South African-born Gareth Corder believes Christchurch is the perfect place for people to give cycling a go.
An avid cyclist, Gareth has cycled in towns and cities around the globe but he thinks Christchurch has the best set-up for people to get on their bikes and hit the road.
“After living around the world and around Aotearoa, and seeing how people get around, we are so lucky here in Christchurch to have the cycleways that enable us to get around the city easily, quickly and safely. The cycleways in Christchurch are unbelievable.”
Gareth is getting ready for February’s Aotearoa Bike Challenge, a fun, free competition organised by Love to Ride and Christchurch City Council that encourages people to experience first-hand the joys and benefits of riding a bike.
Workplaces, clubs and groups can take part in the challenge, earning points for every person they sign up and for every kilometre, and every day, that participants ride. People can also sign up for the challenge as individuals.
“Coming from South Africa, there really is no cycling scene and it’s just not part of the everyday culture. While living in Christchurch, I’ve been able to save money by using my bike to get to work. I don’t need to pay for parking or petrol,” Gareth says.
“It’s also been an awesome activity to get my young daughter involved in. Not only is it fun, but it help keeps her active and entertained during the day, which makes bedtime a lot easier”.
Overall, more than 400 workplaces across greater Christchurch took part in the 2021 Aotearoa Bike Challenge, which involved over 6000 participants who clocked up 1,137,890 kilometres on their bike during the month-long challenge. A huge 412,890 kilometres more than the year before.
“Last year during the Aotearoa Bike Challenge, Christchurch participants saved over 100,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions by getting on their bikes in February,” says Christchurch City Council Transport Operations Manager Steffan Thomas.
“We’re hoping to get even more people and workplaces involved this year and increase our numbers across all areas of the competition.
“Biking is an easy way to increase fitness, save money, get fresh air and explore your city all at the same time. Even ten minutes a day on your bike could make a real difference,” says Mr Thomas.
“If you’re curious or want to get your workplace involved, we encourage everyone to head along to the website and get signed up. Just give it a go, we’ve all got to start somewhere.”