Posts by Ben Gracewood

  • Hard News: The Cycle Frolic,

    I don't know how to put this charitably, but the Ciclovia thing today was ... poor.

    Sure there was a ton of effort by all involved, the clowns and repair stations and events were neat, but overall the setup and layout by (I presume) the council was atrocious. Where do I start?

    Riding from North Wharf to Quay Street was pleasant, a slow careful ride amongst pedestrians, co-existing nicely, but then we got spat out at the intersection of Quay and Hobson Streets, which appeared to be in full use by vehicles, with no points-person on duty.

    We muddled our way across that intersection and there we were on (half of) Quay St. The other half had busses rolling along, tooting at anyone who dared to stray out of the corralled area. At this point I had to ask why did they do it on Quay St? There's no significant retail to benefit from the extra foot traffic, and it's bloody hard to access on bike from most angles.

    We reached the ferry building, where the road was blocked by fire engines, and turned around.

    Later I found out that Quay Street was in fact closed all the way down to Britomart Place, but you wouldn't have known unless you squeezed past the fire engines to find out. Apparently there was a Fire Rescue display on Queens Wharf, with engines parked on the closed Quay St.

    We turned around to head back to the viaduct, and were almost bowled by a car turning right onto the Princes Wharf. That Hobson st intersection again: bikes on the right hand side of the road arrived at the LIVE intersection with no visible traffic signals. A total deathtrap to be honest.

    Overall a pretty negative experience, which fucking sucks. Imagine if they'd closed Ponsonby Road. We could have shopped, had coffee, and cycled up and down the road all day.

    But nah, Ponsonby Road is only closed for mainstream stuff like Hero, not fringe deviant behaviour like cycling. Sigh.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The United States of Surveillance?,

    Can we go back and tear up that contract we signed agreeing to free services in return for advertising and privacy?

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dressing for the Road,

    Padded shorts of some form, usually Lycra, worn under some regular shorts. Helmet, gloves, and MTB shoes because I've gone and put spd pedals on the bike.

    Everything else is just regular clothes, usually shorts and a tshirt. Maybe a fluro top if (like others) I hit the laundry lottery.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yup, I ride over the Waima St footbridge (and walk up that killer hill) on the way to work, but cruise down the road on the way home. Dunno why :)

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It pretty desperately needs that upgrade, though.

    Yup, really looking forward to that, especially the widening of the bridge bits and the tunnel under Patiki.

    Oh and the not being inundated by the sea twice a day. That would be good to avoid too.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Carrington road is shambolic. Depending on traffic I either:
    - Ride along the footpath to the left and cross the pedestrian crossing (with it's giant "CYCLISTS DISMOUNT" sign that is usually ignored when cycling at walking speed)
    - Cross the road then turn back onto the footpath just after the cycleway entrance (there's a little curb crossing specifically for bikes there but it's a stupid-tight u-turn).

    Neither is ideal, but hey.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    Attachment

    Camera Setup? I'm lucky enough to be doing some software work for GoPro, so we have a (literal) handful of their cameras lying around.

    My favourite is of course the top-end Hero 3 Black Edition. They're amazingly small and light, and can shoot 720p at 120fps for my entire commute (45-50mins) no problemo.

    I originally set it up for a laugh. Mr 9 and I adore Nitro Circus and stupid stunts, so we filmed some pratfalls on his scooter, then I set up a time-lapse on my commute. After catching a few red-light runners I'm going to make it a permanent fixture.

    And just so I'm not always a complainer, here's a sped-up version of my commute home to Te Atatu:

    We are so incredibly privileged in Auckland to have the North-West Cycleway. It's a fantastic piece of infrastructure which allows me to relax and not deal with traffic for 90% of my commute.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Sacha,

    It's a T2. You're not allowed to make that turn unless you have 2+ people in the car.

    It get's enforced occasionally. Maybe once every couple of months, and the cops are always pulling up people when they do.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Yup. I've emailed them.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yup. Cyclists are so terrible right? Always breaking road rules. Like that Yellow Pages employee (and the red car behind them) illegally using the carpool turning lane too.

    Bloody drivers. They deserve every injury they get in a car crash. And they should paint their cars hi-vis.

    Orkland • Since Nov 2006 • 167 posts Report Reply

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