I have great legs!

I have great legs. Is it a bit conceited of me to say this? I don’t know, but I do know that cycling around for a month on Busby (my bakfiets) has given me really great legs and I don’t ever want to say goodbye to them.  Why, oh why do the politicians of Auckland go out of their way to make us flabby? Even if I could take Busby back with me, I would probably never cycle anywhere in Auckland because it’s just too dangerous. And this is coming from someone who has ditched her helmet. Yes, I’m sorry KellyM if you’re reading this, I don’t wear my helmet any more! Apparently drivers give greater clearance to cyclists without a helmet. The real reason I don’t wear my helmet though is because most of the time my hair resembles a bird’s nest and so I tie it back and then the helmet doesn’t fit. The motorists here are also very different to New Zealand motorists. They are more considerate of cyclists and they drive more slowly.

It’s wrong of me to blame New Zealand politicians entirely for the lack of favourable cycling conditions in Auckland although it’s always nice to blame politicians. The geography of Auckland is not very suitable to cycling – all those hills! It’s also hot and humid which makes any sort of physical exercise in the middle of the day extra exhausting and it rains so much. It rains twice as much in Auckland as here and the rain seems to defy physics by falling horizontally.

It is lovely cycling in a cold climate. My armpits don’t stink anymore and I can wear the same shirt for days on end. Although when the kids started arriving at school blue and shivering I decided they probably weren’t enjoying the cool, crisp mornings as much as me. So I got them some thick coats and solved the problem. Then it rained. I was thinking of getting a rain tent for them and if we were staying here permanently we would buy one without question but they’re £200 which is quite steep for just 6 months of use. So at first I got an umbrella and gave it to them to hold. Can you guess what happened? Picture a three-year-old on a fast moving bike holding an umbrella? Yes, umbrella and my face collided.

Then we met with the people at Get Cycling in York. According to them, anyone who owns a bakfiets is trustworthy so they lent us a rain tent for the duration of our stay provided we give them first dibs in buying our Busby when we leave.  Sounds good to me and the rain tent provides a sort of greenhouse for the kids to keep warm in. It also makes the bike more aerodynamic and I have found it easier to peddle.

So now I’m going to unashamedly give Get Cycling a big plug. They have the most interesting collection of bikes I have ever seen in a bike shop. They have tandems, mountain bikes, city bikes, tricycles, recumbents, foldings bikes, electric bikes, disability bikes, bikes for carrying children and they even have bikes for taking people in wheelchairs out cycling. Oh, and they also hire out bikes, if you ever come to York and want to cycle around. I highly recommend them. Here’s the new tent:


19 Replies to “I have great legs!”

  1. Elizabeth looks very smug under that rain tent, and warm.

  2. Hey I can definitely understand this, I’m living in the Netherlands and moving back to Auckland next month. Cycling here is the norm so it’s safe, in Auckland even with the new bus lanes I think it’s going to be to dangerous. I’m taking my folding bike back in case it improves but I’m not holding my breath

    1. It’s dangerous. A friend of mine was hit by a car this year while cycling in Auckland. She’s ok but the police officer who handled her case told her to get a car because it’s too dangerous to cycle! It’s hard to understand why a city would go out of its way to make it difficult to get exercise and at the same time save money, reduce congestion and reduce pollution. Why, why, why?

      1. I’d hate to say it but it will take 30 more years for it to better. It actually has improved over the last 5 years from what I’ve seen but it will take a major culture change before it becomes accepted as a normal form of transport

      2. Why are you moving to Auckland? I’m trying to get away from the place.

      3. hahahaha, come on its not that bad. We are moving back to spend a bit more time with my family. My wife also wants try on set up a B&B, in the hope we can find a place somewhere near a beach/ wineries or one of the parks. We have a one year old and would have to move if we stayed in the netherlands so why not move home 🙂

      4. Well it’s not that bad if you don’t mind sitting in your car a lot and you don’t mind lots of traffic, expensive house prices and poor quality housing that leaks and is very cold even in mild winters, and if you don’t mind the 8% probability of the volcano erupting over your lifetime and you’re not bothered by the annual tornadoes to strike the region.

        Having family nearby is a good reason though and one that doesn’t apply to me so I might feel differently if it did.

      5. You might want to check out realestate.co.nz to see how much housing in Auckland costs.

      6. Having spent nearly 3 weeks in NZ, and a couple of days in Auckland, I don’t think I’d want to cycle as a commuter here. You only have to look at how many roadside and TV public information boards there are telling drivers to slow down/think/be considerate/etc. to work out that driving standards are poor here. Not that people drive particularly fast, they just don’t pay attention.

      7. It may be that they don’t pay attention. I’m not sure. I do know that the poor attitude motorists have towards cyclists is replicated in the attitude motorists have towards other motorists. Motorists in general behave very selfishly in New Zealand and are not very good at giving way to other vehicles regardless of whether they are cars or bicycles. The outcome is just far worse for bicycles when the two collide.

  3. I noticed something different in this post after looking close. You revealed some personal things about yourself. You like your legs, talked about your hair and even your armpits. I like the personalized aspect to added to this interesting post.

    1. Thanks, Bob. I’m very happy to hear that mentioning my armpits has added a positive element to my post rather than a negative one.

      1. I don’t say positive I said it personalized it and I meant it as a compliment

  4. This looks amazing Rachel, what a great idea! I love your energy and your positivity 🙂

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