Cycle challenge returns

by Mike Isle

Selwyn residents are being invited to get on their bike by the Selwyn District Council—in the nicest possible way of course.

The council is encouraging local workplaces to enter teams in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, which is a nationwide event supporting fitness, good mental health and the love of bike riding. 

One of those promoting the event locally is council school safety coordinator, Stephanie Hautler.

Stephanie speaks from personal experience of the benefits of cycling, but admits to being a little nervous at first.

“I had some experience of off-road biking. But getting on the road to the office was a different matter.

“As part of my role to promote cycling, I thought I should walk the talk. I soon found that the shortest route is not always the best or safest route. So, I hunted out some quieter roads, which added only a couple of minutes to the trip, and were much more pleasurable.

“I now really enjoy the 15 minute commute,” she said.

However, commuting is only one of the benefits of cycling.

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge, developed by New Zealand Transport Agency and Love to Ride, seeks to promote cycling as an enjoyable all round recreational activity — with the event introducing a competitive element.

Workplace teams enter the event and any biking done — commuting, recreational or for fitness — counts in the challenge.

The teams with the greatest percentage of staff for their size category win prizes such as e-bikes and backpacks.

Last year, over 14,000 cyclists participated.

Stephanie Hautler said those interested in promoting the challenges in workplaces have posters available from roadsafety@selwyn.govt.nz, and for registrations: lovetoride.net/. The event is held throughout February.