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Go by Bike Day

Go by Bike Day

Pedal power will rule this Wednesday (27 February) as Kiwis of all ages, shapes and sizes hit the streets on two wheels to celebrate national Go By Bike Day.

Those who give cycling a go on Wednesday will be rewarded with free breakfasts and entertainment in 49 centres from Whangarei to Dunedin.

Go By Bike Day events are being organised around the country by councils, sports trusts, cycle groups and other organisations as part of national Bike Wise Week (23 February to 2 March). Bike Wise Week is a nationwide campaign aimed at getting more Kiwis on their bikes.

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.

Transport Minister Annette King said Go By Bike Day is part of a concerted effort to make progress towards that target and increase the use of active, healthy transport modes like cycling.

Land Transport NZ Chief Executive Wayne Donnelly said Bike Wise Week and Go By Bike Day were meant to encourage more Kiwis to give cycling a go and consider it as a regular means of transport.

“Cycling is fun, healthy, and good for the environment It costs much less than running a car, and is often faster and more convenient. Two-thirds of all car journeys in New Zealand are for less than six kilometres. That’s a distance most people could easily cycle in not much more time than it takes to drive around and find a park.

“Lots of Kiwis are starting to think about a more active lifestyle, and cycling ticks all the right boxes. It’s great exercise and an excellent alternative for those concerned about their health and the health of the planet.”

Cyclists of any shape, size or experience level can come along to enjoy the fun on Wednesday, and organisers predict numbers will be way up on last year, when around 6,000 breakfasts were dished out in 35 centres.

Healthy breakfast food and prizes are donated by sponsors, and entertainment is often provided by local performers.

Bike Wise is funded by Land Transport NZ and the Ministry of Health. Healthy breakfast food and prizes are donated by ABE’S® Food Company, Barker’s Fine Foods, Fresh Connection and Dole Superfoods.

Go By Bike Day encourages people to ride safely and at most centres, volunteer bike mechanics are on hand to give free safety checks and maintenance tips, and to show riders how to set their bikes up for the most comfortable ride.

If you’d like to give cycling a go on Go By Bike Day, or find out about other Bike Wise Week events in your area, please visit www.bikewise.co.nz

ends

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