TelstraClear Challenge: Bridge bike ride a celebration of cycle culture in the super city
Cycle Action joined the Mayor Len Brown on Friday 17 June for the launch of a new premier cycling event designed to also be a celebration of cycling culture in Auckland.
On December 11, 2011 cycling in Auckland will reach a new height, 43.27m above sea level to be exact, as cyclists ride over the Auckland Harbour Bridge thanks to the TelstraClear Challenge. This is the first time approval has been given by the NZTA for cyclists to cross Auckland’s iconic Bridge, and leads on to another exclusive route: the Northern Busway. Until now permission has only been granted to the Auckland Marathon.
The TelstraClear Challenge offers cyclists the choice of three outstanding paths:
The TelstraClear ClipOn 110 km: An exceptional course, beginning with the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, and leading into the exclusive Northern Busway, some of Auckland’s most scenic country roads, and a 3.4km Paris-Roubaix-style gravel road, especially groomed for this event. Options allow for this route to be completed solo or as a two-person relay.
The TelstraClear Pedaller 15 km: At 15km, this course is easy for every urban rider to breeze through and enjoy. This gem of a ride crosses the Auckland Harbour Bridge and cruises the Northern Busway, before finishing at Smales Farm. Participants can stay after the ride and enjoy the festivities at a Community Bike Festival.
The TelstraClear Bike the Busway: Choose between the 8km family ride (age 8+) and the 2km family ride (age 5+) along the Northern Busway. This is an opportunity for the whole family to get on their bikes and enjoy the Bike Festival at Smales Farm. The perfect start to a summer of family cycling. NZ Bus is another champion for easier community connections. It will provide 160 buses to ensure the safety of participants; forming a 2.3 km barrier from motorway traffic to separate to cyclists as they descend the bridge and make their way to the Northern Busway.
Cycle Action played a key role in working with Auckland Transport to gain approval for the Busway and in liasing with their close transport colleagues, NZ Bus, for a novel idea to use buses as the motorway barrier. Cycle Action will also be part of the community Bike Festival at Smales Farm – a vital element of the event promoting everyday cycling and cycling for transport. The 10.8-hectare site will host this fun, energetic expo of cycle culture. Even if cycling the busway is not possible for all family members, they will be kept busy with interactive demonstrations and activities based around everyday cycling, leisure sport, and road safety.
A key attraction of the event is the opportunity for corporate and individual participants to raise funds for the MS Auckland Region Trust. MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a disease prevalent in New Zealand with no known cause and no known cure. Under the banner of BikeMS cycling already has a close association with MS Societies in the US and Australia; the MS Sydney Gong Ride raised over 4 million dollars in 2010. All money raised by the event will be used to support the work of the MS Society in Auckland and for MS research.
It is expected that registrations will fill up fast for this historic event. Like the marathon, entry numbers for the TelstraClear bridge ride will be limited. Public on-line registration is now open at www.telstraclearchallenge.co.nz.