My alarm went off with a shrill and I followed with a grunt and pulled myself out of bed, it was 6am on a Saturday, but all for a good cause. I was soon on my bike and headed off, with my girlfriend to follow half an hour later in her car.
I arrived at Caltex Fanshaw Street and was pleasantly surprised to see 25+ bikes lined up and waiting to go. More joined on Ponsonby Road. We held a quick briefing, bikers were requested to purchase a parking ticket and to make use of the shops in the area so that their trade would not be adversely affected. We left in two groups lead by Kimbo and myself with Cherie as tail-end. Phil and Brendan had already headed to Ponsonby to start directing bikes when they arrived.
We started pulling into Ponsonby Road, taking angle parks as they become available, we had waiting bikes in parallel parks and as more angle parks became available we took them, spacing out the parallel parked bikes.
People started to disburse predominately between Sierra and Salta cafes for an early morning coffee and breakfast for some. The fun began, the view of all the bikes taking up the parking seriously upset some of the general public. Some asked why we were doing this, some didn't care why we were there but were vocal in letting us know they didn't approve. We also witnessed cars trying to angle park in a parallel space between two bikes, cars parking in disabled spots without relevant badges and bikes being blocked in by people in cars parking illegally. Some took great offence to having the MAGNZ flier inserted under their wiper blades after abusing some bikers and then proceeded to block in more bikes with yet more illegal parking. One gentleman in particular moved his car and came back to talk in a semi civilised manor to express that he really didn't think we were going the right way about trying to get our point across, but when asked couldn't tell us a better way or how he would do it – we are going to carry on with this strategy as its getting attention and people are starting to complain to their local MPs (or so they say).
We also came across people who wanted to make a point that all the bikes were damaging their revenue for the day by taking up ‘their’ parks. They were council provided public parks, we had paid for parking and we were patrons of their business. When questioned if they would have had an issue if we were in cars the answer was obvious, they wouldn't have had an issue at all.
One of the local residents and a business owner phoned police to complain about all the bikes in car parks. An officer duly arrived and spoke to me about what we were doing there. He concurred that we had done nothing illegal and there was nothing he could do, so the bikes were left where they were. The officer also agreed that there is a lot of public discriminating against motorcyclists in general.
All in all it was a good day for MAGNZ, enjoying our bacon breakfasts watching cars trying to park and not being able to.