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Bikes galore after generous donation

A rural Wairarapa primary school has received a generous donation of bikes from an international road cycling tour operator.

Tīnui School, which has 32 students from years 1-8, received 15 mountain bikes and helmets through Ride Holiday’s school initiative and 15 bike stands from the My Ride bicycle shop on Wednesday.

Principal Simon Couling said the kids were in disbelief when they received the bikes and asked if they were “actually” theirs to use.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity on so many levels, and it’s a great adventure for them,” he said.

Couling noted that although most country kids have bikes, many cannot ride them because they are in various stages of disrepair.

He said there are a lot of things to consider, like starting a bike programme with a focus on bike safety and riding etiquette.

While waiting for the bikes, the school began examining opportunities to develop a bike track.

Through a step-by-step process, Couling said, the students will progress onto the track that will be built around the school and incorporate forestry and beach routes.

“We are almost starting straight away.”

The track will have both dirt and paved stretches, along with mounds and humps, and there’ll be “a few fundraising efforts” to get it completed.

Couling said he was initially approached after Cyclone Gabrielle last year about the bike opportunity for the school and the kids.

“We said ‘yes, please!’,” Couling recalled.

Ride Holiday’s fundraising efforts started in 2017, raising between $100K and $150K annually.

The initiative has, on average, provided bikes for 10 schools every year, with more than 1100 bikes donated nationwide, mainly in the Wellington region.

Ride Holiday, which runs 30-day bike ride tours, also services bikes through maintenance gangs in Wellington and Auckland and has helped with bike storage sheds and bike tracks.

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