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New bike track celebrated

Featherston welcomed its new bike track ‘Windy Wheels’ at the weekend with a community gathering at Te Kura o Paetumokai Featherston School.

Greater Wellington Regional Counciland the Wairarapa Road Safety Council teamed up to bring the community together to celebrate the opening of the community’s new bike track and provide fun cycling activities for bikers of all ages.

The ‘Windy Wheels’ bike track was the newest addition to the growing number of ‘Bikes in Schools’ projects in the Wellington region, making it easier for pupils to ride bikes on a regular basis, the regional council said.

The bike track would complement the school’s fleet of quality bikes, bike helmets, and bike storage solutions, with cycle skills training from the regional councilto round out the experience, they said.

The regional council’s Wellington’s Pedal Ready cycle skills programme put it to good use straight away with a bike rodeo for tamariki [children], featuring an obstacle course with challenges of various difficulties, as well as an e-bike trial for adults.

Regional council programme leader for Pedal Ready Matt Shipman led a seasoned group of instructors to provide advice and support for bikers of all ages.

Bikes and helmets were available in various sizes for children to use if they didn’t have their own, Shipman said.

Wairarapa Road Safety Council projects co-ordinator Holly Hullena said the idea for this latest Bikes in Schools project came from a desire for the school community to have a safe space for children to build confidence and competence on their bikes that would last a lifetime.

She said there had been many enthusiastic people in the community who had got on board to get the project up and running.

Those involved included the school working group, Featherston Community Board, REAP Wairarapa, and Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust, she said.

GWRC councillor for Wairarapa Adrienne Staples said the ‘Bikes in Schools’ projects, and Pedal Ready programme worked well together to foster a community of confident, capable bikers.

“Windy Wheels will be an amazing resource for the Featherston community to enjoy, and my hat goes off to the many groups and individuals that put in the hard mahi to get this project off the ground,” she said.

Staples said the regional council was keen to support projects like this by providing cycling skills training.

“Every time someone chooses active travel, it’s a win for our environment because it keeps cars off the road and carbon out of the air.”

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