When I plan major trips, I usually find there are one or two topics that repeatedly present themselves. Sometimes so persistently that you cannot continue to ignore them. One such has reared its head, during the first few days of my E2E of New Zealand, and it simply will not go away. That is: how to get safely through Auckland on a bicycle?
Some of the factors which are undeniable are:
1. It is the biggest city in the entire country and it has a density of traffic that is disproportionate to its population.
2. Its geography denies you any possibility of bypassing it. It stretches across a narrow isthmus, coast to coast and, unless you use a public mode of transport to get through it, you simply have to tackle it.
3. The reputation of kiwi drivers goes before them. If I were to believe some observers and commentators, all kiwi drivers are young and fiery, and all drive like hot-rod maniacs………..all of the time.
4. There is no easy-to-negotiate infrastructure of cycle routes anywhere in the city. Web sites and blogs abound campaigning for the development of such a basic facility.
The simplest solution would be to find a local knowledgeable cyclist who would be willing to ride with me, and guide me through the morass of city streets, and deliver me to the far side of the city. So I am working on one or two local contacts………