Are you tired of the delayed, crowded and loud buses in Auckland? Are you maybe concerned about your figure because you have put on weight since you have left home? Then it is high time for you to get a bike and cycle to school!
The most important thing you have to know about cycling in New Zealand is that you have to wear a helmet, is it required by law. Nobody would dispute the fact that Auckland is the wrong place to learn how to ride a bike, but if you have already some experience, cycling in Auckland is not more or less dangerous than in other cities.
If you want to bike to school, you should first ask your hostfamily and other people you have met in New Zealand whether they can give you a bike. If they can not, there are a lot of shops where you can buy one. Two of the biggest shops are “Pennyfarthing Cycles” at the Corner Symonds Street/Khyber Pass Road and “Avanti”, which is located at 66 Mt. Eden Road. I bought my bike at “Mt. Albert Bikes and Mowers”, which is near Mt. Albert Shops on New North Road and where you can get good deals as well.
As you can use the bus and bike lanes, you do not have to share your lane with cars. But there are still some streets like Symonds Street left, which do not have a bike lane and where you have to be extremely careful, especially when the streets are jammed.
In the case you got in a dangerous situation, it is important to stay calm. Getting angry with Kiwi drivers is a bad idea and could cause even more trouble. You should keep in mind that there are always two people needed to create a dangerous situation, so maybe your behaviour was inappropriate as well.
When your time at Languages International comes to its end, you should think about selling your bike again. Some bike shops buy bikes back, but normally for a quite low price, because they want to make a profit again. Maybe your hostparents are happy to buy your bike, if they did not have one before. If not, you could advertise it at school or try to sell it at www.trademe.co.nz.
So what are you waiting for? Get a bike today and become a more active, independent and environmentally friendly person today!
Story contributed by Alexander Geml, a student at Languages International Auckland