Kate & Nic Part Two: Day Out in Auckland

by Tillie

Tillie & Coco are very pleased to present the second part of our guest post from Kate & Nic. (You can read Part One here.) 

Nic rides a Raleigh British Small Arms [BSA] bike from the 50’s called Nellie. She says, “I bought her off a Dutch guy here whose mum used to ride it. The rain jacket on the back denotes the constant showers in Auckland at this time of the year.  The pannier is from my previous old bike that I thought I would re-build but then discovered that patience is not my virtue, so gave the frame etc to Tim White [swoon] at TWhite’s bikes. So the pannier is foreign of sorts but so, so handy for carrying produce and all those essential necessities in lieu of a  back-pack (which unless worn as a feature is not very Frocks on Bikes culturesque).” 

A weekend in September 2011

 Nellie and I cruise down the hill to the Devonport wharf to catch the ferry into town. The knitted street art along the Devonport wharf handrail has grown in length thanks to all the overseas knitters who have sent the Knitty Graffity organiser some woollen inspiration for the Rugby World Cup. My favourite pieces are here.

 Elmo! Girly squeal. Picture taken here with one arm only. That is street art, one day it is there, the other it is not. Note for those concerned viewers, Elmo’s other arm has since been replaced.

 Dan Carter [the All Black’s legendary goal kicker and all-round clean-cut hottie pic for most chicks] or Dan the Man. Dan was also liberated for a while so now he has a little padlock to keep him around a bit longer. He was returned just in time for a good omen against the France game. French toast!

 View from the front of the 10 minute ferry ride over to Auckland’s city centre where my urban foraging began.

 Heading west out of the downtown ferry terminal and through the Viaduct [an entertainment area developed in 1999 – 2000 when Auckland held the Americas Cup Challenge and Team NZ defeated Italy’s Prada Challenger], the new Te Wero bridge which opens and closes to let large boats into the marina now provides a direct east-west connection to the newly regenerated Wynyard Quarter precinct, previously known as the Tank Farm from all the Golden Bay cement and gas silos in occupation.

 Jellicoe Street, Wynyard Quarter – an authentic working harbour that now boasts as a new destination for Aucklanders and visitors.

Trams are also back in Auckland after a 60-odd year hiatus. Must remember to ride perpendicular over the tracks Nic, just like in Melbourne. Doh, raining again. As Jan Gehl, legendary Danish architect and urbanist says, “there is no such thing as bad whether, just bad clothing” so suck it up.

After this relatively flat cruise, some strong thigh-work is in order to hike up Franklin Road to reach the Ponsonby/Richmond Road ridgeline. Here the sun is now out again and with a 40-minute window until Velociteers practice, my blood cells are telling me that some well-crafted caffeine from my favourite deli in West Lynn would make them really happy. Irrésistible!

Now peckish, I head down to the Grey Lynn Farmers Market for some fresh fare to keep me going. A quick hi to Pippa who has her cycle box full of organic goodies and it is time to head back to Richmond Road Primary school for..

Velociteers’ practice. We formed last year for the Art in the Dark festival and are now back for our second year with new moves, some new members and most excitingly – new costumes. Three practices this week to perfect our synchronicity in the lead up to our performance for Moving Earth day next weekend. http://www.facebook.com/#!/velociteers, then the week after at http://greylynncreates.co.nz/

Flying back town the hill I just make the ferry back to Devonport and am met with some more inspiration on the now tactile handrail. Dream Big. That is for sure.

Thanks for sharing my day in Auckland. Love from Nic & Nellie