Bike-mad Jon bridges the gap for big break­fast

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

It would be a hard job to find a man who loves bi­cy­cles more than Jon Bridges.

The tele­vi­sion and ra­dio per­son­al­ity worked in a bike shop dur­ing his teenage years, cy­cled for three months around Europe and is a for­mer com­pet­i­tive cy­clist.

So it’s no sur­prise to dis­cover he’s sup­port­ing Bike­wise month by host­ing Auck­land City Coun­cil’s Go By Bike Break­fast at the East­ern Viaduct on Fe­bru­ary 18.

The Bal­moral res­i­dent says liv­ing in a cen­tral city sub­urb means he can travel by bike eas­ily, with most places he needs to go within 10km of his home.

“In rush hour traf­fic, there’s no way of get­ting any­where quicker than a bike.”

While he does drive when the weather turns nasty, Mr Bridges says cycling is his main way of get­ting around.

“Some­times you feel like you can’t be both­ered but once you do you re­alise how great it is.”

And there are fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits.

“I don’t even know what the petrol price is. I only have to fill up ev­ery few weeks.”

Mr Bridges ad­mits some driv­ers are more tol­er­ant of cy­clists than oth­ers.

“In Auck­land hairy mo­ments are quite com­mon. You can have no trou­ble for two weeks, then have trou­ble twice in one trip.”

But af­ter a few months he says rid­ers nor­mally get used to the busy roads.

He’s also a great fan of cy­cle lanes, though shar­ing with buses can be a chal­lenge at times.

Cy­cle Action co-chair­woman Bar­bara Cuth­bert hopes the large num­ber of Bike­wise events this month, in­clud­ing the break­fast, will help get peo­ple out of cars.

“I ex­pect Bike­wise will change peo­ple’s at­ti­tude to say cycling is for me. They re­alise they can do it and en­joy it.”

An Auck­land City Coun­cil spokes­woman says there’s been a 6 per­cent in­crease in the use of cy­cle lanes over the past five years.

Lanes mon­i­tored dur­ing the morn­ing peak in­clude the north­west­ern cy­cle­way in St Lukes, Do­min­ion Rd, Pon­sonby Rd and Queen St.

The free Go By Bike Break­fast is from 6.30am to 9am at the East­ern Viaduct, be­hind the Mar­itime Mu­seum.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Bike­wise events visit www. bike­wise.co.nz.

Tell us about ex­pe­ri­ences bik­ing around the city. Email edcl@snl.co.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Bike man: Cy­cle en­thu­si­ast Jon Bridges is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to get out of their cars and bike to work on Go By Bike Day on Fe­bru­ary 18.

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