In pursuit of a good story, N8N got on our bikes and joined a gaggle of cycling school kids in Horsham Downs yesterday. Annette Taylor reports.
As it turned out, we were mainly in pursuit of three-year-old Dan the Man, and 28 other young ‘uns ranging in age from three to ten.
Accompanied by 10 adults, they pedalled the Osborne Rd walkway vigorously and with panache, while one individual (yours truly) was stuck in first gear because she doesn’t understand modern bikes.
The cunning idea was to get the kids out and doing, and they certainly were and did.
Young Dan – given a wee head start – was first back and proud of it. He rode the whole way with no complaints at all, says organiser and cyclist wrangler Julie Roe.
There were also three three-year-old girls, two in toddler seats behind their mums, and one transported in grand style in a trailer.
“Everyone came back smiling, which is awesome. And it was great to have two families from the city join us. We’re not sure of the exact distance but think it was at least 12km in total, which is a mighty long way with half of it being gravel and hilly.”
The ride, which followed the walkway to the city, crossing a bridge and ending at a playground, took about an hour 20 minutes each way. While the adults caught their breath in the morning sun, the children played like young gazelles on disused pipes along the way.
The halfway point was the Callum Brae playground, where a nearby shop provided reviving cold drinks and ice creams, to the relief of one individual (yours truly).
While the morning was all about the kids having a good time, the adults were stars too, says Julie. “It wouldn’t have been possible without their caring for not only their own kids, but for the others too. And helping with things like gates and crossings.”
It was a thoroughly energising and inspiring morning.
Julie says such pedestrian and cycle lanes are crucial.
“This amazing link to the city would not exist if it was not for both Waikato District and Hamilton City Council’s willingness to support the very committed and passionate community of Horsham Downs – on behalf of our kids, thank you!”
But wait – there’s more – like a super competition
If you took part in the Great Bike Ride (and are not a grown-up!) enter our first-ever competition. Write a short story or a poem about any aspect of the morning – be as creative as you want – and be in to win some smashing prizes. In our goody bag is a family pass to Hamilton Zoo, a family pass to Waterworld, and a quality bike lock.There are also frisbees, pencils and reflective leg bands. Thanks to Julie Roe for hunting these treasures down from Hamilton City Council. (Watch this space – there may be even more!)
Number 8 Network will publish the best three entries – although we reserve the right to run more if they’re all brilliant.
Send entries to Iris Riddell – who took the photographs below – by clicking here.
Click the image to see all the photographs.