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Thread: Biking in NZ

  1. #1
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    Default Biking in NZ

    Where I come from bicycling (to work for example) is very common.

    What about in NZ?

  2. #2
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    There are more cyclists around now than there has been for years. It's become a recreational thing. Many moons ago most people had a cycle, cars were too expensive then for many of the 'working class.'

  3. #3
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    But be prepared for the fact that NZ is a mountainous country, so much of it is not easy cycling for travel purposes.

  4. #4
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    I think what we refer to as 'utility' cycling is rather rare in NZ. I commute to work by bike, and I probably see a handful of people on bikes, and know personally about 3 or four that regularly use the bike as a means of transport.

    The standard of driving in NZ is very low, and people are not very good sharing the road with cyclists. On the whole, the experience is not an altogether pleasant one. There are hardly any cycle paths, and the few that are around don't actually seem to be of good quality or in useful places. Drivers are incredibly aggressive towards cyclists, and have very little idea of what is legal or not when it comes to cycling.

    I don't cycle at all for recreational purposes, would never cycle outside the city (the roads are too narrow or windy and people don't expect cyclists). I do try to encourage my children to cycle as much as I feel is safe.

    I'm also rather annoyed that helmets are compulsory, but do wear one.

    If one is a competent cyclist and reasonably fit, have a shower at work and a route that is doable, I would always prefer cycling here in Auckland because of the traffic, the health aspects, parking, environment, etc., bt it is nowhere like anything you experience in continental Europe.

  5. #5
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    Interesting posting! I share your impressions 100%. Certain countries are good for cycling, others not. Even in Europe you see bad examples. In Italy cyclists are almost unknown. Good place to open a bike-shop. LOL. Canada is on the right track!
    Germany and the Netherlands are a cyclist's dream. I find it rather unforgiving that city developers do not implement lanes for cyclist into there developments. People with less income, youth, students, enthusiast, health advocates depend on bike lanes. Hills are not a problem since the introduction of e-bikes. Riding a bike in NZ is Kamikaze and not for the faint of heart.

  6. #6
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    That's interesting, I have always heard the opposite about cycling in Italy. Cycling is more of a national sport there, and all the people I know who have cycled around Italy have been impressed by how aware drivers on the open roads where of cyclists. But I don't how how this would translate into everyday cycling in a city.

  7. #7
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    You absolutely right on. In Italy you find mostly die-hard cyclists like the mountain bikers here in NZ. I mean very competitive Giro Italia fans. No mother would let her kid out on a bike. Way too dangerous. In Rome they close the inner city every 4 weeks to give the public an opportunity to ride a bike as the traffic is crazy. Although drivers communicate much more than here, hence less accidents in general. Keep in mind that the region of Rome has almost the population of NZ.

  8. #8
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    Since I am in Germany at the moment, in a city, too..., Wiesbaden.., I would say that it might be a cyclist's dream here, but a pedestrian's and motorist's nightmare! I recall a very similar discussion...
    A great portion of the cyclists here are completely ignorant of anybody else around them, if you cross a pavement, with lots of them having cycle lanes, you have to be extremely careful to not be overrun. They are allowed to go into one lane streets the opposite way, so if you are driving, you always have to be on the lookout. When I go for my morning run, it is downhill, a four lane busy street, the cyclists literally race down, some of them as fast as the cars or faster (lots of traffic). At least mots of them use their cycle lane.
    The other day, however, I came across one who was coming down a street in town, sverwing through the two lanes, between the cars, with an impressive speed. And no helmet...., I don't really understand why you are against wearing helmets, Daniela?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrival View Post
    I don't really understand why you are against wearing helmets, Daniela?
    I'm not against wearing helmets. I am against making wearing helmets compulsory.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrival View Post
    A great portion of the cyclists here are completely ignorant of anybody else around them,
    Not to get into an argument here, but none of the behaviours that you list seem to be illegal. Yes, you have to watch out not to be overrun when crossing a cycle path, yes, you have to look out for bikes coming the opposite way down a one way street. Yes, bikes can go fast, as fast as cars. As long as they don't break the rules and endanger you, and you don't break the rules and endanger them and yourself, the cyclist's speed is of little consequence.

    And if they haven't changed the rules since my days in driving school in Germany, speed limits don't apply to cyclists

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