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: