Aotearoa Bike Challenge

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If feeling fitter, healthier or happier is one of your New Year’s resolutions, just 10 minutes of cycling can get you on the right track and win you great prizes too.

The NZ Transport Agency has brought the global Love to Ride programme to New Zealand this February as the Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

 The aim of the month-long workplace challenge, which began on February 1, is for Kiwis to give cycling a go. Entering is as simple as a 10-minute trip on your bike.

 The University of Waikato is getting in behind the event.

“The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a win-win for our staff and students,” says University of Waikato health and safety manager, Nan Austin.

“The Challenge aligns with our wellness strategy ‘to improve wellness…by moving more’. It also encourages team-building and some friendly inter-departmental competition. We have used the Challenge as an opportunity to promote our on-campus cycling facilities.

“What’s great about the Aotearoa Bike Challenge is that it takes only 10 minutes a day to enter, so it makes it really easy to integrate exercise into a busy lifestyle.

“There are so many great places to cycle around Hamilton and the wider Waikato region such as the Te Awa River Ride. The Challenge provides a great incentive to get outside and give it a go.”

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is also a great way to kick-start a New Year exercise programme, says Makea Pokere, personal training manager at Les Mills Lambton Quay in Wellington.

 “What’s great about ABC is that there’s heaps of support both in communities and online. Anyone wanting to get started can find tips and tricks to make it more achievable and find others locally who are giving it a go.

“It’s great too for workplaces that are entering as teams to enjoy a bit of friendly competition.

 “Also as an employer, we know that for our team, when they are active this has widespread benefits for the workplace in terms of productivity and motivation. It creates a better, more positive atmosphere – it’s a real win-win!”

Makea says an event like ABC is a great way to start building healthy new habits.

 “While many people start the year with great intentions, it is sometimes hard to build new habits. We find that giving things a go – in this case just 10 minutes’ cycling, which you can fit in anytime, anywhere, and achieving that, can be a real motivator.

“Then it’s just a case of building on that and finding a 10 minute trip by bike turns into a habit. Before you know it, you will have built your confidence and fitness and will be feeling much better.”

 The Challenge gives Kiwis a great opportunity to try cycling, says NZ Transport Agency national cycling manager, Dougal List.

 “The Challenge gives riders who may be less confident the extra motivation and support of knowing that thousands of New Zealanders will be doing it with them.”

For a bit of extra incentive to keep your resolutions, there is a brand new eBike, a Panasonic Smart TV, cycling gear, movie vouchers and many more prizes to be won.

The Aotearoa Bike Challenge is not about who can ride the most kilometres, but about encouraging people to give cycling a go. Workplaces are being encouraged to participate, and the distance ridden by every business team contributes towards the efforts of the organisation as a whole. This means the more people you get involved, the more chance you have of winning great prizes.

To find out more visit lovetoride.net\nz

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