Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: One Hundred and Thirty-one Million Reasons to Copenhagenize Christchurch

389 Responses

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  • Bruce Tollan,

    Any concerns the physical effort required to pedal for 20 minutes into a head wind has been solved. Get an electric Bike. I have had a Wisper 905SE now for 4 years and get about town without raising a sweat. we have hills in the Tron. I would recommend an electric bike to anyone and can't understand why I don't see more out and about

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes we bought a Civia Loring from Tim and Jason and I'll get a Gazelle Toer Populair when I've saved enough. If there was a shop in Wellington that stocked them I'd buy from there, despite the excellent service we got from the Rode chaps. I even thought about opening a bike shop myself, just to remedy this dire situation (I'd call it Lashings of Ginger Beer).

    One of the reasons the Rocket Bikes chap gave me for not stocking stylish commuter bikes was that "Only university types buy them." I'm not sure if he's noticed, but this IS a university town...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart, in reply to Fraserhead,

    Now, can I get you to help me out with a way to "Amsterdamize" the CBD???

    I was participating in one of the Share An Idea workshops on Sunday and although I wasn't working on the "Space" aspect I noticed that both groups that were came up with and highlighted "Stop calling it the C B D" in response to the question about how to encourage the use of the physical space in the city in the evenings.

    I noticed in all the materials it's being referenced as the "Central City", so I think the council may be already on to this.

    (link to my full writeup, why not?)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lisa Black,

    I'm not sure if he's noticed, but this IS a university town...

    Sure, but students don't got no money.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Fraserhead,

    Oh - yes, Mamachari! They've done an enormous amount to popularise bike riding for transport here in Wellington. Absolutely everyone has heard of them - even my bogan-as furniture movers, and everyone knows that you can ride their bikes in a dress too.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    completely agree with what Alice said. i used to leave a couple of suits and a pair of shoes at work and carry the rest of my kit in my waterproof Ortlieb backpack. if the weather is good (i.e. no rain) and it is not too hot (under 20C) and you are going less than 10km, i doubt you would need to change clothes though. for long-distance commutes (over 15km) a change of clothes is recommended.

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to BenWilson,

    I have a feeling he was talking about the lecturers, although I don't know why I think that. Meanwhile, Mamachari keep running out of bikes because they go out the door faster than they can restore them/ship them in from Japan.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

  • Fraserhead, in reply to Robert Urquhart,

    You're right Robert - there has been a conscious decision to call it the Central City Plan because the CBD (as well as becoming an old-fashioned term for what is really a mixed-use area) is only one element of a central city.

    And to be fair to the CCC they've been referring to it as the "Central City" for quite a while now.

    Otautahi • Since Jun 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    in Japan, people who would rather not exert themsleves too much tend to buy an electric-assist mama-chari, these days. they are a bit pricey, but compared to a car...

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    @ Bruce Trollan. Welcome from a fellow Troner. Locally, Cycology (grreat name or not?) have a good selection. I have a newish Avanti (support your local industries!) which works perfectly well, with tyre treads somewhere between those knobbly mountain bike horrors, and the skinny, skinny professional bikes.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    When I was at Canterbury uni, there was a tradition of powered cycles which looked like they had a motor mower strapped to the front wheel. Are these still around?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lisa Black,

    Lecturers don't get their own carparks?

    I would recommend an electric bike to anyone and can't understand why I don't see more out and about

    The good ones are pretty dear?

    Apparently there's mega heaps of them in China, at least in the flat cities. When I was researching them prior to buying, it was very hard to find any in Auckland - most of them were in Christchurch. Which seemed odd to me, because I'd have thought the point of them was for hills. But having owned a couple of cheapish ones, I can see why - they just don't get the range. Wispers looked neat, but I couldn't suck up the $3000 price tag, that's more than my muscle car cost.

    In the end I think the problem with them will continue to be pressure from both directions. From cycles below, which win on cost, and scooters above, which win on performance and safety. They keep getting better, but then so do bicycles and scooters.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Are these still around?

    Yes, converting a bike to a gas powered scooter is still done. The kits are actually quite cheap, cheaper than an electric conversion (most of the price is the battery) That's another pressure on the pedal-electrics - of course they get waaaay better range because you just stick some more petrol in them.

    Personally I think they're stupidly dangerous. Get a motorbike if you want a motorbike.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Lecturers don’t get their own carparks?

    Not usually. We have two staff carparks for eleven people in my department. Other places, you have to pay an annual fee and you can't claim it for tax.

    Anyway, we should be setting an example--many students seem to have flasher cars than ours (all those butterfat cheques coming in?)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • Alice Ronald, in reply to BenWilson,

    Agreed on the dangerous. Half the ones I've seen haven't been wearing any protective gear at all, yet are doing 50-60km/hr. I've even seen one who hadn't set up a stopping mechanism - he just blasted through the intersections on Blenheim Rd.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alice Ronald,

    Yeah, it's crazy how many things could fail. Considering you can get a brand new moped which has actually been WOF tested for under $1000 from a shop. But I think these kind of devices are more about the mad-inventor thing than as practical transport.

