2013: Here’s a Weird Statistic…
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.
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.
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