The Auckland frock bike

At the cycle friendly awards in 2010 Frocks on Bikes Auckland won not only the award for Best Cycling Promotion for Cycle Style 2010 but also an Avanti bike. Thanks to Avanti plus in Waitakere the  bike was tricked up with the essential assessories including a basket, bell and mud guards.  The Urban Bicycle Company donated beautiful Basil panniers to complete a perfect Frock bike.

Julie Fairey, member of the Puketapapa Local Board, shares her experience of becoming a frocker.

Julie and mayor

I’m quite sure she (or he) has had many names.  I call her Bertie, for no good reason that I can fathom.  She is the Frocks on Bikes Auckland Bike, and for the last six months or so I’ve pretended that she is mine.

Bertie didn’t get a name right up front.  To start with she was an it, just a bicycle, to me a reasonably mystical machine that I was a little bit scared of.  I fell off a lot, by which I mean I could tell I was about to fall off or that the bike was about to topple so I jumped.  Some bruises, some scratches, but no real injuries except that one time I bashed my ankle up a bit.  It was really after that, when I couldn’t cycle for a couple of weeks as the gash on my palm healed, that I realised I missed riding, I missed the bike and that bike was a she and she was Bertie.

How this started was that I was inspired, mostly by Richard Barter (Chair of the Puketapapa Local Board) and Pippa Coom.  It just looked like an easier way of life, an easier way to be; to cycle from A to B.  But I needed a bike, one that I could use to get around my local area, carry a fair bit of stuff, and not be too heavy because I’d likely need to push a fair bit up the hills.  Pippa offered me a lender bike to try it out and now I am hooked.

I knew how to ride a bicycle but had never been a regular cyclist, even as a child.  I have had brief flirtations with bicycles for a day or two in Hoi An and Munich.  It all looked fine on the flat, but I live almost at the top of a hill, in a quite hilly suburb (Mt Roskill) and my fitness and strength are poor.  Having Bertie to borrow gave me a chance to see if I could make it work, make it part of my life.

It took a while once I picked up the bike (in the boot of the stationwagon of course) to actually get on it, because first I had to brave rescuing my helmet from the part of the garage nearest the big spider webs and then wash any cobwebbyness off it.  After about two weeks I screwed up my courage and did it.  This was the first thing that was easier than I expected.

Then I sorted out a little route to cycle near my house, and that was the second thing that was easier than I expected.  I was quite exhilarated that what had seemed to me a very awful hill by car, bus and walking, was not so bad after all.  I nearly made it to the top!  Now I see that as quite a gentle slope really, but before Bertie it seemed intimidating and impossible.

Every day for about two weeks I went for a ride, slowly increasing how many kms I was doing, and how many hilly bits, until I could do 10 kms.  By then I’d worked out I wasn’t really interested in just going for a bike ride.  I needed to be transporting myself and my stuff to something I needed to go to.  So I decided that I needed a cupcake and cycled to Bluebells Cakery.  But after that I really needed to come up with actual places I really needed to go to.

I was fortunate that it was such a good, and long, summer.  I am also fortunate that I live in an area with a cycleway running through it, which I use as a sort of spine to get places; ride from my place to the cycleway on the southern side of SH20, cycle east or west as needed, then north or south off it as needed.  I love saying hello to people I pass although some seem quite bamboozled by it.  I love parking Bertie at the places I need to visit in my suburb; the library, the Local Board office, the community centre, the park, the shops, and, of course, Bluebells Cakery.

Since the weather got worse, and I’ve had some ill health, I haven’t been able to cycle so much and I miss it.  Bertie is there, nice and warm and dry, waiting.   I don’t feel guity anymore (I did for a while), now I feel hopeful that tomorrow might be suitable, or that next week I’ll be well enough, or that someone might give me the wet gear I need for my birthday.

One day I’ll be able to buy a bike of my own and Bertie will go on to someone else.  If that person is you, please be gentle with her.  She taught me a lot, helped me to gain some independence from cars and roads and driving through my neighbourhood without touching it, rather than feeling, hearing, smelling and seeing it up close as I do on a bike.  I hope Bertie, or another bicycle, will teach you all of that and more.  And if you already know, perhaps you can spread the lesson by sharing a spare bike of your acquaintance with someone else who needs to learn it.

