It’s summer time and people are out enjoying the warmer weather in many ways (when the rain goes away…), including on their bikes. Maybe you’ve been able to try out some of the great places for cycling around Christchurch, or maybe you’ve headed away and tested out a few cycling routes elsewhere in the country?
Bike Wise is once again looking for people’s votes for their favourite places to ride in New Zealand. Whether it’s for commuting, mountain-biking, touring, or just having fun, they want to know where are your top spots for cycling around the country.
Nominations are now open for all of this month to determine the short-list of places that will be voted on. Enter your nominations now and you will be in the draw to win a $500 bike store voucher! Once the nominations have been received, a final short-list will be created in each of the categories (see below). Voting on your favourites will then run from 2-29 February. On March 2nd, once the votes are tallied, Bike Wise will announce the winner of NZ’s overall Favourite Place to Cycle 2016.
In 2015 thousands of nominations and votes were received, with the esteemed title of ‘NZ’s Favourite Place to Cycle’ going to The Redwoods (Whakarewarewa Forest) in Rotorua. The Redwoods also took out the category win for favourite ‘off-road/adventure ride’. Other category winners included:
- Nga Haerenga – NZ Cycle Trail: Otago Rail Trail
- Urban Trail or Commute: Taupo lake front trails
- On-Road Ride: Taupo and surrounds
Now I don’t have much argument with places like The Redwoods picking up the top gong; it’s a fabulous place to ride. It did however seem a bit jarring however that the only Canterbury ride in the top 20 was the Port Hills (third in Best On-Road Ride). Really? BikeWise’s own webpage of places to ride in Canterbury seemed remarkably bereft of ideas. I could imagine that there are a number of potentially worthy nominees around here, including:
- McLeans Forest is always fun for a friendly off-road ride, as are Bottle Lake Forest and the many tracks of the Port Hills
- Hagley Park doubles as both a great recreational riding area and a convenient way to get around town too.
- For years, the Railway Cycleway has been another brilliant connection between northern suburbs and the central city
- The Heathcote River is a great cycle-friendly route for a family ride or even part of your commute
- Although there is still plenty to go, already the Coastal Pathway is proving to be a great link between Ferrymead and Redcliffs
- The Little River Rail Trail provides both commuting connections closer in to Christchurch and recreational opportunities further out.
- Further afield, Hanmer Springs is another great spot for mountain-biking of all skill levels
- Even further afield, the Alps2Ocean Cycle Trail is a spectacular ride across a large swathe of the South Island
- Judging by the number of pageviews over the years, I’d have to say that the most popular cycling facility in Christchurch is actually the Westburn Reserve cycle park…
- What else???
Already there’s a bit of competitive rivalry hotting up between regions, exhorting the public to nominate their local favourites. So perhaps it’s time to remind the rest of the country who is the true cycling capital of New Zealand…
Remember to get your nominations in this month! We’ll let you know when the finalists have been announced for voting too.
Where is your favourite place to ride?