Posted on: April 3, 2020 at 12:15 PM    

A little over a week into the NZ lockdown and I’m sure all parents are searching for creative ways to keep their kids occupied.

Yesterday, my 7 year old son and I headed out for a bike ride around our local neighbourhood. As the number of cars on the streets is significantly less – almost non-existent on local streets – I suggested that he ride on the road right behind me. After usually being reticent to ride on the road, surprisingly this time, he said yes, so off we went.

We practiced biking along the left side of the road and how to pass parked cars. We practiced indicating with one arm when approaching an intersection.  But mostly we just had fun! Riding down dead end streets, then circling around the cul-de-sac 10 times until I was dizzy. Finding hidden surprises – fountains in the middle of cul-de-sacs (who knew?!) and shortcuts between two streets we didn’t know existed. We also counted bears (and other variations of soft toys) displayed in people’s windows - a craze that has taken off since the lockdown.

It heartened me that I wasn’t the only one. I saw many families with young children doing exactly the same as us – reclaiming the streets for a slower and more enjoyable way of travelling.

Perhaps there is a small piece of silver lining to this lockdown. Kids feeling the freedom that comes with travelling on two wheels.

Remember, make sure you’re safe on your bikes before heading out with your children. Auckland Transport has some useful guidance:

https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/advice-support/kids-learn-to-ride/

https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/advice-support/riding-on-shared-paths-cycleways-the-road/

This is the first blog in our series of 'Bubble Blogs'. During the Covid-19 lockdown, our 'People and Places' team will reflect on insights and experiences related to the work that we do - keep an eye out for another blog next week!

Blog written by Ann-Marie Head, Associate Director, Transportation Engineer

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