Aotearoa Bike Challenge 2023

February is Aotearoa Bike Challenge month. Selected because it is traditionally one of the more settled weather months (and sufficiently distant from the Christmas hols), this Feb hasn’t proved so easy for cyclists. Lightfoot has had its usual suspects signing up to pedal for us, but overall, the numbers are down nationally. Do we even need to ask why?

Mass disruption for our northern whanau and communities has made cycling the last thing on people’s minds this month. I think most of us accept that the recent cyclones are a result of climate change caused by Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Some don’t want to make the connection between GhGs and transport, but we do know that around 40% of our emissions are from transport.

So far this month, even with the weather disruption the ABC pedallers have saved 166,298 kg CO2

In 2022 33k people saved 211, 000 kgs of CO2

That’s an enormous amount of carbon saved simply from getting on a bike rather than jumping in the car. We love the ethos of the Aotearoa Bike Challenge – focusing on the positive of what can be done collectively to make change. 

So, while our Northern pedallers were resorting to bus rides in the rain, the folk at Sustainable Queenstown organised another spectacular Green Drinks on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. Truly an active event with an early evening bike ride in the sun, Lightfoot’s Jen Smart was excited to work with SQ to talk transport with local bike commuter legend Paul Speedy. Paul commutes every day by bike from near Arrowtown to central Queenstown. He’s an all-weather rider and a true inspiration showing what’s possible if you have the right gear and mindset to make a change.