Bike Hubs Spark Chain Reaction for Cycle-Loving Family
The doors were only just open at the Bike Hub Pakuranga when Melissa Ezekiela arrived with her extended family, excited about the arrival of a local space focused on helping more people get on bikes.
“The Bike Hubs are just great. I’ve been to several of them now and it’s really great to have people there who can show you how to fix those little things yourself. I also love that everyone has the chance to get a bike, through the sale of refurbished donated bikes,” says Melissa.
The family visited the new Pakuranga hub on its opening weekend to support Melissa’s brother Kelvin Aris, the coordinator there and to celebrate their shared love of cycling. Now it’s their regular meeting point for weekend rides together.
Getting back into cycling
Melissa’s interest in cycling was reignited when she moved from a rural area.
“I always loved bikes as a kid but cycling rurally felt tricky. When we moved to East Auckland, my brother said it’s time for you to get a bike again because there’s so many cool riding paths around here”.
“I realised I wanted to go riding with my little boy, so I went to the Glen Innes Bike Hub and got my first adult bike, and a toddler seat. I used that for many happy years and recently upgraded,” says Melissa.
The family interest in cycling grew and now Melissa says they rarely use the car, especially on weekends.
“I just love being able to cycle with my kids. The conversations we have as we are riding along are great. We feel more connected with everything, being outside and enjoying the fresh air.”
Melissa says that people will often stop to ask her about how she manages with two children on the bike with her.
“I love that, it’s great to share with those asking that there are ways you can get your kids riding with you quite young, with the right child seats. And my kids love it too, they ask me to take them out on the bike.”
Melissa says she’s a keen advocate for the Bike Hubs and is excited the network is growing.
“I have recommended Bike Hubs to so many people, whether they haven’t got a bike and want one or they are looking to donate their old bikes, because it’s such a cool concept. If you were thinking about getting a bike, it would be the first place to go.”
The Bike Hub network is growing across Tāmaki Makaurau, with Auckland Transport partnering with community organisations, including EcoMatters, to operate the network. Find a Bike Hub near you or learn more about the Bike Hubs EcoMatters runs.