Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one Million Reasons to Copenhagenize Christchurch

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  • Hilary Stace,

    What about free adult learn-to-ride lessons for those who never did (such as those who grew up in hilly places)?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Hmm, good point. I had a friend at school who never learnt to ride - she lived on a farm & rode her pony/horse everywhere so didn't have a need. Learn-to-ride in conjunction with some basic maintenance tips (how to fix a puncture etc) would be a great confidence builder for people who may have missed out as a kid or need a refresher.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    What about free adult learn-to-ride lessons for those who never did (such as those who grew up in hilly places)?

    This is something that often gets forgotten. It wasn't so hard for me to step up my riding because I've ridden on and off since childhood -- and learned urban riding in London, where I was briefly a cycle courier. But it's a bigger leap for people who don't have any experience.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lisa Black,

    Unfortunately Jack is right. The back wheel sticks out further into the road than I'm comfortable with if I jam the pedal against the upright support

    That wasn't what I was suggesting, though. I meant the trick of putting your side stand down and counter-rotating the pedal to it. Most bikes push the pedal backward when they roll backwards, you see. So this means the side stand acts like a parking brake (so long as the bike is facing uphill).

    Another method is to chain either wheel so it can't rotate. Since you need to put the chain through the wheel anyway to prevent theft of the wheel, this isn't much of a hassle. Roll it till it jams, then lift it back to where you want it.

    Just a thought....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Also, having bitched about Auckland's hilly terrain, I should acknowledge how great it is to have a city full of boutique volcanoes to play on. I just nipped up Mt Albert, which is a really excellent way to get up a sweat without having to ride too far from home.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Leopold, in reply to stephen walker,

    Which is where the Dutch system comes in - Those bikes in Amsterdam are certainly not state of the art, but they are sturdy and practical in being able carry loads (be it children or shopping), and of course the Dutch don't feel the need to dress in lycra otr in anything special while riding (changing in and out of work clothes is one of the discouraging things about cycling to work)

    Since Jan 2007 • 149 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Sulphur, so good...

    ...a city full of boutique volcanoes to play on. I just nipped up Mt Albert, which is a really excellent way to get up a sweat without having to ride too far from home.

    like some kind of a Fumarole Playing Game?
    whizzing along the avatarmac...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood, in reply to DaveC,

    painted cycle lanes do increase cyclist safety. Segregated cycleways that have road intersections are often no better from a safety point of view, and in some cases worse, than cyclists using the road.

    Sorry that probably wasn’t clear, DaveC. I was referring to CHCH cycle lanes. Lots of that cycle lane vs. path research is based on European cycle lanes which are much wider than we have in CHCH. In fact, I’ve been told by a visiting German traffic engineer that lanes less than 2 metres in width (i.e. practically all cycle lanes in CHCH) offered no safety benefit at all. And I’ve seen at least one study that suggest that narrow cycle lanes are more dangerous than having none. Dr Koorey at UoC has a nice review paper on this which I’ll link to when I get home.

    And yes, excellent point about intersections on cycle paths and cycle roads. I was going to talk about this exact issue with Kathryn Ryan (honest!) but she diverted me onto another topic at the last moment.

    Christchurch has made a start on cycle infrastructure, no argument (and the cycle path beside the railway line is excellent). But you can’t really build half a cycle infrastructure (or more like 5 per cent) and expect a major increase in cycle commuting – and the consequent economic benefits.

    Sometimes (quite often, actually) the gold-plate solution is cheaper than the lead-plated solution over the long term. Mind you, you need to be very sure that it is really gold on your gold-plate solution.

    More when I get home…

    Thanks,
    David

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 992 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Excellent post, David. When my wife lived in Christchurch, she used to ride everywhere. So nice not to have hills to worry about.

    I just nipped up Mt Albert, which is a really excellent way to get up a sweat without having to ride too far from home.

    I love that ride and, since I live in Morningside, I get to include the Roy Clements Treeway on my way home :)

    Just started a job in Fanshawe St, and am in the process of identifying the least-risky way to get here. Assuming I take the Northwestern Cycleway, how bad is the traffic once I get to Newton Road. I think nipping through Western Park and then heading past the Birdcage and around Victoria Park is the safest way to go - but open to suggestions.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 456 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Just started a job in Fanshawe St, and am in the process of identifying the least-risky way to get here. Assuming I take the Northwestern Cycleway, how bad is the traffic once I get to Newton Road. I think nipping through Western Park and then heading past the Birdcage and around Victoria Park is the safest way to go – but open to suggestions.

    Newton Road's a bit nasty -- very high kerbs, lots of morning traffic -- but the footpath is easily wide enough to use until you get off the bridge. I do hate that little slope up to Newton from the cycleway, though -- it's funny how quite small slopes can be more irksome than big ones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Re the shower/change facilities at workplaces - how do people usually make this work? As in, how do you get your corporate worky clothes to said facilities - drive once a week or something?

    Current workplace is well setup for this sort of thing and not that far from home (although far enough that I'm likely in need of a change at the other end in summer at least), but trying to work out the mechanics of that side of things...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1722 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    but open to suggestions.

    I'd suggest staying on Ponsonby Rd to Franklin Rd. That's all downhill, even if it's a little further. And both roads are pretty safe - Ponsonby is 40km/h zone so you can pretty much just take a lane and hold it. Coming down Franklin you'll hit 50km/h easy so you'd do the same.

    There's lot of possibilities. At the (apparent) end of the cycleway, you can actually cross Newton Rd, go down a ramp and continue on Ian McKinnon Drive to Upper Queen St (this is where the cycleway actually ends). Down and up, and you're on Queen St/K Rd boundary. Queen St itself is actually a lot of fun to ride down, and the double-crossings make it very unattractive to cars. Depends which end of Fanshawe you mean.

    The most direct route, according to Google, is to use the Hopetoun Bridge and Nelson St. I think this would be quite a dangerous route.

    I don't think riding through Western Park would be as pleasant as it sounds. The paths are not wide, and there's a lot of foot-traffic, and the paths could be slippery from rotting leaves. Roads are actually safer.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to stephen walker,

    But we can't afford a gold-plated solution.

    of course, everything ever built in nz has to be done on the cheap and be reliant on no. 8 fencing wire.

    "For the cost of a single mile of freeway we now have a bike infrastructure." Sam Adams, Mayor of Portland, Oregon on this 4 minute video.

    Cycling infrastructure is the number 8 wire solution for cost and the gold plated solution for results.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Gamble,

    I ride every day in Sydney from Bondi to Potts Point, about 9km (and if you think NZ drivers are bad you ought to try the urban assault vehicle run through the eastern suburbs here!)

    Sydney has been undertaking a massive bikelane project for a few years with huge results. The council also runs free bike courses for riding and maintenance too.

    Riding everyday is awesome!

    By the way, commercial carparks are the best place to lock your bike: secure, staffed, undercover, and usually with bike racks or at least chunky metal poles.

    Australia • Since Apr 2011 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    A former workmate would drive once a week or drop by on the weekend with his clothes for the week. I have Ortlieb panniers - if I leave a sponge bag & 1-2 pairs of shoes at work I can get away with only using one to carry a day's clothes & my handbag back & forth each day, with a changeover of towel once or twice a week. One friend of mine (female, lawyer) keeps her suits at work & brings a bunch of blouses/shirts in once a week. (ETA: said friend was most put out after the quake - she had several suits in her CBD office, but insurance wouldn't pay out on them because the building was still standing. However she couldn't get in there to retrieve them, but still needed corporate clothing for work)

    Also, sometimes I just put my work clothes on & bike slowly, especially if I'm planning on going somewhere straight after work & don't want to cart my cycling clothes around.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 48 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Alice Ronald,

    Changing into lycra is quite simple and quick:

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3471 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    Re Christchurch's cycling tradition, I remember my first trip to Christchurch as a kid in the 50s - my father took me into the Square at 5pm just to watch the huge tidal wave of cyclists that poured through the central city and on to the suburbs. It left a lasting impression on my 7 year old mind.

    I cycle 12km each way, about 3 or 4 days a week, year round. It takes 35-40 minutes, and I pass lots of cars sitting in queues. I don't shower at work, but I do have a quick wash and change shirts after I arrive. I'd like to take a more scenic route, but I can't use the riverside paths and Hagley Park since we've been displaced by quakes, so it's Innes Rd and car exhaust for the foreseeable future.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 72 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Which is where the Dutch system comes in - Those bikes in Amsterdam are certainly not state of the art, but they are sturdy and practical in being able carry loads (be it children or shopping), and of course the Dutch don't feel the need to dress in lycra otr in anything special while riding (changing in and out of work clothes is one of the discouraging things about cycling to work)

    Which is where the thing could just as easily fall apart. Bicycle retailers in New Zealand and Australia generally have very fixed ideas about what bicycles they want to sell - ones they themselves, and their enthusiast friends - want to ride. They almost refuse to stock decent bikes for casual riders (bastardised mountainbikes that really aren't sit-up optimised at all are as far as they go. Similarly, nice coats and jackets, chain guards, fenders, and other accessories. Bikes are sold with a whole bunch of necessary things as after-market add-ons, rather than as part of the package. How would you feel if you bought a new car, and then had to shop for windscreen wipers, a horn, and lights?

