. The Waitemata, bright and brimming to starboard from the Te Atatatu Peninsula path. The places where state house suburbs merge with "nice" neighbourhoods (and that's a handy thing to know if you want to understand what the government's doing with the impending Waterview Connection – which goes underground right where the housing gets nice).
You're also welcome to post your rides in Google Maps or other web format (if you have a phone with GPS, there'll be a cycle computer app for it – I use the $6.49 CycleMeter on the iPhone, and it exports to a range of formats).
I'm particularly interested in rides that use the paths that aren't dedicated cycleways. It was quite a revelation to me when Tim at Rode showed me some informal maps of the network of paths through Auckland's parks and reserves, including this one on Open Street Maps, which centres on the Roy Clements Treeway, behind Mt Albert Grammar – zoom out and you'll see other paths.
Obviously, those don't generally suit full road bikes, and I've never regretted buying a hybrid/cyclocross bike with lock-off suspension for those times when you need to jump a gutter or bump over a tree-root.
I expect this discussion to unfold over time, and I only have one ride suitable to show you right now, which is my version of the Auckland Isthmus round trip, which I did in glorious weather on Sunday. That's 52km, but, obviously, not all rides need to be that long. Mine certainly usually aren't.