I wanted an entry level bicycle with a low-step frame, lightweight and does not rust as quickly. I will use it for riding around the park, running errands and taking on the ferry to Waiheke.
There were a lot of factors, which I was discovering after every browse.
Road or mountain?
Aluminium or steel?
Disc or brake pads?
Full suspension or hard tail?
It was a little overwhelming if you don't know your jargon.
I started off with an initial budget of $300, which turned out to be impossible. New bikes under $300 do not have gears, which is not at all ideal for Auckland riding.
Bike Barn had the cheapest bikes but the clearance ones did not have any stock in my size :( I am 164cm tall and fit a 17" bike.
So I looked at second-hand bikes but was discouraged after visiting a shop and seeing dirty, almost rusting bikes. Not worth the $300 investment.
Turns out The Warehouse sells bikes for less than $200! Only the bigger stores had some on display but I wasn't sure about the quality... Will "you get what you pay for"? Being not at all knowledgeable about mechanics, I didn't want to have to do some fixes later on or assemble it myself from the box. Besides, the customer service and knowledge at a bike shop is far better.
Merida Juliet from Bike Barn. I also got a detachable basket, gel pad seat and kickstand.
It was a windy and chilly day when I rode it home so I took the train part of the way (also because I did not want to ride through Newmarket).
It is easy to take the train with a bike. There is a carriage specially for bikes, prams and wheelchairs. There were a few people taking their bikes too; adults and children. In Britomart, where the entry and exit to the station is above ground, there are large double-sided lifts which fits bicycles.
I also bought a GoPro Hero a few months ago! I bought it brand new on TradeMe for a very good price. So I take it with me when I ride. I find that it is a good incentive to ride further #doitforthevlog
It was an amazing ride! The sun was out, although still slightly chilly with the wind, apparently it was 18 celcius.
There was an old man busking. He had a skeleton puppet and made it dance and sing along to jazz music. Children gathered close to him, nose-to-nose with the swinging puppet (1:53 in the video below)
I got home five hours later, eager to repeat the route again soon.
More wayfinding signage required along here. I almost ended up on New North Road before realising I wasn't next to the Western motorway, which was where I wanted to be.
The cycleway currently ends at the Lincoln Road exit. By this point I had biked for 16km or so and it was almost 4pm. I didn't have bike lights or the energy to turn around and go back so I went to Henderson Train Station and took the train home.
Unfortunately my GoPro somehow did not charge properly the day previous. So I'll have to film this route another day...
It took 40 minutes from Britomart and the route is flat, so I managed to build up some speed and get my legs moving. What I didn't like about this route is that because there are parked card on the road, you really gotta watch out for opening car doors. And the tree routes make a bumpy ride. It was very scenic though and I managed to sneak in a coffee break at St Heliers end before rushing back to catch the train before it got too full for bikes. I think it could be improved by widening the shared path, because walking groups tend to overtake the whole width.
Okay that wasn't supposed to turn into transportblog, but there you go. Some easy routes to get you started. There is also a FANTASTIC Beginner's Bike workshop held every month in The Cloud. I went there and learnt how to repair a punctured tyre! They also teach you how to find a bike that is your fit. It is so awesome that they have events like these. I feel so encouraged to use my bike more often. I wish the routes were close to train stations though, it would make it a lot easier to get there.
next trip; Onehunga-Mangere and Devonport via ferry??