BIKE WISE MONTH AIMS TO GET MORE KIWIS ON TWO WHEELS
This is Bike Wise Month, which means more cyclists will be on our roads.
Already an estimated million-plus cyclists are pedalling the country’s roads and streets this summer. That’s two million-plus wheels for drivers to be aware of, says the NZTA. And during this month’s 370 Bike Wise events around the country, there will be additional cyclists.
Last year, more than 56,000 Kiwis took part in the national cycling programme run by the NZTA, aimed at promoting cycling as a fun, healthy, safe way to travel.
NZTA national cycling manager Dougal List is looking forward to seeing more people on their bikes. “We are dedicated to making cycling a bigger part of the way Kiwis get around. Bike Wise is a fantastic way for Kiwis to enjoy fun and safe cycling, so we’re really looking forward to seeing the country get involved.
“We have a target of more than 10 million more cycling trips by 2019, and we’re hoping Bike Wise will encourage more people to help us reach this.”
NZTA has some tips for Driven’s readers on living with cyclists:
●Smile. More cyclists on the road, more carparks for you.
●While your car may have a five-star ANCAP, the cyclist to your left has a helmet. Keep it in perspective.
●Drivers’ hazards and cyclists’ hazards are different. If a cyclist is out on the road slightly, they’re not necessarily trying to get in your way but they may be avoiding a nasty bit of gravel, a drain or a pothole.
● Kids are at school this week. Until the age of 15, their vision is not fully developed — this limits their ability to see easily to each side. Yes, they really don’t see you. Yes, you need to see them.
● More than 400,000 Kiwis intend to take up cycling this summer. Whether you approve or not, it’s real. Drive as if the cyclist on the left of you were your best friend.
● If you can’t beat’em, join’em. Events throughout the country will celebrate Bike Wise Month, including big bike tune ups and free breakfasts for cyclists. Visit bikewise.co.nz for more information.
●Did you know that mild to moderate exercise such as cycling releases natural feel-good endorphins that help counter stress and make you happy?
●Don’t want to ditch the motor but after the endorphins? Try out an e-bike, best of both worlds. E-bikes have small electric motors attached to help get you from A to B that little bit faster.
● Is pink your colour? Check out the pink cycleway in Auckland. For those out of Auckland, there are many cycleways to explore all around New Zealand. Check them out at nzcycletrail.com
● For runners, walkers and rugby players, cycling is a great secondary sport. It’s low impact, and puts less strain on the joints.
● The more people who cycle to work, the less congestion on the roads. Cyclists are doing you a favour, and might even be the reason you can sleep an extra 10 minutes before driving to work in summer.
● Hate traffic? Wave as you cycle past. In most cities and regions, cyclists enjoy fast-track access through congestion.
Be in to win
To celebrate Bike Wise Month, Bike Wise and NZTA are giving one Driven reader a $500 voucher to put towards cycling gear. From a bike rack for your car to a reverse camera to look out for cyclists. Just email your favourite cycle safety tip to firstname.lastname@example.org subject line “Cyclist” by 5pm on February 10th to go into the draw. We'll announce the winner in Driven Magazine on Saturday February 13th.