The AA does Cycling

You heard it right: the NZ Automobile Association, the champion of motorists in this country, has just released the latest issue of its Directions magazine, with a bumper crop of articles on cycling. And it’s rather nice…

The Summer 2012 issue of AA Directions

The issue includes a range of articles (many readable online) including:

    • The advantages to everyone of getting more people cycling in our cities
    • Details about the Model Walking & Cycling Communities being developed in Hastings and New Plymouth
    • The merits of using electric bikes (as discussed recently here on our blog)
    • Comedian (and avid cycle nut) Jon Bridges provides some helpful (?) advice about taking up cycling
    • Information about the Frocks on Bikes movement
    • All you need to know about the NZ Cycle Trails around the country
    • Even this issue’s featured “car owner” is actually a very stylish cyclist…

Chelsea Jade Metcalf shows off her “ride” (c/ NZAA)

The highlight for me however was the editorial from AA Chief Exec Brian Gibbons (which unfortunately isn’t on the online version); it’s well worth framing:

AA Directions Editorial (click to view full size)

This mirrors similar interest that the AA has displayed in person lately. For example, recently some national and local AA reps met with members of Spokes Canterbury and the City Council to discuss how cycling could be better provided for in the rebuilt Christchurch. As always, the proof will be in the pudding, so I will be interested to see how these good intentions translate into tangible AA support (e.g. lower speed limits anyone?)…

I could probably raise a few picky quibbles about the Directions articles, e.g. the print-copy has a rather naff flowchart for how to pick the right type of bike (apparently “hybrids” are the same as “city bikes”…). But the heart is in the right place, and it looks absolutely fantastic. Some great marketing to a target demographic. I look forward to more future “cycle-friendly” editions!

P.S: If you prefer getting your cycle-friendly fare from a more sympathetic organisation, I would suggest that you also have a look at the latest Chainlinks magazine from the Cycling Advocates Network (CAN); a nice mix of interesting and inspiring articles.

 

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  • Cyclomaniac
    29 October 2012, 9:58 pm

    I share your surprise that AA is promoting cycling all of a sudden but it actually makes sense. In my view the AA should become much more of a transport advocate than just narrowly focusing on people with cars. People need an organisation who can help deliver efficient transport infrastructure and not a car lobbing organisation. In some cases the car is most efficient but in many cases a bicycle or public transport can be quicker and more efficient.

    If the AA wants to shrug off its car fetish then I fully support this!!!

    REPLY
  • Malcolm
    30 October 2012, 10:10 pm

    Makes a nice change from the usual nonsense that the AA seems to say when it comes to transport infrastructure. Been very close to cancelling my membership, but I might hold off for a while now.

    REPLY
  • Shane G
    31 October 2012, 12:10 pm

    I did cancel my membership! so thanks for highlighting for me. In the UK I think the AA also offers breakdown sevice to cyclist ……. Perhapse thats something the AA here should consider?

    REPLY

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