Frocks on Bikes bike ride with Janette Sadik-Khan

Janette Sadik KhanFrocks on Bikes is delighted to welcome to town New York’s transport revolutionary Janette Sadik-Khan, with a frockalicious bike tour along central Auckland’s scenic paths and shopping streets on Saturday 24th May.

New York City’s former Department of Transportation Commissioner worked miracles during her tenure under Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Her team transformed many of NYC’s ‘mean streets’ to increasingly friendly shared spaces with innovations such as a pedestrian mall in Times Square, and more than 480km of new bike lanes. Now, as Transportation Principal at Bloomberg Associates (alongside her former boss), she is inspiring other cities to create “complete streets” with space for everyone, whether they are on foot, on bike, in buses or cars, and Frocks on Bikes are thrilled to be able to share their experiences of cycling in Auckland with Sadik-Khan.

Frocks on Bikes, which began in Wellington in 2008 and now has 13 “frock flocks” across New Zealand and Australia, celebrates the casual chic and cheerful freedom of women on bicycles. “Our philosophy is you can ride however often you want, at whatever speed you like, in whatever you love to wear – yes, even a frock!” says Auckland Frocks on Bikes co-ordinator Nic Williams.

“The research is clear: the more women out and about on two wheelsthe safer your city for everyone. Women on bicycles are a “indicator species” for a healthy urban environment. The sight of women on bikes sends a message that cycling is fun and that roads are for sharing, which encourages even more people.”

Safety is not the only benefit. New York studies show that bike-friendly streets are great for retail and real estate: Manhattan’s 9th Ave retailers experienced sales increases of 49% after a protected bike lane went in. Potential bike lanes on Auckland’s shopping streets such as Karangahape and Ponsonby Roads are guaranteed to have the same positive retail impact. With baskets and panniers typical on the springy, upright commuter bikes we like to ride, Frockers are well-placed to shop, shop, shop.

And then there’s our health. European studies show that women (and men) who cycle for just 30 minutes a day sleep better, look healthier, think better, concentrate more, live longer, save more money and lower their risks of heart disease and cancer. The best part? Most of this research is based on studies of moderate cycling, the kind of cruisy, pleasant cycling that Frocks on Bikes loves best.

However, says Williams, yet more research concludes that to get more women out cycling, streets must be transformed into bike-friendly avenues. Frocks on Bikes are looking forward to rolling along some of central Auckland’s magnificent ridgeline roads with Janette Sadik-Khan, and hearing her thoughts on how our city can improve our streets for all the people who use them.

Itinerary for Saturday 24 May 

2.30pm: Q&A at The Cloud, Queens Wharf, with Janette Sadik-Khan, Mayor Len Brown, Ludo Campbell-Reid and Frocks on Bikes members

3.00pm: Frocks on Bikes ride begins

Dress Code: Frocks or your normal, everyday clothes!

RSVP to: Nic Williams – frocksonbikes.aucks@gmail.com or Ph 021 110 7148

Auckland Council, who is hosting Sadik-Kahn will also have a video recording of her free talk on Monday 26th May (now at full capacity) – posted to the Auckland Conversations website.

WHAT THE FROCK?! Frock-busting the big myths about cycling in Auckland:

Too rainy? We can count on one hand the number of times we’ve gotten drenched while out cycling in Auckland. (The former North Shore City Council did the numbers: if you rode to work every day of the year, you’d only get wet on a dozen of those days.)

Too hilly? Looks are deceiving! Most Auckland roads are pleasantly manageable. We ride at our own speed and barely break a sweat tootling up College Hill in first gear. We arrive at our destination with a fetching blush to our cheeks.

Too inconvenient? We love our lycra-clad sport-cycling brothers and sisters, but we have no need for a shower and a change of clothes by the time we get to work. The point of Frocking is to be able to ride from A to B in your fabulous everyday clothes. Plus, we can always find a park (and we don’t have to pay for it).

Not safe? While Auckland’s roads can definitely do with improvements, there’s interesting driver psychology in play when more women are cycling in “ordinary” clothes. A UK study showed drivers are more likely to slow down around female urban cyclists (or at least a bloke wearing a long, blonde wig!), and give them a wider berth when passing. This heightened attention to courtesy pays off for everyone on the road.

In other words, there has been never been a better time to ride.

