Tomorrow marks the start of New Zealand’s biggest celebration of two-wheeled, people-powered transport – Bike Wise Month. Kiwis of all ages are being encouraged to give cycling a go and head along to one of the many events being held around the country during February.
NZTA National Manager Road User Behaviour Michael Cummins said Bike Wise Month is aimed at highlighting the benefits of cycling and getting as many New Zealanders as possible onto their bikes.
“Seventy percent of New Zealand families with children have one or more bicycles at home. So people of all ages and abilities should have no trouble in digging their bike out of the shed and giving it a whirl.”
“One third of all vehicle journeys in New Zealand are less than five kilometres in length — which is an easy cycle ride, even for beginners. The bike always works out to be the cheaper, more environmentally-friendly option, and in urban areas can often be as quick as the car.”
Mr Cummins said cycling also had significant health benefits.
“More than half of all New Zealanders don’t meet recommended guidelines for physical activity each week, and according to the World Health Organisation, New Zealand has the third highest obesity rate in the OECD. Cycling just 15 minutes each way as your daily commute would cover the average adult’s minimum daily exercise requirement.”
Hundreds of bike-friendly events are being staged across New Zealand as part of the celebration.
Bike Wise Month 2011 Activities
- Go By Bike Day: Wednesday, 16 February 2011 – New Zealanders are being encouraged to bike to work or school instead of going in the car. Breakfast events, including free food and entertainment, are being held in more than 50 locations around the country.
- Bike Wise Challenge: 1-28 February 2011 – open to any New Zealand organisation is a fun, free, online competition that encourages organisations to get staff on their bikes for Bike Wise.
- Mayoral Challenge: Held on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month: New Zealand towns and cities will compete for the honour of the most ‘Cycle Mad City’ by getting as many people as possible to follow their Mayor on a gentle bike ride.
For detailed information on all of the events taking place during Bike Wise Month 2011 visit: www.bikewise.co.nz.
The Bike Wise website has been upgraded and improved to become a one-stop shop and support centre for anyone interested in cycling.