Rotorua residents are being encouraged to swap four wheels for two, and get out pedalling next week.
The annual Go By Bike Day is taking place on Wednesday, February 19.
Part of Sport Bay of Plenty's Bike Month calendar of activities, Go By Bike Day encourages people of all ages to swap their car trips for a bike and discover the benefits of cycling.
Sport Bay of Plenty recreation team leader Sonia Lynds says Go By Bike Day is a great way to get active and incorporate physical activity into the daily routine.
"A bike is a really easy way to get around town, and a great opportunity to get moving and active instead of sitting in a car for those short trips to work, school or the local shops.
"The health benefits of biking are numerous, including better heart health, improved joint mobility and improved mental wellbeing that comes from being active and outdoors."
Sonia points to Ministry of Health recommendations that suggest adults do at least 2.5 hours of moderate or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity spread throughout the week.
"Go By Bike Day is a fun way to try cycle commuting and to start forming some healthy physical activity habits while the sun is shining."
To support and encourage cycle commuters, Go By Bike Day will include refreshment stops along popular cycle commuter routes between 7am and 9am on Wednesday.
The Sport Bay of Plenty team and volunteers will be on hand offering free snacks and refreshments to riders, as well as spot prizes.
Riders are encouraged to share photos of their cycle adventures by using #BikeMonthBOP across social media or tagging the Play in the Bay Facebook page.
Department of Conservation ranger Dean Strachan says he bikes to work every day.
He says there are a bunch of reasons he bikes to work including, with one that he and his wife share one car.
He also bikes to work for fitness because he has had heart issues, and being fit and healthy is important for him.
"A third reason is that after a hard day's work if you cycle home it's great mentally. I've found it's a way of de-stressing."
Dean says he thinks Go By Bike Day is an awesome idea because it gets a lot of people out there that would not normally be biking and may help them to do it more often.
"Obviously it's a great way to get a little healthier and fitter, but another reason would be to help the environment.
"It works out cheaper too - save money, good for health and save the environment."
Find a Pit Stop Near You
- Corner Lake Rd and Railway Rd - Ngongotahā shared path
- Ranolf St Shared Path opposite Guidough's Bakery - black fence outside 130 Ranolf St
- Bridge at Te Ngae Rd where Redwoods Cycleway (chip path) comes out
- Corner Moray St and Basley Rd