Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gadgets. . .

Okay, there is a never-ending list of things that could be added to one's bike - and I am at the stage where the 'essential' items such as bell and bottle holder are firmly in place, and now it's getting the bling and pimping at max level. I know, I know, there'll come a time when I'll start ripping it all down to the elemental framework again, but it's not now.
Helen and I attended a meeting of CAA (Cycle Action Auckland last night, and enjoyed meeting some other enthusiasts of much longer standing then we. Or should I say, much longer peddling than we. We learned a number of new things to do with safety on our roads, and how to get the right bike fit for you. Met some very nice keen folk, who are much leaner than I. Most had arrived by bicycle, and we skulked out to our car, with two children in tow, clutching a cornucopia of pamphlets and useful things like a spacemaker flag (see below)
and I have attempted, this morning, to understand not only 1) how to put together a bike computer (so that we can gauge how far we are getting on our adventures) but 2) how to set it up with the right calculations and basic input. So far, no good. Watch this space.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Largest Handlebra group yet to Pt Chev

Setting off from Te Atatu. . .
Five of us set off from Te Atatu Peninsula this morning - (very ENID BLYTON!) - heading for Pt Chev and the cafe at the end of the road by the beach and park. John and Naomi Cowan, Jan, Helen and I. This is us on the first leg of the motorway journey South to Pt Chev.
Looking pretty good so far. The wind behind us the coffee ahead. . .
All of us made it up the pedestrian bridge the overlooked Patiki Road - without stopping.
and this cyclist going back provided a nice dynamic shot of Jan and John rising slowly from the bottom of the bridge.
Jan. . .
John. . .
Helen disappearing off into the distance with the mangroves ahead of her and the boardwalk.
We finally got to the end of the motorway and up the bridge overlooking Waterview.
Yep, that's how we felt.
Then it was along on the road with the traffic until we got to Pt Chevalier beach. There we disembarked.
and waited while Jan fiddled with her bike. . .
Ready for that latte now.
We thought it had been a quick and easy ride, but of course, in this photo we didn't realise we were in for the headwind on the journey home.
Lovely Naomi.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bike to Breakfast down to the Viaduct Basin

It was the ANNUAL Bike to Breakfast, run by the Auckland City Council, today. (The first time Helen and I have partaken). And early start from Te Atatu at 5.55am in the dark, hoping to reach the 'bike bus' at Pt Chev by 6.30. This is us on top of the ramp on the motorway overbridge by Patiki Road en route to Pt Chev.

The group awaiting us when we got to Pt Chev crossroads - yes, that's a lot of lycra and fluoros.
Before heading out, Mark (organiser of bike bus) read the 'rules' - two abreast etc. Plan was to meet up with Frocks on Bikes going down Queen Street.

And so we set off past Western Springs - motorway in full flow to the side - and we pretty much kept to a tight bunch.
Waited at the lights at St Lukes Rd.
Cycling down behind Kingsland.
Finally up to the top of the hill - Upper Queen St - with police escort waiting, ready. That's Helen there.
About to head off down Queen Street - K Rd in the distance.
And we're off. . .
K Rd lights.

Heading down Queen St, we picked up Frocks on Bikes on the way down.
Police car about to intervene and allow us through against the lights on the main road through Auckland City. YAY.
Helen looking back as the police car comes forward .. . Frocks on bikes 'feeling the moment'.
A frock putting her bike up on the stand once we reached Viaduct Basin.
Bike, bikes and more bikes
Plenty of stands for all the bikes that came in from all four corners of Auckland.
I like the sails visible beyond all the bikes.
We headed in to see what was for breakfast.
Muesli, yoghurt, toast, fruit, fruit drinks, snack bars, liquid breakfast, coffee - I think we had it all!
Prizes distributed. The Frocks on Bikes crowd included us in their group, and we all ended up on stage and received a free back pack full of goodies. TV One Breakfast show did a short segment with the FOB crowd and HER (Handlebra Easy Riders) hung around in the background.
Contemplating leaving after a good hour there.
My outfit and bike and a very satisfied expression . . .
Helen just as smug.
. . . and straight to Britomart to try for a train out to Henderson - a much more salubrious way to get past the deep hills surrounding the city.
Free bike travel this week, so it only cost us single fare out on the special carriage for disabled people (wheelchairs) or bikes. We felt a wee bit disabled by this stage.

Got to Henderson, and then had a great coffee, and then followed the very pleasant cycle trail to Te Atatu and home.

Here's the video of us setting out with the Bike Bus from Pt Chev.

And the video of Queen Street during the ride through it this morning! It is possible to look a TINY bit like Copenhagen

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Helen 'pimps' her bike too

Yes, now we have TWO bikes with flowers around the basket. That does speak volumes about enjoying the ride as much as getting there. At least we hope so.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Longest Trail so far

If you click on this you should see it in larger format - I hope.
We did our longest trail yet - in from Te Atatu, via Pt Chev and Newton, up to Symonds St and along until we freewheeled all the way down to the bottom of Parnell Rise. Then along Tamaki Drive until we got to Okahu Bay. Here.
Tired, hot, but the tide way out, and therefore, no swim.
Bikes well laden with all manner of 'necessaries' like togs, towels, thermos, lunch, CUSHIONS.
We then went UPHILL - Parnell Rise, via the Rose Gardens, and ended up at the Domain for a couple of hours.

Listening to some distant jazz music, and watching various people arriving to listen to the concert.
Helen bringing back coffee from a local kiosk.
and the band stand with the jazz players in it can be seen through the trees, and below.
After the Domain we returned via Grafton Bridge - to Pt Chev.
. . . and went along Pt Chev road to the beach, and although the tide still pretty low, managed to soak in the waters for a while before heading home along the motorway bike lane. Whew. 50kms in all.