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A day to try cycling

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Have you ever wondered whether it's really necessary to take a tonne of metal on tyres with you just to get across town? February 18 is national Go by Bike Day when Kiwis are encouraged to leave the car at home and get to wherever they're going on a bike.

Have you ever wondered whether it’s really necessary to take a tonne of metal on tyres with you just to get across town?

February 18 is national Go by Bike Day when Kiwis are encouraged to leave the car at home and get to wherever they’re going on a bike. It’s part of the annual Bike Wise Month promotion aimed at helping New Zealanders become more active and less dependent on motorised transport.

Free Go by Bike Day breakfast events will take place in more than 50 centres across the country and, in most cases, extra activities have been organised including spot prizes, local entertainment and free bike checks. Anyone turning up on a bike can enjoy the free food and fun.

NZ Transport Agency Media Manager, Andrew Knackstedt, says the day and the breakfasts are all about acknowledging people who already cycle, and encouraging others to give it a go.

“The breakfasts are a celebration of cycling, so we really want folks to come along and have fun. But we also know they have an effect. Lots of people are cycling regularly now because they got involved in a past Go by Bike Day event and discovered it was easy to fit into their daily routine and they enjoyed it.”

He says most car trips in New Zealand are quite short and over distances that could easily be cycled.

“Go by Bike Day encourages people to replace that morning car trip with a bike ride on just one day of the year. Hopefully it gets people thinking that, unless they need to lug around groceries or tow the caravan, they don’t always need to take the car.

“A lot of people quite like the idea of burning calories instead of fossil fuels, too, and that’s a large part of why cycling is starting to appeal to so many.”

Organisers expect this year’s Go by Bike Day breakfast events to be even more popular than in the past and are readying themselves for increased participant numbers.

People interested in coming along should check the Events section at www.bikewise.co.nz(external link) to see what’s on near them. No special gear is needed beyond a bike and a helmet, and cyclists of any shape or size are welcome.

Go by Bike Day events are organised by councils, sporting groups and enthusiastic cyclists. Breakfast food is provided by sponsors.

Bike Wise Month is an annual promotion funded by the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry of Health to help progress the National Transport Strategy, which aims for 30 percent of all urban trips to be by bike or on foot by 2040 – almost double the current figure of 17 percent.

For more details about Go by Bike Day and other fun, family-friendly Bike Wise Month events happening around the country, see www.bikewise.co.nz(external link).

For more information contact:

Andy Knackstedt
NZTA Media Manager
T (04) 894 6285
M 0212 763 222
andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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