Work and life in general has been rather busy lately, making it difficult to get many new Cycling in Chch posts out the door – sorry about that; hopefully rectified in the near future. Another item on my to-do list is to update the information about best cycling options for people in different suburbs around the city.; as new cycleway developments pop up, our suburban biking guide needs some revision. This was an idea first introduced to this website in a blogpost back in Oct 2015 and the hope was that there would be a lot of crowd-sourced information to populate it. So if you have any suggestions or update for it, please let me know!
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?
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.
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).
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!