A Way Forward
With cycle ways and bike stands becoming increasingly prominent in our city’s urban design landscape, more and more Dunedinities are changing with the times and choosing two wheels over four. Among them are the many young people who see cycling as something more than a mode of transport; they see it as a way forward.
“It’s just so good for your brain,” Veronica Eastell, a passionate cyclist who works as a consultant on urban design & sociological research tells me.
“That’s everything it is to me, it’s mental health. It’s just this time where you’re not focusing on work and everything is so nice. You don’t get that chance in life much”.
Jed McCammon, who commutes each day across town using the Portsmouth Drive cycle path, found himself falling in love with cycling while living in Amsterdam, a worldwide symbol for bike friendliness and culture.
“I flew into Amsterdam, and it’s the bike capital of the world,” McCammon says, “there are more bikes than people! There’s more bike traffic than car traffic, bikes have right of way; bikes are king of the road there. I just fell in love with biking around”.
“I’ve never been that interested in buying a car. I’ve never wanted to deal with insurance and petrol; I know how much a car costs. I know that I can bike somewhere and it’s free! I don’t need anything else”.
Good for your wallet, good for your health, and good for our environment seems to be the consensus among the young.
“I love the feeling of not touching my car,” Eastell says. “It’s symbolic. The car feels like the past.… It symbolizes everything I don’t like about society. It’s really empowering to get on my bike and leave it behind. I see the green and feel the wind on my face. It’s the feeling of life in the morning”.
Post submitted by Sam Valentine
Photography by Siala and Gamo Farani-Tomlin, Veronica Eastell and Jianming Cao.