Thanks Frocks on Bikes – it has been such fun!

Dalston show on bikeIn 2010, together with Unity Finesmith (of Auckland Cycle Chic fame), I took over coordinating Frocks on Bikes  from the fabulous Jasmine Cargill.   Jasmine was one of the founders of the Frock Flock – Aucks (an off shoot of the Frocks on Bikes Mothership in Wellington) as part of a climate action event in 2008.

At the time I was very hesitant about taking on the role as I didn’t have a frocking bike and didn’t feel like a “frocker”. However I soon came to appreciate that Frocks on Bikes is just about getting on a bike what every your style and wardrobe. It is about your destination as much as your journey. It is about fun, convenience and freedom. And over the years I like to think Frocks on Bikes has inspired a whole range of women to give cycling a go for the first time. I love how many more women there are now out there frocking and helping to make Auckland a much better place.   Tonight we have a Frock meet up  to establish a new crew to take over coordinating Frocks on Bikes- Aucks so we can build on past successes and keep the Flock active.  All welcome (or get in touch via FOB website to get involved)

Frocks Celebration of Spring Ponsonby RoadHere are a few of my Frocks on Bikes highlights:

  • Frocks day out – part of Ponsonby Market day in 2009. It felt so wonderful riding for the first time in a big group down Ponsonby Road
  • Becoming the proud owner of my Velorbis bicycle after it was loaned to me for 6 weeks by the Urban Bicycle Company to help promote FOB
  • The first ever Cycle Style Auckland in 2010 – thanks to an amazing crew we managed to pull off an awesome show (I still love watching the video)
  • Try my bike wine and cheese evenings – fabulous combination to encourage women to give cycling a go on frock friendly bikes
  • Winning the Cycle Friendly awards in 2010 for Cycle Style
  • Appearing in Next magazine all glammed up
  • Pecha Kucha presentation on Frocks on Bikes on a hot summer night in Gisborne
  • FrocksOnBikes_emailBespoke at Silo Park in March 2013 – officially my last Frocks on Bikes event

Thank you to everyone who has been such  a huge part of Frocks on Bikes- Aucks and helped to make it so much fun.

Special mention thanks to Unity (co-coordinator until 2012) , Hilleke (our mothership support person) and Jena (Cycle Action Auckland)

 

 

Hey Coroner am I high viz enough?

A couple of months ago the Coroner recommended complusory high viz vest for cyclists. A lot was written at the time pointing out that this wasn’t based on any evidence that vests are effective and was likely to be counterproductive. (Russell Brown generated an impressive number of responses to his post When Common Sense isn’t and Lucy on Cycling Auckland gives the low down on why the coroner is wrong)

I got interviewed for TV3  on my views (as coordinator of Frocks on Bikes in Auckland).  The editing gave the impression I am “anti high viz” and I am still asked about it so I thought the best thing is to respond in pictures. My view is that you have to be highly visible and safe on the road. There are lots of way to do this. Personally it works for me to look like a real person. I feel like I am given far more room on my bike and that drivers look out for me when I am dressed for the business of my day. At night I make sure I am well lit and of course visible.

 

BeSpoke – Cycle Style at Silo Park

bespoke Cycle Style Cycle style – fashion comes together with gorgeous bikes – is back for the third time.  This year Frocks on Bikes and Cycle Action have teamed up with Freshconcept, Waterfront Auckland, Auckland Transport and Fashion in the Big Little City  to create BeSpoke. This is my last year of Cycle Style ( I’m handing over the Frocks on Bike coordinator role) so I am particularly looking forward to what is on offer this year at a fabulous outside venue. I am also honoured to be taking part in the Dalston show at 1pm with the Velociteers.

Sunday 10 March, 12-6pm, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter

Cycle Style was born in the streets, markets, and parks we love and ride everyday. So how better to celebrate it than with a full market of local designers and bicycles, fashion shows, street food, music and more in the heart of Auckland’s waterfront.

BeSpoke is a fabulous event for ALL Aucklanders and a great way to introduce friends to the fun of life on a bicycle.

