News | 27 February 2023
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Whānau getting the wheels turning for climate action

Biking around the city for transport is the way that Wellingtonian Prue Isaacs and her whānau are doing their part for climate action.

Woman standing behind her bike and smiling.

Growing up in Wellington, Prue has always ridden her bike to get around the city. She started at 13, when she would ride to school because her parents refused to drive, she says. 

“Even if it was freezing cold, our parents would still make my siblings and I ride our bikes with our school uniforms. It’s character building!”

After resisting cycling for a few years, Prue realised the benefit of it when she moved overseas for a short stint, she says.  

“I was cycling to work from 2002 but we still had a car, but the biggest mode shift for us was moving to London in 2016. We sold our car because we decided that we didn’t need one while we were travelling. First thing I did over there was buy a bike. We cycled everywhere and it was so easy and fun to do.

“When we came back to Wellington in 2018, I realised we didn’t need to get a car again. I had never been able to fully let go of our car. I always wondered how I would do the shopping or what I would do if there was an emergency, but I realised we could always just call an uber or borrow a car from a friend.”

Woman cycling up a hill.

Letting go of the ‘what ifs’ have really helped Prue and her family, she says. 

“Now I cycle to work every day and on my days off, I still use my bike to do things like go to Bunnings to pick up plants and potting mix. We also have a trailer, and my partner is so dedicated he has used it to carry 30kgs of concrete, or he’ll restock our pantry at the Bin Inn.”

As much as cycling has become part of Prue’s everyday life, she has never felt different riding her bike.

Woman cycling down a hill.

“I’m quite normal. I’m not super fit, I’m not hardcore. I just have a regular bike and it’s not worth much! I do it because it feels faster, it’s cleaner and we are passionate about climate change. 

“Two of my children work in climate change and one has just graduated with a PhD in climate change. As a family, it’s the single biggest thing we know we can do. All of my kids cycle and we tried to teach them the value of it when they were young, similar to how I was taught.” 

She says that adjusting how you move can be as simple as making a few swaps.

“We’ve made it work. You realise you can do a whole lot without a car. We’re not saying we would never drive or fly again, we’ve just decided to reduce. The more we reduce or avoid it, the better it is. Any journey we don’t take in a car is a good thing, and it’s 100 percent about climate change for us. 

“We just try to do our bit. It’s about switching it up and doing what you can do.”