Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 16/Mar/09 8:44am

Momentum has grown faster than Sam Blenkinsop on a downhill and there has been no shortage of enthusiasm from a broad range of interested parties and the cycling community for the proposed National Cycleway.

BikeNZ, MTBNZ have teamed up with CAN, Hikurangi Foundation, Cycle Tourist Operators of NZ, Living Streets and several key tourism groups to provide expertise and support to the Ministry of Tourism who are developing the cycle way concept.

BikeNZ has been at fever pitch gathering information and co-ordinating the many interested parties to advance the idea toward reality.

“The Prime Minister has given us an opportunity that has significant ramifications not only for the 1.3milion people who ride, but one that will benefit the whole country. Tourism, economic growth, and jobs over the short and long -term are the priorities if government is going to back an investment into making a national cycleway a reality” says John Wilmer, BikeNZ’s Cycling Development Manager.

BikeNZ’s CEO Kieran Turner agrees. “This project is all about long term job creation for NZ. Evidence from NZ and Australia clearly shows cycle trails create jobs and economic benefit to the communities they go through. But the other benefits include health, safety, tourism and there are no downsides” says Kieran Turner, CEO of BikeNZ.

Turner says that in developing a preferred route from the top to the bottom of New Zealand, setting a criteria will be important. He cites jobs created, communities touched, ease of rideability, linkage to significant cycling and tourism areas, quality of experience and the scenery, and use of existing riding corridors and infrastructure as being likely criteria.

“This will start as a spine linking up other key biking areas and eventually grow to a network of the world’s most amazing cycling experiences. It should appeal to the widest possible cycling market with opportunities for more experienced riders to use the cycle path to access these experiences. Essentially it could be graded like a ski field and be a mix of riding types” says Turner.

In November BikeNZ launched RideStrong, a new cycling community dedicated to promoting a safe and enjoyable cycling environment. The aim of RideStrong is to represent all cyclists’ views, giving them a powerful collective voice on the issues that concern them, no matter what level they ride at.

Going from strength to strength, with over 2000 members signing up already, the RideStrong community is well positioned to gather consensus opinion on the shape of a National cycle-way, and to use “people power” to advance if forward.

“This opportunity is gold for cyclists and New Zealand. But to advance the idea toward reality will require public support. We need the cycling community, all 1.3 million of us, to show their support and have their say” says Turner.

He urges the cycling community to get in behind this idea, to have your say and show your support on the http://www.ridestrong.org.nz National Cycleway forums.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Tama on Mon 16/Mar/09 9:28am

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10561605 wrote:Where the main cycle route could go:
* North of Kaitaia along Ninety-mile Beach.
* Through Auckland.
* Rotorua to Taupo.
* Taupo to Taumarunui via the Pureora Forest Park.
* Taumarunui to Wellington via the "forgotten highway".
* Dunedin to Clyde on the existing Otago Central Rail Trail.
* Clyde to Queenstown though the Kawarau Gorge.
* Queenstown to Invercargill.

Optional extras
* East from Rotorua around the East Cape.
* West from Taupo and cycle around Mt Taranaki.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby thorg on Mon 16/Mar/09 9:36am

"through Auckland" - those two words make it sound so easy :)
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby nzmatto on Mon 16/Mar/09 9:48am

thorg wrote:"through Auckland" - those two words make it sound so easy :)


Indeed, can't it just bypass Auckland....maybe they could build a bridge.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby xcmtb on Mon 16/Mar/09 1:21pm

nzmatto wrote:
thorg wrote:"through Auckland" - those two words make it sound so easy :)


Indeed, can't it just bypass Auckland....maybe they could build a bridge.
across the Manukau heads?
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby DrewBroadley on Mon 16/Mar/09 3:49pm

What scares me, is councils struggle to maintain a couple of km's stretch of "cycle way", how the hell are they going to manage a country length one ?
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Mr_Bob on Mon 16/Mar/09 4:02pm

DrewBroadley wrote:What scares me, is councils struggle to maintain a couple of km's stretch of "cycle way", how the hell are they going to manage a country length one ?

Good point :huh:

when I was in auckland I didn't use some stretches of road, because of how bad the glass on the roads was...
Always amazes me how all the road debris manages to get swept into the cycle lanes, but it can take a while to get swept up from a bike lane...
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Flystrike on Mon 16/Mar/09 4:10pm

BikeNZ has been at fever pitch gathering information and coordinating the many interested parties to advance the idea toward reality. I’m impressed to see BIKENZ is at “fever pitch” over this idea of a national cycleway. The Transport “boffins’ in Wellington have been promoting this concept in partnership with DoC since 2003, so one would assume much information already exists.
I’m guessing the John Key Government will announce a “Champion” for the National Cycleway idea to proceed beyond the “Oh what a great idea” stage, if this is all to become a reality. Some “Champion,” A person or organisation that has the ability to promote the idea of a national Cycleway.

