Wellington City Council ahead of the game with local schools

More and more local councils around NZ are now investing in cycling as part of their transport strategy.

And with higher levels of investment in biking, it makes a lot of sense to ensure that the next generation of riders have the skills and confidence they need to ride. Wellington City Council are doing just that – this week saw the council become the first NZ local body to fully fund and manage the implementation of Bikes in Schools projects at three Wellington primary schools.

West Park School, Karori West Normal School and Holy Cross School all received the complete biking package within their own school grounds. The result: over 1300 kids every year will have regular access to a bike at these schools.

Bikes for Schools launch at Holy Cross School in Miramar
(photo WCC)

We made it to the grand opening at Holy Cross on Monday, where the track was opened by Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown. She said: “Bikes in Schools means Wellington students will be healthier and more independent. Modern cities offer children opportunities for daily exercise and recreation”

This was a first for Bikes in Schools in lots of ways – the three schools were selected as part of a competition from a pool of local schools, and the tracks were then designed by WCC engineers after consulting with students. On Monday we had to agree the end result looked fantastic.

Bikes for Schools launch at Holy Cross School in Miramar
(photo WCC)

Thanks to Holy Cross School for such a good day, and to Wellington City Council for making this a reality.

You can read more on WCC’s website here

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Inner city cycling – Freemans Bay style

When you’re a kid living in inner city Auckland, you don’t get too many chances to tear round on a bike without a care in the world.

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That’s why it was so exciting to see so many kids doing just that at the latest Bikes in Schools track opening, at Freemans Bay School in central Auckland on Friday. It was easy for all the VIP visitors at the opening to get caught up in all the excitement too, but even after every visitor had left many of the kids were still racing round their laps.

The Hon. Nikki Kaye MP was there to officially snip the ribbon and open the track

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Huge thanks to the Freemans Bay Board of Trustees for all their support for the project, and to the project’s funders including Sport Auckland,  the Local Waitemata Board,  Barfoot and Thomson, the ASB Community Trust and YouthTown

Special thanks also to Auckland Transport for funding the cycle skills training at the school

It was also great to see Ross Buckley and his team from KMPG who are about to ride the Tour of NZ in support of Bikes in Schools.

More pictures from the school website here

Parakai School, Auckland bike track opens

Parakai School kids are very excited about the amazing new addition to their school – a 420m long cycle track around the school grounds.

Parakai principal Nick Neubert expects the track to be used both for fun and for cycle safety and bike skills lessons, and says the local community are very welcome to use the track too. “We want the school to be the hub of our community, and we’ve already noticed families from outside school coming down on the weekend and after school to use the track”.

Parakai

The track has been two years in the making, after deputy principal Sue Caltaux saw similar facilities around Auckland and started investigating funding options with BoT chairman Des Ross.  Auckland Council contributed to the cost of the track too.

You can also check out a video of track construction here

National “Go by Bike Day”

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Yesterday was national “Go by Bike Day”, with cycling events across the country.  In Hastings, the council marked the occasion with their annual big breakfast for cycle commuters.

So good to see the crowds of kids at the event – including five local schools with “Bikes in Schools” facilities, many of them arriving at the breakfast in convoys from schools several kms away. Well done to them!

Pinehaven School first off the blocks in 2015

Schools are back, and a fantastic start to 2015 with the first new school track of the year – at Pinehaven School in Upper Hutt. Hundreds of people arrived on a beautiful sunny day to celebrate the official opening of the project, which includes three different bike tracks, 50 bikes, a storage container and a helmet for every child at the school. The 500m+ long limesand track also includes another first (we think!): the first mini zebra crossing across a riding track. We think it looks great!
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Ready for the first lap
Thank you to the principal Kaylene Macnee and all the school staff for such a great day, as well as the many parents and special guests who made the day such a success. This was the first time the kids got to ride their new bikes and tracks, but it’s always a nice surprise to see how many guests and teachers are keen to do a quick lap or two at an opening like this and Pinehaven School was no exception. And who can resist a track like this?
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Thanks to the generous support of many different groups (in particular the Greater Wellington Regional Council) without which this project would not have possible.

Mahora School on Radio New Zealand “Sunday morning” show

radio nz nationalJeremy Rose from the Sunday Morning programme paid a visit to Hastings recently as part of his report on “Bikeconomics” – the contribution cycling makes to the economy.

As well as checking out the bike scene in Hawkes Bay, he also dropped in to Mahora School to find out about the impact of their track – you can hear the whole report here:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/20161014/bikenomics-what-s-cycling-worth

Irongate School, Flaxmere

Well done to Irongate School in Flaxmere, who opened their brand new 450m track around the school grounds on 21st October

We were treated to a haka from the kids before everyone was let loose on their inaugural lap of the track – which was looking great. A couple of interesting comments came up:  everyone agreed that the completion of the track made the school grounds look even better,  giving it an almost park-like appearance. And also that even before the bikes were out on the track, the kids were using the new track a lot during break times just to walk round the grounds, something they had not done before.

Irongate School kids set off on their first lap
Irongate School kids set off on their first lap

Thanks to principal Fay Wooster and all the staff and children at the school for a great opening, we really enjoyed it. Also many thanks to the generous support from all the different organisations that made this all possible: Eastern and Central Community Trust  for funding the track itself,  Hawkes Bay District Health Board and Variety for their help with bikes and helmets, and to Sports HB for initial cycle skills training.

Teachers had fun too!
Teachers had fun too!

Waihi East school track opens

Waihi East school’s grand opening of their new track was on 15th October – thanks to principal Emily Hargreaves and the staff and children for making us so welcome on the day

Ready for lap 1
Ready for lap 1

The ribbon was cut by the youngest and oldest children at the school – 5 year old Cody Heremaia and 11 year old Shar Malone, before fifty kids set off on a gentle first lap (before progressively speeding up for the next!).

The school plans to start a bike club next term, and is hoping next year to start hosting an inter-school bike competition for the area too. They might have a bit of a head start on that one….

Special thanks for the generous support from Sport Waikato, Corbett Road Quarry, Waihi Sports and Cycles, The Lion Foundation and Valder-Ohinemuri Trust, all whom helped to make this project a reality.

You can also find loads more pictures and videos in a fantastic “Google+ story” from the school right here

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Kimi Ora Community School Opening 5 September 2014

Today was the official opening of the Kimi Ora Community School Bikes in Schools project. The project was made possible with funding from the good people at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board and support from the school.

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The Havelock North Rotary Club helped assemble the 45 bikes and Mainfreight very generously delivered the school’s new bike storage container exactly where it needed to go.

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The opening event, which was attended by a many different local groups including the DHB and Police, featured some wonderful singing from the school students. After the ribbon was cut the children (and the Police) rode the forty five new bikes around the three challenging bike tracks.

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