I’m back! It’s been a very hectic few weeks but I am now fully qualified with a CELTA in English language teaching and I have started my new job. The brain is still a little dazed by the rapid influx of new information but the fog is starting to clear …
The work move to ‘the shed’ on the North Shore is fast approaching and the closer it has got, the more despondent I have become at the impending loss of my daily bicycle ride. However, a work colleague dropped a little seed of an idea in my brain the other day and I have been madly researching to see if its a ‘goer’. The idea was to take a ferry across the water and cycle either side. That sounds sensible, I hear you say – BUT the bicycle parking at ‘the shed’ is crap, and it’s easier, cheaper and quicker just to take the bus.
BUT I DON’T WANT TO TAKE THE BUS (she said in a stroppy, contrary voice). So ignoring all rational thought, I have test ridden the routes available. One option goes through a car infested nightmare of arterials and motorway on/off ramps and the other option is a roller-coaster of volcanic cones and marine swamps. I came home unimpressed. After a brief afternoon of despondency – I had another crack at the problem. There has to be a way – I simply will not allow a motorway, Auckland harbour, some volcanic cones and the odd swamp to get between me and my daily bicycle ride! I have the words of ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ going around and around in my head at this point … “We can’t go over it, we cant go under it, we’ll have to go through it – zoom, whizz, zoom, whizz”.
There are four possible ferry options – 2 lead to the carmagedden route and 2 lead to the roller-coaster. I rationalised that nothing can be done about the car infested option and there is no possible scenario where I would feel safe or enjoy this journey, so this leaves the roller-coaster. I don’t have the physical strength or desire to sweat it out slogging up the inclines so the obvious solution is electric assistance.
On Saturday we went over to Bute bikes in Browns Bay and had a long conversation with Anthony, who … I think … has the solution – it’s a bit secret squirrel at the moment. I need to do a bit more research but essentially I think that with the investment of a sizeable sum of money for electric equipment, getting out of bed at least 30 minutes earlier every morning, riding 0.5km to the ferry, taking a 7 minute ferry journey across the harbour (at a cost greater than the bus journey), and then riding 5km to work … and the same back, in rain or shine … I will be able to retain my bicycle commute. I know, it sounds completely bonkers. If I was a practical type, I would just suck it up and catch the bus. But here’s the rub, it would make me sad and take some of the joy out of my life. So I’m taking the irrational, expensive, time-consuming path for no good reason other than ‘happiness’ – bottom line, cycling makes me happy.
In other news, we are going camping in the Coromandel next weekend to see how we cope in the ‘European’ (read cold) temperatures that we have at the moment. I have my puffer jacket and thermal underwear at the ready but just to be safe we are renting a car so that if we wimp out, we can get to somewhere warm and dry with food and hot water. The Husband’s new pillow has arrived (via bivouac – you have to order it) so we are all set for pillow and temperature-tolerance testing.
We also have some English friends that live out that way so I am trying to arrange a catch-up so we can celebrate the Queens birthday with a nice cup of tea and perhaps some cucumber sandwiches and sticky buns.