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Kiwis encouraged to leave the car at home

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February 1 is the first day of Bike Wise Month, the annual cycling extravaganza that sees hundreds of cycling events take place around New Zealand, all with the goal of getting Kiwis onto their bicycles.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Bike Wise, and to celebrate as many people as possible are being encouraged to take part in next week’s launch event Go By Bike Day on 1 February (being held on 15 February in Auckland).

Go By Bike Day is the one day of the year when thousands of Kiwis all over the country join together, rain or shine, and cycle to work, school, or wherever they are headed. This event is for anyone who can keep a bike upright – whether they are long-time cycling veterans, or have just graduated from training wheels and looking to hit the road.

Select towns and cities will be staging free breakfast events on the morning of Go By Bike Day. Check www.bikewise.co.nz(external link) to see what’s happening in your local area.

“Go By Bike Day is about getting people from around the country to give cycling a go and see how easy it is to get where you need to go by bicycle,” says Jennie Gianotti, NZTA’s Network User Behaviour Manager.

“New Zealanders have been enjoying cycling here since the first bikes arrived here back in the 1860s. Go By Bike Day is a chance to get back to those roots, jump on a bike, and rediscover how fun and easy it can be.

“So when you wake up on Wednesday morning, leave the car keys or bus pass on the kitchen counter, and join thousands of other Kiwis cycling to work, school, or wherever, on Go By Bike Day.”

Bike Wise Month

One of the best things about Bike Wise Month is that there are events catering to everyone.

“If you have access to a working bike, you can take part in Bike Wise Month. In fact, even if your bike isn’t fully operational, you can look for a local Big Bike Fix Up event – offering free bike safety checks to help people get on the road safely.

For more information on Bike Wise Month and to check out upcoming events visit: www.bikewise.co.nz/events(external link).

There’s also no better place to share your cycling stories and get updates than on Bike Wise’s new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bikewise(external link)) and through the Twitter feed www.twitter.com/bikewisenz(external link).

Reasons to ride

It’s good for your body

  • A 60 minute bike ride burns approximately 600 calories – about the same number as are in three slices of pizza.
  • Only half of all adults meet the Ministry of Health definition of being regularly physically active. By incorporating cycling into your daily routine (going to work, shopping or the school run) it becomes easy to reach the recommended 30 minutes a day.

It’s good for your brain

  • Research by the University of California has shown aerobic activity actually helps to grow new brain cells (neurons) in the hippocampus – the part of the brain responsible for memory

It’s good for business

  • An Australian trial showed employees who exercise regularly were more productive, felt more alert and less stressed in their jobs.

For more information contact:

Andy Knackstedt                                              
Media Manager                                                
NZ Transport Agency                            
T. 04 894 6285                                    
M. 021 276 3222  
E. andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz
(external link)

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