Xmas gift ideas for biking kids

Recently I was asked for three suggestions for Christmas gift ideas for biking kids.  But how to stop at three!  Here are some ideas for all budgets (including no-budget) that will put a smile on the face of all kind of biking kids (and the not so young). Continue reading “Xmas gift ideas for biking kids”

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Bike to Soccer – Warm Up, Stress Down

Here’s a great idea done well in Auckland.  How about instead of driving to Saturday sport and fuming over the lack of parking, let’s ride there instead.  Cool idea huh?  Yep, they call it “Bike to Soccer – the warm-up that frees up the streets!”

In their blog post, Bike Auckland celebrate the success of this awesomely simple idea:

“When you stumble across an idea whose time has come, you don’t have to talk anybody into it, it just makes instant sense. That’s how Bike to Soccer came to be: a brilliant initiative by the North Shore United Football Club and Bike Devonport, with the help of Auckland Transport, Bike Barn Takapuna, and a bunch of lovely sponsors.

Bike Devonport member Chris Werry had the initial brainwave.

“I started biking to soccer a few years ago because I hated the car park chaos so much, and it’s a nice way to start the day and warm up a bit for the game. Once I started biking to soccer, I realised it just 5 minutes from my house by Cheltenham Beach. I drew some circles on a map and realised that it’s less than 10 minutes bike ride to the ground for almost everyone in the club. Plus the ground is right on the Devonport Green Route and there are lots of other shared paths and quiet streets nearby.”

Read the full article at: Bike to Soccer – the warm-up that frees up the streets! – Bike Auckland

What do you think?  Could you give it a go?  What else could you cycle to (hint, start by asking where is it hardest to find parking!).

Big Ups to all involved!

Make it okay

Did you know that in New Zealand it is NOT LEGAL for kids to cycle on the footpath?

That means letting your kids ride on the footpath is encouraging them to break the law.  The alternatives are worse: restricting their bike use (so much for active lifestyles!) or letting them ride on the road (yeah, right!).

In Australia it is legal for kids to ride on the footpath.  In fact in Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory it is legal for adults to ride a bicycle on the footpath too.  When I moved back from Australia I was astounded by the New Zealand law which prohibits cycling on the footpath or adjacent berm with two exceptions:

You are only allowed to cycle on the footpath if you are:

  • delivering newspapers or mail, or
  • you are riding a small wheeled recreational device that has a wheel diameter of less than 355 millimetres (typically tricycles or small children’s bicycles).

A standard mountain bike tyre is 660 mm (26”), with children’s bike tyres ranging 406 mm – 660 mm (16” – 26”). That means all except the tiniest of bikes are required to be ridden on the road.  Sadly the days of kids delivering newspapers by bike seem to be long gone.  And it’s time for this restriction to be long gone too!  See Why Legalise Footpath Cycling?

On Tuesday 3rd May 2016 my request for a law change will be presented to parliament by MP Trevor Mallard.  I will post updates here as well as the Facebook page:

Footpathcyclingnz

Please show your support and follow the progress as we ‘make it okay’ for kids to ride on the footpath without breaking the law.

More information on this site:

Footpath Use

 

Best Trail… and the winner is….

In February 2016, almost 10,000 New Zealanders voted for their favourite place to cycle.  With 2000 nominations to choose from, competition was hot.  The winners in each of the four categories are:

  • Nga Haerenga – NZ Cycle Trail: Otago Central Rail Trail
  • Off-Road or Adventure Ride: Rotorua Redwoods
  • Urban Trail or Commute: Napier
  • On-Road Ride: Taupo & surrounds

See BikeWise News for more details.

Which of these is your favourite family ride?

Cycle the Great Ocean Road

 

The ‘Great Rides’ organised by Australia’s Bicycle Network (formerly BikeVic) are fully supported rides with plenty of options to choose from.  Before kids we did two of their rides (New Zealand’s South Island in 2004 and Tasmania’s West Coast in 2006).  I observed that plenty of families were taking part, including toddlers in trailers.  If you want to give cycle touring a go, but the logistics put you off, then this is a great way to start.  In fact it is how we got started in cycle touring.  They make it very easy for you, and being part of a mobile tent city of cyclists is an unforgettable experience.  For more information check out their website: bicyclenetwork.com.au