Popular cycling initiative coming to Southland
Are you a Southlander who loves cycling and wants to share your passion and knowledge with others?
Cycling Southland, Sport Southland and Road Safety Southland are inviting people to sign up for a free Ride Leader workshop being run by Cycling New Zealand in Invercargill next month (March).
Cycling Southland general manager Mark Hotton said Ride Leaders were a network of passionate people keen to share their knowledge and passion of biking with others by becoming cycling ambassadors and cycling group leaders.
There were many formal and informal cycling groups in Invercargill and around the province, including clubs, coffee groups and people who regularly rode the various trails and pathways with friends and family, Hotton said.
The Ride Leader programme trains people to lead such groups and ensure they know how to ride in bunches, indicate, look over their shoulder while riding in a group and behave courteously to other users on shared pathways and the road, he said.
"These groups are ideal for people of all ages who might want to resume cycling and want to become more confident. They’re a great way to gain new cycling skills, get some exercise and meet new people," Hotton said.
"There’s a strong movement towards changing behaviour around how we get around in New Zealand and to get more people cycling and walking, from early childhood right through their lives."
Nathan Burdon, regional development manager at Sport Southland, said the programme was a great opportunity to connect people.
"It's not necessarily about creating something new, it's about connecting people locally who are already riding. There are a lot of safety concerns these days that we need to take into account if we have groups of riders.
“We know there are groups around the province already doing this and with bike trails such as the Invercargill to Bluff , the Te Anau to Manapouri and the Winton Rotary Trail coming on line, plus a new focus on trails in Gore, we can see a real need to support people back to cycling.
“This is such a great way to do that. Similar programmes have been rolled out around the country and there have some amazing success stories. We can see this doing really well in Southland.”