I Bike, I Vote

I bike, I voteMake your vote count for cycling

Cycle Action Auckland has worked with Generation Zero to survey local body election candidates on how they rank top cycling goals:

  • The Harbour Bridge Skypath walking and cycling project
  • Completing the Auckland Cycle Network, connecting high quality cycling routes across Auckland
  • More money for safe off road cycling routes to schools and town centres (greenways)

I completed the local board candidate survey and scored an A!

All the score cards available here.

(Ok I appreciate it would be a bit sad if a cycling advocate was not able to score an A!)





Cycle Style 2012 – new date and time

Sunday 25 March inside Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, noon – 5pm

  • A stylish celebration of urban cycling in Auckland
  • Cycle fashion shows for a variety of ages and styles
  • Try out a selection of urban bikes & indulge in local fashion

Come for the whole afternoon to enjoy the festival atmosphere and unique entertainment or select a specific show to attend

The Cycle Style Programme:

  • Noon Cycle Style entertainment
  • 12:30 Fashion show: Dalston
  • 1pm Velociteers – synchronised cycling performance
  • 1:30 Fashion show: Starfish
  • 2pm Fashion show: TBC!
  • 2:30 Auckland Hard-court Bicycle Polo
  • 3pm Fashion show: We’Ar It
  • 3:30 Vintage show: K Rd
  • 4pm Join a group ride around Queens Wharf
  • 4:30 Finale show

Presented on selected bikes from T-Whites, R&R, Cyco and our boutique suppliers – try it all on-site.

Street food also available

Cycle Style is a free event presented by Frocks on Bikes and Cycle Action Auckland in association with Auckland Transport and Waterfront Auckland. ALL WELCOME

We encourage you to get to Cycle Style by bicycle, walking or public transport.  See www.maxx.co.nz

The inaugural Cycle Style was held in 2010 – check out the video here

Please direct any queries about Cycle Style to the event coordinator, Craig Neilson  hello@craigneilson.com

Sustainability Champion Award

I feel incredibly honoured to have won the Sustainability Champion Award at the 2011 NZI National  sustainable business awards in November. I received the award for my work with the Grey Lynn Farmers’ Market and Cycle Action Auckland but I really want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone associated with these organisations. I am just in the fortunate position of being able to champion what has been put in place by those with the initial vision, passion and commitment.  

I also thank Anthea Ogilvie for taking the time to make the nomination and all those who contributed from the market and CAA .

About the Sustainable Champion Award (sponsored by Element Magazine)

The award celebrates key people or teams who have been ‘sustainability superstars’ within their organisation.  It recognises people who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in creating and implementing successful sustainability-oriented programmes and initiatives in their organisation.

Background from the nomination

What the judges said:

  • Clear leader and driver of the Grey Lynn Farmers Market.
  • Exemplifies and inspires what one person can do to connect community.
  • Driving local retail and small business when these businesses wouldn’t ordinarily be able to compete in the commercial environment.

The awards are organised by wonderful team at the Sustainable Business Network

Bikes for Life: Rally for a safer cycling city

Sunday 5 | December
11am | Midday
Queens Wharf –
Auckland’s newest people place – cycle to the rally and a enjoy a ride around the wharf

We invite everyone:

  • who has ever ridden a bicycle
  • who would cycle if it was safer and easier
  • who want their family and friends who cycle to be safe
  • pedestrians and motorists – we all share the same road

To call for urgent action for world-class cycling safety in Auckland.

Organised in association with Cycle Action Auckland in response to the recent spate of deaths and rising levels of cycling injuries.

More details at www.caa.org.nz.

Day after the super city election-a huge global working bee

It is hard to imagine getting up for a huge working bee the day after the election on 9 October. Hopefully I will have a big hangover from celebrating the election of Mayor Len Brown, Councillor Mike Lee and the whole City Vision team.  But global action has to happen on climate change with communities not waiting for elected representatives to take the lead in looking for solutions.

That’s why I’m part of the team organising the 350 Big Bike Fix Up for 10/10/10.   We would love to fix up all the thousands of broken bikes in Auckland and get them on the road so that we can look forward to a future that is healthy, sustainable and fun.

It is going to be a huge day!

350 Big Bike Fix-up
Let’s get Auckland’s bikes out of storage, fixed up and on the road ready for a summer of cycling.

Between 10am and 4pm on Sunday 10th October get your bike going at Shed 1, 101 Halsey Street on Auckland’s stunning Viaduct Harbour.

