By chance the sun came out on Tuesday, the wind didn't blow, and though our fingers were numbed with cold we sailed out the gate singing yodelling songs with scores of other Wellington cyclists.

The city rang to the joyous cacophony. No, it didn't and never does. The bicycle city exists in the minds of the council, its planners and those desperadoes who imagine, from watching Scandi TV programmes, that this could be Copenhagen if we really tried. That we are hilly and the Danes are flat is no matter.

There is a planned new apartment complex in Newtown to illustrate this intriguing approach. No doubt it leads the country.

Newtown is to get 72 new apartments on a main road, Constable St, none of which will have a car park, let alone a garage, nor will there be vehicle access.


Blink and they've done it. This is your future, no public consultation needed.

Wellington City Council is gripped by the idea of bicycles. It is changing the city streetscape to equip it for a future when this hilly and windy city will lie as flat as a map. The mess it's made of Island Bay is its obstinate mission for everywhere.

The Newtown flats will be small, just one and two-bedroomed. The inference is that they will likely be social housing in the densely populated suburb. For anyone else, the lack of parking space would be a turn-off, but the old, the poor and the disabled will be grateful to be doomed to public transport they can quite likely not afford more than once a week.

There is a sermon here that is familiar: it is sinful to own cars, principled to ride bicycles, and public-spirited to catch public transport. The city should cater for the childless, the healthy and fit, the young, and the right-minded. Never mind that the bicycle lanes of the city, built at huge cost, lie virtually – or totally – empty, apart from weekends. Never mind that it rains, and the wind howls, a good many days of the year when, amazingly enough, cyclists prefer the alternative. Which is possibly a car.

Transmission Gully, north of the city, is simultaneously being built at even vaster expense. How this has happened is a mystery because it suggests that, contrary to the council's hopes, cars will exist in the world well into the future.

Now a briefing document at the Transport Minister's office suggests Transmission Gully drivers should be punished for their wicked ways by paying to use it. This would likely cause truckies to use the old, existing road that is expected to otherwise be cyclist heaven, and a toll seems "pretty dumb" to AA spokesman Mike Noon, and me.

I don't know what planning documents and what reliable, as opposed to fanciful, projections exist for the council's exciting philosophy, but I do hope electric cars are factored in. They will be free of sin because they won't cause pollution, though they'll still offer people the freedom to go where they like, when they like, including supermarket shopping, ferrying kids to after-school classes and sporting events, and visiting friends in outlying suburbs.

I have lived the carless dream, and I hated it. My family never owned a car, and so I know all about the long walks to bus stops, the waiting in the cold, the timetables that never work, the heavy supermarket bags, and the exorbitant taxi rides as backup.

I lived the dream until I bought my first car, and saw the light. As anyone knows, a car is freedom. Bicycles are hair shirts for fanatics.