Auckland Transport have come up with what they are calling great rides which are 10 of the best recreational rides that can be ridden by people of all ages and abilities.

The top ten most scenic bike rides in the Auckland region have been revealed today. One of ten bike rides featured in Auckland Transport’s Great Ride Passports is the Twin Streams bike ride in suburban Henderson, it runs alongside a stream and is surrounded by native bush and birds.

Each passport contains a map of a ride with a description of the terrain, length, amenities and points of interest along the way. The 10 passports are available at local libraries or on the Auckland Transport website

The number of Great Rides has increased to ten from six last year and Kathryn King, Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling manager says they have proved very popular.

“We are often asked by people who are new to cycling where they can find safe, scenic, fun places to ride. In fact, our cycling maps are among the most searched for items on the AT website,” she says.

“These great rides offer a way to get out with family or friends and discover a new part of Auckland by bike. The Auckland region has some stunning natural beauty and what better way to enjoy it than on a bike.”

The rides are suitable for most ages and abilities and take in a variety of environments, scenic vistas and points of historical and cultural interest.  The webpage has maps and a short promotional video which provides a glimpse of some hidden gems, accessible only by bike or on foot.

The “Great Rides” are:

  • Matakana Trails
  • Te Ara Tahuna Pathway:  Orewa Estuary
  • Green Route: Devonport to Takapuna
  • Hobsonville Point
  • Twin Streams: Henderson Creek and Opanuku Stream
  • Auckland Waterfront:  Britomart to Mission Bay
  • Pakuranga Rotary Pathway
  • The Cascades Paths:  Pakuranga, Botany and Meadowlands
  • Waikaraka Cycleway:  Onehunga to Mangere Bridge
  • Wattle Downs

Great Rides:

It’s interesting they’ve highlighted the Twin Streams path in Henderson in the press release as I often use part of the route to get to Henderson for some shopping – my quaxing route if you will.

I look forward to the day in the future when they can talk about using Auckland’s extensive urban cycleways to safely go about your daily activities by bike – whether it be shopping, riding to work, riding to school or just visiting friends. Although in saying that once AT put an extensive urban cycleways in they probably won’t have to tell anyone about them, people will be using them anyway.

Are there any great rides you think AT have missed?

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  1. Lets focus now on making it safe for children to ride to school. We need to be able to have children using their bikes every day for the Three fold effect, cycling children will become cycling adults with more road awareness, fewer cars around school or at the school delivery period and fitter moving children.

  2. The Waikaraka Cycleway: Onehunga to Mangere Bridge cycleway can be extended from Ambery Farm to Puketutu Island and the Stone Fields although it is gravel so no good for a road bike

  3. One trail that is overlooked is the one on the northern side of the north-western motorway between Bond Street and Western Springs, and the adjacent mountain bike trail winding its way through the bush. And if you are going to extend the Mangere Bridge cycleway to the Stone Fields, why not take it a further couple of ks to the airport.

  4. This is unwatchable. I just can’t bare every scene with people wearing the stupid polystyrene hats.

    Maybe you think I’m being difficult, but everyone looks absurd and it is absurd. This is a poor advertisement for the concept.

    Every day I see people on bikes: using phones, reading books, giving friends a ride on the rack, in the dark with terrible lights, after drinking, amongst crazy taxis, busses and trams (and tram lines), whatever. Zero helmets. Adjusting back to Auckland ‘safety’ standards will be a challenge.

    1. I don’t think you’re being too difficult, but your comment is off-topic. So I’d suggest we focus on the point of the post, rather than a circumferential (albeit controversial) discussion.

  5. As a medical professional I would recommend the best helmet you can afford. It is very easy to land on your head if you fall off a bike and brain damage is more often irreversible.
    The tired argument that having to wear a helmet is a barrier to cycling is ignoring the fact that buying a bike is also barrier. Helmets are not expensive (even the best ones) and easy to wear, a fraction of the cost of buying the bike.

    1. It’s not the cost of the helmet, it’s helmet hair. And not being able to hop on a bike if there’s no helmet available. And the sense that it’s the cyclist’s responsibilty rather than the motorist’s (or the government’s responsibility to build cities that are safe enough to get around without a helmet). There’s studies showing there’s lack of exercise health costs that outweigh the benefits of helmets.

      1. Is helmet hair really that big an issue? is not personal safety more important? I’d rather have a bad hair day than suffer from a life-time of consequences from a head injury. You can’t hop on a motorcycle without a helmet should we change that as well? Both the cyclist and the motorist are responsible for safety and you can still easily have an accident and seriously injure yourself even if there are no cars involved. Yes I agree that it makes sense to build cities that are easy and relatively safe to get around for a variety of reasons. But this does not absolve the cyclist’s responsibility to ensure their own safety. I would suspect that access to decent cycleways would have a much bigger impact on whether or not people cycle than a requirement to wear a helmet. Also I would suspect that someone who can’t be bothered to wear a helmet may find that they can’t be bothered cycling anyway and are just using this as an excuse.

        1. As someone who flouts the helmet law frequently for short trips that are only on cycle paths and quiet streets, it not helmet hair per se. Cycling without a helmet is just more pleasant. Helmets cause your head to get hot a sweaty rather than the freedom of feeling the wind rushing through your hair.

          I understand that it is safer for me to wear a helmet and therefore, I do whenever I go on a longer journey or one with larger roads. We all take risks in life be it cycling, doing adventure sports, or even hopping in a car and driving. We take these risks because we enjoy the activity or we find it convenient. We value the activity higher than the risk. This is a personal choice.

          Just because I personally want to do something does not mean it should be legal. The effect on the whole population needs to be looked at. Studies have been done that clearly indicate that more people would cycle if helmet laws were relaxed. These studies also show that the public health benefits of more people cycling outweigh any increase in cost due to an increased in injuries.

          Investment in cycleways has great returns, with many cycleway projects topping cost-benefit ratios of all transport projects and we should definitely invest in them. That should not stop us from reducing rules around helmet laws. This can be done for a relatively small cost and will have ongoing net benefits well into the future.

    2. The argument against helmets is not made on a case-by-case injury basis.

      The argument against helmets is made on a “it makes something that should be safe and easy look dangerous and hard” basis, thus discouraging cycling, thus – by having fewer cyclists around, and less “safety in numbers” safety effects, making all cyclists less safe. Google research on “safety in numbers”, it is real all over the world. Plus, motorists have been researched to behave much worse around helmeted cyclists than non-helmeted ones. Some research had indicated that drivers are in fact most careful around women with open “flying” hair.

      And essentially, the same argument could be made for mandatory helmets for pedestrians. Pedestrian falls are real, and helmets could help. Yet we know that if we required helmets, we would discourage walking strongly, and thus get significant health disbenefits that far outweigh the reduced head injuries.

      Its the difference between the individual health benefit, and the societal health benefit. The latter outweighs the former, and thus helmet wearing should be optional, a choice for the rider.

  6. I think this is a great initiative by AT.

    While I agree that a pervasive urban cycling culture is the end goal, increased recreational cycling is a great first step for many people. It encourages them to buy and maintain a bicycle, and build their confidence, without throwing them off the deep end and into the bear pit that is rush hour traffic in Auckland. Major behaviour change is best achieved through sustained incremental changes in ones daily routines, and I think this initiative recognises that fact nicely.

    Also good for visitors to the city …

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