BIKE CHALLENGE: Gina Persico, Andy Morris and Katie Arden from Sport Tasman are aiming to get all their staff on their bikes for the Aotearoa Bike Challenge which will start across the country next month. Photo: Kate Russell.

A wheely good bike challenge

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Nelson workplaces are being encouraged to swap their cars for bikes in February, as the Aotearoa Bike Challenge gears up for a month of wheely good times.

The challenge follows a successful first year in 2017, which saw nearly two million kilometres cycled by more than 14,000 people from more than 1000 organisations, including almost 4000 new riders.

One 10-minute journey by bike is all it takes to participate. It is free to register and there are some great prizes to be won including e-bikes and cycling gear.

The challenge is suited to both individuals and workplaces and the number of rides clocked up by a team contributes towards the efforts of the organisation as a whole.

Those who sign up will compete against each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike during the challenge – and it’s not about who can ride the most kilometres, but who can encourage the most people to give cycling a try.

One local organisation, Sport Tasman, is aiming to get 100 per cent of their staff on a bike, with their Community Cycle Coordinator Gina Persico leading the charge.

She says they will be setting up ‘park and rides’ for staff as well as organising lunchtime bike rides and encouraging other sports trusts and local organisations to get on board.

“We want to encourage people to commute by bike – it’s not as hard as it seems and it can be a great way to unwind at the end of the day and get some fresh air,” she says. “There are so many great cycle ways in Nelson, too.”

Sport Tasman and Nelson City Council will also be hosting a free ‘Go By Bike Day’ big breakfast on 14 February at 1903 Square between 7.30am – 9.30am.

As of Monday, 1,212 organisations and 7,977 people across the country had signed up for this year’s challenge and registrations will remain open until February 28.

To find out more or to register, visit www.lovetoride.net/nz