WHEN THE map of the proposed new Cy-Way route arrived, there was much interest in where it went.

I was delighted to see it will pass right through my house, well not through my lounge room, but along the main road I live off.

Since becoming a beginner mountain biker at Christmas, I have stuck mainly to the forest.

But last week I ventured on to the roads for the first time, deciding to ride rather than drive to the Waipa mountain bike car park.


At the risk of sounding like a scaredy-cat, it was a little scary. It can be dangerous enough when you are driving with other people not indicating, pulling out suddenly and driving erratically. At least in a car you have some metal to protect you.

I have to admit to whimping out and getting off the bike a few times rather than brave the traffic at major intersections and once I went the long way around to avoid one - much to the amusement of the man outside the pub who saw exactly what I was doing.

I would like to ride my bike around town more and I can see the attraction of riding to work.

So I like the idea of a dedicated, protected cycleway for cyclists to get around the wider urban area and believe it will encourage people to get out on their bikes more.

Yes, visiting riders come to Rotorua predominantly to ride in our forest and on the off-road trails.

But they don't stay in the forest, so why not make it more attractive for them to bike other places should they fancy it?

It's likely to be locals that benefit the most though, with the proposed Cy-Way route covering many of the main roads around both sides of town.

I look forward to my side of town being done, so I and other scaredy-cats like me can ride with a little more peace of mind.

-It wasn't that many years ago Australia was seen as the promised land.

Our young people were packing up and heading across the ditch just as soon as they could.

They were tempted by tales of jobs, big money and a life in the sunshine.

For some it lived up to its promise and for others, it didn't.

The drop in the number of Rotorua people leaving for Australia is great news, as are the stories of people coming home.

It reflects well on Rotorua and bodes well for the city's future.

It seems there really is no place like home.