It was a big effort for Wendy Allwright to make the trip into town on her bicycle yesterday - but the free breakfast may have been worth it.

Cyclists gathered at Cornmarket Reserve near the Dublin St bridge for a free brekkie for Bike Wise's national Go By Bike Day.

Mrs Allwright and her husband - who rides a penny farthing cycle - often get together with a group and ride socially.

She said her husband was about to buy his third penny farthing.

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"He just likes old things - he's got a vintage car as well. Once you get used to getting on, that's the dangerous part."

While she did not normally bike to work, Mrs Allwright said she would start trying to do so.

"I've had lots of errands and I keep finding excuses," she said.

Janice Carruthers is the opposite. She hasn't had a car for nearly four years and cycles everywhere.

"This city is probably one of the easiest to live without a car," she said, although she admitted that when she lived up St John's Hill the ride home was a mission.

"It's quite daunting that hill, going home."

She hired a car over the Christmas period and "thought it was crazy". "I drove up to Whangarei Heads and I hated the amount of petrol and that everybody's got to go somewhere at that time of the year - just way too many cars on the road."

Whanganui Bicycle Users Group co-ordinator Lyneke Onderwater said about 50 cyclists had shown up for breakfast, which was not as many as previous years.

She said the council had made them move the breakfast further away from the main road, and wondered if that affected the numbers.