Bike Month: Meet the businesses that bike - Tauranga Chamber of Commerce

Bike Month: Meet the businesses that bike

February is Bike Month in the Bay of Plenty, which is held in conjunction with the national initiative Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

The aim of both Bike Month and the ABC is to help support and encourage people to select a bike as their number-one transport choice.

Yvonne Rooney, Travel Safe Coordinator: Workplace Travel for Tauranga City Council, says “We want bikes to be perceived as more than just something you exercise on.

“Bikes can help us achieve public health targets, sustainability goals and make our city and district better places to live in. Focusing on outdoor rides helps us achieve those goals.”

It’s week one of ABC and already, in the Bay of Plenty, riders have saved 1,112 kg CO2 by choosing their bike for transport purposes only (excludes those riding for fun/fitness).

We asked some of our members about their commutes, to find out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to getting to and from the office on two wheels.

LYSAGHT

Anonymous

  • How often do you commute to work by bike? Aim for a minimum of three days a week.
  • How far is the commute for you? The short commute is around 7km.  My long commute is around 16km (I mix it up sometimes).
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? It beats the grind of sitting in traffic both going to and coming from work. The big upside is the fitness aspect and the fun of biking. I am also saving the world as well by reducing my carbon footprint.
  • How does your workplace enable you to commute i.e. they have showers, flexible hours, storage etc? Yes on the showers, yes on the flexible hours, yes we have an inside bike rack for storage and the company just encourages healthy habits.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Not many, but the biggest barrier is running the accident risk from other vehicles – car drivers not paying attention on the commute. 
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? More sensible bike paths would be good, just poorly planned and expensive projects like the Totara Street cycleway, which, in my opinion, isn’t going to encourage cyclists to move off the road.

Jesse Campbell, Engineer Designer

  • How often do you commute to work? Average maybe 4 times a week (this year so far…)
  • How far is the commute for you? 12km home to office
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? Fitness, good start to the day, saves fuel/maintenance on vehicle, beats school & after work traffic, good ‘blowout/de-stress’ at the end of a busy workday.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Not usually a morning person (haha), bad weather, when traffic is busy need to be super careful.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? Dedicated ‘green’ bike lanes on Papamoa Beach Road, Maranui and Marine Parade (on northbound lane). Doubt they could fit it, but the same on Oceanbeach would be nice too.
BOP RUGBY UNION

Kerry Johanson, graphic designer (part-time BOP Rugby & 1×1.co.nz)

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work by bike? 80% of times I am required in the office. Would only drive if I had other errands/meetings further afield, had to pick up the kids, etc.
  • When you commute, how far is the cycle? Approx 8kms.
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? It’s a good breather/relaxing in a day when I would otherwise be heads down and working. It also gives me a greater sense of community connection riding to work through my hood and having the time/option to stop and say hi to people you know. Plenty of other advantages, health/fitness, wellbeing, cost savings, lower carbon footprint, racing roadies on my old commuter bike.
  • How does your workplace enable you to commute? They don’t really enable me directly and most of them possibly don’t even realise I do cycle (Dad bod, lolz). But, being a sports facilitator, keeping healthy and active is encouraged and there are plenty of showers and storage available.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? None really, outside of the the ones mentioned above (teenage taxi service). The Mount/Tauranga with its great weather and relatively flat landscape is perfect for consistent cycle commuting.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? There are plenty of infrastructure improvements that could be made in TGA but that is a long list. For me the most important is a better understanding, awareness and patience for both motorists and cyclists (all road users). For example, if a cyclist has to swing wide to avoid parked vehicles, waiting for a couple of seconds longer to give them room isn’t going to ruin your day. Likewise for example, if you are a cycling two a breast or far out on the road from the shoulder, be aware that there might be traffic building up behind you and move over to let them pass. Generalising in NZ, I feel many road users need to be a bit more patient and look outside of their own bubbles (myself included at times)…. Sharing is caring!
  • Anything else you’d like to add? I ❤️ cycling.
KPMG

Julianne McMillan, Office and Events Administrator

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work by bike? Most days during Bike Month and a couple days/week in summer. Not really in winter.
  • When you commute, how far is the cycle?  8km each way.
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages?  Fresh air (apart from Totara St), no traffic, good for the environment, good exercise
  • How does your workplace enable you to commute i.e. they have showers, flexible hours, storage etc?  We have showers, flexi-working, bike cage, e-bikes that we can use… everything that we would need really.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Trucks on the road, drivers on their phones, wind on the bridge, hot and sweaty arrival at work!
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? Driver courtesy, attention to driving, drivers not being on their phones, the suggested bike path along Totora St will be good – the current bike lanes are a safety hazard.
  • Anything else you’d like to add? Get on yer bike!

