Karina Gough and her bicycle, loaded with yoga mat and her pre-schooler, would be a normal sight in the Netherlands – rain, shine – or even snow! Here in Masterton, it’s a little outside the norm.
But Karina’s never been one to conform and her DOC Martin boots, jet black hair, nose stud and the popular meditative yoga classes she teaches are testament to her strong sense of self.
I admire her strength of character as I admire her car-free existence.
For most of us, the depths of winter send us scrambling back into the warmth of our cars. Karina is an exception braving the elements to and from yoga classes and Kindergarten.
“I try and dodge the rain where I can but otherwise just stick on my wet weather gear and get on with it. It's not enough to put me off! “
Some might think a life without a car is a life of deprivation but Karina is the one reaping the benefits of living a largely car-free existence.
“I like to bike as it's an easy way to get around and keep fit at the same time. It also saves a lot of money! An added bonus is that I feel like I notice little changes more as I have more time to appreciate my surroundings. I always get to admire the painted Chorus phone boxes and notice people's gardens and house renovations. The best bonus, as cheesy as it sounds, is to be able to smile at people walking on the street and say hello to fellow cyclists.”
Karina’s three years old, Luna also benefits from their bike life.
“When I cycle around with Luna we often talk about our environment. It's a great learning opportunity for her. We talk about all the things we see whether that's colours of cars, people, animals etc. When I first started cycling with her on the back I also used to sing to her 'The Wheels on the Bike go round and round' and "Ride, ride, ride your bike, gently down the street.”
Whilst the rest of us are feeling stressed while rushing from a to b trying to squeeze more time out of an all ready full 24 hours, Karina’s bike lifestyle allows her reap the benefits of a slower pace and view her community through a different lens.
Like the yoga Karina teaches, perhaps bicycling too, can enrich the soul and mind.
Thursday 12th of March 2015: Snap yourself on your favourite Wairarapa ride or commute and go in the draw to win a $100 voucher for the Farriers Bar and Eatery!
Read more on Wai Bike Selfie Competition
Tuesday 24th of February 2015: Putting a human face to the cyclist under the helmet is the aim of an advertising campaign kicking off around the Wellington region on Monday 2 February.
Read more on See the Person - Share the Road
Sunday 15th of February 2015: A new website, containing a tonne of tips, recommended trips and latest local news has been created for cycling in Wairarapa.
Read more on New Wai Bike Wairarapa website