Cycle to your library day, and cycling librarians

On Tuesday 14 April 2015 we are celebrating Cycle to your Library Day. Cycle to the library and you will get a backpack with reflective strips to carry your books (while stocks last). Show us your bicycle helmet and let us know you cycled to the library.

Cycling is a fast, healthy and cost-effective so why not ride one to your library and celebrate with us.

Many famous minds have talked about bicycles:

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells, opens a new window

My fellow cycling librarians would certainly agree. The first librarian I'd like to introduce you to bikes in all weathers.

I ride a Blue Bauer and have been cycling since the age of six. I still enjoy going for a bike ride although do not go as far afield these days. Biking is something I have always done, it keeps you fit and healthy. I keep myself safe on the road by paying attention to traffic, planning and looking ahead.

If you start young you will develop confidence, the more experienced you get the more you are likely to cycle and feel confident on the road. Getting into cycling as a young child as I did around home then taking longer bike rides to the park made it an easy natural process. The most enjoyable thing about biking is it helps me unwind and relax about the day in the evening.

Bicycles are a metaphor for life:

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. Charles M. Schulz, opens a new window

Let me introduce you to somebody who I know uses all his gears.

I cycle to work, to meet friends, to the supermarket. As long as I'm not picking up a fridge, I'll bike there. I used to bike from the Port Hills to Redwood and back every day, but working at Peterborough is luckily a lot closer!

I started cycling primarily because I was frustrated with changes to the bus routes and the many delays, but it also saves money. It's healthy, cheap, great for the environment, and convenient. I confess to being a fair weather cyclist. This isn't a big problem in dry Canterbury, however. My advice to keeping yourself safe when cycling is to repeat the cycle safe incantation three times while riding backwards on a full moon Or wear hi-vis and bright lights and remain aware of your surroundings, whichever is easier.

The best way to start out cycling is to stay on quiet roads. Get off and walk across pedestrian crossings if you're afraid of turning across traffic and never underestimate the importance of a comfy bike seat. The most enjoyable part of cycling is riding with a tail-wind on an off-road bike path with no earthquake damage.

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off. William Golding, opens a new window

Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. Helen Keller, opens a new window - An inspiration to us all Helen Keller rode a tandem bicycle.

Short of stature, but bike of heart is our last cycling librarian:

I ride a hybrid road/mountain bike. It has front suspension and is rather comfortable to ride. It is probably too big for me but I feel more visible on the road on it. I bike everywhere! - work, university, shops, visiting, bike trails and have done since I was a child but got back into it seriously as a form of transport when I was going out to the university.

Usually I bike up to an hour a day depending on what I have scheduled that day. I would bike everyday - but some days it is almost impossible when the wind gets up and the rain starts tumbling. It is about fitness, as I enjoy it as an alternative to running. As a form of transport it is both kind on the budget and environmentally friendly. Christchurch with its flat terrain is a cycle-friendly city. I'd like to encourage others to get out and join me and to show that it is possible.

My safety tip is to be prepared to stop at all times! I make myself visible through wearing bright clothing and riding to be seen. I also use a flashing red light on my backpack even during the day. I am constantly scanning the road and footpaths ahead of me and I try to predict what people are going to do before it happens but as I said - I must be prepared to stop at all times.

The best way to start out cycling is to go out for short trips with family or friends - use designated bike tracks so that you can get used to handling the bike under different circumstances without having to worry about traffic.The best thing about cycling besides arriving safely to my destination is getting out and moving!

Library staff cycling through Christchurch town centre
Library staff cycling through Christchurch town centre, At the intersection of High, Manchester and Lichfield Streets. 1980s. Flickr Arch-52-PH-07-21

You may be surprised to know librarians have a proud tradition of biking to work. Some of us bike only when it's a fine day. others are out in all weathers, some travel far, and others just round the corner.

How far is it to your local library? Do you bike to the library or work? Is bicycling part of your life?

For further information try our cycling pages, opens a new window or blog posts, opens a new window and cycling magazines. Search the catalogue for: