I’ve recently been on a great 3-day bike trip along the Round the Mountain trail. Starting at Kingston at the north end of Lake Wakitipu , it ends at Walter Peak, where you catch the historic SS Earnslaw steamship back to Queenstown.
The scenery is stunning and the cycling of an easy to intermediate range, though riding 20km up a 4 degree slope with a head wind felt much harder than intermediate!!
The great benefits to be felt from getting away on these trips includes:
- Time out from the hurly burly of normal life
- Very limited internet access
- Amazing scenery
- Time to spend with family and loved ones
- Exploring a new part of the countryside
- Meeting interesting local people
- Getting fit in the process
We are lucky enough here in New Zealand to have these amazing cycle tracks which have been developed all over the place which allow us to do exactly this, and mainly off busy roads.
Could you possibly cycle to work?
Undoubtedly cycling is a great leisure activity, but I’m keen to see how we can bring this type of activity into our everyday lives more, rather than just on high days and holidays.
I increasingly hear from people that I see in workplaces that they bike or walk to work. As controversial as they are, the new cycle lanes being developed in Christchurch are certainly helping to encourage more cyclists to get on their bikes and navigate busier central city streets. A bonus being that if the wind is too strong on some days, there’s always the option to put your bike on the front of the bus and get a ride home! The other option, though it doesn’t possibly give you quite the same level of exercise, (but which is rather tempting to me as I live at the top of a steep hill) and is a bit more expensive, is to get an e-bike.
As well as all the other benefits, biking to work of course also eliminates parking issues – an added bonus!
It would be remiss of me to neglect to point out a few challenges which include:
- Limiting what you may choose to wear
- Allowing extra time for your commute, particularly if you’re riding a long distance, (you’ll probably want a shower once you get in to work if there are facilities available).
- Some cyclists find car fumes unpleasant – this depends which part of the world you live in
- It’s a more pleasant experience if bicycle riding is part of the local culture – drivers are more bike tolerant, and take more care and other road users are aware of bikes when turning at junctions, more cycle parking is often available and it’s an accepted part of society.
But overall, it’s a great way to travel.
Go on, get on your bike
If you still need convincing, other advantages of biking to work include:
- Exercise built into your day
- A great way to plan your day on the way in
- A great way to unwind on the way home
- Parking is much easier
Gosh, it really is sounding great. So, with all this in mind, I’m going to stop procrastinating and get back on my bike tomorrow! How about you?
PS. I’m always keen to hear about other trails, tracks and cycling stories so if you have any to share, please do let me know.