February is Bike Month and two major events in Palmerston North are organised for those who get on their bike for exercise or who cycle to work.

Each year Palmerston North City Council takes part in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge which is aimed at getting people to ride more during February.

Businesses can register, as well as individuals.

Council's chief infrastructure officer Tom Williams says the two events are not to be missed.

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"Bike Month is a celebration of all the great things about riding – it's good for the environment, your wallet and your mental and physical health.

"We wanted to create a couple of events where people could come together, have fun and enjoy their wheels.

"We'd love to see more businesses encouraging their staff to get on their bikes. Challenges like this are a great start.

"Adding a bike rack outside your business is also a great sign to employees and customers that you support all transport types."

For the first time the Central Energy Trust Arena Speedway track will open the gates on Saturday February 15 from 10am-12pm to let locals take their cycles for a spin.

A route will be cordoned off for all the littlies with trainer wheels and trikes and there will be spot prizes for everyone at the free event.

On Thursday February 27 from 7am-9pam I-Site in the Square will be hosting a Go By Bike day.

Everyone who bikes to work is encouraged to bike via I-Site in the Square to receive a prize.

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The prizes include free coffees to bike accessories.

Council staff will be at some schools in the city handing out prizes for students biking on the day.

Who are cyclists, really?

As part of Bike Month, the council is challenging all road users to think twice about who a cyclist is.

Billboards, radio and digital advertising will reveal the occupations of some cyclists in the city.

You might also spot some cyclists wearing reflective vests around town naming who they are on the back.

Williams says the campaign is aimed to make people rethink stereotypes.

"The stereotype is that all cyclists wear lycra, but we know that isn't the case.

"People who ride bikes are just like everyone else. They might be the people that save our lives, or teach our kids, or our teammates.

"Remembering who is using a road, on whatever form of transport, can only make for safer roads."

New cycling resources are available: pncc.govt.nz/bikepalmy will now be the place to go if you already love to ride bikes, or are thinking of starting out.

Maps showing current and future cycle routes, mountain bike tracks and bike parking are now available.

The website also has information about teaching a child to ride, tips for starting out, bikes at work, Bikes in Schools programme, what the road rules are to keep people on bikes safe, as well as testimonials from keen Palmerston North riders about why they love their wheels.