I have been a cyclist all my life

Learning to ride is one of my earliest memories – I remember my dad holding the back of my bike and running alongside me up and down our street.

20 years ago I was more or less the only cyclist on the roads. Occasionally a lycra-clad superman would fly past, or challenge me to race up a hill, but generally I was the only commuter on a bike. How things have changed! Although it’s winter now, you can see a train of cyclists one after another in a long unbroken chain going down the cycle path along the North Western Motorway. On my way to work I am no longer the only cyclist. Quite often there will be five or six cyclists stopped at major intersections. It’s not quite the numbers like in Berlin or Amsterdam, but fantastic to see all the same. Like many other changes I’ve seen in New Zealand, it suddenly happened very quickly. The willingness of New Zealanders to adapt and adopt new things gives me more hope than anything else in this world.

There are lots of differences between driving a car and cycling. The main one is that you are never stuck in traffic. You always get to the place you’re going within a minute or two of the time you expected. You never have to worry about finding a park – you simply lock your bike to the nearest pole, fence or bike rack, right in front of your destination. And it never costs any money to park your bike. Did you know that cycling in the city is actually as fast as driving a car? On medium distances of under 10km, you will often be even faster than a car, especially if you are travelling at rush hour.

To continue reading about the many other beautiful things to discover by bike, like secret shortcuts, hidden picnic spots, and awesome cycleways and how Bread & Butter Bakery & Cafe offers an earn-to-own-an-electric-bike-scheme to employees, go to www.breadpolitics.com (ISABEL PASCH)

Isabel Pasch is the owner of Bread & Butter Bakery & Cafe and the author of the www.breadpolitics.com blog.