**Re-posted from a collaboration with Wellington, New Zealand’s Switched On Bikes
How often are you a tourist in your own city? If you’re like me, probably not often enough. Heya! My name is Tara and Wellington has been my city for the past 7 months. I’ve seen some of the sites, but mostly I’ve settled in to day-to-day life. However, two weekends ago, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went exploring with Switched on Bikes.
Since moving to Wellington, the number of cyclists here amazes me. I imagine everyone who lives and bikes here has thighs of steel and elephant lungs. To be honest, I shied away biking here because the hills intimidated me. Not anymore! The eBikes at Switched on Bikes have 4 electric gears: Normal (leg power), 1 (legs + electric push), 2 (legs + electric zip), and 3 (legs + whoa). Needless to say, I’m a diehard Whoa fan.
Rekindling the Magic
Growing up in Canada, like many places around the world, learning to ride a bicycle was a huge milestone. It was the first taste of freedom, but the cherry on top was the exhilaration of wind licking your face as you whipped around the neighbourhood. Did you ever notice though, how for some bizarre reason, the minute adulthood arrives the magic disappears? The clock strikes midnight, adolescence ends, and bikes become functional and affordable means of transportation. At least that was my experience, until I rode my first electric bicycle.
Cycling around the city all afternoon I was as carefree as a 10-year old. I’m officially hooked. The speed, the wind, the pure simplistic fun… If you grew up watching Aladdin fly on his magic carpet, that was me on two wheels.
I spent the afternoon cycling the coast, stopping to snap pictures, and enjoying the sites along the way. Being outside beat sitting on a tour bus, especially with the springlike weather. Riding on a bike, you have flexibility to stop and enjoy, plus you get to zip around at 25-32 km per hour!
To gather inspiration for my afternoon whirl, I checked out Switched on Bike’s Blog, which is full of ideas for outdoor activities and foodie spots. I’m never one to turn down coastal views or a cute cafe. Luckily, Wellington has oodles of both. After a quick stop at Beach Babylon I continued to Greta Point to watch airplanes take off over the bay.
On my way back to shop at the end of the afternoon, Wellington continued to show off its charm. This city wears art the way Tan France wears a French tuck – expertly and with a touch of sass. It’s on every nook and cranny and speaks to the city’s quirky creative vibe that’s so unique to here. I can’t get enough.
Switched on Bikes
In the age of #yolo, I’m glad I ticked an eBike adventure off the list. The walk along the water to Queens Wharf is the perfect way to set the tone for a leisurely (or adventurous) exploration of Wellington as a local, tourist, or hybrid like me. The guys at the shop are knowledgeable and friendly, happy to offer suggestions for your ride. Not to mention, once you feel the wind on your face all of your adult stress will melt away as your 10 year old self resurfaces for another race around the bend.