Thirty-plus kilos of bacon, 10 kilos of sausages, muesli bars, fruit, coffee and more have all been ordered for Wednesday’s Go by Bike Breakfast, the largest mass cycling gathering of the year in Hastings.
More than 250 primary school aged children are confirmed to cycle into the city accompanied by their teachers, parents and Hastings District councillors. Adding to the numbers would be the adults who are all invited to cycle in for breakfast on their way to work.
The breakfast is part of Go by Bike Day, a national event held in February every year, which encourages people to switch from cars to bikes for a day. The longer term goal is to encourage people to swap from cars to cycles for as many trips as possible.
Primary schools which had confirmed their students would be cycling in for the seventh annual biking breakfast included Mahora, St Mary’s, Parkvale and Flaxmere.
Every year, councillor Henare O’Keefe joined the Flaxmere contingent. “Biking for me has become as natural as breathing and that’s what this event is about – teaching youngsters that it is fun and normal to bike.”
He biked every day; a minimum of 35 kilometres. “I started making it a daily thing about four months ago, cycling to Whakatu every day with my son-in-law to his work place. Now I bike to [Te Aranga] marae, to meetings, to the shop for milk. I’ve lost 11 kilos without even trying. We’re encouraging everyone to try and get on their bikes as much as possible – after all, we are the cycling capital of New Zealand.”
Breakfast runs from 7am to 8.30am on Wednesday (February 21) at Albert Square, Heretaunga St, Hastings giving the children plenty of time to get back to the classroom by 9am. There is also a Go by Bike Breakfast in Napier, at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council building, in Dalton St.
Hastings i-Way network has been built up over the last seven years, to provide safe cycling routes through the central district, particularly aimed at commuting cyclist. The underlying aim is the same as that of the national programme, to encourage walking and cycling as a regular mode of transport. The i-Way link between Hastings and Napier is also developing, with new cycle ways along Pakowhai Rd under construction. The lanes, one on each side of Pakowhai Rd, will stretch to the Hastings boundary at Chesterhope Bridge.
19 February 2018
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