This issue is brought to you by the letters B, I, K and E.

While Travel Editor Winston Aldworth was cycling his way through Tanzania (it's a tough job, etc, etc), I've been left holding the reins. Or the handlebars, to run with a theme.

Your tales of two-wheeled adventure across the globe in response to our Lonely Planet Epic Bike Rides of the World competition are truly inspiring ... and also made me reminisce about bikes I have known and loved.

My first was a maroon-coloured Raleigh Eagle, complete with training wheels that I was reluctant to lose. I used to proudly hoon around my local village, relishing the freedom and adventure my carefree childhood allowed.

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Living in Cambridge, England, in my early 20s, I got myself a pink number with a basket and rode everywhere - to work, to the pub, and back home again (possibly slightly wobblier after a couple of shandies, of course).

Auckland's transition from cycle enemy to cycle friendly is far from complete, but there has certainly been impressive progress in recent years. Te Ara I Whiti (Lightpath), otherwise known as the Pink Path or Magenta Adventure, was the well-deserved Supreme Winner at this year's Bike to the Future awards, honouring New Zealand's best cycling projects. I'm yet to ride it myself, but it's on the list ... along with the other great NZ trails mentioned this issue - Northland's Twin Coast Cycle Trail and Nelson's Great Taste Trail. Better get on my bike.