Lisa Hanne, Personal Assistant

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work by bike? 3 times a week
  • When you commute, how far is the cycle? 15k roundtrip
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? Save on petrol, no waiting in traffic and fitness
  • What are some of the barriers you face? More dedicated/blocked off cycle ways – Fraser Street at the intersection of 15th can be a nightmare at night as the cycle lane is blocked up with cars.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? I live in Maungatapu so the proposed cycle path along the front of Memorial Park to the CBD would make my life so much safer. 
  • Anything else you’d like to add? The cycle lanes in front of the Shell station on 15th Ave are dangerous – I was almost hit by a car last week coming out of the petrol station – it was my years of cycling that help me negotiate out of the drivers’ way. Cycling around the lane behind the Shell station is much safer – there is a big arse dip/hole in the road so if you didn’t know it was there your front tyre could hit this and you would be over the handle bars. Not sure who I can report this to.

Lana Bell, Senior Consultant

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work by bike? 2-3 days per week.
  • When you commute, how far is the cycle? 3.5kms.
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? It is quicker than driving home – especially in the afternoons. Some of the advantages are not having to worry about parking and we have showers in the building so can get ready for work at work.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Sometimes I have too much to carry to be able to bike safely, eg laptop and study books.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? Personally my journey is pretty good straight along Cameron Road – touch wood, I have never had any incidents.
AURECON

Gareth Robinson, Survey Technician

  • How often do you commute to work by bike? 4-5 days a week
  • How far is the commute for you? 7.5km each way
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? It is a bit quicker than taking the car (by the time you find a park and walk to work), good exercise, cheaper, cleaner.
  • How does your workplace enable you to commute? Locked bike cage, showers, towels and flexible hours.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Bad weather. Strong winds, Crazy drivers, although I think drivers are becoming more aware of cyclists.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? There are a couple of dangerous areas where you get stuck in the left hand lanes when you want to be in the right hand lanes to carry on straight ahead. Maybe a dashed green merge lane for cyclists.
  • Anything else you’d like to add? Something to remember, while sitting in traffic, every cyclist is one less car on the road.

Dave Mockett, Associate – Civil Structures

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work? I currently commute to work 3 days a week.
  • How far is the commute for you? Approx. 6km each way
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? I ride along the Daisy Hardwick Walkway which has nice views of the Waikareao Estuary – it is a nice way to start the day. I also have 3 young kids so use it as a way to keep fit.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? I find the biggest barrier is the weather. During winter it is usually dark riding home from work and in poor weather it can be hard to stay motivated!
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? I currently ride about 60% of my commute on bike paths. An increase in the available bike paths particularly through busy areas will be beneficial (to feel safer).

Louise Berridge, Senior Traffic Engineer

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work? 4 days a week
  • How far is the commute for you? 10km
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? Ensures journey time reliability, I don’t have to sit in traffic, keeps me fit, don’t have to worry about finding car parking or paying for it.
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Glass on the roads often leads to punctures.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? Keep roads and cycle paths clear of glass.
COONEY LEES MORGAN

Mark Harding, Associate in the Dispute Resolution & Local Government departments

  • Roughly how often do you commute to work by bike? Most days, except when its heavy rain.
  • When you commute, how far is the cycle? About 3kms one way.
  • Why do you like commuting to work by bike? What are some of the advantages? It provides some light exercise and I find a little break in the day. Doing even some light exercise actually energizes me more and shifts my mood, especially as I work in an office each day. I also don’t have to worry about parking or traffic which is nice.
  • How does your workplace enable you to commute i.e. they have showers, flexible hours, storage etc? We are lucky here, we have a bike cage in the building so locking the bike is easy, and have showers and changing rooms to change into work clothes
  • What are some of the barriers you face? Sometimes the weather makes a difference, when it’s not so great you need to be better prepared and the first couple of minutes out may not feel amazing. The main barrier is really just needing to be a little more prepared, in having a change of clothes and a place to have a shower / change.  If work had lockers where I could keep my work clothes / towel etc that would make things even easier, as right now I take my work clothes each day with me. Now when it’s raining hard, I won’t cycle due to issues getting work clothes wet.
  • What improvements (if any) could be made to your cycle journey? I think generally the Council has done a good job with bike lanes and trails.  The two improvements I would recommend would be having the bike lanes separated on busy roads like Hewletts Road for safety. The other would be to clean the bike lanes more, as often debris collects on the bike lanes (accumulating everything swept off the roads) and is a hazard and source of punctures esp for road bikes. If you see a cyclist weaving in and out of the bike lane, chances are they are dodging debris.
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