Open Streets – Christchurch, New Zealand

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    • #122099

      Sunday, September 29th, 2013 –
      Cloudy day over central Christchurch, still drying from the early morning showers, but that wasn’t going to keep this town’s cycling enthusiasts out of the street. In fact, they took it over.

      A circle of streets at the heart of this South Island city were shut down and closed to cars from 10AM to 4PM.
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      The power to run these roads was handed over to the cyclists, scooter-ers, skateboarders, roller bladders, walkers, and everything in between.

      Around every corner and down every street, there was a station with information and entertainment:

      Next to the still collapsed cathedral from the 2011 earthquake, there was a mound of quirky novelty bikes free to all to take a spin on.
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      There were bikes with…
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      elongated forks,
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      front and read steering (drifting!),
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      3-person bikes,
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      hand crank bikes, fat tyres, reverse pedalling bikes, and much much more.
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      Both kids and adults had a blast riding the bikes round and round the Chalice sculpture in cathedral square for hours. Even spectators had a laugh watching the comical attempts of people trying to figure out how to work the bikes.

      The event also attracted Kiwis with their own crazy bikes to come out and show off…
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      Opposite this hub-bub was a large display of antique bikes ranging from high wheel bikes to vintage rides.
      Showcasing old break, light, and wheel cover designs:
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      But don’t worry, they had some modern stuff on display too…FAT TYRES!
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      The Bicycle Band spent the day rolling up and serenading crowds.
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      A man rode around toting a trailer (as an advertisement for Bike Trailers NZ) with an automatic bubble machine with a posse of children running after…
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      …while his colleague pulled a trailer with speakers blasting music.

      At a corner, volunteers educated visitors on the range of bike friendly road designs to campaign for a more bike friendly Christchurch.
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      Life size displayers were formed on this corner for riders to test out.
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      A ramp was even constructed as a display for future park feature ideas.
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      The children just loved it.

      A mobile library spread out stacks of bike related magazines and books.
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      Artists also got in the action by displaying their galleries within mobile shipping cartons.
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      But if you wanted a little more fast paced action,
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      head to the other end of the blocked off roads for a bit of bike polo – a sport originating from Ireland at the end of the 19th century.
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      Chirstchurch’s bike polo scene is well alive through the Christchurch Hardcourt Bike Polo Inc. (http://chchardcourt.wordpress.com/).

      Break you bike? Possibly from attempting bike polo? Don’t worry.
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      Icecycles (http://www.cycletrailers.co.nz/html/icecycles.html) was there doing free repairs and tune ups.
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      "ICEcycles (Inner City East Cycles) aims to get people on low incomes biking by fixing up their old bikes for free and giving away restored bikes."

      Finish off the day out by grabbing some food from the food trucks and sit back to enjoy some music from local artists: Thomas Coffey, Dr. Sanchez, The Phonolites, Devilish Mary, and Lindon Puffin (pictured).
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      Finally, ride on home with a shiny new "I <3 MY BIKE" bell that the lovely event volunteers passed out as they rode by.
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      Fun day out – successful.

      Check out all of the photos here.

    • #122100

      What an eclectic mix of bikes! That looked like a lot of fun!

    • #122101

      Great bike love thread – thanks! Looks like the bike scene is alive and well in New Zealand. 😃

      That chopper back tire could use a little air 😆

    • #122102

      Very cool!!! Love the novelty bikes! I really want to try bike polo!

    • #122103

      Yep, New Zealand’s really putting effort into cultivating their bike culture here. It was definitely a great day out. 😀

    • #122104

      Great article, great pics…….I want to play bike polo.

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