Small irony in Julie Anne Genter’s first day back at work from having a baby, is she used NZTA to spend some more of our money.
You know NZTA? The agency currently under investigation for not doing their jobs around warrants. That same agency handed out millions on bike programmes.
Julie Anne, in a fit of nostalgia, wants all kids on bikes cycling merrily to school. She cites the 1980s (I’m a kid of the 80s) and in the 80s, she wistfully recalled, half of us biked or walked to school.
She is right, I biked and walked to school. I mainly walked because anyone who goes to school knows that bikes and a lot of bags, books and sports gear is hopeless. It was easier to talk, which is what we did by and large.
Now what we didn’t do is have millions spent on us to one, give us bikes and two, teach us how to ride bikes. So clearly Julie Anne has decided if you can’t afford a bike the state can buy you one, and then having got one, if you can’t ride it, the state will pay for that as well.
I would argue if you can’t ride a bike, then stay off it. Because there is a saying, and the saying is “it’s like riding a bike.” And the reason that’s a saying is because its reference is that riding a bike is easy, which it is. Which then means if you find it hard, you’re not a natural, and if you’re not a natural, then biking isn’t for you.
None of this money is going to see her dream come true because life, I am afraid, has moved on. We don’t bike like we used to, kids are driven because of traffic, lifestyle, and distance.
Bikes for kids aren’t actually that useful. Maybe she’ll learn that when her kid turns 11, and they have three tonnes of books to carry.
As for poor kids getting state-funded bikes, I was a poor kid and my mum saved and for my birthday I got a second-hand bike which she painted purple, because that was my colour, and stuck a banana seat on.