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Twilight Cycle Challenge for Bike Wise Week

Media Statement

12 February 2004

Twilight Cycle Challenge for Bike Wise Week

Bicycle obstacle courses, fun races, spot prizes and free bike and helmet checks are on offer during Gisborne’s Twilight Cycle Challenge next week.

The Twilight Cycle Challenge is part of Bike Wise Week, which runs Saturday 14 February to Sunday 22 February, and encourages the cycling public to use safe cycle skills, and motorists to see cyclists as legitimate road users.

Tairawhiti Public Health Unit Health Promotion Coordinator and member of the Tairawhiti Bike Wise Committee, Susie Robertson, said this year Bike Wise Week is focusing on helping cyclists to better understand the road rules.

“We have researched Gisborne Police road cycle crash statistics and in just under half the crashes, cyclists’ lack of knowledge or attention to road rules led to the accident.”

Ms Robertson said in most cases a cyclist had failed to give way or had lost control of their bike.

“The Twilight Cycle Challenge will give all family members a chance to practice some of the skills required to be a safe cyclist including using round-a-bouts, signaling and stopping. Participants can also have their bikes and helmets safety checked for free.”

The Twilight Cycle Challenge will be at Churchill Park from 5.30pm on Friday 20 February.

In another Bike Wise initiative, Gisborne Dental Therapist Jenni Hampshire, who was involved in a cycle accident last year, will talk to intermediate school students about her experience.

Ms Roberston said it was important for students to hear first hand the value of wearing a cycle helmet.

Bike Wise Committee member and Gisborne District Council (GDC) Road Safety Coordinator Trudi Wolter said school students aged between 10 and 14 years were being targeted during Bike Wise Week.

“Students will receive fun activity sheets prompting them to become proficient road users.”

The activity sheets are being distributed with the help of local schools and Ms Wolter encouraged parents to help children work through them.”

“In New Zealand nearly 20 cyclists are killed and hundreds are injured every year, which is why we need to work together to keep our cyclists safe.”

Ms Wolter said Gisborne District Council was liaising with other community representatives and groups to develop a walking a cycling strategy for the city.

The final document, expected by the end of this year, will guide Gisborne District Council to ensure it considers cyclists’ best interests, when roadways are created or any roading changes occur.

As well as GDC and Tairawhiti District Health, the Tairawhiti Bike Wise Committee also includes Gisborne Police representatives, Sport Gisborne, and Community Injury Prevention, Turanga Health.


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