Things To Do, Life & Style
7 reasons why you should buy a bike
“Cyclists see considerably more of this beautiful world than any other class of citizens. A good bicycle, well applied, will cure most ills this flesh is heir to” – Dr K.K. Doty
Everyone’s two-wheelin’ it these days, especially in this part of the world. It’s by no means a new trend, but it’s worth getting excited about, even if you don’t think of yourself as the ‘cycling type’. When it comes to options, you’re spoilt for choice - it’s a smorgasbord of pedals and chains. See yourself astride a slick commuter bike, on a grunty number that’ll get you up and down a dirt track, or (love it or hate it) whizzing about on an ebike? Whatever your frame of choice, get your hands on some handlebars and the wind through your hair. Here are some reasons why.
There are tracks for days
Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell make for a bit of a mecca of cycling tracks. For a start, we’ve got some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. Wanaka’s Sticky Forest is legendary, Bike Glendhu has just opened and the ski fields turn into bike parks (with unbeatable views) come summer. Flying downhill at breakneck speed not your thing? There are plenty of beautiful, flat tracks, and lots of them end at wineries! The Gibbston Valley route from Queenstown is a great place to start, and you can check out a full trails directory here.
Bikes are better for Mother Nature
Yay, bikes don’t use petrol. Nothing but your Weetbix for fuel, and let me tell you - it feels good to let your legs take you where you need to go.
Bikes are cheap!
Especially if you know how to sniff out a good deal. They’re a dang site cheaper than a car, and (as I said earlier) you won’t be paying for petrol. Torpedo 7 and Bikeaholic in Queenstown, Good Rotations and Racers Edge in Wanaka and the brand new Bike it Now! in Cromwell (in addition to their Clyde store) are all great places to start looking at options. Rental shops selling their used bikes are a clever place to find a deal, and if all else fails, you can’t go wrong with Facebook Marketplace.
Electricity is also cheap!
If you like the idea of your bike doing a bit more so you can do a bit less (or if riding a bike is not physically possible for you), get yourself acquainted with an Ebike. Slogging uphill is now optional! Ps. power is still cheaper than petrol.
There’s an amazing community
The cycling community is wide and welcoming - and you don’t have to be a middle-aged man in lycra (although if you are, that’s cool too). Joining your local bike club (mountain or road) is an awesome way to meet new people, get in on group rides and find out about the best tracks and gear around. Here’s where to find the clubs for Queenstown and Wanaka.
It’s fun to learn a new skill
Learning new things keeps your mind young and nimble, and cycling has been shown to be good for your mental health. It makes sense, too - concentrate on your feet and your gears and leave your troubles sitting in traffic with everyone else!
And lastly, if you still need some convincing, here’s a poem about riding your bike.
Maybe Alone on my bike
I listen, and the mountain lakes
hear snowflakes come on those winter wings
only the owls are awake to see,
their radar gaze and furred ears
alert. In that stillness a meaning shakes;
And I have thought (maybe alone
on my bike, quaintly on a cold
evening pedaling home), Think!--
the splendor of our life, its current unknown
as those mountains, the scene no one sees.
O citizens of our great amnesty:
we might have died. We live. Marvels
coast by, great veers and swoops of air
so bright the lamps waver in tears,
and I hear in the chain a chuckle I like to hear.