Volunteer trail builders are the heroes of the Wellington cycling community, winning the award for the best piece of cycling infrastructure.
Cycle Aware Wellington presented the first Roll On Wellington Awards on 6 December.
Spokesperson Claire Pascoe says the awards showcase the best and brightest of cycling in Wellington.
"They're a great opportunity for the cycling community to show their support for the things they love in Wellington. There were lots of winners on the night... as well as a few who lost out."
Volunteer trail builders' hard work pays off not just for mountain bikers, but are a favourite with commuters. Wellington City Council shares the award, for providing materials and access to tracks in Miramar, Mt Victoria, Aro Valley, Brooklyn, Karori and elsewhere.
Claire Pascoe says the award is well deserved. "Be sure to give these guys some pineapple lumps if you see them working on the tracks."
The winner of Most Cycle-Friendly Shop was Commonsense Organics, for their big bike rack outside.
"Cyclists love to shop at places that make it easy. Other nominees were On Yer Bike, Burkes Cycles, Moore Wilson's and Celsius Coffee in Petone. They not only have a bike rack, but a puncture kit too!
The Best Improvement category was taken out by the Cycling in Wellington blog (cyclingwellington.co.nz). The tone is always positive and it's great at creating a happy buzz amongst cyclists.
The NZ Transport Agency was runner-up in two categories. The good: Karo Drive, runner up for Best Piece of Cycling Infrastructure. The only separated cycle path in the central city is an oasis of relaxation for those getting across town.
NZTA also came second for the Worst Piece of Cycling Infrastructure, a.k.a. the Hall of Shame. The lack of a proper route from Wellington to the Hutt is a definite disappointment, but the Hall of Shame winner was WCC, for Adelaide Rd and the southern route to Island Bay. The lack of any infrastructure on what could be a great cycling road earned it the raspberry award.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown was there to graciously accept the award, saying that big improvements to the route are on the way.
Happily for the Mayor, she was also able to accept another award: Most Courteous Road User. She has made a habit of helping out cyclists who she sees lacking lights by donating some of her own, so that they can carry on home safely.
"Cheers to the Mayor for helping us out and for her optimistic attitude towards the future of cycling in Wellington," says Claire Pascoe.
Roll on Wellington Awards 2011
Most cycle friendly shop or café; Commonsense Organics
Big bike rack outside, under cover and right next to the door - visible, convenient and secure. They have more parking for bikes than for cars. They also support CAW's Go By Bike Day by donating fruit and providing volunteers.
Best piece of cycle infrastructure: Wellington trail builders and Wellington City Council for off-road trails
Connecting suburbs with mountain bike trails is a great way to combine fun with off-the-road transport. Yay! And thanks to all the trail-builders.
Coolest bike and/or rider: Jenny Cossey
Jenny gets in behind any bike event she participates in 110%. She usually works as a volunteer...as well as a participant and always dresses up to make it more fun for everyone. She is an excellent mountain biker and very supportive of organisations encouraging more women to get out riding.
Best cycle improvement of the year: Cycling in Wellington blog
It's awesome to have our very own cycling blog which has become the hub of good information about riding in Wellington. Love the positive spin, the cycle chic and the informative articles.
Most room for cycle infrastructure improvement: WCC for Adelaide Road
So many people would ride from Newtown and southern suburbs if it were safe. These are the narrowest and busiest lanes of traffic in Wellington, and there is really no safe alternative for them.
Most courteous road user: Celia Wade-Brown
She was so concerned for my safety that she offered me a couple of her own lights (she had more in her bag), telling me to drop them off at the council chambers sometime, "or just keep them, I can afford more." Nice to see a Mayor who looks after her constituents.