Young cyclists gear up to take title

Monday 2 December 2013, 1:54PM
By New Zealand Police


Fourteen students from across the region will don their helmets and hit the
roads of Palmerston North next Friday 6 December in a bid to become Central
District’s Young Cyclist of the Year.

Now in its 14th year, the competition involves a mix of theory, practical
skills and road testing led by Police youth education officers with support
from Horizons Regional Council’s road safety team.

Senior Constable Allan Wright says competing students are all aged between 10
and 13 and have already proven themselves at a local level, with the best boy
and girl chosen to compete from Wanganui, Palmerston North, Tararua,
Manawatu, Horowhenua, Rangitikei and Ruapehu.

“The regional final is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by youth
education officers in the area of road safety. Horizons’ road safety
coordinators will be on-hand to assist on the day, with prizes awarded for
first, second and third place.

“Bikes and gear will be checked on arrival to ensure safety. We’ll also
be running competitors through a skills test and a helmet fitting test.

"Approximately 30 Police staff from around the Central District are involved
in the event and we have also had some fantastic support from the community
and the NZTA," he says.

The 3km road ride will take students through 15 intersections including give
ways, traffic lights, roundabouts and uncontrolled intersections. Police
officers will be stationed at every intersection to mark competitors on their
ability to check for traffic and follow road rules as well as bike control
and confidence.

Horizons road safety coordinator Glenda Leitao says cycling is really gaining
momentum across the region.

“We have a number of budding cyclists in our region and this competition is
a great way to celebrate that while enhancing students’ skills and
promoting cycle safety,” she says.

“All students are provided with a map of the road course upon selection and
at this stage any one of the 14 could take the title. They’re all very
competent young cyclists and it’s always a fun day out.”

The competition is being held at Barber Hall in Waldegrave Street,
Palmerston North between 9.30am and 12.30pm followed by a prize giving at
Central District Police Headquarters in Cuba Street.