SOUTHLANDERS of all ages are being challenged to get on their bikes this month for Southland Bike Month.
As part of a nationwide event, there are numerous cycling activities in the region to get involved in, including the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, Tykes on Bikes, social events such as Bike to the Brewery and Bike Geek Coffee, as well as competitive cycling events such as the MLT Moonshine Trail and Elite Track Cycling Championships.
Cycling enthusiast Cathy Jordan is leading the Aotearoa Bike Challenge in Southland, with support from Sport Southland, Cycling Southland, Road Safety Southland and Healthy Families Invercargill.
“February is a great month to celebrate cycling in Southland, especially with events like the elite national track championships and the MLT Moonshine race happening,” she said.
“We are also working on a number of opportunities for people to come together and ride their bikes purely for the fun of it, and that’s really what this month and this challenge is about.”
The Aotearoa Bike Challenge encourages workplaces to compete to see who can get the most people riding a bike for 10 minutes or more a day during the month of February, with prizes up for grabs.
It is not about who can ride the most kilometres, but rather encouraging the most people to give cycling a try, she said.
As of Monday, 30 businesses had signed up to participate in the Aotearoa Bike Challenge.
Tykes on Bikes events were being held in Anderson Park, Queens Park and Cockroft Cycle Park, Onslow St, for young children and their families.
Jordan said Tykes on Bikes would showcase the wonderful places in Invercargill where families could go to ride their bikes.
There was also a Valentine’s Day competition running, with the winners taking a tandem bike for a ride complete with a hamper full of goodies.
Sport Southland chief executive and Healthy Families Invercargill Leadership Group chairman Brendon McDermott said being involved with the Aotearoa Bike Challenge and Bike Month was a great way to encourage people to get active.
“Helping promote daily physical activity and ensuring the community has access to plenty of opportunities to get physically active is an important part of the work we do at Sport Southland and Healthy Families Invercargill.”
Staff had painted the Pork Pie Lane bike stand yellow as part of the Rev Up initiative to brighten up the CBD.
McDermott said revamping the bike stands, so that they were bright and attractive, would hopefully help bring people, and their bikes, into the CBD.
“We want to create a culture of cycling in our city, particularly with families.”