Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkins clocked up 496 kilometres on his bike during February as part of Bikewise month, an initiative aimed at improving cycle safety and encouraging more people to incorporate cycling into their daily routines.
“I’ve been a keen cyclist ever since I was a kid, perhaps with a brief gap after I got my driver’s licence as a teenager. It’s a great way to get around and it’s also great for the health. I try and cycle from Upper Hutt to Parliament at least once a week, and on a good week I do it several times,” Chris Hipkins said.
Mr Hipkins recently joined cyclists from the Trentham Army Camp on Bike to Work Day, cycling from the camp to the Upper Hutt Civic Building for some breakfast. After that he made his way by bike into Parliament for the busy day ahead.
“The Hutt Valley is a great place to bike. We’ve got plenty of flat land and some challenging hills for those that want a bit more of a workout. We’ve also got some great off-road tracks, such as the river trail running alongside the Hutt River.
This weekend Mr Hipkins will join local mayors Wayne Guppy and Ray Wallace on the Bike the River Trail fun ride, which departs from Harcourt Park at 9am.
“I’ve done Bike the River Trail every year, but this year it’s going to be a little more challenging because it’s the day after the Karapoti Classic, a big mountain bike race I’m taking part in right here in Upper Hutt.
“Karapoti is renowned as one of the toughest rides around and I dread it every year, even if I do feel great afterwards,” Chris Hipkins, a five time Karapoti competitor said.
Mr Hipkins said he will continue to work with the Regional Council and central government agencies to promote better road conditions for cyclists.
“If we want more people to get onto their bikes, we need to make it safe for them to do so. I know that a lot of local parents are worried about sending their kids off to school by bike and I want us to do everything we can to allay that fear.
“We all need to play our part in making the roads safer for cyclists. It’s not just about cycle lanes and markings, it’s also about making sure we look out for cyclists when we get behind the wheel of our cars,” Chris Hipkins said.