Over 5,000 Kiwis accept spring cycling challenge


More than 5,200 New Zealanders got on their bikes in October as part of the first Aotearoa mini Bike Challenge, including almost 4,000 new riders.

During the Challenge, participants made more than 27,000 trips by bike, cycling a total of 262,793 kilometres.

The Challenge, which took place from Monday 16 to Sunday 29 October, was launched by the NZ Transport Agency as part of its commitment to making cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice for New Zealanders.

With the month-long Aotearoa Bike Challenge returning in February, this two-week version gave participants a chance to give cycling a go ahead of the longer challenge, with just 10 minutes of cycling enough to get involved.

“We know that ten percent* of Kiwis are planning to get on a bike in the next six months so seeing such a high number of new riders to the Challenge log a ride is a positive step towards this,” says NZ Transport Agency Senior Manager System Design, Brett Gliddon.

“It was great to see so many people using their bikes to commute to work and for smaller every day trips.

“The mini Challenge was all about helping people build the confidence to get on a bike through tailored support and guidance. We look forward to seeing this continue to grow with more people encouraging their friends, family and colleagues to get involved during the month-long Aotearoa Bike Challenge in February.”

The Aotearoa mini Bike Challenge major prize was won by Mark Harris from Beca, who made 11 trips by bike and cycled 170 kilometres to win himself a brand-new Trek FX1 Stagger bike.

Mark also took part in the first Aotearoa Bike Challenge in February, and looks forward to being a part of the Beca team for the Challenge next year.

“Taking part in the Challenge was great for my fitness and gave me a much quicker commute to work. It also makes parking in town much easier,” he says.

“I would definitely encourage others to give cycling a go for the same reasons – especially those who complain about traffic congestion!”

Along with the bike, other prizes awarded include a night in a BnB for the rider who made the most trips and a Panasonic Smart Home Monitoring Kit given to the rider with the most kilometres cycled.

For more information and a full list of results visit aotearoa.bike.(external link)

*  Source: Nielsen CMI database – Q3 16 – Q2 2017 (11,087 respondents).