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Supercharge your health, elevate your energy and cut down on your transport costs by using pedal power to travel around the city this summer.

Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of the Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2024, a month-long competition which aims to get more people riding bikes during February.

The free event is open to anyone – experienced bike riders, occasional riders or those new to biking.

People can enter as individuals or in groups. Participants are encouraged to ride at least 10 minutes each day, and they can ride whenever and wherever they like during the challenge.

Once someone has been for a ride, they can log the ride on the Love to Ride website to earn points and gain entries into prize draws.

Prizes for challenge winners include an e-bike worth $3499, a portable Bluetooth speaker, a waterproof jacket, and a holiday worth up to $3000.

The challenge is run by Love to Ride, which works with organisations around the world to encourage more people to enjoy cycling.

By mid-January, 19 workplaces and 433 people from Hamilton had signed up for the 2024 Challenge, while across the Waikato region, 84 workplaces and 725 people had signed up.

Since the event began seven years ago, 42 Hamilton workplaces and 3186 people, including 1009 new riders, have taken up the Challenge.

Hamiltonians have pedalled their way around the city, notching up a grand total of 3.3 million kilometres from 181,413 rides, during each February since 2017. That’s about the same as circumnavigating the world 82 times.

Nationally, more than 23,200 riders from almost 3000 businesses took part in the event in 2023, including more than 3400 people who were new to riding.

Hamilton City Council’s City Transport Unit Director Gordon Naidoo said the challenge was also a chance for people to explore many of the bike trails in the city, and in neighboring districts around the region.

It includes the Te Awa River Ride, which has the longest concrete pathway in the country, winding its way for 65km from Ngaaruawaahia to Lake Karaapiro following the Waikato River.

There is the Western Rail Trail, a 2.7km off-road shared path connecting Hamilton’s southwestern suburbs with the central city. The route travels the rail corridor from Kahikatea Drive, around the west of Lake Rotoroa to Ward Park and Seddon Park.

The Timber Trail is a two-day ride from Pureora in the Waitomo district to Oongarue in the Ruapehu district.

The Hauraki Rail Trail is a four-stage trail starting at Kaiaua in the north, to Thames, Paeroa, Waihi, Te Aroha and Matamata.

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2024 runs from Thursday 1 February to Thursday 29 February and has the backing of Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council.

Visit lovetoride.net for more information, and to sign up for the challenge.

 

Go Eco and Bike Waikato are hosting rides and other activities for the Challenge during February. Visit their websites for more information. 

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