Bike Auckland celebrates 150 years of bikes in Auckland
A century and a half ago on a moonlit night in August 1869, Auckland’s first bicycle took to the streets – setting in motion a social and transport revolution that’s still rolling 150 years later.
On Friday 23 August, in Aotea Square at 7.30pm, the core team from the city’s cycling advocacy organisation Bike Auckland will re-enact that first ride for the cameras with Shane ‘The Bicycle Chap’ Price on a replica velocipede.
Tonight’s photo-op is accompanied by a visual online timeline of a century and a half of progress – and a call for more urgency in delivering safe cycling infrastructure.
“A hundred and fifty years ago today, the bicycle movement got rolling in our city,” says Bike Auckland communications manager Jolisa Gracewood. “And ever since, Aucklanders on bikes have been out there loving our rides and campaigning for a smoother ride and safer streets.”
“It was the city’s early cyclists who first advocated for sealed roads and a well-connected network for all kinds of travellers. Bike Auckland inherits that proud history of civic advocacy. With our organisation turning 21 this year, and our AGM next week, we’re celebrating the coming of age of Auckland’s modern bike culture with a fun tip of the hat to our intrepid ancestors.”
Cycling is now neck-and-neck with public transport as the city’s fastest-growing travel mode, says Barb Cuthbert, chair of Bike Auckland, which means there’s more urgency than ever to the timeless call for safer streets and connected routes. “The number and diversity of people on bikes is a crucial measure of the health of a city. With e-bikes easing the way, and cycleway investment proving its worth, we’re poised to ride a wave of irresistible momentum into the future.”
“Aucklanders on bikes are discovering that the commute and the school run can be the best parts of the day, and connecting with public transport to get around in sustainable and healthy ways. The focus is now firmly on our transport agencies to deliver safe infrastructure at scale and at pace, so more of us can freely enjoy this timeless way to travel, today and in decades to come.”
Bike Auckland is the voice of people on bikes in Auckland. We are a registered charity, working to make our city a joy to get around. www.bikeauckland.org.nz