Allison is a digital reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times

Many discover joy of cycling

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Dee Dawson walked up the Mount this morning before jumping on her bike to get to work. Photo / John Borren
Dee Dawson walked up the Mount this morning before jumping on her bike to get to work. Photo / John Borren

People ditched their cars and got pedalling for national Go By Bike Day yesterday.

Pit stops were set up around the town offering water bottles, refreshments and prizes for cyclists commuting to work.

Sport BOP Western Bay recreation adviser and event organiser Dahl Gurdit-Singh said across the board there were more new cyclists than last year and even regular cyclists noticed the increase.

The event was part of Bike Wise Month - a national programme aimed at getting more people pedalling to work or school.

Dee Dawson, a newbie bike commuter, has been riding her bike to work almost every day for the past three weeks and has loved it since day one.

Read more: 14,000 people to take up cycling in the Bay

"I thought I would give it a go and from the first day I felt amazing. It's a good way to start the day, I really do believe exercise makes you smile and makes you feel good."

Ms Dawson has been using an older bike that she has had sitting around for nine years, but said owning an old bike did not deter her from biking to work.

"It wasn't working very well and I thought I would have to go buy a new bike. But I went and got it serviced for only $35 and that's the bike I've been using.

"I think sometimes people think 'oh, I won't be able to bike because my bike is stuffed and I don't have any money for a new one,' but just go get it serviced and you'll be surprised," she said.

Ms Dawson said more people should bike to work, saying it is flat around the city, it cuts down on parking and lets you get out and get fresh air.

She noticed more and more people were biking at her work, and emphasised the need for good facilities like showers and a secure place to secure bikes.

"You definitely need a comfy gel seat too," Ms Dawson said.

Mr Gurdit-Singh, a bike commuter himself, said yesterday's success was thanks to a combination of things.

"There's been publicity about improvements in Tauranga to accommodate more cycling.

"There's also been publicity and generation of Go By Bike Day at a national level," he said.

Mr Gurdit-Singh said it was important to have an active community and to incorporate physical activity into going to work.

"There's physical benefits but also environmental benefits."

Plenty happening for Bike Wise Month:

* Pit stops with goodies for cyclists were stationed in six different locations around Tauranga between 6.45 and 8.45am.

* There are more events planned for February - Bike Wise Month - around the Bay of Plenty region. Go to to find out more.

* There were more than 56,000 Kiwis who took part in some 370 events across the country during Bike Wise Month last year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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