Greater Wellington and Road Safety Council bring Wairarapa community together through the joy of biking
Greater Wellington and the Wairarapa Road Safety Council are teaming up to bring the community together at Te Kura o Paetūmokai Featherston School on Saturday 13 March to celebrate the opening of the community’s new bike track and provide fun cycling activities for bikers of all ages.
The ‘Windy Wheels’ bike track is the newest addition to the growing number of ‘Bikes in Schools’ projects in the Wellington region, making it easier for students to ride bikes on a regular basis. The bike track compliments the school’s fleet of quality bikes, bike helmets, and bike storage solutions, with cycle skills training from Greater Wellington rounding out the experience.
Once the track is open, Greater Wellington’s Pedal Ready cycle skills programme will put it to good use straight away with a Bike Rodeo for tamariki, featuring an obstacle course with challenges of various difficulties, as well as an e-bike trial for adults.
Matt Shipman, Programme Lead for Pedal Ready, will lead a seasoned group of instructors who will be on hand to provide advice and support for bikers of all ages.
“All tamariki are welcome at the Bike Rodeo. Registration, prior experience, or even owning a bike, aren’t required to join in. We’ll have bikes and helmets of various sizes available for kids to use if they don’t have their own.
“We’ll also have e-bikes available for adults to have a go on the newly opened bike track,” says Matt.
The Windy Wheels project was spearheaded by the Wairarapa Road Safety Council (WRSC). Holly Hullena, Projects Coordinator WRSC, says the idea for this latest Bikes in Schools project came from a desire for the school community to have a safe space for kids to build confidence and competence on their bikes that will last a lifetime.
"Lakeview School pioneered a 'gold standard' Bikes in Schools track in Wairarapa, so we held an open event to gauge interest in something similar happening in Featherston.
“There was a lot of enthusiastic people in the community that jumped on board to get the project up and running. This includes the school working group, Featherston Community Board, REAP Wairarapa and Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust,” adds Holly.
WRSC promotes Greater Wellington’s resources and initiatives within schools, such as Pedal Ready cycle skills training and Movin’March.
Greater Wellington councillor for Wairarapa Adrienne Staples says that the ‘Bikes in Schools’ projects, and Greater Wellington’s Pedal Ready programme work well together to foster a community of confident, capable bikers.
“Windy Wheels will be an amazing resource for the Featherston community to enjoy, and my hat goes off to the many groups and individuals that put in the hard mahi to get this project off the ground.
“Greater Wellington is really keen to support projects like this by providing cycling skills training. Every time someone chooses active travel, it’s a win for our environment because it keeps cars off the road and carbon out of the air,” adds Cr Staples.
To learn more about Greater Wellington’s Pedal Ready programme and how you can take part, visit: www.pedalready.org.nz
Māehe Manawa Ora Movin’March is a month-long active travel to school campaign for whānau and school communities: www.movinmarch.com
For more information relating to road safety programmes the Road Safety Council delivers in Wairarapa, visit: www.wairsc.org.nz