Cy­cling skills tested on city’s streets

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - RICHARD MAYS

City kids will need to up their cy­cling game next year.

Re­sults of the 16th Cen­tral Dis­trict Young Cy­clist of the Year re­gional fi­nal held in Palmer­ston North last week saw Feild­ing pupils take out the first two places in the an­nual skills con­test.

De­spite be­ing on ‘home turf’ and be­ing used to the traf­fic con­di­tions, city cy­clists from Palmer­ston North and Whanganui were out-biked by their smaller town ri­vals.

Bri­anna Dob­son of St Joseph’s in Feild­ing won the Young Cy­clist of the Year tro­phy and first prize $300. Flint Rogers of Feild­ing In­ter­me­di­ate was sec­ond win­ning $200 with Christina Leong of Palmer­ston North In­ter­me­di­ate picked up third place and $100 at a spe­cial prize-giv­ing held at

‘‘City cy­clists from Palmer­ston North and Whanganui were out-biked by their smaller town ri­vals.

Po­lice HQ in Cuba St. .

Run with as­sis­tance from Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil, and Sport Manawatu the com­pe­ti­tion is the cul­mi­na­tion of a year’s road safety ed­u­ca­tion in pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate schools by school com­mu­nity of­fi­cers from the Cen­tral Re­gion’s six polic­ing dis­tricts – Palmer­ston North, Manawatu, Tararua, Horowhenua, Ran­gi­tikei and Wan­ganui.

Co-or­di­na­tor Lynda Ken­drick says the top male and fe­male fi­nal­ists came from school and dis­trict com­pe­ti­tions to com­pete at the Bar­ber Hall venue.

‘‘The fi­nal­ists have to sit a writ­ten test based on the Safe Cy­cling book and the Code For Cy­clists. Then they cy­cle a three kilo­me­tre road course around the city streets.’’

The course in­volves 15 con­trolled and un­con­trolled in­ter­sec­tions with stop and give way signs, traf­fic lights, and var­i­ous round­abouts.

‘‘They are marked on their abil­i­ties to look be­hind and check for traf­fic; sig­nalling their in­ten­tion, how well they obey signs and treat marked lanes, as well as their bike con­trol and road con­fi­dence.’’

Lynda says that for some rea­son, the traf­fic seemed to be par­tic­u­larly heavy dur­ing the road course com­pared to other years, pro­vid­ing an ad­di­tional chal­lenge for the young riders.

It’s not over then. A rid­ing skills test in­volv­ing a marked course and ob­sta­cles in the Bar­ber Hall car park fol­lowed, fur­ther test­ing bike han­dling and con­trol skills. The riders also have to pass a cy­cle hel­met fit­ting test.

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