On your bike Auckland: Mayor Len Brown is inviting the region’s cyclists to join him for a free breakfast to celebrate Go By Bike day.
The 2011 Go By Bike Breakfast encourages cyclists and returning riders to cycle to work and rewards them with breakfast and a fun social outing. Cyclists who choose to ride to work in the central city on Wednesday 16 February can call in to the Viaduct Harbour between 6.30am and 9am for a tasty free breakfast and a free coffee from Sierra at the biggest Go By Bike event in the country.
The event is organised by Auckland Council in partnership with Auckland Transport and will feature bike displays, spot prizes, free bike safety and service checks, free spinal checks and spot prizes including a Specialized Rockhopper Comp mountainbike donated by long-time Go By Bike Breakfast supporter Mount Eden Cycles.
Another major spot prize is a five day trip for two riding the Otago Rail Trail with Adventure South. Flights to and from Auckland will be supplied by Grabaseat.
The council supports all transport choices including cycling, and is working to improve cycling facilities throughout the city.
"Cycling is inexpensive, easy and a great way to get fit. It reduces pollution and traffic congestion by getting people out of private cars and into the cycle lanes and is an important part of Auckland’s transport environment. Most importantly, it’s great fun,” says Mr Brown.
Mr Brown says both he and Auckland Ambassador John Walker will be at the Viaduct to welcome riders arriving from all parts of the region. He is inviting councillors and local board members to ride to the breakfast.
The glam riders of Frocks on Bikes, always a popular addition to the event, will once more make an appearance. One message the group pushes is that cyclists don’t have to be covered in synthetic riding gear more at home on the Tour de France – that cycling can be fun and practical in casual or work clothes. Frocks on Bikes will also have a stall displaying stylish riding gear.
Also present at the event will be cyclists from the Avanti Pure Black riding team, which aims to boost riders selected from its squad into the 2015 Tour de France.
Three special "cycling buses" will travel to the breakfast from Tamaki Drive, the North-western cycleway and Dominion Road. Details about departure times and routes are available from the Auckland Council web site www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/events
People who are keen to be part of the event who do not own a bike will be able to rent one from cycle rental companies in the central business district.
Urgent Couriers will once more challenge perceptions about the effectiveness of vehicle use and cycling with their annual commuter challenge which GPS-tracks cyclists, commuters using public transport and commuters using a private vehicle as they head into Auckland central through rush hour traffic, each aiming to be the first to arrive at the Breakfast.
Sponsors of the 2011 Go By Bike Breakfast are BikeWise, More FM and Sierra Coffee.
Notes to editors: Key facts about cycling
• 700,000 New Zealanders own at least one bike
• 1.2 million New Zealanders ride or have ridden a bike in the past three months*
• New Zealanders bought 300,000 bikes in 2009**
• There are 7000 licensed competitive cyclists in New Zealand, inspired by our current elite cyclists such as Alison Shanks, Julian Dean, Hayden Godfrey, Hayden Roulston, Cath Cheatley, Sarah Walker and Rosara Joseph. New Zealand cyclists have won five Olympic and 17 Commonwealth medals and set three world records**
• New Zealanders spend 24 million hours per year cycling, covering a total of 289 million km per year
• Cycling makes up 2 per cent of total time travelled and 1 per cent of the number of trip legs or sections
• Males spend more time cycling than females for all age groups
• 67 per cent of those 5-12 years old, 58 per cent of those 13-17 years old and 27 per cent of those 18 years and over have cycled at some stage in the last year
• 18 per cent of people reported cycling in the last month
• Those in smaller towns or rural settings are more likely to have cycled in the previous month than those in main urban centres
• 71 per cent of households of a family with children have one or more bicycles.
Statistics from Statistics NZ figures except *2010 statistic from Ridestrong and ** from Bike NZ, figures include only road trips made for work, school or shopping purposes.
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