This project said the new CEO of BikeNZ Kieran Turner “is all about job creation for NZ”. It may well be Kieran, I would suggest such a project would need at the very least a basic feasibility study completed to determine the preferred route or links method of construction.

It’s clear that $50 million will not build a National cycleway the length of the country, rough estimates indicate if we widened the state highway by 1.5 metres either side it would cost at the very least $225 million. A dedicated purpose built hard surface national Cycleway would cost well over $600 million (not including land purchases).

The John Key Government is struggling with what to do with the huge cost of improving the existing Rail networks, a number of provincial lines i.e. the Gisborne to Napier line are in need of very expensive upgrading. So what’s it to be, an upgraded rail line or an upgraded Gisborne Napier highway. A number of studies have been completed on rail verses road on the east coast, roads are the winner. An optimist would then say why not turn the Gisborne to Napier rail line into a rail trail. An East Coast rail trail would be a great project. Such a project we fit the criteria of creating employment, developing tourism and enticing more journeys by bike

A National Cycleway if developed needs to link all provincial New Zealand, link to existing cycleways and urban cycle lanes.

Fisheye has a slight East Coast bent – a resident in Hawke’s Bay.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Mr_Bob on Mon 16/Mar/09 4:20pm

Tama wrote:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10561605 wrote:Where the main cycle route could go:
* North of Kaitaia along Ninety-mile Beach.


Uhh..., yeah..., no thanks.
Riding a bike on the beach?
No.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby poundme on Tue 17/Mar/09 7:31am

When the Heaphy access is allowed again for biking the Tourisim benefits for a small rural location like Golden Bay would be great.
A cycleway the Length of New Zealand would be a major benefit to a lot of small communties and Kiwis/tourists in general!
bring it on!
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby sidlomavpa on Tue 17/Mar/09 8:41am

So it's been a bit of a reality check for all now that many more millions are to be spent on roading and many millions less to be spent on public transport and cycleways...

Typical distraction technique, a big length of the country cycleway feel good project while the other hand yanks the rug out from under arguably more constructive and worthwhile sustainable transport solutions.

:crazy:
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby johnenthuse on Tue 17/Mar/09 12:39pm

there are lots of unanwsered questions - but some good people on the steering commitee (Hamish Carter included) that is making recommendations to govt in the near future. In principal a great idea!! Cost huge - job creation good - so long as ongoing maintainance is part of plan.

some key thoughts
* will it all be sealed? This has not been clear.. hoping it is all sealed
* how wide - one metre and 10?
* who is it targeting? Recreational cyclists? cycling tourism - international visitors.
* what sort of 'brand' positioning will it have - how will it be profiling and promoted? For example - what will it be called... that could attract international visitors (and locals) to ride the length of NZ.
* seal some old train lines/rail trails - which ones?
* will it be the straightest route - or the most scenic?
* needs to be away from busy main state highways - safe option to have well clear of main raods!!
* or is plan to add 2 metres to teh side of main roads?
* maybe a huge event to kick it off once opened - lenght of NZ race/ride?
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby Nick_K on Tue 17/Mar/09 1:15pm

Personally I see limited value in this scheme and am highly dubious that it could be provided for anywhere near the 30mil estimate that the media has reported.

How many people really want to cycle tour around NZ? Those that do I'm sure aren't being put off by lack of a cycleway.

I may be a bit biased though as I couldn't think of many things more boring than long road rides through the New Zealand countryside.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby ThingOne on Tue 17/Mar/09 1:26pm

Nick_K wrote:Personally I see limited value in this scheme and am highly dubious that it could be provided for anywhere near the 30mil estimate that the media has reported.

How many people really want to cycle tour around NZ? Those that do I'm sure aren't being put off by lack of a cycleway.

I may be a bit biased though as I couldn't think of many things more boring than long road rides through the New Zealand countryside.


Bit young to be so jaded Nick.. Me on the other hand.

It probably wont happen, if it does it wont be how we imagined it to be as the budget wont stretch to a smooth tarmac surface 10 metre's wide the length of the country.
Then theres the maintenance, the regular sweeping it for glass and other crap people dump in it.
Its a nice idea though and if it was done properly I would probably ride up to Auckland at least once a year for the lulz, or down to Invercargill for a fight.

Davo of course would cycle tour the entire length of the country on his singlespeed, because hes so maing.
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Re: Bikenz: National Cycleway – Like Winning Lotto For Cyclists

Postby znomit on Tue 17/Mar/09 1:40pm

I've done a few tours here and there in NZ, all they really need to do is widen the road to give a decent sized cycle lane and make sure it has a decent surface.
These cycle friendly highways could link to rail trails and rural roads, creating a network that covers the country (instead of a single path from top to bottom).
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