Baguettes, Bitch’n & Bike Racks
In the last couple of years bicycle racks have been popping-up all over the Shore as architects and town-planners realize some of us are not just weekend-warriors and actually ride our bikes around town. Well, that’s what I’d like to believe. The cynical side of me (and most of me is on that side) suspects these people see cycling infrastructure exploding overseas and want to include some of it in their designs because it’s very hip & happening.
I don’t mind either way, I just want something to lock my bike to, or shopping trolley as the example above illustrates. That photo was taken at the Westfield Mall in Albany and I was pleasantly surprised by the amount (and quality) of the Bicycle racks there. Well done Westfield. Actually shopping in the mall is pure torture of course, but at least your bike is secure while you’re doing it.
The trouble with shopping malls is that they are built where no-one actually lives, and by and large people don’t walk to the mall, they drive their cars. That’s why malls are surrounded by a concrete-jungle of car parks. By the time you have actually found a park you could have ridden your bike and saved enough money on petrol to fund your purchases.
We didn’t cycle to Albany that day, we took our car. It was stolen just before Christmas and used to hold-up an armoured-car there, so it felt right at home. I half expected a security guard to jump out and smash another one of our windows with his hammer but we slipped in under the radar, it was very uneventful. But I digress…
I much prefer to shop locally, although by a cruel twist of fate almost every establishment I frequent is devoid of bicycle racks. The Takapuna Library has one, but it’s the old ground-hugging design you had at school in the 70s when everyone used to walk or cycle, not a very clever design at all. “A lift to school? You’ve got to be kidding” my parents would exclaim. I might have got chauffeured once or twice a year when I had a fractured-femur or a matchstick Taj Mahal to transport, but you found your own way most of the time, the kids today have got it easy!
Milford New World makes the crispest, yummiest baguettes in the Southern hemisphere and I’m often dispatched in the weekend to pick some up for lunch. “Would you like to go for a bike-ride” translates to “we have nothing for the children to eat”, but I don’t mind, any excuse to ride my bike is welcome.
Bike racks on Milford high-street? They are non-existent, but they have a nice tree outside the supermarket that doesn’t scratch my bike so I hitch-up to that. The chances of that particular bike being stolen are pretty slim however. You’d have to be 6′ 6″ to swing a leg over the seat and the baguette-holsters are distinctive to say the least, but it has sentimental value so I throw a lock on there anyway.
I probably should write to these businesses on Bike Friendly letterhead and politely request they install racks, I spend good money there after-all. That’s another one for the ever expanding to-do list.