    Edit: OK so those ones don't need WOFs...I forgot about that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Yes, the Tron is almost as good for cycling as Chch, except for the other idiots in their bullet-proof personal zones: two cyclists bowled in two separate incidents today in Hamilton, one dead.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    retailers need to be sat down, told what’s going to happen, and invited to participate. I’m sure those who did decide to stock the right stuff would be rewarded with sales.

    The problem is, bike retailing is a pretty low-margin business, which encourages a fairly conservative mindset. If you know you can shift a load of mountain bikes, and you’re not sure if you can shift city bikes, you’re more likely to concentrate on the MTB end of things. Twin this with the fact that a lot of people who haven’t ridden in a while balk at spending $800 on a bike (“But you can get them at K-Mart for $150!”) and it’s a definite commercial risk. Personally, I’ve seen some really good city bikes just sit in the shops week after week (there’s an inexplicable lack of love for hub gears in the general populace). This is pretty much also the reason bikes don’t come with a lot of useful stuff (lights, helmet, etc) – it’s to reduce the “sticker shock” factor when people see the price.

    That said, if it’s done right, the bikes do sell. The Wellington Regional Council is currently subsidising folding bikes for commuters, and they’re selling out as fast as places can get them in. There’s demand for it.

    (Disclaimer: I am part of the lycra brigade, but I think that the dearth of good city bikes is not deliberate - it's retailer caution twinned with fashion).

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    I'd just like to put in a word for walking. I know it's not feasible for everyone (but then, neither is cycling). By simply parking further away from work, and walking more each day, you're doing something for yourself and for the planet - and you don't need to shower or change when you get to work.

    But these Japanese bikes do look tempting....

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    Also, on the comment that a bike network is only as safe as the intersections with traffic: +1. Very much +1. It's great not having to play in traffic all the time, but sooner or later you're going to have to tangle with cars - and those interactions can be dangerous, particularly if you're coming from an angle that the drivers aren't expecting. As an example, I cycle up the Ngauranga Gorge in Wellington when I'm riding home. I do that on the cyclepath, because I'm not mad. But at the end of the cyclepath, in Johnsonville, you hit a very busy four-way intersection with a lot of traffic. The cyclepath ends in such a way that it forces you to then ride across the entrances to two separate roads, starting from a place that drivers aren't expecting people to emerge from and where your visibility is blocked for people coming from one direction. It's incredibly nerve-wracking. So rather than do this, at the top of the gorge I go onto the road, and take the J'ville off-ramp from the highway with all the cars. This puts me in the main line of traffic, where all the drivers are expecting to see oncoming traffic,. Result: it's actually safer.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I love walking, but live a little far away (meaning it takes too long), so since returning from europe, have been biking more frequently.
    Hills are a definite factor. There is a little over 100m vertical difference between home and work. Not an enormous climb, but means not much hassle getting to work, and relatively more getting home. However, I can cycle to work in a jacket and pants, take t-shirt and shorts to work, and gently fold flasher clothes into pack for the trip home.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 703 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to JackElder,

    Twin this with the fact that a lot of people who haven't ridden in a while balk at spending $800 on a bike ("But you can get them at K-Mart for $150!")

    Guilty as charged. Then I rode each one and realized that the extra $650 was worth it, to get a bike you actually use.

    That said, if it's done right, the bikes do sell. The Wellington Regional Council is currently subsidising folding bikes for commuters, and they're selling out as fast as places can get them in. There's demand for it.

    Yeah, I gave my one to my sister, and it actually saved me money, didn't have to give her any more lifts. She reckons she's constantly getting praise for the bike, people think they look cool. It's actually not a nice bike to ride, but it's good for short trips, and she lives in the city so that's all she does. And she can stash it easily, or chuck it in the boot of a car if someone offers a lift.

    I mostly used it when I went somewhere in my car, then got drunk. I'd save myself one cab fare by riding back to the car to collect it in the morning, chucking it in the boot. It paid for itself in about 4 such sessions (they're pretty cheap). It was also occasionally useful when there just wasn't any parking, or I didn't want to pay for it. Could drop the family right at the location, then park a mile away and ride back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to stephen walker,

    if the weather is good (i.e. no rain) and it is not too hot (under 20C) and you are going less than 10km, i doubt you would need to change clothes though

    Yeah thanks folks, when I consider that my ride to work would only be a few kms all downhill I should probably stop overanalysing! The ride home uphill can get a bit sweaty if need be.
    Now who was it that linked to those Velo Ideale people - you may have just cost me an inordinate amount of money...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    two cyclists bowled in two separate incidents today in Hamilton, one dead.

    I just heard the sad news today that my PhD supervisor from my Canterbury University days, Jack Fergusson, was killed in a cycling accident yesterday in Christchurch. He was 77 and cycled a lot around Christcurch.
    Sorry to introduce a sombre note into the conversation.
    I'm a keen cyclist myself - both on and off road - but the safety aspect does scare me quite considerably. My strategy for the road is to be extremely visible, assume every motorist is an idiot and get a rear vision mirror. I think my main strategy for avoiding tumbles off road is "remember you are not an indestructible 21 year old any more and take it easy".

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 828 posts Report Reply

  • Lisa Black, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    Heh. You'll forgive me if I don't apologise. Besides, it's a highly moral act you're undertaking, supporting a Christchurch business and all :)

    Wellington • Since Jul 2010 • 71 posts Report Reply

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