The line up for Sunday

1pm            Dalston (fashion show)
1.45pm       Velociteers (entertainment)
2pm            KAF Kids (kids fashion show)
2.30pm      Sitka (fashion show)
3pm            Kingdom Of. (fashion show)
3.15pm       C-Unit (entertainment, boys on unicycles)
3.30pm      Starfish (fashion show)
3.40pm      Myles and Dan Dj set begins
4pm            We’ar (fashion show)
4.30pm      203H (fashion show)
5pm            Vintage (fashion show)

Videos from previous cycle styles:

July 2010 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SkEfeRD9mU

March 2012  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc8yeQw5b6U

 

 

 

Cycle Style 2012 – new date and time

Sunday 25 March inside Shed 10 on Queens Wharf, noon – 5pm

  • A stylish celebration of urban cycling in Auckland
  • Cycle fashion shows for a variety of ages and styles
  • Try out a selection of urban bikes & indulge in local fashion

Come for the whole afternoon to enjoy the festival atmosphere and unique entertainment or select a specific show to attend

The Cycle Style Programme:

  • Noon Cycle Style entertainment
  • 12:30 Fashion show: Dalston
  • 1pm Velociteers – synchronised cycling performance
  • 1:30 Fashion show: Starfish
  • 2pm Fashion show: TBC!
  • 2:30 Auckland Hard-court Bicycle Polo
  • 3pm Fashion show: We’Ar It
  • 3:30 Vintage show: K Rd
  • 4pm Join a group ride around Queens Wharf
  • 4:30 Finale show

Presented on selected bikes from T-Whites, R&R, Cyco and our boutique suppliers – try it all on-site.

Street food also available

Cycle Style is a free event presented by Frocks on Bikes and Cycle Action Auckland in association with Auckland Transport and Waterfront Auckland. ALL WELCOME

We encourage you to get to Cycle Style by bicycle, walking or public transport.  See www.maxx.co.nz

The inaugural Cycle Style was held in 2010 – check out the video here

Please direct any queries about Cycle Style to the event coordinator, Craig Neilson  hello@craigneilson.com

Sustainable city showcase

 Sustainable Business Network’s impressive showcase is on tomorrow Wednesday November 9th at Shed 10, Queens Wharf

Come to the Sustainable City Showcase any time from 7am to 7pm to check out the latest vision for sustainability.

The days starts at 7am with the Conscious Consumer Commuter Challenge. FREE fairtrade Kokako or Atomic coffee for commuters on foot, bike, boat, bus or train.

Plus delicious sustainable food on sale all day- from Ripe Deli, Cosset, the Library Café, Little Bird, French crepes, Paris Berlin Organic Bakery, organic meat barbecue, mussel fritters, gluten free and vegan food, and a whole Farmers Market to do some early morning shopping.

The event on Facebook
 
I will be there from dawn to dusk with Frocks on Bikes and Grey Lynn 2030

Pecha Kucha Frocks

Pecha Kucha is a fabulous way to share ideas. The 20x 20 format gives presenters the opportunity to speak to 20 images for just 20 seconds per image. Luka Hinse, who brought Pecha Kucha to Auckland in 2007, is unorthodox when it comes to selecting presenters. Traditionally drawn from design, architecture, photography, art and creative fields, he likes to put together a more eclectic line up of speakers.  Thanks to his approach I was lucky to take part in PKN AKL 27 and to share the line up with friends Maya Nova, Reza Fuard (Mindfulness-an experience)  and Amanda Judd (A journey of a social entrepreneur).

Frocks on Bikes – how stylish cycling is changing bike culture

Pecha Kucha Night Auckland August 18 2011

Gorgeous, stylish women with an enthusiasm for fun, socialising and living sustainably who also just happen to love riding their bikes.

A couple of years ago a group of  Welly women felt frustrated with the image of cycling as macho sporty and dangerous. They took no joy away from events like Go by Bike days with the focus on the lycra clad

These wonderfully creative women were inspired to form Frocks on Bikes in conjunction with a 350 climate change event. A relationship of style and sustainability that continues today.

Frocks on Bikes has given rise to a new dictionary definition:  “To Frock” a verb meaning to bike ride in everyday style  As a noun – I am a frocker.  As an adjective – a frocking or frockilicious bike ride. And even perhaps as an adverb “Frockingly”?

The mothership of frocks on Bikes in Wellington has given life to Frock Flocks all over Aotearoa. Christchurch –hopefully out of devastation to be reborn as the cycling capital of NZ– Nelson, Palmy North, New Plymouth, Rotorua, Tauranga, as far as away as Melbourne and more recently I was honoured to take part in the launch of the Gisborne Flock.

