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2013: Here’s a Weird Statistic…

January 1, 2014

Work Ended

Yours truly riding home from work for the last time in 2013.

Since I gave-up on this blog at the beginning of June the “viewership” (for want of a better term) has remained exactly the same, it hasn’t dropped-away as expected. I know this because WordPress emailed me a yearly report this morning with a summary of 2013′s facts & figures.

The Bike Friendly North Shore blog flatlined @ 2500 hits a month for the six months I have written absolutely nothing! While it’s encouraging folks are searching-out information on local cycling opportunities it doesn’t say much about my writing skills does it? I can see from the search-terms people remain hungry for information on cargo-bikes (specifically the Kona Ute), but the majority of searches relate to Sanders Reserve in Paremoremo, Onepoto Domain in Northcote, and the excellent Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Cycleway in Orewa.

Real Grown-up Mountainbiking with Pink Sequined Chuck Taylors

Real grown-up mountainbiking with pink sequined Chuck Taylors.

Anecdotally I’m seeing more bikes on the road, and more woman riding them. Just normal citizens getting around town from A to B, not roadies or mountainbikers. This is good, but it’s an incremental improvement and riding a bike for transport is still seen as a fringe activity by the general public. My friends and work colleagues view the activity as dangerous, hard-work and “green”. That’s not “green” in a good way either, that’s green as in “do-gooder, good-for-nothing smelly hippy”.

The rudimentary bike-infrastructure we’ve gained in the last five years has made a difference, but I’m convinced more than ever nothing short of a dedicated (separated!) network of bike lanes will cause a significant shift to cycling for transport in cities. Unless the lanes are separated from the motorized traffic “non-cyclists” will not ride to work, not ride to the shops, and not let their children ride to school.

I commend anyone who rides a bicycle but the sight of helmeted hi-viz Mad-Max look-a-likes is not a good look for urban cycling – a dangerous activity, something to be avoided unless you are a testosterone-fueled risk-taker.

Massive

Testosterone-fueled risk-taker at Woodhill forest.

As Betty Windsor would say, 2013 has been my Annus horribilis. In the space of a couple of months my young daughter lost a class-mate at school (drowned with her dad), a neighbour (who was only my age), both grandfathers (both!!!), and the family cat was crushed under our garage door. It will be hard for 2014 to top that run of misery.

I’ve been riding to work regularly but haven’t had the time nor the money to go mountainbiking more than a couple times. I love my work commute – I arrive at work wide-awake (even @ 6am), and really enjoy the ride home, especially if I can stray off-road a little. Closer to home I get out when I can, but I’m greedy, a few hours riding is not enough when you get in the groove! It’s always time to head back for some chore or another and I really just want to ride until it gets dark.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and keep the rubber-side down in 2014. We need more people like you out & about riding bikes, just normal folks getting around town on two wheels.

Here’s a photo-dump of my bike-photography from the last six months. Six months where I haven’t been stuck in front of a computer preaching to the converted ;^)

All the best, Antoine

Aqua Glow

Aqua Glow

True Love

True Love

Lack of Focus

Lack of Focus

Poo Pumper

Poo Pumper

Danger of Swimmers

Danger of Swimmers

Rock Garden

Rock Garden

Shadowed

Shadowed

Denis The 12-Speed Goes Mountainbiking

Denis The 12-Speed Goes Mountainbiking

Black Heart

Black Heart

Farm Machinery

Farm Machinery

Beached Cruiser

Beached Cruiser

The New Bayswater Bridge

The New Bayswater Bridge

Even when life is shit, a ride on your bike is never a bad thing. Ride your bike every day.

Ride your bike every day.

That didn't Last long

That didn’t Last long

Stretch Lime-O

Stretch Lime-O

Bush Commute

Bush Commute

Kiwi Krampus

Kiwi Krampus

Footloose

Footloose

Overdriving

Overdriving

I will mow the lawn tomorrow, I promise.

I will mow the lawn tomorrow, I promise.

Saturated

Saturated Life

13 Comments
  1. Ross permalink
    January 1, 2014 3:18 pm

    More often than not “the converted” enjoy being preached to.
    - Ross (Bakfiets rider, Christchurch)

  2. January 2, 2014 2:40 pm

    Sorry to hear about all those tragedies in 2013. I hope 2014 is a better one. And hope that you get back into blogging!

    • January 4, 2014 12:44 pm

      Thanks Shawn. I’ve considered it, but (much like yourself) I’m probably better doing something that’s both a “creative outlet” and an “earner of income”! With three kids we are struggling a little at the moment and we have no vices to speak of (smoking, drinking, gambling), I don’t know where the money goes!

  3. Mel permalink
    January 2, 2014 8:00 pm

    Just found your site today and have enjoyed it immensely (visitor from west auckland)

    • January 4, 2014 12:47 pm

      Thanks Melanie. Some of the stuff on here is a little outdated now but I’m glad you enjoyed it all the same. I must get out west again and explore the Twin Streams cyclepaths again.

  4. January 4, 2014 8:18 pm

    hi antoine! great to see this post popped in my reader (what used to be the great google reader, has to be now feedly) sorry to hear about your losses. sometimes grief and life make us to indeed take breaks, take it easy and spend time with people at a rather slower pace. great to hear from you and it has been good to stay in touch on flickr, the community that has brought so much positive in my life, even when I have endured some very difficult losses, and times in my life. all the best and happy new year from the sunny state of california xxom

  5. January 6, 2014 3:59 pm

    Great to see yah! :)

    As with meligrosa you will stay in my feedly list for updates.

    As well as a couple of trips to the excellent Te Ara loop the family had great fun discovering the cycleway alongside the Western motorway over the break. Starting just east of Western Springs, alongside the golf course, through the poorly signposted streets to the Carrington section, across to waterview and back (with a food break in the lush Carrington grounds) all proved to be great fun.

    Exploring the other direction a few days later was cool, but less so. Miss 12 was very unimpressed with the Arch Hill mountain bike section (“why would you wont to ride on gravel?!”).

    Back to Hobsonville next I think…

  6. Marla Gnarla permalink
    January 22, 2014 5:07 pm

    Glad to see you back. I just happened to look at my blog for the first time today in many months and wanted to check in to some of my favorites. 2013 stunk for me too…glad to be on to 2014 and a fresh outlook!

    • January 22, 2014 5:42 pm

      Yup, 2014 is looking-up, I’m off to Antarctica next month. Pugsley riders unite – get those fat wheels roll’n Marla, you know you want to!

      • Marla Gnarla permalink
        January 30, 2014 3:36 pm

        Wow! Look forward to seeing pics from there!

  7. January 30, 2014 11:39 am

    Keep up the great writing. My son and I love the rides you’ve sent us on.

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