I don't know if this is an event held around the country, but for some reason Go by Bike Day seemed oddly perfect for Wellington. For starters, given the geography of the city, with the CBD being at sea level, it is reasonably easy for people as far away as Johnsonville or Miramar to roll out of bed and roll down the hill. This was great for me as I don't normally cycle much. Secondly there is a lot of support for cyclists in Wellington. The roads may have been built for cars, but drivers here recognise that cyclists have a right to be there too.
Go by Bike Day starts early, with those distributing the free breakfast turning up before sunrise to get set up. It was windy on the day, and I was very worried about the free-trade bananas stand losing their inflatable props. A lot of the volunteers on the stalls had to be very quick on their feet to catch their flying leaflets. The sails above the courtyard provided a small bit of protection from the light rain, but it was better than nothing.
Now, I'm not normally the type to allow myself to feel enthusiastic about anything in the early morning, but this event was genuinely fun. Sometimes these things can be extremely painful, but Go by Bike Day was nothing of the sort. The announcers were great, as they seemed to be nothing more than outgoing enthusiasts about cycling. I find that when radio DJs are given the job of entertaining a crowd they tend to just talk complete bollocks, but whoever was holding the mic at this really knew what they were doing.
Russell Norman came down to chat to people for a while, and I was very pleased to hear that he practices what he preaches, and actually cycled in. There was a bit of a scandal about David Cameron cycling to work, only to have his limo drive behind him holding his briefcase, so it's good to know that the Green co-leader isn't a hypocrite like Cameron.
I think I'll head down again next year, and am now seriously thinking about investing in a bike. I don't have one at the moment, can anyone recommend something that is both cheap and good for city use? I was amazed at how good I felt after the light exercise of cycling for 20 minutes, and let's not forget that every cyclist on the road is another car not on the road. Thanks a lot to those who organised Go by Bike Day, you did a great job and I hope you consider holding it again next year.