The first Aotearoa Bike Challenge has prompted more Kiwis to cycle this summer, with participants up and down the country riding an impressive 1.3 million kilometres, or about six hundred times the length of New Zealand, since the workplace Challenge kicked off at the start of February.
The Challenge draws to a close next week with more than 11,000 people and 1,000 organisations logging rides so far, and it’s not too late to get involved – a 10 minute journey by bike is all it takes to participate.
“We are extremely pleased with the number of Kiwis that are getting on their bikes and taking part,” says NZ Transport Agency National Cycling Manager Dougal List. “It’s great to see that Kiwis are keen to give cycling a go regardless of age, occupation or previous experience.”
More than 100,000 trips by bike have been made as part of the Challenge. “The next step for cyclists is to turn their efforts into lasting habits,” says Dougal.
“We want more Kiwis to enjoy getting about by bike all year round, and we hope the Challenge has given more people the confidence to hop on their bikes for everyday trips.”
Participants are being supported with tailored guidance and tips, friendly workplace competition and lots of great prizes on offer.
Christchurch Airport is one of the more than 1000 organisations signed up for the Challenge. “It has been an excellent driver to help incorporate cycling into the lives of more of our staff,” says Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns.
“We see cycling as a way to enable people to bring their passion to work. It also provides the potential for increased wellbeing for staff and supports one of the intentions of our sustainability strategy.”
To help encourage staff to cycle to work, the airport has installed extra cycle stands for staff to use close to the office.
“We are also encouraging staff to ‘buddy up’ with other cyclists for bike trips to share and grow some of the cycling knowledge and experience we have in our team.”
Malcolm says projects like the Aotearoa Bike Challenge create a sense of fun and camaraderie throughout its team, which is based at different sites and works across different shifts.
The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is based on the global Love to Ride platform which has been brought to New Zealand by the NZ Transport Agency.
To give riders an extra incentive there is a brand new eBike, a Panasonic Smart TV, cycling gear, movie vouchers and many more prizes to be won.
To find out more visit www.aotearoa.bike(external link)
Photo caption: Staff at Christchurch Airport celebrate national Go By Bike Day. From left: Angus Johnston, Michael Singleton, Chief Executive Malcolm Johns, Natalie Reeves and Craig Dunstan.