A group of passionate locals have been working on community bike tracks, based on the Bikes In Schools model. This is on land gifted to the project by Featherston School – Te Kura o Pae Tū Mōkai.
This project fit in perfectly with the community led development principles, and so was a great project for Fab Feathy to support. We were able to source significant funding for this project via the DIA CLD fund, which has paid for the installation of two bike tracks and a container to store and work on bikes for the community. The group have also sourced funding elsewhere to keep this project sustainable.
The initial riding track was opened in March 2021, with the school reporting that the tamariki use the track regularly on the breaks.
The group have worked with the tamariki, visiting local bike tracks and working out what they think will work well for the Windy Wheels track. The tamariki presented their findings and ideas to the working group at the end of 2021.
The skills track was opened on 19th September 2022, with a series of ‘pedal for your parakuihi’ events, with all community members welcome to test out their skills.
The working group for the Windy Wheels bike track is made up of local volunteers, who are passionate about our local tamariki having access to bikes and skills. A group of students from the kura helped the group to research other bike tracks in the area, and designed their own bike track.
The group have partnered with another local group, Ā Mua resource centre, to run bike repair workshops and drop in events. These regular events upskill our community in bike maintenance, and also fix up bikes that were heading for landfill – gifting them to our community.
The local Menzshed have also worked on this project, helping with the building of the obstacles for the skills track.
All members of the community have been welcomed onto the bike tracks, including the two other schools and local early childhood centres.
Two high-quality bike tracks have been created for our community, as well as a container workshop/storage area. The space is welcoming and friendly, with planting and benches available for those who need a rest after so much biking!
Working bees and opening events have provided opportunities for the community to reconnect and spend time with each other now that covid restrictions are a thing of the past.
Access to the bike library has meant all of our community are able to access bikes and increase their skills, and the regular workshops the group are holding means that bike repair skills are being passed around our whole town.
This group have overcome so many challenges over the period of this project, with many covid-related cancellations, shortage of supplies and contractors. What they have created is a fantastic amenity for our community, and with the cost of living increasing pressures on family transportation, more bikes in our community is hugely beneficial.