Taranaki peo­ple urged to get ped­al­ing

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

If you are pon­der­ing whether to take on the Aotearoa Bike Chal­lenge 2018, and that’s as far as you’ve got, New Ply­mouth’s Jen­nifer Pat­ter­son has a few words of wis­dom to mo­ti­vate you.

The NZ Trans­port Agency cam­paign to boost cy­cling across the na­tion aims to get the work­force on a bike and ex­pe­ri­ence the ben­e­fits to their health, work­place pro­duc­tiv­ity and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ven­ture Taranaki has picked up the cy­cling gaunt­let and Pat­ter­son is the driv­ing force be­hind en­cour­ag­ing her col­leagues to get ped­al­ing.

‘‘Most peo­ple can ride a bike so that’s the first chal­lenge taken care of,’’ Pat­ter­son said.

‘‘I guess the next chal­lenge is to let go of the ex­cuses and just go and ride a bike.’’

‘It’s easy and it’s fun like it was when you were a kid and you can do that again and it’s amaz­ing.’’

The chal­lenge is about par­tic­i­pa­tion and or­gan­i­sa­tions across the coun­try go head to head to see which one can en­cour­age the most work­ers to give rid­ing a bike a go for just 10 min­utes or more per day from Feb­ru­ary 1 - 28.

Pat­ter­son has been com­mut­ing from A to B, on two wheels since she was rid­ing her bike to school and back. Now, the ride into work is a breeze be­cause it’s mostly down­hill, ob­vi­ously the re­turn trip is a dif­fer­ent story.

The road and the traf­fic varies, some­times driv­ers are not so friendly but 90 per cent of the time ev­ery­body is fine.

‘‘It’s ac­tu­ally not a s scary as peo­ple think.’’

When it comes to tak­ing out the chal­lenge, Taranaki could be for­given for hav­ing an un­fair ad­van­tage with its cy­cle-friendly net­work of cy­cle lanes, shared walk­ways, and on road recre­ational cy­cle routes.

‘‘There’s great new fa­cil­i­ties ev­ery­where so there’s re­ally no ex­cuse if you want to get on a bike, Pat­ter­son said.

When she heads out on the high­way on her road bike she tends to steer clear of the des­ig­nated walk­way and cy­cling tracks, un­less she is tak­ing her daugh­ter out on a leisurely joyride.

‘‘I want to do a proper ride and get a bit of speed up.’’

Prizes and spot prizes are avail­able as an ex­tra in­cen­tive to take part. Reg­is­tra­tions for the chal­lenge will re­main open un­til Feb­ru­ary 28 and a 10-minute jour­ney by bike is all it takes to par­tic­i­pate. Visit the of­fi­cial web­site, it’s free.

CHRIS­TINE WALSH/ STUFF

Ad­ven­ture Taranaki’s, Jen­nifer Pat­ter­son happy to take on bike chal­lenge.

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