One of the first of the great Hawke's Bay Summer Cycling Carnival family events staged while the Elite Men's and U23 national road race took place yesterday saw Batman, Spiderman, a Star Wars Jedi and a magpie take to the lawns of the Marine Parade gardens.

There were also grape vines, flowers, balloons, glitter, beads and streamers as 17 youngsters paraded their decorated two-wheelers during the Big Save Dress Your Bike Competition.

"Fantastic bikes kids," was how Napier Mayor and co-judge Bill Dalton summed the colourful scene up.

Milly from Big Save, his judging partner, was delighted to see how much work had gone into some of the imaginative creations - and that was summed up by the winning bike which 8-year-old Vinnie Hutchins of Clive rolled into the 17-bike line-up.


Bedecked in silver foil and dozens of images from Star Wars it had the wide wings of a Jedi fighter ship - and even the handgrips were silver.

"It took us about four days and he did all the drawings on it," his mum Tracy said.

His hard work, not to mention devotion to the empire, saw him win a brand new Avanti bicycle, which brought out a big smile.

Five-year-old Millie Catley of Napier was also smiling - she picked up the girl's Avanti bike prize with her colourful bead, glitter and streamers bike designed to give what her mum Kerry said was the "butterfly princess look".

Napier City Council marketing manager Rebecca Ainsworth was happy with the colourful turn-out, which also drew the attention of delighted passengers from visiting cruise ship Dawn Princess.

"It is our first year of running this event and you get little bits and pieces that you know you can work on but it has been going really well," she said. "We brought in these side events because we want to get families involved in it all."

Families would certainly get that opportunity this Wednesday between 4pm and 5pm when the Big Save Family Ride takes place around the 1.1km Criterium circuit set up on Marine Parade from the Sound Shell.

Young and old can ride the track which will then be used for the big Bay Espresso Criterium race, for the top riders, which starts at 5.30pm and which will have sprint laps every 10 minutes.