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group of bikers touring in the mountains

The Beauty Of Bike Touring

It’s not as hard as you think. There are all sorts of reasons to travel by bicycle instead of by car. Saves money, the planet, and most of all, your health and fitness.

Guided bike tours can be even better than going it on your own. I’ve been on quite a few bike tours in my time. I have a keen interest in them, so I’ve done some research to give you an idea of what a tour’s like. I’ve also experienced quite a few. I’ve been on bike tours that have been so easy that I didn’t really need a tour guide, and I’ve been on others where the guide has been absolutely vital to my enjoyment of the tour.

Guides can be like that. Bike tours can be a great way to travel, but they can be a bit daunting. What’s the food like? How is the accommodation? How does the riding go? And costs? What do they charge? These are all important questions.

The good news is that bike tours can be good value for money, especially when compared with fully-inclusive holidays that include the cost of the tour. The prices of bike tours are typically better than the crazy prices of car-based holidays. It’s also great to be able to take your own bike – particularly if it’s your own carbon fiber dream machine – rather than having to hire a heavy bike and high-pressure tires and dealing with the problems of hiring bikes, such as getting a bike that’s not too big or too small. And most bike tours can accommodate your own bike, which makes it even better. Just makes sure to check Bike Binge for all the best equipment to make your tour more safe and enjoyable.

The beauty of bike tours is that they are all about the biking. When you’re driving and camping, you’re car camping.

Biking and camping is a lot more fun. You’re more connected to the world around you and to your fellow bikers, and you feel a million times better. Most bike tours are like that. They take you to some great places, and they include great food, great accommodation and a great guide.

All your meals are taken care of, your luggage is transported, and you just have to concentrate on doing the riding and enjoying the trip. The one big difference between a bike tour and an independent bike trip is that the guide is in control of the schedule. It can sometimes be frustrating if you’re having a great time and the guide decides to hold a rest day, or if you’re raring to go, but the guide would prefer to linger so you don’t get in too late, or whatever.

Training bike ride

There are a few things to think about when you’re planning a tour. The first is the weather. You might like to do some training rides in the area you’re going to be riding in, to get an idea of the terrain and the weather. You might like to plan to go a bit early in the season, so that way you can get in some good training rides before the tour. Try to pick a tour with a guide who knows the area – it will make quite a bit of difference.

Also, look for a tour that takes you to places that are worth seeing. That makes the trip just so much more interesting.

What If More People Would Ride Bicycles?

It’s not just the physical and mental benefits, but also the social and economic ones. The evidence is overwhelming, we find. The average New Zealander conducts almost three times as many trips every week by car as by bicycle. There are many reasons for this, including the weather, the apparent lack of cycle-friendly infrastructure and the fact that we’re not a particularly cycling-mad nation, as is evidenced by the near-total absence of bicycle tracks in urban areas.

After a cyclist’s death on Harbour Bridge, there were calls from a variety of quarters for the city to build better cycling facilities. However, there’s a simple modification the council could make to our urban environment to get more Kiwis pedalling: reallocate parking to deliver a net increase in spaces for bicycles. On the face of it, this seems to have little logic.

Why would someone who drives to a destination park their car further away from that destination than they would park a bicycle? A little-known, if widespread, fact is that the majority of people who travel by bicycle will actually park their bike within a few minutes’ walk of their destination. In other words, they will park their bicycle in the area set aside for bicycle parking and then walk the remaining distance.

In fact, probably one of the best ways to encourage more people to cycle is to provide convenient parking close to destinations. Most people who drive take the path of least resistance. If they’re travelling to a nearby location, they’ll drive. If they’re travelling to a more distant location, they’ll probably drive. But if their destination is close enough to walk, and if car parking is scarce, and if there are places to park their bicycles, some of them will cycle. Cycle parking already exists in most supermarkets and shopping malls.

But these facilities are often underused. The problem is not a lack of storage, but a lack of awareness. The solution is simple. Auckland Transport, the council’s transport arm, should set a target for increases in cycle parking. It should then identify suitable areas and stop allocating car parking spaces in those areas.

Instead it should devote spaces to bicycle parking, making them attractive by providing secure, well-maintained facilities. The benefits would be manifold. Those who cycle would benefit from a reduction of their trip times. They would benefit from the exercise and enjoyment of their trips. They would benefit from helping to reduce the pressure on the city’s road network. The city would benefit from reduced traffic congestion and lower transportation emissions, as well as lower parking demand. Businesses in areas with increased cycle parking would benefit from potential increases in foot traffic and potential reductions in car parking demand.

Neighbouring businesses would benefit from a general increase in the visibility of their area. And pedestrians? They would benefit from reduced congestion. They would benefit from increased safety. They would benefit from the health benefits associated with increased cycling, as well as increased social contact. Most of all, they would benefit from the potential increase in spending in areas with improved cycling access. Of course, there will be costs associated with the reconfiguration of parking spaces. But the costs are manageable, and they are more than outweighed by the benefits.

And the costs of not providing more cycle parking are even greater. All it takes is a simple decision to stop allocating parking spaces and turn car parks into bike parks.

Like a Phoenix…

You are looking at the new incarnation of Like a phoenix, we are rising from the ashes. I am kidding of course, but we are building from the ground up.

When you find yourself with an increasingly sub-optimal website, it’s a good time to consider burning it all down and starting over. And that is what we are doing, as you can see.

What are you rebuilding, you might ask.

Great question! First, we are taking our technology stack a lot more serious. That means we are not just going with the easiest and cheapest software we can find. We select our stack very carefully to end up with a lean and incredibly fast solution.

And it’s not just about software either. Hardware and infrastructure play a big part in cloud technology too. We found it especially important to match the cloud infrastructure with the tech stack.

Testing different providers also proved to lead to substantial improvements in performance and reliability.

Well, that got a bit technical. Next time we will discuss some of the non-technical things we have been developing for