We were looking for something to do last weekend in the city that was free, worth doing and as newbies to Auckland helped us meet new people. A few weeks ago I posted about cycling in Auckland and we love to get out on our bikes whenever we can, when we found out Auckland Council along with Next Bike and ‘Bikes and Barbers’ (who provided us with the E bikes) were doing a tour of the city on electric bikes, we thought why not!
When we first moved to Auckland I looked at getting an electric bike, my cycle to work is all down hill one way for half an hour and on the way home when I am tired after a long days work – let’s just say it can be a challenge. I love the cycle path to work though and the council are constantly making more places accessible on bikes, good stuff!
Tearing myself out of bed at 8am on a Sunday morning, even for something free is difficult, the weather forecast was wrong and I’d forgotten my coat…I know!
Tomas is the chap who runs the Bikes and Barbers shop, it has opened recently after great success from a branch on Waiheke Island. He greeted us with a smile, he is a very enthusiastic chap who knows his beans when it comes to bikes. Julian Hulls from Next Bike gave a safety brief which involved a bit of slalom round some cones and we were off!
Julian lead the way, we were a motley crew of all ages – mostly older people, but some other 20-30 year old’s too. The ride it self gave me a new found confidence to cycle on the roads of Auckland. Before this, I tended to stick to cycle lanes and pavements – I also hated crossing the road with my bike!
There was plenty of rest stops during the cycle including a stop for some coffee and something to eat. Sometimes the rest stops were a bit long, but with a large group and oldies it was to be expected. I’d recommend bringing suitable clothing – gloves, coat, jumper, hat. If you don’t wear it remember most of the bikes have baskets!
We were a small group of individuals all here for the same but different objectives. My partner wanted to “test these bad boys out” as he put it and was keen to test how fast and how much juice one of these E bikes had and I just wanted to find out if E bike is a viable alternative to catching the bus or cycling to work. After our cycle both mine and my partners bike batteries were at over 75% charge after 20 km, so this sort of bike would be more than suitable for commutes and with proper care should be worth the hefty initial outlay.
Overall the day was fun, educational, informative and a confidence builder for us. Being a bit of a critic I’d have liked to have gone a bit further and had less ‘this is how you ride a bike’ time, I can see for some of the riders this was necessary though as the group had varying abilities.
So, if you are thinking of buying an E-bike to get around Auckland and New Zealand, or just fancy a jolly, hit up Bikes and Barber’s or get in contact with Julian from Next Bike’s, they are hoping continue this scheme with the support of the Auckland Council. Thanks for a great day guys!