Rodney District is officially ‘cycle mad’
Rodney District is officially ‘cycle mad’, grabbing top honours in this year’s Bike Wise Mayoral challenge.
Over 11,000 cycling participants got behind their pedal-pushing mayors in 36 centres across New Zealand last month, battling it out for the title of New Zealand’s most Cycle-Mad City.
Every cyclist taking part earned one point for their town, with bonus points awarded for participating celebrities. There are three categories based on population: 58,000 plus; 11,000 to 58,000; and under 11,000.
Rodney District Mayor Penny Webster led 1,500 cyclists to a clear victory in the 58,000 plus category, earning 2,239 points to beat out a combined entry from Hutt and Upper Hutt Cities in second place with 1,858 points, with last year’s winner Wellington City taking third place on 1,585 points.
“It was pouring with rain but we still managed it and that was due to the fortitude of the people of Rodney! It was an amazing day with many young people attending and participating,” Mayor Webster said.
In the populations 11,000 to 58,000 category, Central Hawke’s Bay District earned 684 points to grab first place, edging out Marlborough District on 664 points, with Selwyn District taking third spot with 480 points.
Opotiki District was a clear winner in the populations under 11,000 category, clocking up 603 points – an outstanding effort for their inaugural Mayoral Challenge event. Wairoa District took second place with and Kawerau District third place. It was also Kawerau’s inaugural Mayoral Challenge event.
The latest data from the Ministry of Transport’s Household Travel Survey shows that while there are 1.3 million cyclists in New Zealand, only a small proportion use a bike for transport, with just two percent of journeys to work by cycle.
The draft update of the New Zealand Transport Strategy has proposed a target of 30 percent of all urban trips to be by bike or on foot by 2040 - almost double the current figure of 17 percent.
Land Transport NZ Chief Executive Wayne Donnelly said Bike Wise Week and the Mayoral Challenge are part of a concerted effort to make progress towards that target and increase the use of active, healthy transport modes like cycling.
“The challenge is a fantastic way for people to get out and do something active and fun while showing they’re proud of their city or town.”
Mayoral Challenge events are organised by local councils and cycling advocates, and include spot prizes and free giveaways making them ideal opportunities for parents and their children to participate together.