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.

Freemans Bay BiS opening_after all VIPs have left (1)

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

Freemans Bay BiS opening (1)


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

National “Go by Bike Day”

Commuter Challenge 2015 2

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!

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?
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:

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

waihi p4