"I understand that most places in the world where cycling is so successful, the terrain is relatively flat.
Can you give me examples of where in the World, we have hills like in Glenfield, or from Devonport to Takapuna or East Coast Bays "


Granted there are a lot of places in the North Shore where the hills make cycling quite a challenge, -especially for people who don't do it very often.

A lot of the utility cycling trips that could be expected to be undertaken in the North Shore area would be relatively short,- within the areas that people live ( say to the supermarket { when shopping bicycles become available in NZ } or to the bus stop bicycle parking ) or schools rather than from one centre to another ( which is where the bike racks on buses are so important ) .

Traffic studies in New Zealand show that a large percentage of trips by car are to destinations within distances easily accessible to cyclists and it is in reducing these numbers of short trips taken by car where utility cycling can play a role that is in everyone's (ratepayers included) interest.
"For every $1 spent on promoting cycling there is a corresponding $20 benefit / reduction in costs"
( Mantra of Traffic Engineers doing cost-benefit analysis studies ) .

There are plenty of places in Japan where the steep terrain has a negative effect on the numbers of people choosing to cycle, - however many still do prefer to do so ( even those who have to endure walking the bike up the steepest hills), because by being free from the impositions that hinder people from taking up cycling in New Zealand, and having access to  bicycles which are more appropriate to their needs, they can enjoy riding safely with real separation from cars - on the pavements ( if they chose to do so), without the imposition of having to wear a helmet and the fear of being fined ( NZ$200) for not doing so.
People living in the North Shore district will make their own decisions as to whether cycling is practicable and a preferable mode of transport in accordance with their own particular circumstances.
There are plenty of places where, especially within neighbourhoods, it IS practicable and for those of us who do choose what is arguably the most efficient and harm free mode of transport for short distance travel within our cities, - especially at this time when we need to be making every effort to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, it is absolutely essential that we be free(d) from any impedance that would dissuade us from doing so and that our civic leaders actively encourage and facilitate the uptake of utility cycling  .

Alan Preston.

October 2007