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Active transport focus for Bike Wise Week

ARTA Media Release
21 February 2008

Active transport focus for Bike Wise Week

Active transport is the focus for the region over the next couple of weeks, as Aucklanders are encouraged to dust off their bikes, pump up their tyres, get out and about on two wheels, and join in the many free events planned for National Bike Wise Week (23 February to 2 March 2008).

Auckland's events, organised by local councils and cycle advocacy groups with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) aim to celebrate and encourage cycling as a form of transport, whether to pop to the shops for milk and the newspaper, getting to and from work and school, or using a bike to connect with bus, train and ferry services.

Local events include several Go By Bike breakfasts on Wednesday 27 February with lots of free giveaways and great prizes, a chance to join your local mayor for a bike ride, and organisations and their staff rising to the two-week challenge of the Bike Wise battle.

Auckland Regional Transport Authority General Manager, Customer Services, Mark Lambert says, "ARTA, working together with local councils, wants to encourage Aucklanders to give cycling a go. While cycling in Auckland can be a challenge, there are noticeable developments happening to make cycling easier, with local councils working hard to implement more cycle lanes and cycleways. In a further development, Transit and its regional partners are looking into the potential for cycling on the Harbour Bridge.

“The variety of Bike Wise Week celebrations, especially the Go By Bike breakfasts on Wednesday 27 February, are a way to say thank you to the people already biking and to encourage others to take it up. Compared to driving, cycling can often be faster and cheaper, reduces traffic congestion and pollution, and is a great way to keep fit, much cheaper than gym subscriptions.

"Ultimately we want Aucklanders to consider biking or walking for short trips as second nature rather than always taking the car. We're working with local councils to create a safe regional cycle network with improved facilities that meet the needs of cyclists.”

To make it easier for riders to get around during Bike Wise Week, ARTA is enabling cyclists to take their bike on board the train for free between 23 February and 2 March during off-peak hours (from Monday to Friday between 9am and 2pm and after 7pm, and all day on the weekend).

Aucklanders can find out more about the fun events held during Bike Wise Week by visiting www.bikewise.co.nz or by contacting their local council:

Auckland City 09 379 2020
Franklin District 09 237 1300
Manukau City 09 262 5104
North Shore City 09 486 8600
Papakura District 09 295 1300
Rodney District 0800 426 5169
Waitakere City 09 389 0400

Regional Cycle Maps – including the new Central Cycle Map – to help new and rusty cyclists get around more safely are available from www.maxx.co.nz (just click on the cycle tab).

About Bike Wise events:
Tuesday 26 February

Mayoral Challenge – 6pm to 8pm, Pukekohe Park Raceway, Pukekohe
A family fun cycling night, with events for both young and old, competitive and non-competitive, and a chance to chase Mayor Mark Ball around the track on your bike.

Wednesday 27 February

Go By Bike Day breakfast – 6.30am to 9am, Aotea Square, Auckland City
A very popular event run by Auckland City Council, hosted by Jon Bridges and More FM, with music, demos, free bike checks, quality spot prizes (including a bike, helmets and bike gloves), competitions and goody bags for all participants. And the famous Commuter Challenge is back for 2008. Groups will again bike to Aotea Square in cycling buses along Tamaki Drive and the Northwestern cycleway, and also down Dominion Road, so join in with others and bike downtown for an exciting morning. See www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/bike for cycling bus meeting times and other information.

Go By Bike Day breakfast – 7am, Manukau Square, Manukau Shopping Centre, Manukau City
For the third year running, Manukau is getting behind Bike Wise with a Go By Bike Day breakfast, led by Mayor Len Brown and other cycling enthusiasts. People of all ages and cycling levels are welcome.

Go By Bike Day breakfast – 6.30am, 1 The Strand, Takapuna, North Shore City
North Shore City’s annual free bikers’ breakfast, with goody bags, spot prizes and more. Participants could be up for the grand prize of a $500 voucher from Avantiplus Wairau Park. Other activities on the day include free massages from Just Massage, hair stylists from Servilles Takapuna fixing ‘helmet hair’, free bike checks from Avantiplus Wairau Park. There will be police escorted rides to the breakfast from Devonport Wharf and Windsor Park, East Coast Bays. For both rides meet at 6.45am to begin the ride at 7am. All usual road rules apply. Riders must wear a helmet, and hi-visibility clothing and a water bottle are recommended.

Sunday 2 March

Mayoral Challenge – 8am, Central Park, Papakura
After free bike and helmet checks, Papakura residents can hop on their bikes and join Mayor Calum Penrose for a two-kilometre bike ride through the streets of Papakura to Youngs Rd Reserve where cyclists can enjoy a free sausage sizzle, and could be in to win spot prizes or even a bike.

Mayoral Challenge – 10am, outside of Plantation Café on Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa
Mayor Penny Webster will lead the bike ride on this entirely flat course. All riders will receive a goody bag and an invitation to the carnival afterwards, plus the school with the most rider nominations will win $1000 worth of sports equipment. There will also be entertainment for the whole family with unicyclists, an inflatable obstacle course and bouncy castle, clowns, fairies, face painting, brass bands, bagpipes, celebrities and spot prizes.


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