There has been joy and anticipation this week as selected Rotorua people have come face-to-face with their new set of wheels.

Recipients of the Bicycle Recycle initiative have been selected and some are beginning to get their gift.

Bicycle Recycle asked people to drop their old bikes into Mountain Bike Rotorua so the bikes could get fixed up and passed on.

The Hits then asked people to nominate those who they thought should receive a recycled bike.


The Rotorua community was generous, with about 150 bikes being handed in.

Between 20 and 30 bikes are being given away to nominated people, and the rest are going to Waikeria Prison, which has a bike recycling programme.

Some of the reasons people were nominated included to join in biking with the rest of the family, to replace a stolen and an accidentally given-away bike, to help motivate people to get fit and to give children new bikes who were not in a situation to have them bought.

Barbara Ward, 71, was one of the many excited recipients.

She nominated herself and says she loves the forest and has always loves biking.

However, she had recently tried out her cheap bike and it wore her out.

She talked to people at a bike shop who said she needed a proper mountain bike, but being on a pension she could not afford the prices.

Barbara says she was taken aback when she found out she would be receiving a bike because she did not send in her nomination with much hope.


She is very happy with the bike she has received, saying she did not expect one so great.

"I feel like a mountain biker.

"I shall be going into the grandma tracks."

She thanks everyone involved.

"It's wonderful because there are so many people who can't afford them.

"It's a simple thing to have and not always easy to get, and it's so good for you."

Mountain Bike Rotorua co-owner Tu Mutu says with Barbara they did not have a donated bike suitable for her, so he and his brother Tak donated one which was in common usage around Mountain Bike Rotorua.

"It has been exciting to see the people's reactions as they have come in to see and retrieve their new bikes."

He says there has been complete joy and anticipation to get out there and into the forest.

"Biking occupies a special place in our hearts and is a strength for Rotorua domestically and on the world stage.

"Anything we can do to foster and expand Rotorua's biking family we are down for.

"We want to reduce barriers for people to participate in that community."