Raft of events geared to get you biking this month

By Sonya Bateson

There is something for everyone at Bike Wise Month, from biking challenges to maintenance classes.

It will be the 11th year of the Bike Wise programme, which last year attracted more than 54,000 participants nationwide.

It is run each year in February by the New Zealand Transport Agency to encourage more people to get on their bikes to improve their health and teach safe cycling practices.

Tauranga is hosting a raft of different events for all abilities, including mountainbiking, BMX, tykes on trikes for the under-fives, introductions to local cycleways and trails, and basic bike maintenance workshops.

Regional Bike Wise co-ordinator Nicki Scott said the annual National Go By Bike Day would also continue, but with a different flavour.

"This year we're doing something different. We usually do a breakfast at Red Square [Mid City Mall] but this year we're doing stops along places heavily frequented by cyclists around town, with refreshments and prizes.

We will also be taking photos, which we will put up on Facebook."

Mrs Scott said the stops would be in place in Mid City Mall, by Maxwells Rd and by the marina over the harbour bridge.

"I think it's a great chance for people to get more comfortable biking and to try new things out, enjoy themselves and try something they've always wanted to do."

It wasn't just regular bikers who participated in Bike Wise Month. Mrs Scott said many people who had not been on a bike for years would come along to the events to gain more confidence.

She was also happy at the opportunity to promote the new cycleways in the area, as well as getting more information about bike safety out to the public.

"That's what the month is about."

NZTA network user behaviour manager Jennie Gianotti said Bike Wise Month provided Kiwis with hundreds of opportunities to get out on their bikes more often and have fun with family and friends.

"Our climate and scenery provide the perfect environment for cycling. Bike Wise is keen to ensure Kiwis have roadworthy bikes, wear approved helmets and share the road safely with other road users."

For more information visit www.bikewise.co.nz.

Top bike safety tips

  • Always wear a helmet

  • Be bright - wear fluoro and use lights, especially before dawn and after dusk

  • Obey the road rules, use traffic signals and be aware of motorists

- Bay of Plenty Times

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