Camberley School, Hastings

Wellington’s wild weather finally reached Hawkes Bay on Friday, but even that wasn’t enough to dent the enthusiasm of the 120 kids at Camberley School, Hastings – at the official opening of the new cycle tracks at the school and round the adjacent Kirkpatrick Park.

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The sky opened just as things kicked off, prompting a mad rush to the cover of school hall for kids and visitors.

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But it didn’t dampen the excitement!

Camberley as an area has had some hard knocks in the last couple of years. But principal Pat Watson said that the school now had a unique community asset that was already being used by not just kids but also by their parents and others in the community too, and that he’s been surprised by how popular path the path has become already. The school itself has a limesand track round its own playing field, which joins a longer concrete path winding it’s way round Kirkpatrick Park next door – built by Hastings District Council as part of it’s iWay project. Hastings Councillor Sandra Hazehurst said that paths like this were all part of HDC’s wider investment in getting local people cycling. This joint school/council collaboration has worked really well at Camberley School and it would be great to see similar elsewhere.

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Councillor Malcolm Nixon threw down the gauntlet, challenging principal Pat Watson to a bike race. But although it was just too wet to race on Friday, we’re going to hold him to that one. Watch this space!

Thanks to Eastern And Central Community Trust for their contribution – it is much appreciated. Also to Sport Hawkes Bay for their help with the initial cycle skills training, and to the Rotary Club for helping assemble the bikes.

Takapau School opens!

School track openings usually see a lot of kids on bikes, but Takapau School in Central Hawkes Bay broke all records last Friday when the entire school’s 120 students pedalled round to celebrate the opening of their 3 new tracks.20150508_103204

CHB’s mayor Peter Butler did the honours to officially open the track, and was even persuaded to join the mass of cyclists for a quick turn round the track.

Thanks to all the organisations and individuals listed below for helping to make this all possible:

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We were also lucky enough to be joined by some seriously talented bike riders – professional mountain bikers Brook McDonald and George Brannigan.  Always up for a challenge, George and Brook took on two specially selected young riders from the school for a race (and gave them both half a lap head start to give them a fighting chance – maybe they were a bit too generous there though….).

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You can also see a video of the kids in action in the report from local paper Hawkes Bay Today here

Tamaki School opens

Another Auckland school snips the ribbon on a brand new track – well done to Tamaki School in Panmure, Auckland!

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The school now has a fantastic 500m riding track, a pump track, a fleet of 50 bikes and a helmet for every kid. This was all thanks to generous contributions from Sport Auckland,  the ASB Community Trust, the Lion Foundation,  Maungakiekie-Tamaki Local Board and Auckland Transport.

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It was great to see the kids tearing round the track at Tamaki, and once again a familiar story has emerged – something we’ve also heard at so many other schools. Principal Rhonda Kelly says that before the programme started only a handful of kids rode their bikes to school, but now they are struggling to find space for their bikes

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Thanks to Tamaki School for a great day!

St Joseph’s School Hastings opening

A beautiful sunny autumn morning in Hastings – a perfect day to officially snip the ribbon on St Joseph’s School new bike track.

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The opening was quickly followed by the St Joseph’s “Bikeathon”, a sponsored ride to raise funds for the school. Room 2 (above) had the honour of eagerly kicking off the event on their new bikes, while the other classes recorded their completed laps (a perfect excuse for many hi-fives as each lap was ticked off), and waited for their own chance to speed round.

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A huge thank you goes out to Infinity Foundation, First Light Community Trust, Eastern and Central Community Trust, Sanderson Trust and the Bernard Chambers Charitable Trust for funding towards the project.

A number of local businesses have also sponsored bikes including Gemco Group, Bramwell Grossman, Hastings City New World, Proactive Management, Tumu Merchants, Horton Plumbing, Supergreene Enterprises, Konica Minolta, Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and the School’s Family and Friends group.

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Thanks to all these project supporters – we think the finished track looks fantastic and is going to get a lot of use!

Thanks to everyone supporting Bikes in Schools in the Tour of NZ

You have to admire anyone setting off on an 7 day cycle event, covering around 100km day. So we’re in awe of all those who took part in the this year’s Tour of New Zealand – a punishing enough event even without the bad weather that accompanied a lot of the race.
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Many of those taking part were raising money for Bikes in Schools, and we are extremely grateful to all of them for their efforts. We’ve featured a couple of them on our Facebook page already, like Ross and the two high performance KPMG teams. (above, kitted out in the Bikes in Schools caps)
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There was also journalist Rod Oram and the hardworking Team Akina, Rod (above) used the event to perfect a technique he calls “ride management” – a technical term for just getting to the finish line in one piece. We’re very glad he and his team did!
Thanks also to Anna and the stylish team from Tea Total good job!  Hopefully they can now enjoy a well deserved cup or two. We gave a shout out last week to Gabby and the wonderful Spinstars team (below) Like true stars they not only stormed the route, but also took advantage of an unscheduled day off on the final day in Wellington to get their nails done. We like your style, Spinstars!
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Well done to Kiwi Coffee / Amstrong Prestige (minus Simon, who unfortunately crashed out before the event started with a broken collarbone). They claim that “Cyclists are like bananas – the older the get the less the firm they are” – but we reckon they will have firmed up nicely after 800kms even if they do feel slightly older.
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Thanks also to the three lovely couples from team Studio on Ridge Lifestream, and the very cool Uncoachables 
And last but not least, thanks also to these very hard working individuals from us all at Bikes in SchoolsAmy, Damien, John, Kaye, and Stuart
Together these teams and individuals have raised an amazing $25,000+ for Bikes in Schools! We’re not a big charity and an amount like this truly makes a difference, and really helps our work getting more kids on bikes across New Zealand. Maybe one day some of those kids will be cycling in the tour too.
Thank you so much everyone

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

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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