Musings

Cycling around the Neighbourhood

Nowadays, we all need to think outside the square while remembering not to venture outside our bubble.

With this in mind, I have a new best friend.

Biking around the harbour and under the Pohutukawa_edited

Unlike Tom Hanks’ half-crazed “my friend is a volleyball” character in 2000 film Cast Away, I’m sort of not crazy at all for having a bike as my new best friend.

Mainly because our physical circles have shrunk. If like me, your mental health has been challenged now and again.  Then having a tangible new friend is justified, isn’t it?.  It does restore that feel-good factor pretty quick. At the same time relieving stress, lifting the spirits, and offers fresh air and exercise we’re being encouraged to get.

Want a few reasons to hop on your bicycle?

Need a few pick-me-ups?

Biking around the estuary_edited

As we have been told to leave the car at home, get on your bike or walk to pick up a few groceries? By now you’ve stockpiled all that loo paper and various tinned goods you could possibly fit all your groceries in a backpack, right? Unfortunately, that is my only option though for those that have a carrier you could use our kiwi ingenuity and rig-up a box on your carrier just incase your pick-me-ups exceed your small list.

Lift your Spirit

Harbour sunrise

I am the only one out of two in my bubble that can ride at present, so I absorb what I see while out and then regale a few stories to the Squire when I return.  For some reason, there is always a character or two that leaves me shaking my head in wonderment or laughter.

Onward and upward, everybody!

Get the blood flowing.

Me on my bike
Not the best example of a bike trail during the current situation.  Using roads is less treacherous nowadays, and it is what I prefer to use.

Cycling is a gentle exercise that expands the lungs, improves blood flow, re-oxygenates the body and calms the nervous system. It also gives me a chance to use other muscles than the ones I use when out training for that elusive half marathon whenever that will return, your guess is as good as mine.  I’d wager that even a ride around the block will leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and energised.

Those feeling particularly angsty might like to tackle a tougher push, perhaps preferably uphill though not as extreme here in Tauranga as in Dunedin. It does purge built-up stress hormones and stimulates endorphins.

Stop and smell the roses.

Larger version of the yellow pink rose_edited

It works for me without fail.  In the madhouse of what we know as modern times, we all have the chance to slow down, take a moment, be present, be mindful, be conscious, feel gratitude, and smell the roses then fresh air due to the lack of many vehicles on the road.

Pretty much our planet is inhabited by some likeable people.  With isolation comes loneliness for many and who may be needing to feel connected to their community.  While pedalling your bike, keep smiling without looking weird, give people a real-life wave and a smile.  Warning.  Don’t become too enthused and get off your bike to give them a hug.  As we know, that’s not allowed for now.  Just hi-fives and other such like.

Look backwards to go forwards.

The Library

Next is the appreciation of our local history. You really have to know our past to follow your chosen future path. We are quite fortunate in having a few bit of history around our city centre and our recreational trails pass historic sites. Though not currently open you can like myself admire them from afar,  Do take note to return when the lockdown isn’t an issue.  Till then while relaxing over a cuppa post-ride read important online stories about our local historical sites. Why not use this time to fire up your curiosity by considering the past and giving more thought to the potential road ahead.

Keep it local & keep it clean.

Boardwalk ~Kopurererua Valley

There you have it, a grand plan for breathing in some fresh air, get fit, rid yourself of excess energy and not forgetting that extra sneaky chocolate bar that you aren’t telling a soul especially those in your bubble.

Kia Kaha and pedal on, fellow bloggers and friends.

20170509_132439_edited_edited

 

43 thoughts on “Cycling around the Neighbourhood”

  1. Hi Suzanne, when I see a post like this I really wish I could ride a bike. Perhaps I should take up the challenge to finally learn. There seem such freedom in bike riding and although I love running to lift my spirits I don’t tend to stop along the way. Thanks again for sharing some beautiful and uplifting photos and for inspiring me to give bike riding a try – Watch this space! Thanks also for linking up at #MLSTL and hope you and hubby are keeping well.xx

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    1. Hi Deb, I’m surprised you got an e-bike as it’s relatively flat where you are? Great fun aren’t they. What make did you get? I tried a couple during the summer, and I was very tempted to buy one. I will just have to peddle harder to keep up with friends who have them. Perhaps for my next birthday, I might be tempted to relook at them 🙂

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      1. No it’s fairly hilly up here in places, we live at 710mt above sea level and to get into town is a lovely downhill but coming home has always been a struggle for me. The rail trail is mainly flat but there are some gentle inclines and the ebike just gives me more staying power. I love it! I bought a Trek as part of my 60th birthday year (end of year) and to compensate for not being able to travel to the UK for the family celebrations we had planned. It’s given me something to smile about that’s for sure.

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        1. Oh, of course you have hills as it dawned on me after I sent my reply, silly me! I think it’s great that you got one. Anything that makes life easier and makes you smile is well worth it. Perhaps when it’s safe they can all come and visit you both.

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    1. That’s at least a bit of exercise. Some popular cycling areas around here it is very hard to keep the 2m distance so I’m opting for less popular areas and enjoying the change of pace.

