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.
My wife said to me recently, that cycling is a good example of being a minority in society, this was really interesting putting it consciously together, those feelings of being endangered, a nuisance, getting in the way, not on the same playing field all started to make sense. This article articulates that much better than I can.
Active Transport is part of the Public Transport system and we need to be looking at these working together in the system. This opinion piece explores the idea of making public transport free to use and whether it would be viable. Would you change?
A New report commissioned by Great South says we need to be on public or active transport for trips under 5 kms…. well, a third of us do. Can we do it? What are the steps we have to make to move us out of our cars and onto other forms of transport?
Beyond inherent ideas of loss and fear of not knowing, change is a long process. It takes time but it is worth pursuing when we know it is the right thing to do. This opinion piece compares the adoption of the Māori greeting ‘Kia ora’ which greeted a storm when first used by a telephone operator in 1984.
BEATS programme (Dunedin study of Active Transport to schools). This study in Dunedin has been looking at how and why children travel to school and if it is possible to influence changes in habit to more active modes of transport.
Around the world people and places have been trying out ways to moving populations around in urban centres particularly in response to Covid and not particularly wanting to use public transport. This has led to a move to have more people walking or cycling to move around, which again raises the question about allocation of space!
Of course, we are not New York or Paris, we are Invercargill and with that comes an awesome opportunity to decide how what we want our city to be!