    The greatest enemies of popular cycling are those who wear lycra.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    To be more positive and constructive, retailers need to be sat down, told what's going to happen, and invited to participate. I'm sure those who did decide to stock the right stuff would be rewarded with sales.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Fraserhead,

    Thanks David

    That was me who used the term "Copenhagenize" (http://www.shareanidea.org.nz/idea/12772.aspx) though I noticed a few other people did mention "Copenhagen", and of course thousands called for a better cycling infrastructure.

    At a time when I feel quite jaded and pessimistic about the future of Christchurch, hearing and seeing people ask for a more cycle-friendly city has really lifted my spirits.

    Now, can I get you to help me out with a way to "Amsterdamize" the CBD???

    Otautahi • Since Jun 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to George Darroch,

    Sometimes they just won't believe the evidence of their own eyes. I was in Rocket Bikes in Lyall Bay a while ago and a woman walked in and started ooh-ing and ahh-ing over a quite elegant city bike. Within 5 minutes she decided to buy it. The staff were astonished - it hadn't even been out on the floor for two hours. She put it on layby and they left it on the floor for people to see. The manager told me on my next visit that they were trying desperately to get more because so many people were interested in it as a stylish, functional commuting/city bike.

    I mentioned that Velo Ideale in Christchurch have excellent bikes and give retailers special deals, which was about the time he started making excuses as to why they couldn't stock pretty city bikes.

    Their sister shop, Penny Farthing in Courtenay Place, sells about one Giant Via W a week. That's a fairly nice modern take on an old-fashioned step-through, comes with mudguards and a metal basket and has flowers painted on it. But it's a single speed. I suggested that a similar bike with gears would likely sell well in Wellington and was met with disbelief.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lisa Black,

    The manager told me on my next visit that they were trying desperately to get more because so many people were interested in it as a stylish, functional commuting/city bike.

    Tim at our local cycle shop, Rode, tells me he's also selling a lot of those stylish city bikes to women -- and the bikes aren't exactly cheap either. Clearly, there's a demand for something that's not a mountain bike.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to George Darroch,

    The greatest enemies of popular cycling are those who wear lycra.

    That's harsh. They've contributed to cycling seeming a bit dorky, but the high cost of fashionable bikes has probably contributed more. That said, fashion is incredibly fickle, and cost is no barrier for many people seeking it.

    At least in Auckland, I think the main thing standing against Dutch cruiser type bikes is that they're harder to ride up hills. Which means that you arrive on a fashionable bike, fashionably late, but looking unfashionably like you've just got off a treadmill.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8675 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Hilary - the Wellington Frocks on Bikes chapter organises riding lessons a few times a year. If there are any others being run (sometimes in February for Bikewise month) we post those on the Cycling in Wellington calendar too.

    If you wanted to learn to ride we could put a call out through the website. Someone would almost certainly put their hand up.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Fraserhead, in reply to Lisa Black,

    Too true Lisa. I was going to mention http://www.velo-ideale.com/bicycles.php but wasn't sure if it was frowned up to mention vendors or businesses here.

    The reason I wanted to mention the lovely Dave at Velo-Ideale is that my partner Keiran bought a Pashley Princess (old fashioned city bike) from him a while back.

    Keiran doesn't drive, likes using buses, and had put up with a really fugly clunky heavy Bauer 21 speed mountain bike for commuting. She fell in love with city bikes when she had a go on some at a Frocks on Bikes event a few years ago.

    While it seemed very extravagant paying $1295 for a heavy 3-speed bike it has become a treasured possession and in many ways is much more practical and better value than many bikes available in NZ. And it's amazing how much conversation the bike generates.

    What I was most disappointed about was how difficult it was dealing with retailers when trying to find simple city bikes.

    So kudos to people like Dave at Velo-Ideale for taking a chance on something different. Likewise Mamachari (http://mamachari.co.nz/) in Wellington.

    Otautahi • Since Jun 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

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