We’re in the last week of the Auckland Bike Challenge. In the end, I was the only participant in my department.
The most common reason given for not participating, is that it was too dangerous. Even the people who didn’t know I’d had an accident with a car, thought it was too dangerous. Oddly, this is the last thing that discourages me from cycling.
My list for around here would include:
- The Hills. You need a good level of fitness to tackle the hill-climbs I have to take on my route. About 25% of my time is spent on the first km. Which is pretty much a steady and steep rise up the ridge to East Coast Road. Cycling on flat ground or low inclines, is relatively easy. It’s going to be hard getting started into cycling if you don’t have the the leg-strength needed to power yourself up the hill.
- Access to showers. It’s been a pretty hot, and often humid, February. At least here I’ve been able to use a shower and change into fresh clothes. If you don’t have a shower near, or at your workplace you can use, cycling is going to be trickier as a commute option. You can compensate by cycling more slowly, but then here, there’s hills. They’re still going to produce sweaty workouts. Anyway, I suspect that we’ll see cyclists are much more common in large workplaces (universities, govt departments) that are likely to showers onsite.
- Errands. I’ve worked out I can cycle 4 days a week. One day a week I need motorised-transport to run various errands and do a bit of shopping. That takes a bit of organisation on my part.
- The Weather. It can take a bit more resolve to cycle on days the weather isn’t idyllic. Or if it’s raining.
But I can get to work in less than 20 minutes. That, while running the gauntlet of school traffic, is just not possible in a car. And it feels a lot less frustrating. And it’s a lot kinder to household expenditures. Really much kinder.