More than a Million Kiwis Cycling into Summer

More than one million1 New Zealanders regularly get on their bikes, and that number is growing.

The NZ Transport Agency has a target of 10 million more cycling trips annually by 2019, and national cycling manager Dougal List says he’s heartened by reaching the million milestone.

“It’s fantastic that more than a quarter of our population are getting out on their bike – and the research shows that a further 407,0002  are intending to take up cycling in the next six months so we’re on track for 10 million journeys annually by 2019 – if not sooner.”

The Transport Agency launches its annual Bike Wise programme this month, which Dougal hopes will encourage even more Kiwis to take up New Zealand’s fastest growing method of transport.

The annual summer celebration includes Bike Wise Month in February 2016.

“Bike Wise is a great way to encourage Kiwis to enjoy fun and safe cycling this summer,” Dougal says.

“There are plenty of activities taking place up and down the country during the Bike Wise programme which provides some great opportunities for people to get involved.

“More Kiwis cycling to work, to keep fit or simply for fun is positive for both the individuals and for our transport networks. Bike Wise Month is a great way to encourage people to get out and try cycling.”

There is a full calendar of cycling events across New Zealand, including Big Bike Tune Ups, where mechanics conduct free maintenance checks to ensure bikes are safe, road-worthy and a good fit for the cyclist, and events aimed at building new riders confidence.

“We’ll also be providing safety tips and sessions. With more than one million cyclists on our roads, it’s important that both cyclists and motorists look out for one another and share the roads safely.”

The calendar of events can be found at link).

Before hitting the road, download the official New Zealand code for cyclists(external link) for a comprehensive guide to safer cycling, and also consider these key tips for sharing the road safely:

Safety Tips for Cyclists

  • Be prepared: Plan a safe route and check your bike before you start – brakes, tyres, chain, lights and reflectors
  • Be aware: Watch for car doors opening, potholes, rubbish, grates, pedestrians and other hazards
  • Be confident: Ride in a straight line, at least one metre from parked cars and take the lane when you have to. Use cycle lanes when you can
  • Be considerate: Try not to hold up the flow of traffic – if necessary, pull over to allow vehicles to pass
  • Be predictable: Make eye contact with other road users and signal your intentions clearly
  • Be seen: Wear high visibility or brightly coloured clothing. Use front and rear lights at night, in low light and rain
  • Be patient: Slow down near parked or lined up vehicles. Pass slowly and only when safe. 
    For a printable copy, download our fact sheet here(external link)

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Be aware: Watch for cyclists, especially in low light or rain, before opening car doors and at intersections. Cyclists may be travelling faster than you expect
  • Be patient: Slow down near cyclists and if need be, wait behind them. Pass slowly and only when it is safe. Ideally, leave a space of about 1.5 metres
  • Be considerate: Cyclists sometimes need to use the traffic lane for their safety. Please give them time and space to move in and out of the lane
  • When turning left: Remember that if you have passed a cyclist just before approaching a traffic signal, driveway, bus stop or junction, it is very likely they will end up on your left-hand side or just in front of you – assume the cyclist is in one of your blind spots.
    To see the above safety tips for motorists download our fact sheet here(external link)

Bike Wise Events

  • Big Bike Tune Ups, November 2015 - February 2016

To ensure bikes are safe, road-worthy and are a good fit for the cyclist, a series of Big Bike Tune Ups will be held throughout the country over spring and summer. People are encouraged to bring their bikes along to a local Big Bike Tune Up where mechanics will conduct a free maintenance check.

  • Bike Wise Month, February 2016

A number of fun cycling events will take place throughout the country during Bike Wise Month to show Kiwis the many benefits of cycling. Events include recreational rides, bike festivals and family fun rides.

  • Go By Bike Day, 10 February 2016

Bike Wise Month’s key event, Go By Bike Day, encourages Kiwis to leave the car at home and cycle to work or school. In a number of regions, they can even enjoy a free breakfast on the way.

1 - Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 14 - Q2 15

2 - Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 14 - Q2 15