Auckland Tweed Run

Auckland NZ’s homage to the international anachronistic Tweed Run phenomena of dressing up in old fashioned clothes and riding a bicycle.

It’s free and all are welcome- just find some tweed, bring a picnic and come on a bike!

T. Whites Bikes to Highwic House- Sunday 7th April 2013.
12pm onwards, meeting at T.Whites Everyday Bikes, 132 Symonds St.

This time round we are collaborating with Highwic House by riding our bikes to their Art Deco Day Out picnic.


It is up to attendees to bring their own helmets and safety gear and be responsible for themselves in the traffic.

For more info about Auckland Tweed Runs, go to:

or for the Art Deco picnic:

Bespoke (Auckland) 10th of March

Bespoke hits Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter on the 10th of March. From noon til 6pm there will be market stalls, food, music, and fashion shows as local designers come together with the latest stylish cycles and accessories. Don’t miss out!

Line up:

1pm      Dalston fashion show
1.45pm Velociteers performance
2pm      KAF Kids fashion show
2.30pm Sitka fashion show
3pm       Kingdom Of. fashion show
3.15pm C-Unit – entertainment
3.30pm  Starfish fashion show
4.30pm  203H fashion show
5pm       Vintage on bikes

More info at

bepsoke website1-01

Try my Bike/Wine & Cheese evenings (Auckland)

Frocks on Bikes Auckland is once again holding a “Try my Bike Wine & Cheese” evening together with Auckland Transport.

There will be a range of women-friendly bikes to try and cycle divas who can answer your every cycling-related question.

Cheese, wine and bicycles – it doesn’t get better than that!

These are free events but pre-registration is essential. Go to to register and get more info.

Wednesday, 13th March, 6pm – 8pm @ The Lake House Arts Centre, Takapuna

Wednesday, 20th March, 6pm – 8pm @ North Harbour Softball Association, Rosedale

Try my bike Flyer Email version

Auckland Summer Events – rolling your way!

Frocks on Bikes Auckland has two fantastic events coming up… Bespoke and Try my Bike Wine and Cheese Evening. Pencil these into your diary, and if you need something to keep your wheels turning until then, scroll on down to check out other cycle-icious events, rides and training sessions brought to you by Auckland Transport. More info will be up soon, or you can check out the Auckland Summer Cycling Event Guide (pdf). Frock on!


Sunday 10 March, Midday – 6pm, Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter.

Local designers come together with the latest stylish cycles and accessories. Market stalls, street food, music, fashion shows and more. Details soon at

This is a free event presented by Frocks on Bikes, Cycle Action Auckland and Waterfront Auckland in collaboration with the Fashion Festival and in association with Auckland Transport. Registration is not required.

‘Try my Bike’ Wine and Cheese Evening. 

Wednesday 13 March, 6pm – 8pm, Lake House Arts Centre, Fred Thomas Drive, Takapuna.

Join us for a fun, relaxed evening of cheese, wine and bicycles! Test ride a
wide variety of female-friendly bicycles and have your questions answered
by seasoned cycle divas and bicycle experts. Indulge your passion; try
different colours, shapes and designs to find out which bike is perfect
for you. See you there!

This is a free event brought to you by Auckland Transport in partnership with Frocks
on Bikes. Pre-registration is essential by visiting or
phoning 355 3553.

Auckland Summer Cycling Event Guide.

Other Cycling Events/Rides/Training from Auckland Transport:

Go By Bike Day.
Wednesday 13 February.
Go By Bike Day is a national day to encourage more New Zealanders
to get GOing by bike. Held in February every year, New Zealanders
are encouraged to leave their cars at home and cycle to work, school
or the shops.
The day is an opportunity for regular cyclists to inspire family, friends and
colleagues to go for a ride, or for workplaces and schools to get on board
and hold their own cycle event.
Go By Bike Day will have a new look in Auckland this year with smaller,
more local pit stops located near workplaces or popular cycleways
replacing the traditional breakfast events. This will make it easier for cyclists
to encourage colleagues to give it a go. Each pit stop will have a drink,
snack and cycle safety resources for anybody who arrives by bike between
7am and 9am. Some of the pit stops will be at cafés, while others will have
a coffee cart for passing commuters.
Pit stop locations will be listed on from early
This is a free event brought to you by Auckland Transport. Registration is not required.