Pro-mechanics, Tumeke Cycle Space (Auckland’s community run bike workshop) and a team of volunteers will be there to fix-up every kind of bike. Once your bike is fixed up, give it a polish at the clean-up station, deck it out (for the kids) and join a leisurely bike ride to Queen’s Wharf.

Unwanted bikes will be fixed up and donated to Refugee Services Auckland. Bring parts to swap too.

In fact doesn’t matter what state your wheels are in – just come down to the Shed to enjoy all day entertainment and a full programme of workshops in bike skills and cycling training.

Vege sausage sizzle and refreshments available at the venue in support of the Grey Lynn School cycle trail project.

Have you got bike fix-up skills to offer? (from basic to pro) please contact Alex at tumekecyclespace@gmail.com.  The Tumeke Cycle Space team are coordinating the fix-up stations at the shed.

Big Bike Fix-Up Workshop programme

Biking from A to B in the city is easy and quick, not to mention fun. But you might have questions, like: what kind of bike should I ride? where should I ride on the road? what if I get a puncture? do I need a basket, pannier bag or backpack? The 350 Big Bike Fix Up day includes a series of workshops to give you some basic information and skills to make your biking comfortable, safe and trouble-free.

And if you can’t make a workshop, volunteers will be there throughout the day to answer your questions, and offer practical advice and help.

Riding tips and skills workshops (*times subject to change on the day)
10am   Getting comfortable on your bike
11am   Puncture! How to change a tyre (and avoid more flats)
12pm   Keep on riding: basic bike maintenance
1pm     Lil’ riders: cycling skills for kids and their parents
2pm     Which bike is the right one for me?
3pm     City slickers: skills and tips for urban riding

Take a city bike for a test ride!
Get a feel for riding a city bike with Nextbikes

Get your bike feeling right
Does your bike give you sore knees or wrists? Or irritate more tender parts?
One-on-one consultations throughout the day with bike-fit expert to make sure you’re comfortable on your bike (from 11am)

Would you like to help with a workshop or share your advice and skills? Please contact Susan Potter spotter@orcon.net.nz if you’d like to help for part or all of the day.

Big Bike Fix-up Bike Rides
Leisurely bike rides for fixed up (and decked out) bicycles departing 11am, 1pm and 3pm from Shed 1 to Queen’s Wharf return via the Viaduct cyclepath

Bike Fix -ups are also happening in Christchurch and Wellington details are here http://can.org.nz/big-bike-fix-up

Make a day of 10/10/10 by bike
Also at Shed 1 Get Growing Auckland – showing Aucklanders how easy and enjoyable urban gardening can be
Devonport – HANDS On sustainable living skills fair
Mt Eden  – Community Garden Working Bee

Across New Zealand and around the globe, on 10/10/10 communities will be taking climate action. From bike fix-ups to community gardens, home insulation to tree planting ….By getting to work we’ll show our leaders the world is ready for climate solutions.  Find out more about the Global Working Bee here

Creating a liveable city


Urban Design for a Super City
by Ludo Campbell-Reid, Environmental Strategy & Policy Manager, Auckland Council
Panel Discussion with Christina Van Bohemen, Barry Copeland & James Lunday.

Thursday 30 September 2010
7:45pm Drinks, 8:00pm Presentation (Immediately after CAA AGM)
Venue: Ellen Melville Hall, Pioneer Women’s Hall, 2 Freyberg Place just off High Street.

Easy Transport Auckland

ETA: Making space for everyone, to get everyone moving!

In March Cycle Action Auckland hosted a think tank weekend to bring together a range of creative thinkers, politicians and journalists to join  cycling advocates in thinking about  how mainstream cycling faster and smarter.

One of the ideas to come out the think tank was Barb Cuthbert’s ‘Easy Transport Auckland’ – to put not just cycling initiatives but a range of transport projects in Auckland high on the agenda for the first ‘super city’ local government elections starting in just 5 days time.

Easy Transport Auckland has gone from idea to reality in an impressively short time.  The City’s walking, cycling and public transport advocates have formed a coalition to transform the new City’s transport system.

The official launch, which promises to be the most fun event so far this election, is happening in front of the Britomart Train and Bus Station. 2pm  Sunday, 12th Sept , QE II Square.

ETA Media Release

‘Room For Everyone, and Everyone Moving’

EHelp is on its way for voters confused by the huge choice of candidates standing for the new Auckland Council and Local Boards.  It comes in the form of a new campaign,  ‘Easy Transport Auckland – ETA’ – created for the Supercity elections by the region’s walking, cycling and public transport advocacy organizations.
The biggest issue and most urgent problem facing the Supercity that unites voters across the region is Auckland’s traffic congestion. We want to see action during the first term of the new Council to provide real options for easier travel to work, schools and other everyday trips. All modes of transport have a role to play. Our goal is ‘room for everyone , with everyone moving.’ says Barbara Cuthbert, spokesperson for Cycle Action Auckland, [one of the groups supporting ETA].

