What my bike means to me


Liz Breslin

When I moved from London to Auckland in 2001, top of my lifestyle list was to be able to ride to work. I ended up living in a nice little place called Clevedon and biking up and down the hills into Highland Park every day. I kept getting passed, in my skirt, on my oldskool but not cool wheels by shiny roadmobilers with massive thighs. I don’t really remember when or why I stopped riding and joined the procession of intimidating traffic on four wheels, but by the time we moved to Wanaka I was definitely more of a driver.

Things I like about riding a bike include, but are not limited to:

  • freewheeling backwards while going down a hill
  • standing up with perfectly parallel pedals
  • doing no handers round a corner
  • doubling

With this in mind, it’s clear why I don’t really fit in with the clichéd idea of the Wanaka bike scene.  But the combination of #bikevember and Laura Williamson’s book, The Bike and Beyond, have got me to get my bike and my ass into gear this month. Have reminded me that bikes are a good way to travel and notice and basically be.

It is very easy to make excuses about biking. I live so far out of town! Won’t somebody think about the children!? But it is classier to come up with fun solutions. Like this one: I’m going to keep my new-to-me-but-seriously-old bike at school and ride it for errands and meetings in town. It’s not as hardcore as the Clevedon hills but, with my new R2D2 bike helmet, it’s way more fun.

Thank you #bikevember for the bacon and being the reason.