Cyclists claim Wanaka roads for Bike’vember
Wanaka cyclists Jo Guest and Ella Lawton are urging fellow residents to use pedal power during November.
At least 100 people have already pledged to take part in the inaugural Bike’vember campaign to bike or walk every day, and the pair hope hundreds more will follow suit.
Guest, the Bike’vember coordinator, said November was chosen because the national Bike Wise month of February was just too busy for locals dealing with the annual summer influx of tourists and events.
‘‘The thing about November is it is the start of summer and it’s about getting people to change their habits early and realise how good that feels,’’ Guest said.
Lawton, a second-term Queens- town Lakes district councillor, is recovering from knee surgery but will not be using that as an excuse for always avoiding the 5km bike commute from her Albert Town home to Wanaka.
‘‘I have my electric bike ready to go as soon as I get the go ahead from my physio.
‘‘But it is constantly on my mind, whether to pick the bike to go to town on rather than the car. It is not an easy thing to do,’’ she said.
Guest has also been challenging her justifications for using a car.
‘‘I was thinking today, I’m going to a Bike’vember meeting, I must ride my bike. No, I don’t need to take the car, I do not need to take anything with me, and it doesn’t matter if I get a little sweaty riding back home up the hills,’’ she said.
Bike’vember kicked off on Tuesday with a Bike Through Breakfast at the Dinosaur Playground, while Doug Hamilton hosted an evening bike maintenance clinic at Black Peak Cycles.
Biking activities will continue all month until the grand finale, a Frocks and Tweed bike parade through town at 5pm on November 30, starting from the Dinosaur Playground.
Bike-In Movie ‘‘flash mob’’ sessions are being planned at Eely Point, with cyclists urged to check social media for details.
Guest said she wanted everything set up ready to screen movies on ’’the first calm day’’.
The campaign is helping the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust fundraise for an access ramp to the Hawea River swing bridge.
Queenstown’s Hope Gregory has been selected for the Ice Fernz and Rikki-Lee McLean is a non-travelling reserve