The new website for ETA, www.easytransportauckland.org.nz, identifies a range of transformational projects for trains, buses, ferries, cycling, walking, cars and freight which are the key to achieving easier transport options for the region.

‘The website invites mayoral and council candidates to register their interest in working  towards delivering these projects during their three years in office.  The public can also use the website to learn about the projects and which candidates support them, before deciding  which candidates deserve their vote.’

The ETA website goes live on Friday, and will be launched at a fun event at Britomart at 2pm this Sunday, 12th Sept . Two teams of candidates representing City Vision and C&R for the Waitemata and Gulf ward, wearing model trains, buses, ferries and bikes, will compete in a giant board game to reach their target of the key transformational projects.

‘We’ll see which candidates are in form to race for their goal. We would love the public to join us at Britomart to show that easy transport is at the heart of our Supercity and this election’ says Barbara.

Note – Easy Transport Auckland is the result of a coalition of Campaign for Better Transport, Living Streets Aotearoa and Cycle Action Auckland. The joint campaign is focused on the Supercity elections, and reflects the commitment of the three organizations to sustainable transport and the integration of all transport modes across for the Auckland region.

For further information:
Contact – Barbara Cuthbert, ph 0274 125 824, cuthash@worldnet.co.nz , for ETA -Easy Transport Auckland – 8 Sept 2010

Just please don’t call me a cyclist

My preferred mode of transport is on 2 wheels. My Victoria Classic sits by the front door ready for any trip I need to make – especially around Auckland’s “Zone 1”.  I’m fortunate that I don’t have the expense of a car and love the convenience cycling.

But please don’t call me a cyclist. I would no more put “cyclist” on my CV than a person who commutes by car would put “motorist”.  I ride my bike every day just for transport and I’m involved with Cycle Action Auckland to improve cycling conditions in Auckland but I rarely go on purely recreational rides.

However over the last weekend there were a couple of special reasons to be out on my bike just for the sake of cycling. On Saturday I joined the  BIG Auckland Ride,  a lesiurely pedal around central Auckland in warm spring weather organised to profile the benefits of cycling in the inner city. Here is an account of the ride by Antoine (and more photos) on the wonderful cycling blog Cycling in Auckland.

One of the reasons I am motivated to stand for the Waitemata Local Board is a desire for better cycling infrastructure in Auckland. I’m on the City Vision team committed to prioritising  public transport and the provision of better bus and train services together with integrated ticketing and timetabling, cycleways and safer walking routes. Read more about City Vision’s policy here.

On Sunday it was necessary to dodge the rain showers to experience the only opportunity to cycle across the new Newmarket Viaduct before the switch next weekend.  As fellow Waitemata Local Board candidate, Chritopher Dempsey commented ” what a fantastic cycleway! Wide,  broad, smooth concrete – I asked if NZTA was planning to continue this  cycleway through to Orewa and south to Hamilton. Wry smile. There’s hope yet!”

Cycle Action’s chair Mark Bracey puts the ride in the context of Auckland’s burgeoning cycling culture on his Cycling in Auckland blog here.

Once in a lifetime cycle ride

I’m looking forward to walking and cycling over the Newmarket Viaduct this Sunday. There is the promise of stunning views and a festival atmosphere as people take over a stretch of motorway. Planning for the event and for the full closure the following weekend when the “switchover” occurs has highlighted our obsession with car travel and how much Auckland’s traffic planners struggle to embrace alternative options (but there are hopeful signs they are willing to make an effort).

We can thank Cycle Action Auckland for working with NZTA to  give cyclists as well as walkers the opportunity to cross the new Newmarket Viaduct.

Walkers will be able to access the bridge from 9am – 2pm, followed by  cyclists from 2:45pm – 3:30pm.  We will have 45 minutes to enjoy the 1.5km ride up and down the new viaduct.

In a media release from NZTA, Barbara Cuthbert from CAA says “Cyclists will love this ride in the sky, over the city, and its panoramic views. It has the added allure of being in easy cycling distance from the Newmarket train station. We are delighted the NZ Transport Agency has invited cyclists to help celebrate the project’s progress.”

