A group of budding cyclists from a Whangārei school have been quick to make the most of the first sections of the Kamo Shared Path ahead of their official opening.

Students from Whau Valley School whizzed down the Kamo Shared Path from Kamo Rd to Vinery Lane yesterday as part of a cycling trip from their school to Onerahi.

The group of 18 Years 4, 5 and 6 pupils were accompanied by Bikes in Schools' Kevin MacKenzie and principal Steve Jenkins.

MacKenzie said the trip was to take the bike handling, road safety skills and road rules the pupils had learned at school out into the real world.

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Whau Valley School pupils Tekoki Caraye, 10, Connor Hiscox, 10, Kyle Taylor, 10 and Kimani Heta, 10 having a great time on their bikes. Photo / Tania Whyte
Whau Valley School pupils Tekoki Caraye, 10, Connor Hiscox, 10, Kyle Taylor, 10 and Kimani Heta, 10 having a great time on their bikes. Photo / Tania Whyte

After their jaunt on the Kamo Shared Path, they headed for the Hatea Loop, the Waimahanga Track and then on to Beach Rd for a picnic before returning to school.

"Hopefully we'll find lots of other road users, track users that these guys are going to be polite to," MacKenzie said as the group exited the Kamo Shared Path at Vinery Lane.

Jenkins said a few of his pupils would be moving on to Whangārei Intermediate next year, which is near the Shared Path, so it was good for them to learn the cycle track.

MacKenzie said the Bikes in Schools project had been at Whau Valley School since last year. The school has a learn-to-ride track, 50 bikes as well as helmets for all the youngsters.

"As they grow up, hopefully, they carry on riding bikes."

The pupils follow Kevin MacKenzie safely over the rail crossing. Photo / Tania Whyte
The pupils follow Kevin MacKenzie safely over the rail crossing. Photo / Tania Whyte

Sonny-Bill Cassidy-Maeva, 11, rattled off the safety skills they had learned.

"Make sure to hop off your bike before you cross the road. Make sure you wait for each other. Ring your bell when passing elderly, if you don't have a bell say 'excuse me, passing to your right'."

The students had also learned to get off their bikes on the left away from any traffic, and to use hand signals.

Glaze Opetaia, 11, Connor Rau, 9, and Sonny-Bill Cassidy-Maeva, 11 take a break during their ride. Photo/Tania Whyte
Glaze Opetaia, 11, Connor Rau, 9, and Sonny-Bill Cassidy-Maeva, 11 take a break during their ride. Photo/Tania Whyte

MacKenzie said there are around 12 schools in Whangārei who are part of the Bikes in Schools project.

He said St Francis Xavier Catholic School will do something similar next Friday.

The official opening for the first two stages of the Kamo Shared Path - from Rust Ave to Kamo Rd - is on December 8 from 10am to 12.30pm.

The opening starts and finishes outside the Whangārei Library and will feature a ribbon cutting, free face painting, live music and interactive entertainment.

There is a draw to win an e-bike and a kids 'best dressed bike' competition with an open theme. Those of any age without a bike can decorate their shoes instead.