Runner bikes, balance bikes, striders – whatever you call them, they’re a great way for kids to gain balance and agility and get ready for a pedal bike. Plus they’re so much fun.
You may have seen the intense strider races in Japan or the more sedate race pace in Birmingham – rest assured this will be nothing like those!
We’ll have an indoor circuit with some ramps and cones to challenge the kids. They can do as many laps as they want at whatever speed they like. If there are any keen for a proper race we’ll do our best to put one together towards the end of the session. But other than that, this is just a chance to have a fun time on a neat course. There will be a few spare bikes and plenty of spare helmets, but bring your own if you don’t want to miss out. Spot prizes for a few lucky ones and certificates for all participants.
Children must be supervised.
Helmets must be worn and preferably footwear with covered toes
No pedal bikes on the course. Scooters may be allowed during ‘practice sessions’
Learn to ride and improve confidence, learn road rules and practise basic bike maintenance with qualified women instructors from Pedal Ready and WACC (Workshops for Accessible Cycle Care)
These workshops are for women from a migrant, former refugee or low-income background, (and their friends!).
Wellington charity ReBicycle EkeRua is quietly celebrating this week after it received the 1000th donated bike since the project started in 2016. Of those about 650 have been fixed up and given to former refugees, migrants and others in the community, while about 30 are part of the ‘bike library’ which is leant to adults trying bike commuting, students doing cycle skills or for family events.
The Newtown bike workshop, located at 230 Riddiford St (the old petrol station) has had a stunning year since the doors opened at the beginning of 2018. Mechanical Tempest and ReBicycle EkeRua share the workshop space which is generously provided rent-free by the owners.
Mechanical Tempest is a volunteer-run community bike workshop. The site in Newtown has given them the opportunity to help hundreds of people from all over the region gain bicycle maintenance skills and get their bikes road-ready.The workshop has been consistently busy all year with four open evenings each week.
ReBicycle EkeRua has also had a busy year, running over 60 fix up events at the workshop and a dozen kids bike rodeo and family events around the Wellington region.
Coordinator Tessa Coppard says, “The rodeo events are a great opportunity for us to connect with the community and help kids to improve their cycling skills while checking their bikes are safe. We often see those same children in schools when we drop off our library bikes to support cycle skills training or out and about on bikes that we’ve given them. It’s great to see the independence and confidence it gives them”.
Tessa added that “Everything we do is made possible by our generous supporters and an awesome team of volunteers”. Helmets are donated by the Wellington City Council, to those who need them and locks or accessories are bought with proceeds from bike sales or donations.
Last year ReBicycle added EkeRua to their name; this name was given to them by Dr Vini Olsen-Reeder and means ‘to jump on a bike again’.
“We’re incredibly grateful for this name and feel it reflects our kaupapa perfectly” says trustee, Mike Townsend. “Eke can also mean to achieve or overcome, and that’s certainly what we see when people come in and learn to fix their own bikes, or kids learn to ride, or former refugees have been given a bike to help them go to courses or work”.
Together the two organisations want to thank the owners of the site, and also Wellington City Council and all the community groups who have collaborated on events for all their support this year.
This summer we’re very lucky to have received funding from Wellington Community Trust to run a series of family bike events. The summer series will include our Bike KREW Rodeo (children’s skills/obstacle course with a range bikes and helmets provided) as well as providing mechanics to help fix up or check everyone’s bikes.
Some of the dates and locations are still to be confirmed but this is what we’re currently looking at:
Nov 24th, 12-2pm – Waitangirua @ Natone Park School
Dec 8th, 12-3pm – Strathmore Christmas in the Park
Jan 23rd, 2-4pm – Naenae Clubhouse Bike Box
Saturday Feb 16th, 1-4pm – Linden Social Centre Open Day
Friday Mar 1st, 3-5pm – pre Weetbix Tryathlon event – Lyall Bay School
Sunday Mar 3rd, 11ish-4pm-ish – Newtown Festival Fair Day, Gordon Place (behind the workshop at 230 Riddiford Rd)
Sunday Mar 10th (rain day 17th), 1pm-4pm – Newtown Festival at Carrara Park
Tēnā koutou katoa! We’ve got an announcement to make… to celebrate Matariki, the upcoming World Refugee Day and our upcoming 2nd-ish birthday, ReBicycle is growing up. We recently asked Vic Uni Te Reo lecturer, PhD and bike rider, Vincent Ieni Olsen-Reeder to help us find a Te Reo Māori name. He generously obliged and came up with a new name that we love, EkeRua. Here’s what it means:
“Eke is the general word given to ‘riding’ modes of transport. This covers all public transport, surfing, skating and cycling. In a sense, eke also means to achieve and overcome. This derivation comes from the word hangarua, recycling, which means to ‘purpose twice.’ Thus the name means to jump on a bike again.”
So from now on, you might see either name or both being used. We’re hoping to gradually introduce EkeRua into everything we do. We hope you love the name as much as we do! Kia ora 🙂
We’ve come out the other end of the bike silly season feeling a bit more relaxed, inspired and energized to do more!
Between February and early April we organised or supported events from Upper Hutt in the north, to Strathmore Park in the south. Bike the Trail, The ReMakery big bike fix up, our own events at Carrara Park, Newtown and Kahurangi School, Strathmore, supporting Neighbours Day in Newtown, Community dinner at Vogelmorn, the International Women’s Day event in Kilbirnie, lots of library bikes coming and going to schools around the region for cycle skills training, and lots of bike fix ups at our Newtown hub.
Somewhere in the midst of it we received some recognition at the Love Cycling awards.
While winter may be quiet on the event front, we will be continuing with our weekly workshops at 230 Riddiford St, Newtown. Open every Wednesday from 6-8pm. Come along and volunteer your time or skills to help fix up bikes for our growing waitlist. Mechanical Tempest will soon have regular opening hours in the same space, so keep an eye on their updates, if you have a bike project of your own you’d like to work on.