Beginner Bike sessions for Adults.
If you are new to riding, haven’t been on a bike for a while, or lack confidence, Auckland Transport has a number of free skills sessions for adults. Registration is essential for all courses and we recommend booking early, as places are limited.

Novice On-road Training.
This practical on-road session is for adults who can comfortably
ride a bike in off-road environments, but want to learn the basics
for riding on quieter roads.

Intermediate On-road Training.
This practical on-road session is for adults who have started
cycling on the road but who lack confidence or want to pick up
tips on riding safely in heavier traffic.

More info: Auckland Summer Cycling Event Guide (pdf) – page 6-8.

These are free sessions brought to you by Auckland Transport. Places are limited so
pre-registration is essential. Register online at or phone 355 3553.

The Basics of Bike Maintenance.
This fun interactive workshop takes the mystery out of the bicycle.
Learn how to undertake a basic inspection of your bike to make sure it is in
safe working order. At this practical session you will also learn how to check
your brakes and gears, clean your bike and how to fix the dreaded flat tyre.
Participants can bring their own bikes, or we can provide one to practice on.

More info: Auckland Summer Cycling Event Guide (pdf) – page 10-11.

Guided Bike Rides for Less Confident Riders.
If you’ve just learned to ride a bike for the first time, or have
recently got back on a bike after some years, these guided rides
are for you.
They are specially designed for beginners and less confident adults to help
you practice your new skills. The routes include off-road cycleways, shared
paths and a few quieter streets. An experienced guide will lead the ride
and provide friendly advice along the way.

More info: Auckland Summer Cycling Event Guide (pdf) – page 10-11.

These are free sessions brought to you by Auckland Transport. Places are limited so
pre-registration is essential. Register online at or phone 355 3553.

Frock to the conscious consumer breakfast (Auckland)

Friday 23 November – 7.45 for a 7.50am departure from outside George FM, 105 Ponsonby Road 
A gentle bike ride to the Cloud on Queens Wharf for breakfast and a performance by the Velociteers . Plus a chance to have a sneak peek at the Sustainable city showcase . This pop-up sustainable city will be displaying all that is new and cool in sustainability products and services, including transport. The latest cycles and electric bikes will be on show.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and you really don’t want to miss this one! Join the ranks of environmentally conscious commuters by walking, cycling, catching the train bus or ferry into work on Friday 23 November and enjoy delicious, sustainably grown breakfast foods at The Cloud, courtesy of Kauri Kitchen.

The Sustainable Business Network, Auckland Transport and Meridian Energy have got together to reward all those Aucklanders who take public transport or cycle every day.

On Friday 23 November between 7:30am and 9:00am, the GreenFleet Conscious Commute will be celebrating sustainable commuters by offering a free coffee and breakfast treat to the first 400 conscious commuters. Present a ticket stub, HOP card, bike or walking shoes to the greeter at the door. Delicious organic breakfast treats will be available to purchase from Ripe Deli and Kokako. Remember this is a Zero-Waste event so bring your own cup!

Highwic Cycle Style – Decorated Bike Competition and Parade (Auckland)

A celebration of cycling and heritage will be rolled out in Newmarket as part of Highwic’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Highwic Cycle Style will take place on November 18, and will involve people of all ages riding their decorated bikes en masse down Broadway  and returning back to Highwic where prizes will be awarded for the best decorated cycles.

Four categories in the competition provide scope for all creative cycling enthusiasts including:

Tricked up: wickedest, tricked up, gnarliest set of wheels

Flower Power: accessorised & coordinated

Vintage: Grace of another era

City Cruisers: designer, dapper, cruise the urban jungle

Normal road rules will apply but a police escort has been arranged courtesy of Sgt. Matt Knowsley from the Newmarket Police station. So cyclists can wear helmets, but no need for fluros this time!

Participants will also be able to enjoy music by The Leprechauns, lawn games and learn more about city cycling at the NZ Historic Places Trust’s property in Newmarket after the parade.

Besides being creative fun, the free community event also aims to celebrate bikes in everyday life by promoting cycling as a mainstream transport choice, and a fun urban activity. The event – organised by the NZHPT – is supported by the Newmarket Business Association, Cycle Action and Auckland Transport.