After founding the Bike On New Zealand Charitable Trust in 2010, Havelock North man Paul McArdle has been tireless in his mission to get more kids on bikes, more often.
Driven by the desire to see more children cycling, Paul said it was a real honour to join the other New Zealanders on the 2018 New Years Honours list.
'It's not just the work I've done. It's a whole lot of other people who have supported this over the years. It's recognition for them also and different groups who have supported bikes in schools in particular.'
Paul has been the driving force behind a range of programmes that worked to encourage people to cycle. So far he has helped more than 25,000 school children in 90 schools get access to a bike on a regular basis through Bikes in Schools. While the number of supporters of Bikes in Schools were too many to name, he said what was most special about the charitable trust was that it had grown to a national level since starting up in Hawke's Bay.
'It's nice to see something that started in Hawke's Bay grow to a national level. That's been really nice for us.'
Going to opening events and seeing more children making use of bikes was his favourite part of the job, he said. 'Biking is something I grew up with, and a lot of New Zealanders my age grew up with, and it was just enabling that to happen within the school environment. My favourite part is enabling more children to get to ride. The vision for bikes in schools was about enabling as many children as possible to ride on a regular and equal basis. It's all about access and opportunity.'
Paul had also been behind the Hastings District Council's iWay programme, which provided a 54.5km extension of on and off road cycle lanes and pathways in the region.
He said he wanted to thank his wife, Meg, and two children for their unwavering support of his work over the years.
CAN project manager Patrick Morgan says Paul is an inspiring and hard-working champion for cycling. 'I've learned a lot from Paul's persistence, and his strategic approach to winning friends and influencing people.'
Paul and Meg were named Cycling Champions of the Year at the ASB / CAN Cycle Friendly awards in 2010.