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Aotearoa Bike Challenge kicks off today

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The 2021 Aotearoa Bike Challenge kicks off today, and runs throughout the month of February, as a fun, free competition to help boost cycling across the country.

The Challenge encourages Kiwis to make everyday trips by bike, offering the chance to win some great prizes along the way. 

Participants just need to ride a bike for 10 minutes once in February to take part, and can score points by logging rides and encouraging others to ride. 

The more points scored, the more chances of winning some of the $18,000 worth of prizes on offer(external link). Not to mention benefitting from the great health, wellbeing and environmental benefits gained from riding.

“The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a great way for organisations to show their commitment to being more sustainable in their communities, while improving health and reducing stress for their people,” says Robyn Elston, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Senior Manager System Design.  

“As well as the reduction in pollution, more people on bikes means more people-friendly communities, less congestion, and less noise pollution.”

Last year over 2,450 organisations took part in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge. Through promoting cycling, making bikes available and encouraging co-workers to bike together at lunchtime, they got a record-breaking 24,500 people taking part and riding bikes last February, including over 4,950 new riders.

Participants collectively cycled nearly 4.5 million kilometres through more than 320,000 trips by bike. Over 50% of those trips were for transport purposes (rather than for recreation) meaning 170,058 car journeys were replaced by bikes, which saved 420,686kgs of CO2 being released.

Seven months after the 2020 challenge, 42% of all riders who took part reported an increase in how often they cycled to work.

“After an increase in riding seen during the COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, many new and occasional riders are looking at how they can integrate cycling into their lives to keep the benefits they rediscovered. The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a good opportunity to kickstart some good habits,” Ms Elston says.

Sign up for the challenge at aotearoa.bike(external link).

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