Remember those days as a kid when getting out on your bike was the greatest freedom you had? The exhilaration you felt when whizzing down the street with your mates, the road stretching ahead of you filled with the promise of fun and adventure. Our bikes were how we got places. Then scooters came along, and we loved them too. But as adults, we aren't always great remembering how easy those forms of active transport are. Which is where Healthy Families Invercargill comes in.
22 days. 213 kilometres. 64 rides. $35 of petrol saved. No extra pounds gained. Regrets, none. Enjoyment, plenty.
It has been a sweet few weeks on the bike in varying weather conditions (one of the best things about Invercargill is the amount of variety in weather). The Aotearoa Bike Challenge has been great to see people giving the bike a go when it may not have been a consideration.
When it comes down to it, being out and experiencing Invercargill streets on the bike is the best way to understand the city through this lens, and there is plenty I love. I love the smile or knowing nod of others on the pedal, I love the small streets I have never been down, I love the Otepuni, I love the way I feel turning up - anywhere (even when it is bucketing down), I love meeting other active commuters and hearing their enthusiasm, I love feeling the air, I love the westerly behind me, I love that I have free parking everywhere (like, right outside a destination and never having to circle the block to secure it), I love to ride.
We are sitting on a gem and with a little bit of polish it will be a win for the city and community. A future that creates more opportunity for everyone to be mobile is a viable option and one most of us want.
We also have a huge contingent of very clever, curious, innovative, and passionate people that are ready to make it happen, all it needs is some open-mindedness and willingness to give it a go. So, go on, get on ya bike.