Another boost for cycling

Brian Perry Charitable Trust’s general manager Jennifer Palmer tries out the new tandem bike with Podium Lodge visitor from Taranaki, six-year-old Khloe Evans.

A new cycle initiative is coming to town, aiming at getting more visitors out and about enjoying the region.

Cycle Cambridge is the brainchild of the Brian Perry Charitable Trust, which is continuing its work supporting healthy outdoor pursuits in the Waikato. With 10 e-bikes and 10 regular bikes in a range of adult and kids’ sizes, as well as a tandem bike, Cycle Cambridge will begin providing package cycle escapes later this month, with all proceeds going back into the community.

Supporters of the Te Awa River Ride, the Avantidrome and next January’s Three Peaks Ride cycling festival, Brian Perry Charitable Trust general manager Jennifer Palmer said it made sense for the trust to move into offering packages.

“There’s a lot of strings to the bow and this is just the latest”, she said, adding that ideally the packages would show Aucklanders that “they don’t need to go to Otago” to ride the rail trail, as there is a great alternative closer to home. As well as recreational packages, there will be corporate offerings and casual bike hire for those who want to go biking a bit closer to home. This hire option – two hours, half-day or full-day hire – will give curious locals the chance to try out an electric bike (e-bike), which Jennifer describes as a “great equaliser”, giving people of differing abilities the chance to ride together.

“If you’re on an e-bike it makes longer distances more achievable,” she said, adding that it’s just like riding a regular bike until you get a “little kick” when the motor fires up.

The Cycle Cambridge van is off being sign-written, and once it’s in action later in the month it will be put to work ferrying cyclists and their bikes and gear from their Podium Lodge base to Ngaruawahia. From there, the riders can tackle the Te Awa River Ride, biking their way back for collection at the Hamilton Gardens where the trail currently finishes.

That’s where it stops for now, but with construction due to be finished on the Hamilton to Cambridge leg of the cycleway in the next three years, ultimately cyclists will be able to bike the whole 65km from Ngaruawahia to Lake Karapiro. And the plan is for those packages to include local experience-based businesses, such as Camjet, Hobbiton and the Waikato River Explorer, giving visitors a real taste of what the region has to offer.

Check out Cycle Cambridge’s website (which should be up and running any minute now) for more information.

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