Source: Hawke's Bay Tourism
1 February 2011 Media Release
Hawke's Bay is the Cycling Capital of New Zealand
Hawke's Bay has claimed the title "Cycling Capital of New Zealand" as bike fever takes hold of the region.
Annie Dundas, General Manager Hawke's Bay Tourism, says Hawke's Bay is better positioned than any other region in New Zealand to capitalise on the ‘cycling boom' that is taking off.
Hawke's Bay is one of only three regions in New Zealand to be awarded funding for two trails as part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project.
Already a region with one of the most extensive high-quality off-road walking and cycling networks linking Napier, Hastings and Havelock North, the $2.6million of government-approved funding will see this network grow rapidly. A further 50 kilometres of new track is being developed and when combined with the existing 83 kilometres, a total network of 133 kilometres will be operational by the end of 2011.
The number of cycle hire and tour companies has increased markedly, offering single and multiple day cycle packages. A popular option, said Ms Dundas, is to cycle around the wine growing areas such as Te Awanga, Gimblett Gravels and the Ngatarawa Triangle. The routes offer fantastic scenery with many winery cellar doors along the way for cyclists to enjoy tastings of local food and wine. ‘These world class trails offer a unique cycling experience for visitors, and it's a brilliant place for a cycling holiday", said Ms Dundas.
Bike retailers have also reported an increase in bike sales up to 30% as locals mount up to enjoy the world class cycle trails in their own back yard. The culmination of fantastic weather, cycle-friendly terrain, stunning scenery and an established food and wine experience make Hawke's Bay an ideal cycling destination. From leisurely vineyard cycle tours to National and UCI sporting events, the region attracts cyclists of all ages and interests.
World champion cyclist, Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medalist Alison Shanks has congratulated Hawke's Bay on the title. "Hawke's Bay is my favourite place to train and has the best roads to ride in New Zealand," she said. "The long open roads, different terrain and open outlook, along with the fantastic climate all make it a brilliant place to ride for all types of cyclists."
And cycling is far more than sport or transport in Hawke's Bay; it's becoming a way of life for many. The Rotary Pathways along Napier's foreshore are a great way to get around and see the coastline. Hastings has undertaken a $6.3 million Model Communities project, and is one of only two cities in New Zealand to receive New Zealand Transport Agency funding for this initiative. Model Communities encourages a lifestyle of walking and cycling through education and the development of physical infrastructure. The Council is creating an environment to suit urban cyclists commuting to school, work, town or who simply want to ride for fun.
There is also a regional focus on cycling in schools. The local development and pilot of the ‘Bikes in Schools' programme aims to provide all pupils at primary schools with regular access to a bike, bike helmet and specially-designed bike tracks, inside school grounds. Launched in Hawke's Bay, kids are being encouraged to ride their bikes to be active and healthy.
With increasing visitor numbers, growing bike sales, a cycle-friendly environment and a range of attractions that add to a total experience, Hawke's Bay is proud to boast the title of Cycling Capital of New Zealand.
For more information please contact:
Annie Dundas, GM, Hawke's Bay Tourism +64 21 630 408
Paul McArdle, Director, Bike on NZ +64 27 747 9192
Images - Pathway 1, Pathway 2
Cycling Capital of New Zealand logo
Hawke's Bay Trails (part of the New Zealand Cycle Trails project): will have more than 133 kilometres of dedicated cycle trails (when completed at end 2011). Trail users can experience everything from stunning scenery, such as mountainous lookouts and beautiful lowland rivers, endangered wildlife in regenerating wetlands to picturesque coastline. There are attractions to suit every taste along with world-class cafes, wineries and restaurants.
Hawke's Bay has a strong cycling culture and is home to one of New Zealand's oldest and largest cycling clubs, the Ramblers. The Hawke's Bay Mountain Biking Club is New Zealand's largest MTB club with over 1850 members.
Hawke's Bay holds many regular sporting events that attract thousands of visitors including the annual Eastern Mountain Bike Express, Meridian Kids Jam, the Triple Peaks Challenge and road rides like Tour of the Bay and Tour de Beautiful.