The flocks up hold the Frock kaupapa as set out in a Frock manifesto. There is no joining fee, formal structure or official programme.

We are a movement connected online and with enthusiasm for fun, sustainability, invigoration and socialising. We say anything in our wardrobe is cycling gear.  You don’t have to be fit, or slim, or the slightest bit sport to Frock. It is about dressing for the best of style and practicality.

I’m the co-ordinator of Frocks on Bikes Auckland with Jenny Marshall, aka Unity Finesmith of Auckland Cycle chic blog . I come to Frocks from a cycling advocacy background and a desire to change cycling culture in New Zealand so that whatever your style you can embrace riding a bike for transport or pleasure.

Frocks in unashamedly for the ladies. We appeal to women who are the key to our sustainable transport future. Women who are ready to move on from Remuera Tractors, congestion and car domination. Who measure coolness by the colour of their wheels,  and the shape of their basket.

They want to look good riding a bike and once we’ve won women over a  whole new generation of riders will follow.

Every frock flock runs with Frock events that best suits their patch. In Auckland we have done spring rides, Santa Parades, climate action events – we will be frocking for moving planet on 24 September. Try my bike evenings for women have provided the opportunity to test ride, in a girlie environment, the huge range of stylish bikes now available.

And my favourite – Cycle Style Auckland – held last year but planned again the end of summer 2012. An evening of fabulous bikes and fashion bought together on the bike walk. A crowd of 500 showed up in the middle of winder, many arriving by bike. We won over the retailers that  night who have been slow to appreciate the untapped demand to frock. The event won the best cycle promotion at the ASB cycle friendly awards last year.

We appeal to all kinds of women often accompanied by their stylish gentlemen friends. From fixes, BMX riders, babies on the back, middle aged women giving it a go for the first time in many years.  Frocking is just spontaneously happening. You can find Frocks fixing their bikes at Tumeke Cycle space, commuting, running errands, taking part in Critical Mass, taking kids to school AND just riding because they want to and can. 

Frocks is positive, friendly and encouraging. Whatever your shape or size you can be frockilicious. Frocks on Bikes is street wise and safety savvy – a short skirt works for me to keep drivers at a respectable distance!

I think we have been successful in changing the perception of cycling of getting women to give it a go, and of providing the media the opportunity to present cycling in a whole new light – positive, fun and “normal”. The kind of images we have only previously believed existed in sophisticated European cities with a civilised driving culture.

We’ve inspired spin-offs into creative expressions of frocking. The group known as the velociteers introduced synchronised cycling to Auckland at Art of the Dark, the interactive community art event in Western Park last October. The mothership in Welly – never ones to be outdone – took up this challenge to organise their own synchronised Frock performance for the opening of the Christmas lights in Wellington. The Velociteers will be back in action at the West Lynn Street Party on 29 September – to give the event a plug – and no doubt brightening up our streets this Christmas.

Frocking has changed bike culture from the bottom up.  We now also have a mayor who has embraced everyday cycling – if not quite bought his own bike.  Mayor Brown was joined by the Auckland Frock Flock at the Go by Bike Day in February – no lycra in sight.  The Mayor has agreed to build the cycleway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge so we can frock smoothly and safely to the North Shore.   Best of all for urban design we have  finally achieved  frocking heaven at the Wynyard Quarter which opened a couple of weeks ago with a bike bus of Frocks taking it to the waterfront.  Stylish everyday riders are everywhere to be seen.

We are all on the way to a cycling friendly Aotearoa brought about by the dedicated cycling advocates working behind the scenes to fight for improved cycling infrastructure, everyone who just gets on a bike whatever their look AND frock-tivity!   Frocks on Bikes has inspired culture change by being conspicuous, positive and fund so that cycling style is just the way we do it in Auckland.

I would like to end by thanking the photographers for the use of their images -Rod Haag, Pascall Languillon, John Darroch, Andy Morley- Hall, and Jeremy Redding –  gentlemen who love Frocks. How can you not.

Frock on Auckland!

