Big-hearted locals keep kids riding

By Kelli Hooks

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COMMUNITY SPIRIT: School community officer Constable Keely Rewai-Couch (left), road safety manager Dave Ryan, Avanti Plus owners Deb Allen and Ben Knight, and school community officer Constable Susan Esler. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: School community officer Constable Keely Rewai-Couch (left), road safety manager Dave Ryan, Avanti Plus owners Deb Allen and Ben Knight, and school community officer Constable Susan Esler. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

Thanks to the generosity of a stranger and a local business, Wairarapa Road Safety Council will be able to continue teaching youngsters how to be safe on the road.

After a story about stolen council bikes ran in the Times-Age earlier this month, the council was approached by several people offering assistance to replace the cycles.

Road safety manager Dave Ryan said Kevin Johnson from Greytown, who was a keen cyclist in his younger days, called and offered a Raleigh bike he no longer used.

Mr Ryan said the offer had "come out of the blue" and that the bike, which was in reasonable condition, was the same as some of the six stolen bikes.

"It was a really great offer from him. He could have easily sold it and got some money for himself but he wasn't interested in that.

"The community spirit was really great to see," Mr Ryan said.

Avanti Plus Masterton also offered to replace the stolen bicycles for a heavily discounted price, at just under $1000 for machines usually retailing for more than $2000.

"We would simply not have been able to replace the bikes without the generosity of Avanti.

"It means the continuation of these programmes that go into the schools."

Mr Ryan remained hopeful the stolen bikes, taken from a council storage yard, would turn up and would still be in good condition. The council and police are working on finding a more secure location for the new bikes.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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