Green politicians will be among those trail-blazing the first new route of the national cycleway this weekend.
About 30 cyclists, among them Green Party MP Kevin Hague, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Bike NZ chairman Richard Leggat, Cycle Action Network manager Patrick Morgan will ride 180km from Taumarunui and New Plymouth to celebrate the opening of the first cycle touring routes under Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail (NZCT).
The $50 million cycleway project, which came out of the 2009 Job Summit, is a series of cycle tracks linked throughout the country.
The first three cycle touring routes to be opened will be from Taumarunui to New Plymouth (including part of the Forgotten World Highway), from Taumarunui to the Ruapehu-Whanganui Trails and from Taumarunui north to Ongarue.
NZCT project manager Jude Ellis said the Forgotten World Highway was considered one of New Zealand's best on-road cycling routes.
Cyclists would depart Taumarunui, where all three cycle routes converge, at 11am tomorrow.
They would overnight at the Whangamomona Hotel, half-way along the route, before continuing on Sunday morning to New Plymouth, ending with a 10km "coastal cruise" which NZCT ambassador and Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ulmer would join in on.