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Get ready to ride

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Cycling season is here and it's time to shake off those winter blues, head outdoors and start riding. To give potential peddlers a bit of a push-start, the NZ Transport Agency is celebrating the 10th year of their annual Bike Wise programme. February is Bike Wise Month, but there's no need to wait until then to begin enjoying all of the benefits biking brings.

“Dusting off the bike could be the best decision people make this summer, and with the Bike Wise campaign featuring more events than ever, plus workshops to get your gear shipshape, there are plenty of reasons to  give it a go,” says NZTA spokesperson Andy Knackstedt.

The first step to biking bliss is to ensure you have a bike in good working order. To help out, Bike Wise is launching the Big Bike Fix Up, with the target of getting 5,000 previously unloved bikes back on the road through a series of local events.  Each Big Bike Fix Up event to be held throughout spring and summer, will offer free safety checks for those who bring their bikes along. 

Once your bike has been checked out it’s time to get riding.  For those who haven’t cycled in a while, the Christmas holiday period is a great chance to work the rust out of those legs in preparation for the first big event of the 10th Anniversary Bike Wise Month – Go By Bike Day.

This one-day event takes place on February 1 to celebrate the start of Bike Wise Month 2012 with thousands of people leaving their cars behind to cycle to work for the day, stopping to enjoy the free breakfast events just for cyclists along the way.

February 1 also kicks-off the month-long Bike Wise Challenge event – a free and fun competition to see which NZ organisation can get the most staff on a bike during the month.  Since its introduction in 2007, nearly 50,000 people from thousands of organisations have taken part.

There are also numerous local events taking place around the country with details appearing on the Bike Wise website (www.bikewise.co.nz(external link)), and there’s no better place to share your cycling stories and get frequent updates than on Bike Wise’s brand new Facebook page (www.facebook.com/bikewise(external link)) and through the Twitter feed www.twitter.com/bikewisenz(external link).  

A few reasons to get riding

  • It’s fun and easy!
  • No more parking meters or petrol pumps
  • Riding just 15 minutes each way to work covers the average adult’s minimum recommended daily dose of exercise
  • A third of vehicle trips in New Zealand are over distances of less than five kilometres – easily covered by bike

Bike Wise Events

  • November 2011–January 2012:  Big Bike Fix Ups Local bike safety checks and maintenance events to be held throughout spring and summer
  • 1 February 2012:  Go By Bike Day – Swap the car for a bike this day and join thousands of others in riding to work (plus you get a free breakfast)
  • 1-29 February 2012:  Bike Wise Challenge Make sure your organisation is signed up early to take part in the challenge to see which organisation is the most bike-friendly during February

Visit www.bikewise.co.nz/events(external link) for these and other cycling events near you.

For more information please contact:

Andy Knackstedt
Media Manager
New Zealand Transport Agency
T. 04 894 6285
M. 021 276 3222
E. andrew.knackstedt@nzta.govt.nz

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