Bike Waikato November 2023 Newsletter

In this newsletter from Bike Waikato:

  • New Bike Waikato Committee
  • Biketober Wrap-Up
  • Getting Ready for Summer
  • CERF Projects on Hold

New Bike Waikato Committee

At our October Annual General Meeting (AGM), we elected six volunteer members to form our new committee. We have been so excited and busy getting to know each other and start planning for the next year that we forgot the October newsletter – oops!

We have started to find our groove by forming new subcommittees to streamline our operations.

  • Membership/Engagement – exploring ideas to reach out and foster a cycling community
  • Newsletter/Socials – collecting news and writing content to keep our members and community up to date
  • Website – exploring the technical health of our website and fixing various components
  • Bike Valet – turning our bike parking kaupapa into a self-sustaining revenue stream

Thank you to all those who attended our AGM and those who continue to support Bike Waikato! We are looking forward to the next year of cycling advocacy in the Waikato.

Biketober Wrap-Up

The October cycling festival Biketober has recently ended, with lots of events hosted across New Zealand with involvement from the Hamilton cycling community, Hamilton City Council, Go Eco, HMS Trust, and other community groups.

Events included several education and bike riding skill honing programmes for Juniors/Seniors, Go Eco’s excellent ABC (Air, Brakes, Chain) workshops, and community rides along Te Awa and the Hamilton Gardens, Melville Skate Park, and Frankton.

A personal highlight was the Boon Bike Art Tour hosted by Hamilton City Council and Boon Art. The tour included mural sites in both the City Centre and Frankton and featured riding along wonderful examples of bicycle infrastructure throughout both areas, including the Western Rail Trail. Do you recognise which mural this grumpy cat belongs to?

Boon art Grumpy cat mural

Thank you to all those involved who make Biketober what it is! What was your personal highlight?

Getting Ready for Summer

Bike Waikato at the formal opening of the full Te Awa River Ride with the Bike Valet service.

Bike Waikato at the formal opening of the full Te Awa River Ride with the Bike Valet service.

With November nearly finished, we’re now heading into summer. In Kirikiriroa Hamilton, we are already seeing members out on their bikes which is awesome to see. Getting on your bike is one of the most effective ways for our community to demonstrate the desire for cycling in the mighty Waikato!

Predictions are for a drier and hotter summer as we head into an El Niño (the first since 2016). Make sure that you bring lots of water and sunscreen when you’re heading out on two wheels.

Try out the Te Awa River ride if you haven’t already! It formally opened earlier this year with heaps of usage in both directions, both out to Cambridge and up to Ngaruawahia and is a beautiful example of world class cycling infrastructure right here in the Waikato. You don’t need a lot of fitness if you are riding a pedal assist e-bike, though keep in mind that there are a few sections with steeper inclines. Just make sure that you take it easy and keep hydrated. This is a great way to exercise the body and clear the mind as we come to the end of another year.

Make some time to have some lunch at the businesses at either end of the trail and show them that Bikes Mean Business!

Share your favourite photos via Facebook or Instagram and tag us in #BikeWaikatoSummer2023. With your permission, we will put our favourites in next month’s newsletter.

Happy summer of riding!

Public Transport & Biking Initiatives On Hold

In our last newsletter, we spoke about the awesome progress that has been made in Hamilton through the Transport Choices program funded by the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Unfortunately, the funding for these projects has since been paused in anticipation of a new Government.

We are incredibly disappointed by this move. We have added our voices to the calls from other sustainable transport organisations to express disappointment directly to the Waka Kotahi Chief Executive.

With the new government now formed and a new transport minister announced, we are anxiously watching this space. Cycle Action Network (CAN) advocates more in the central government space while Bike Waikato focuses on local issues. If you can support them, we encourage you to do so. We will continue our relationships with local councils to advocate and fight for continued progress in Hamilton, especially on those commitments that have already been made.

School Link: Te Aroha/Ruakura Safety Improvements

Hamilton City Council has been undertaking consultations with the local community for the Te Aroha/Ruakura safety improvements project. In general, we are pretty excited about this!

The design allows for two modes of cycling: commuting cycling via a bidirectional and protected cycle lane and a large protected shared path for recreational cycling and walking e.g. children strolling with their parents, or people simply taking in our city. This will open up cycling as a genuine option for many residents, and also make these routes safer for the many school students who already cycle.

The plans shown at the community consultations showed a scope of work extending from the Grey St/Te Aroha St roundabout, right up to the Wairere Dr intersection. Residents surrounding this area will have received an information pamphlet in the mail. If you did not receive one, or do not live in the area, we have linked a summary page above.

This programme of work is being carried out under the Eastern Pathways (School Link) projects

We encourage our cycling community to attend these consultations where they can, especially if they are an affected resident, and tell Hamilton City Council that these projects are wanted and appreciated.

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