The Newmarket Connection: Southbound switch is happening for 36 hours over the weekend of 4/5 September. There are major concerns about the disruption this will cause. NZTA’s advice is to switch the mode of transport or to keep it local.

A group on Facebook are calling for free public transport for the weekend to give Aucklanders the chance to “try out public transport for free to help encourage our city to get out of their cars and into more sustainable, less congestive forms of transportation”. Auckland Transport blog agrees. ARTA are preferring to encourage Aucklanders to take trains as an alternative with NZTA not convinced that free travel will ease congestion (Viaduct closure will hit bus services).  It is disappointing that ARTA, NZTA and the Auckland City Council weren’t willing to take this rare opportunity of a motorway closure to create a lasting impact on car use in Auckland.  A weekend of free travel can encourage a longer term switch to public transport.

Like  Unity Finesmith and thousands of others I plan to just carry on as normal and travel on my bicycle!

Cycle Style Auckland: the video

Earlier in the year Melanie Turner from the Road Safety Team at Auckland City Council called me about funding they had available for a cycle event. Was I interested in applying for the funds?  It was the perfect opportunity to build on the idea for a “Cycle Chic Fashion Show” (I had worked on a proposal with Jasmine Cargill and Stephanie Fill last year as a fundraising idea for the NZ Youth Delegation) combined with a bigger version of a Try my Bike event that Frocks on Bikes hosted with North Shore City Council in March as part of Bikewise month.

From the initial funding provided by Auckland City Council and with additional support from North Shore Council, Frocks on Bikes and Cycle Action Auckland were able to host the inaugural Cycle Style Auckland held on 1 July 2010. A cycle-centric evening of gorgeous bicycles, fabulous fashion and an opportunity to try out a huge range of stylish bikes.

The video has really captured what an awesome evening it was and gives credit to the large number of supporters and sponsors (watch the video here). Myself and co-organiser Jenny Marshall (aka Unity Finesmith of Auckland Cycle Chic) were also really fortunate that so many talented and willing volunteers came together to make it happen. There is big demand to make Cycle Style Auckland an annual event.

Auckland’s first 21st Century Cycle Event

Cycle Style Auckland

Conventional thinking says you can’t ride a bike without looking like a dork. Conventional thinking is wrong.

The streets are filling up with cyclists and one reason it’s happening is that people have realised that it is entirely possible to look very good on a bike- stylish, in fact.

Not only that but if you haven’t been in a bike shop in the last few years, you will not believe how much things have changed.

The bikes themselves are now considered fashion items and very desirable accessories. Designers are using bicycles to convey a chic, urban stylish city lifestyle.   You can still get yourself a perfectly good basic bike for a few hundred dollars, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can spend thousands to buy yourself something quite breathtaking. In car terms, bikes today are on offer in models and looks that range all the way from a Toyota Corolla to a Mini Cooper and on to a Lamborghini.

What this means is that the streets are changing. Aucklanders, in their thousands, are taking to their bikes for every day transport in every day clothes.

On Thursday 1st July, Frocks on Bikes in association with Cycle Action Auckland responds to this worldwide trend with a unique event called “Cycle Style Auckland” – an evening of gorgeous bicycles, fabulous fashion and this season’s ‘must-have’ cycle accessories.

A highlight of the evening will be the first Cycle Style Fashion Show to be presented in New Zealand, featuring local fashion designers, bicycle retailers and street style.

Frocks on Bikes (Auckland) Co-Coordinator, Pippa Coom says “Cycle Style Auckland is a perfect opportunity to showcase the stylish side of cycling. Cycling in stylish street wear is considered the norm in many cities around the world where there has been investment in cycle-friendly facilities. Women in particular are put off cycling when it is associated with sweaty lycra and unattractive clothes.  Frocks on Bikes is committed to showing that it is possible to use a bike for every day transport and look stylish.”

“Cycle Style Auckland” will include the glitterati of the cycling world, transport policy makers and the politicians who can commit funding to improving Auckland’s cycling infrastructure. However, the evening is promoted strongly for new cyclists, and also existing cyclists looking for a change of pace, who will be able to test ride a wide range of stylish gents and ladies bicycles and be up for winning a range of fabulous prizes.

The evening starts at 6pm at Shed 1, 101 Halsey St, Viaduct Harbour (ex-Team NZ shed) with drinks and nibbles. Valet bicycle parking and free maintenance check are available for those arriving by bike.

RSVPs are essential – tickets to Cycle Style are free but limited – by registering at Frocks on Bikes – Auckland page. (http://frocksonbikes.wordpress.com/auckland/)

Frocks on Bikes Media Release