Bosses tell staff to get on their bikes
The car parks of hundreds of businesses around the country are about to become a whole lot emptier as staff are encouraged to swap their cars for bicycles and vie for the title of New Zealand’s most bike-friendly workplace.
Organisations and companies across the country have signed up to give cycling a go in the annual Bike Wise Challenge – one of a series of two-wheeled events taking place throughout February for Bike Wise Month. There is still time for people to register as the challenge runs throughout February.
Bike Wise Month is New Zealand’s annual celebration of two-wheeled transport and is aimed at highlighting the benefits of cycling and getting Kiwis of all ages on their bikes.
NZTA national manager road user behaviour Michael Cummins said, ‘‘The Bike Wise Challenge is about getting the most bums on bike seats and convincing people to give biking a go. To take part, all you have to do is ride for 10 minutes, or 2km, at any point during the month. Organisations with the greatest participation will win some great prizes.’’
The challenge is a great teambuilding exercise for organisations that get involved. Experienced cyclists can help mentor the ‘‘newbies’’ and encourage them to give it a go. Staff members who swap their car seat for a bike saddle often enjoy the experience so much they continue after the competition.
As well as the health benefits of cycling for individuals, there are also numerous benefits for the
cycling wider community, particularly when bikes are used for commuting which eases congestion on local roads. It is also a costeffective way to commute, with savings made on petrol, parking fees and even gym memberships.
Mr Cummins said the Bike Wise Challenge was a great way to encourage staff or work colleagues to jump on their bikes and enjoy the benefits of this lowimpact and healthy form of exercise and transport.
Open to any company or organisation in New Zealand, businesses of a similar size compete against each other in their region to see who can get the highest percentage of their members or staff in the saddle.
Last year more than 18,000 participants signed up for the Bike Wise Challenge, with some organisations proving 100 per cent participation was achievable.