Kick­ing the car habit for 30 days

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - COLLEEN NIS­BET

Con­grat­u­la­tions to the hun­dreds of Bike’vem­ber pledgers who ditched their cars and trucks in favour of peo­ple pow­ered travel for 30 days this Novem­ber.

One mem­ber tagged us as Fun’vem­ber, tes­ta­ment to the fact our com­mu­nity is com­mit­ted to work­ing to­gether to im­prove our en­vi­ron­ment, town cen­tres and life­styles by us­ing sus­tain­able travel.

Small towns like Wanaka and Hawea have such great bik­ing fa­cil­i­ties and ac­tive pop­u­la­tions. Bike’vem­ber’s been a great plat­form to show sup­port of all things peo­ple pow­ered.

Our pledgers have been get­ting out on bikes daily to en­joy our en­vi­ron­ment and stay­ing healthy while they’re at it.

It’s been an epic month. Our pledgers have been walk­ers, scooter and skate board rid­ers and all types of bi­cy­clers. We’ve even had a bike rid­den on top of a stand-up pad­dle board.

Bike’vem­ber mo­ti­vated pledgers daily with com­pe­ti­tions and close to 50 com­mu­nity events. Lo­cal busi­nesses gave pass­port deals. We raised thou­sands of dol­lars for the Up­per Clutha Tracks Trust’s Hawea Swing Bridge Ac­cess Ramp pro­ject.

For a lit­tle in­sight into the sheer amount of ac­tiv­ity, go to Bike’vem­ber Face­book page and www.bikevem­ber.nz.

We’re proud our com­mu­nity loves to be out­side, in the fresh air and is com­mit­ted to keep­ing it fresh. The com­mu­nity got be­hind by pledg­ing and also or­gan­ised their own unique events, such as movies, book launches, travel story-telling and all sorts of events and rides.

We’re squeez­ing more fun in to Bike’vem­ber, so if you’re look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent for your hump-day lunch time then join us to­day from 1.00pm at the Lake Log Cabin for Bike’vem­ber Blissed­out-door Yoga.

To­day’s grand fi­nale cel­e­bra­tion, Frocks n Tweed on Bi­cy­cles and Prize Giv­ing ex­trav­a­ganza, is from 5pm – 7pm. Dec­o­rate your bike, dress up and bring your filled out Bike’vem­ber pass­ports.

Cen­sus 2013 re­veals about 14 per cent of Up­per Clutha res­i­dents cy­cle, walk or jog to work - close to 1000 res­i­dents.

That is well above the na­tional av­er­age of 10 per­cent.

Wanaka has no traf­fic lights and vir­tu­ally no traf­fic jams.

We think a cycling town slows things down, re­duces the fran­tic pace en­gen­dered by mo­tor traf­fic, makes for more hu­man, live­able spa­ces and re­duces the amount of pub­lic space given over to park­ing metal boxes!

The Bike’vem­ber crew hopes pedal power will be­come part of our ev­ery-day lives.

The in­au­gu­ral Bike’vem­ber was a com­mu­nity cam­paign sup­ported by the Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil, De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion, Up­per Clutha Tracks Trust, Lake Wanaka Tourism, Bike Wanaka and Good Ro­ta­tions and Mis­sion WOW.

❚ Colleen Nis­bet is Bikevem­ber’s me­dia li­ai­son of­fi­cer.

B BLATT

Ross Mackay rac­ing on the Gold Sprint in Wanaka.

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