Cycle Style Auckland: the video

Earlier in the year Melanie Turner from the Road Safety Team at Auckland City Council called me about funding they had available for a cycle event. Was I interested in applying for the funds?  It was the perfect opportunity to build on the idea for a “Cycle Chic Fashion Show” (I had worked on a proposal with Jasmine Cargill and Stephanie Fill last year as a fundraising idea for the NZ Youth Delegation) combined with a bigger version of a Try my Bike event that Frocks on Bikes hosted with North Shore City Council in March as part of Bikewise month.

From the initial funding provided by Auckland City Council and with additional support from North Shore Council, Frocks on Bikes and Cycle Action Auckland were able to host the inaugural Cycle Style Auckland held on 1 July 2010. A cycle-centric evening of gorgeous bicycles, fabulous fashion and an opportunity to try out a huge range of stylish bikes.

The video has really captured what an awesome evening it was and gives credit to the large number of supporters and sponsors (watch the video here). Myself and co-organiser Jenny Marshall (aka Unity Finesmith of Auckland Cycle Chic) were also really fortunate that so many talented and willing volunteers came together to make it happen. There is big demand to make Cycle Style Auckland an annual event.

Sheds are a great place to party

Shed 1, (ex Team NZ shed)  was the perfect place for Cycle Style Auckland last week. In organising the event, we were concerned that it might be too cold and lacking in facilities but on a clear winter’s night, crammed with 400 plus people and hundreds of bikes the shed was inviting and hot with excitement created by this unique event. It was also special to be so close to the Harbour when so often we are cut off from Auckland’s best feature. We look forward to working again with Keith William’s the event manager and hosting another event at the Sheds.

So as a big fan of organising events in Sheds I am really relieved to hear that Shed 10 on Queens Wharf is going to be saved (Joel Cayford writes a good blog about the events leading up to the ARC decision). Well done Mike Lee for recognising the historical value of the sheds before it was too late.

Auckland’s first 21st Century Cycle Event

Cycle Style Auckland

Conventional thinking says you can’t ride a bike without looking like a dork. Conventional thinking is wrong.

The streets are filling up with cyclists and one reason it’s happening is that people have realised that it is entirely possible to look very good on a bike- stylish, in fact.

Not only that but if you haven’t been in a bike shop in the last few years, you will not believe how much things have changed.

The bikes themselves are now considered fashion items and very desirable accessories. Designers are using bicycles to convey a chic, urban stylish city lifestyle.   You can still get yourself a perfectly good basic bike for a few hundred dollars, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can spend thousands to buy yourself something quite breathtaking. In car terms, bikes today are on offer in models and looks that range all the way from a Toyota Corolla to a Mini Cooper and on to a Lamborghini.

What this means is that the streets are changing. Aucklanders, in their thousands, are taking to their bikes for every day transport in every day clothes.

On Thursday 1st July, Frocks on Bikes in association with Cycle Action Auckland responds to this worldwide trend with a unique event called “Cycle Style Auckland” – an evening of gorgeous bicycles, fabulous fashion and this season’s ‘must-have’ cycle accessories.

A highlight of the evening will be the first Cycle Style Fashion Show to be presented in New Zealand, featuring local fashion designers, bicycle retailers and street style.

Frocks on Bikes (Auckland) Co-Coordinator, Pippa Coom says “Cycle Style Auckland is a perfect opportunity to showcase the stylish side of cycling. Cycling in stylish street wear is considered the norm in many cities around the world where there has been investment in cycle-friendly facilities. Women in particular are put off cycling when it is associated with sweaty lycra and unattractive clothes.  Frocks on Bikes is committed to showing that it is possible to use a bike for every day transport and look stylish.”

“Cycle Style Auckland” will include the glitterati of the cycling world, transport policy makers and the politicians who can commit funding to improving Auckland’s cycling infrastructure. However, the evening is promoted strongly for new cyclists, and also existing cyclists looking for a change of pace, who will be able to test ride a wide range of stylish gents and ladies bicycles and be up for winning a range of fabulous prizes.

The evening starts at 6pm at Shed 1, 101 Halsey St, Viaduct Harbour (ex-Team NZ shed) with drinks and nibbles. Valet bicycle parking and free maintenance check are available for those arriving by bike.

RSVPs are essential – tickets to Cycle Style are free but limited – by registering at Frocks on Bikes – Auckland page. (http://frocksonbikes.wordpress.com/auckland/)

Frocks on Bikes Media Release