Back in early May I, guiltily, DROVE to The Big Bike Film Night in Avondale. It was due the grim evening weather; sporadic torrential rain and the thought of sitting in damp clothes for a few hours didn't really appeal. The Hollywood is a great venue, and it was awesome to see a huge turnout for Brett's evening of cycling inspiration.
The quality and wide subject range of films—from bike packing adventure, amazing MTB families, endurance cycling on vintage bikes, e-bike enabling mobility, and school commuting, to name a few—year after year is amazing.
Even the pre-run promotions, many of which feature New Zealand Ngā Haerenga Great Rides scenes, are great. I'm happy they take me back to memories of trails ridden (many in the summer/autumn of 2021-2022) and not a 'to do' wish list. I do, however, have a few left (including two built while I was riding the others!) and, of course, there is always the 'redo' list...
The Big Bike Film Night Encore
Earlier in the week I saw Brett's promo for the last few Auckland screenings of this year's tour. It struck me I could address my 'not biking to the BBFN' guilt and incorporate a matinee encore screening into a Sunday ride. After a dismal May, it even looked like the first Sunday of winter weather might cooperate...
It was a nice ride listening to Benny 'Bingo Harry' Jones jaunty music which fit the mood perfectly as I rode into the city, in the sun!, via the New Lynn-Avondale and SH16 bike paths heading for the Devonport Ferry.
I left the bike path at Unitec to shortcut and, maybe, make the 11:30 Ferry. It feels odd cycling through here, as I did as a design student in the mid-80s...
Lost any time gained at the St Lukes Road/Offramp crossing, why this wasn't built as an under/overpass (like Waterview and Te Atatu) I will never understand.
Got to the Ferry building but had to wait for the 12:00 Ferry. Had a good chat with an AT worker who was supervising the boarding area, working an extra day to help pay his increased mortgage. Pity Fullers' vessel, busy, didn't have any proper provision for bikes. A stacked lean on the stern rail is as good as it gets.
The Big Bike Film Night Matinee at 'The Vic'
The Vic staff were great, let me 'park' the bike in their yard which was much more secure than several hours on a kerbside bike rail. I had a lock if needed but so much of the folding bike can be 'quick released' was good to have it hidden away in a secure spot.
Although my second The Big Bike Film Night viewing, I didn't mind as gave more time to appreciate different aspects of the features. It was a screening in the smaller No.2 theatre, about 3/4 full it seemed, and think the sound is better than what I remember of their main one.
Heading back to the ferry, not as sunny but still warm enough.
Lots of people but fewer bikes on this trip. Another inadequate vessel, single line gang plank boarding and no provision for bikes. Fullers' boats might be ok for tourist trips to Gulf islands but are the wrong vessels for this type of commuter leg. The crew are great but have to cope with boats that aren't suitable.
A new(ish) City Path home
Passed through the new(ish) Te Komititanga square which was busy and (like always it seems) windy.
Caught the end of 'Lucky' McDermott's unicycle juggling act where he combines throwing around spikey flaming sharp things with unicycling!
A main street now more for people
From the square I headed up Queen St on the new shared path which is a nice alternative route to the SH16 Western Path. It has certainly made the street, previously bleak with four lanes of traffic, a much nicer place to be a human.
The Whau Solar Exhibition
There's a neat art installation on the SH16 Bike Path Whau River overbridge, The Whau Solar Exhibition has pinhole camera views of the river.
"Workshops involved making simple pinhole cameras using discarded aluminium drink cans and loading them with photographic paper in a darkroom. Artists then set up cameras at Ken Maunder Park to capture images. Ken Maunder Park was chosen so that cameras could point northwards to capture the sun’s arc and its reflection on the Te Wai o Te Whau. This is called solargraphy."
The Whau Solar Exhibition – Te Whau Pathway Project
If it is ever built, construction was 'paused' in Feb 2023, the Te Whau Pathway will follow the river from here, Te Atatu, to New Lynn and be a great connection into the heart of an area not served by any other path. I still had Benny's music playing for the trip home, it was a wonderful way to spend Sunday!
The Big Bike Film Night 2023- Let the good times roll!
THE BIG BIKE FILM NIGHT 2023 tour goes aross New Zealand from February until mid-June, spinning afew wheels along the way!!
and… we will be returning to Australia over August to October.
and and… we will be returning to Scotland in October.
Showcasing our 2023 collection that has everything a cycle-centric audience could want – action, drama, humour, and plenty of inspiration; the evening is unashamedly and utterly, utterly, utterly designed and devised for the two-wheel devotee!
This year’s treasure chest of films includes:
- A delightful young Australian bikepackers learnings from her adventure- completing a scenic trip to Hell
- A visually commanding film set in postcard Tuscany following a 74-year old bicicletta rider whose spirit personifies cycling
- A team who have spent five years of embarking on a dream…and only one way to get it- via packraft and mountain bike, on a pursuit of a first descent on the gnarly lines of Dillon Cone in the rugged coastal Kaikoura ranges of New Zealand
- Two schools share their insights into how they promote active transport within their school community
- The tale of a rider with a searing thirst for adventure, exploring interior Iceland
- Putting the ‘mountain’ into mountain biking – a Scottish Highlands rider’s eyes are opened to the healing power of the bicycle
- An uplifting film that celebrates a humble volunteer whose community spirit is inspiring and so are the majestic winter views of the trail where he lives in rural heartland Central Otago
- A moving movie that follows a family that chooses to live life to the fullest in the face of adversity
- And rounding out the night, find out what happens when you combine an ultra-distance 320 km gravel race and parenting together over a 24-hour period (which is tougher?);
ALL that, and a bit more, in the mix!