Help us out – Where can you bike in your suburb?

Some of our most popular pages on Cycling in Chch (especially on the weekends) are the ones giving ideas for Where to Ride in Chch and specific info about favourites like McLeans Forest and Westburn Reserve. This tells me that plenty of people want to know more about places where they and their friends/families can cycle, whether it’s for commuting, recreation, going to the shops, or just brushing up their riding skills.

One problem can be however the distance involved to get to some of the more popular cycling places. For example, Hagley Park has some very pleasant riding tracks, but if you live in one of the outer suburbs it’s a long way to come in for a ride (although you could take your bikes on buses). So why not start local – what is there in your own “backyard” that’s great for cycling?

Where to go? Over time, more signs around Chch might help

With this in mind, let me introduce you to our new suburban biking guide (and I need to acknowledge that this is based on an idea I saw on Cycle Action Auckland’s website).The idea is to provide advice to local residents about biking in their own neighbourhoods. Where’s a good place to start if you’re not confident? Where can you get to by bike that’s useful or interesting? What’s the goss about the sneaky short-cuts or things to watch out for?

Basically I have listed every Christchurch suburb I can think of offhand and then started to fill in some details for the first few. I could probably make a reasonable fist of many of them personally (and over time will try to fill in what I can), but I think it would be great to get some feedback from the real local experts – YOU! (should also hopefully save me some time too…) So, what I would love is if you could either contact me directly or simply add a comment to this post providing details of any areas that you are familiar with. I can then use that information to copy & paste some info in.

So many suburbs – what can you tell us about yours?

You will see that I have proposed five main categories of information:

  • Beginner’s ride: A nice off-street location or two to test your bike handling skills before playing with traffic (could be a park, school courtyard, shared path)
  • First quiet street options: Where to go to get some more experience and variety without having to worry about much traffic (typically streets with <<2000 vehs/day)
  • Useful cycleways: Flagship cycle facilities that provide a convenient and safe ride in your neighbourhood (cycle lanes, pathways, crossings)
  • Great destinations: Want a memorable place to bike to? We’ll suggest locations worth a ride (shops/cafes, recreational/tourist spots, scenic places)
  • Insider’s Tips: Want to know the sneaky short-cuts or handy linking routes? Or where to avoid? We’ll give you the inside story (alleyways, back-street links)

If you’re not sure what kinds of things to include, have a look at the first few suburbs I have started to get some inspiration (please feel free to correct/update my efforts too!). If you’re not sure how to answer one of the categories, just leave it as a ‘?’

If you think I have missed a worthy suburb (e.g. I haven’t really gone outside the Chch city area, like Lincoln or Rolleston), please send me details of that too. If you’re not sure which suburb you’re really talking about, use the map provided as a guide so that we are consistent (doesn’t matter if there’s a bit of overlap though).

This is a pretty neat place for the kids to play (Westburn Reserve) – what else is good in your area?

OK, I look forward to hearing your feedback! And I hope that you find this new resource useful. Together we can make it easy for anyone, anywhere in Christchurch to start cycling.

What cycling info/tips do you have about your local area? Let us know!

3 thoughts on “Help us out – Where can you bike in your suburb?”

  1. Believe it or not, the residential red zone has some redeeming features for cycling.

    Legal roads with proper sized intersections and the markings/signs that remain are legal sized.
    Almost zero traffic, and what is there is really slow
    Excellent visibility through corners – no houses or fences left, no cars parked, and only the odd bush or tree.

    Downsides are the poor road surfaces, with potholes and shingle.

  2. Gosh has there been only the one reply to this blog which was posted way back in 2015?

    If that’s the case, why aren’t all those who are advocating for Christchurch to become a rabbit warren of cycleways (all of which cost a lot of money which is possibly not great during the current cost of living crisis), not coming out of the woodwork and flooding your blog with a plethora of information as to where to cycle?

    1. To be fair, it’s been on my own to-do list for a while to update the current suburban guide page as it’s missing most of the recent new cycleway routes. BTW, there is a feedback comment on that page too; I also did a Flashback Friday about it in 2022 and that also has a comment. But I haven’t exactly publicised it widely otherwise.
      As for the cost of the cycleways, they are a pittance for the calculated benefits derived; the various motorways around Chch for example cost 4 times as much (and for far less benefit/cost ratio). And if we’re worried about the cost-of-living, I would think that trying to afford paying for a $600 million stadium that will hold fewer people than cycle each day in Chch would be the bigger worry…

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