I Love My Ride: Takapuna Community Constable Andy Young
I Love Takapuna stands with Auckland Transport and everyone else passionate about promoting other modes of transportation. Takapuna Community Constable Andy Young has been featured as one of the stories in AT's I Love My Ride and we are so proud of the example he is making! Check out other I Love My Ride stories HERE!
ANDY, 32 BIRKENHEAD TO TAKAPUNA PEDAL PATROL
When did you start riding a bike as a way to get around?
I started riding to get around when I was about eight and wanted to visit friends and buy lolly bags from the dairy. I started commuting by bike about seven years ago, motivated by a workmate who rode in every day from three times the distance.
Why do you choose to ride a bike as a way to get around?
I enjoy the freedom from traffic, taking things at my own pace and the free exercise I get while saving money on petrol.
What is your occupation?
I’m the Takapuna Community Constable
Where does your route start and finish?
My route is only a short 10km ride across the North Shore in to the Takapuna Community Policing Centre with a fair amount of hill work on my ride home.
Describe where this route takes you on the way to your destination – the things you see, points of interest and anything else that excites you.
I really enjoy my morning rides as the sun comes up over Rangitoto and a view of the city. There are some great views as I ride down into Takapuna – and back. I still remember after one particularly long day watching a kererū fly overhead with its distinctive wingbeat and my stress faded away and I remembered why I love riding my bike and living in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Do you ever stop along the way? If so, where and why?
I usually don’t stop as I enjoy the burn from pushing myself. I have on occasion stopped to take a photo of the sunrise as it’s often too outstanding not to.
What do you love most about this route?
It is a great varied route with a fair amount of undulation to get my heart rate up. I love the time I have to think on my way into and home from work – it is such a great release and the perfect start/end to a day.
Where else do you like to ride in Auckland?
As a mountain biker, Woodhill forest was something I did before I started commuting, it’s a great place to enjoy a day riding.
For people considering biking in Auckland for the first time, what would you say to encourage them to start?
Take it slow and get an easy bike to ride (commuter or mountain bike). Go check out the trails at Woodhill or find a nice flat route with painted bike lanes and enjoy. From a Police point of view if you are looking to ride I also suggest brushing up on the road rules for cyclists. Come and see me in Takapuna if you need a hard copy or want to discuss anything, or you can HAVE A LOOK ONLINE
What kind of bike do you usually ride?
As it is only a short 10km trip to work I ride my 10-speed mountain bike with some wide but smooth tyres, which really help make it not feel too difficult on the up-hills.
Is there anything else you'd like to add about riding your bike in Auckland?
I’ve found over the last year there are more cyclists on the road. I think motorists are more aware of us and ensure they pass safely.
As a cyclist/motorist and Police Constable, ensuring we follow all road rules is a must – especially around those more at risk of serious injury if they are to have an accident. Cyclists have very little protection in comparison to a car so we need to remember how vulnerable they/we are. The extra time spent waiting for a safe place to pass a cyclist, you more than make up by not having them on the road as a motorist making more congestion.
Aside from biking, what other activities do you enjoy?
I’m a keen surfer so if there is swell about you’ll find me in the waves from Mangawhai to Raglan.