"Who can ride a bike?"

Heaps of hands belonging to students sitting on the light green grass of the Keith St School field shoot up into the air.

"Who wants to learn how to ride a bike?"

Fewer hands are raised.

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"That's really important. This is the eighth track we have opened in a Whanganui school," Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says.

"Being able to ride a bicycle is pretty cool, but being able to ride a bicycle safely is even cooler."

Moments later students were zooming up and down see-saw-like structures and over wooden bridges as they lap around the track on their decorated bicycles.

The bikes in schools cycle track runs around the outskirts of the school's field and was officially opened at a ceremony on Monday.

Pupils sang the E Rere and Tutira Mai waiata to celebrate the occasion after a speech by principal Linda Ireton.

Mareca Kedrewaca, 7 and mayor Hamish McDouall pull the ribbon apart to officially open the Keith St School cycle track. Photo / Bevan Conley
Mareca Kedrewaca, 7 and mayor Hamish McDouall pull the ribbon apart to officially open the Keith St School cycle track. Photo / Bevan Conley

"Cycle tracks help children become participants in going out on to the roads and using our roads safely," Ireton said.

"We're really excited that this day has finally arrived and we have quite a few people to thank."

She thanked Tim Garman from Silver-i Design and Morrie Gibbons Signs for upgraded designs and signage at the school.

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She also thanked Paul McArdle of the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust and the Whanganui District Council, specifically active transport facilitator Norman Gruebsch.

The Bike on New Zealand Charitable Trust and Whanganui District Council sponsored the track that was created by Gerard Hobbs of St John's Landscaping.

Catherine and Dayle Cheatley from Velo Ronny's Bicycle Store provided assistance with the bike sizes which were bought with money from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The bicycle store, which will maintain the bikes for the school, also helped out with safety equipment such as helmets.

During the event a ribbon was pulled, the best decorated bikes were judged and the ceremony closed with a karakia and kai for the guests.