The forecast was abysmal. When asked what I was up to on the weekend I sighed and answered “staying indoors I guess”. But then, then! As the clouds were rolling in on a dreary Saturday morning, the sun decided we should have summer after all. And we were off!
Take me to Ciclovia!
Ciclovia is a Spanish word, and to the best of my knowledge it means “cycle way”. It’s also the name of a world wide movement to close off inner city streets for cyclists and pedestrians. In some places (like Argentina), this takes place every Sunday, in others it’s annual, and here in Auckland the city trialled it for the first time. — I would never have found out about it if my flatmate hadn’t told me. You’d think a trial would be publicised better? Anyway…
Grabbing my best bike themed t-shirt out from under the pile of clothes on the floor, I was ready for the half hour bike to town.
There were more pedestrians than cyclists down at the warf, but still, there was a great sense of a biking community. There were stations where a whiteboard marker gave you the chance to join your voice with the other bikers. Whether that be in writing suggestions, adding “+1” to great ideas or just swapping hair-raising stories with your neighbour.
Kids in over-sized helmets drew pictures explaining why they love their bikes and stared at men riding pennyfarthings, while a bright coloured woman tooted on a trumpet and told stories to whoever would gather round. There were bike demonstrations and even a stall where you could get free bike maintenance.
But the thing I was most excited to see was the “planned date” for the skypath. A cycle/ walkway over the harbour bridge by the end of next year?? Now I’m not so naïve to think that projected timeline is reality, but it means it’s certainly a lot closer than I had hoped! Maybe it’ll be done by the time I get back from my trip :D
After a beer, a bike around Victoria park and a coffee, we were ready to head home. We were hot, sweaty and exhausted but what a great day! I hope Ciclovia will come back soon, and not just as a trial but on a much bigger scale!