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  2. Hi everyone. We are very lucky here in Bega Australia with about 15 km of bike/walking trails around town. They meander along the river, around the old race track and around various playing fields. Originally these were constructed by the local Lions club and have been added to recently by the Shire Council. It means my husband and I can do a 20 km ride around town most days quite easily. It’s great to see people out on the tracks at all times of the day getting fit and still being able to social distance.Keep safe everyone.

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  3. So wonderful that you can go biking. I agree with the benefits that you mentioned. I love cycling and there is a dedicated bike path near where I live. Spring and fall are good seasons to bike. In the summer I’d need to do it earlier in the morning to avoid the heat, humidity and crowd.

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    1. Enjoy your summer cycling Natalie, summer is now beginning to be a distant memory here. Though still reasonably warmish with low 20s [celsius]. With less traffic I do think more cyclists could use the roads and give walkers more space.

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  4. Hi Suzanne – I’m incredibly grateful that lockdown hasn’t meant that we’re not allowed outside in our neighbourhood. I’m really appreciating my walks and have dusted my bike off for a ride with my husband last week. I think the small things in life are definitely becoming the things that are holding us together during these uncertain times. (and I loved the yarn wrapped bike in the header pic!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Hi Leanne, yes quite a few yarnbombers in the UK which is where the photo was taken. It is good to see people out and about enjoying the outdoors. I would love to head around my usual estuary walk though will have to wait for more to head back to work, too busy at the moment to keep my 2m distance.

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  5. I’m not a cyclist but I am a walker and I get what you’re saying. I walk on the beach in the morning and our local streets in the evening. When I’m angsty there’s a particularly nasty and steep hill that I tackle. All these reasons you’ve written apply. Cycle on.

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    1. I think all the reasons to cycle can be applied to walking. Currently training for a half marathon whether I do another is up in the air. No matter I still enjoy keeping fit and more so the mental fitness it gives me. Though some mornings it’s really hard to get my backside out of bed. I can relate to the steep hill when needing to get rid of some excess frustration! I’m looking forward to heading to the beach soonish with Les as beachwalking is something we enjoy doing at a slow pace. Even though it’s less than 10 mins drive it’s still not technically our neighbourhood. Not a major compared to many who have employment and business issues.

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    1. Anabel, a brisk evening walk sounds the best way to get the heart working with less stress. The lack of traffic has enticed me out more. Still very weird to see the lack of life about the place. Though most days people are out and about exercising to break up their day.

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    1. Jo, at least you are being sensible and realising your lack of balance. I am not a fast bike rider. In fact I prefer a very slow ride as usually it’s my day off from training when I head out on my bike.

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  6. You have amazing bike trails, Suzanne, that seem close to you! Gorgeous scenery to make you happy. Our bike trails is a 10-minute ride on busy streets, but worth it one there. Our American River Bike Trail goes for 32 miles along the river, with plenty of wildlife, flowers and of course people!

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    1. Overall, New Zealand has put quite a few resources into their cycle trails. Some very scenic ones right across both islands. Like many countries it is “recycling” disused railway tracks. Terri, your trail sounds idyllic. I have to use busy roads to access off road trails. I always use the footpaths I don’t trust most drivers to give me space.

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    1. I have even seen some folk take their dog “walking/running” alongside them as they bike. Not the safest of activities during lockdown! Good to have a change from walking and literally blow away a few cobwebs.

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  7. I’m still running – 10k this morning. I had to stop running in the park. The paths are too narrow and there are too many people there. I run along residential roads where I can cross the street if I have to avoid anyone. Although I miss seeing spring arrive in the park, my new route includes lots of roads where the houses have front gardens and they’re giving me a lot of joy at the moment.

    I’m glad your new best friend is giving you so much pleasure.

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    1. You are doing extremely well with a 10km run this morning. The spring flowers will be a treat and a good distraction from tired legs! The bikes not new just thought it a fun way of chatting about cycling. Loving the lack of traffic, that’s for sure! Have you been back to the area where we met up in the UK? Seems a lifetime since we were travelling and housesitting!

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      1. I’ve been to Chichester a couple of times since then and I keep thinking it would be nice to have an excuse to visit that pub again. Perhaps I’ll be able to go with some friends who live that way when we’re allowed out again.

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    1. I thought so, actually there are quite a few folk here that have dusted off their bikes. Good to see families out enjoying time together and keeping their distance from others by using quiet roads.

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    1. Hiya Donna, it is always easier to stick to what we enjoy the most. I really enjoy cycling though really on the flat, downhill still gives me major heart palpitations and I prefer the uphill climb. The fear is without a doubt due to falling off too many times! By the way, it was a gentle kick 😉

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    1. Hi Jan, I was just thinking about you and how things were going with you. We are both good. Les has a secure bubble and I’m being very cautious when I return from shopping or exercising. Still training for the half marathon. Whether I do it in September is no major concern. I’m enjoying getting fitter. Take care and safe healthy XX

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    1. Hiya Janis, slight exaggeration regarding the “new” as I have had the bike for a while. Loving riding around the city as hardly any traffic as in some days none at all! I don’t ride on my usual tracks for that very reason, not being able to keep a 2 m distance. I got my handlebars adjusted so now sitting more upright and what a difference! Still thinking about an electric bike, might have to wait for that luxury!

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