I’m not much of a cyclist. I’ll drag out the bike to accompany the children to school, or ride to the supermarket if the car’s warrant has expired, but I don’t own padded shiny lycra anything, I don’t religiously watch the Tour de France on telly, so I wouldn’t call myself a cycling enthusiast.
I did however grow up in New Zealand in the 1970s and 80s when there were much fewer cars on the roads and kids were told off for riding their bikes on the footpath. Back then, many of us grew up using our bikes to get around.
But this week, I biked with my 6-year old son to school…along the still-under-construction-bike lane in Island Bay. It was a first; because it is too unsafe for him to bike on the actual road among the cars, so until now we’ve been biking on the footpath. So, I emailed the Wellington City Councillors and the Mayor to say thanks, for these reasons in particular: we can now bike safely instead of drive the car to the supermarket, the butcher, the library, the bookstore; we can keep fit and get some exercise, we can lead by example and bike with our kids; we are able-bodied and can leave the local car parks for others less able-bodied to use.
Simply, it is good to have an alternative to using the car.
And yeah, I pay rates, and ACC and my car registration. And yes, I prefer to shop locally, which is easy to do, often, when you’re on a bike. I didn’t lobby to have the road, biking and pedestrian improvements made to The Parade; prioritising ALL the city’s needs is the job of Council (staff and elected officials) to sort and prioritise, but I’m happy to use and support it now it’s here.
Looking forward to seeing it all finished – and LOVING all the safe pedestrian crossings across this increasingly busy stretch of road.
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