Wellington Scoop

Cyclists campaign for safe Wellington cycle routes

Press Release – 350 Aotearoa
Wellington riders used pedal power on Saturday to make a loud statement on how cycling is a free, convenient and low carbon method of transportation.

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Taking to the streets of Wellington, cyclists were unified on the necessity of having safe cycle routes throughout Wellington and beyond.

“Plenty of people want to use their bicycles as a primary method of transportation but are truly scared of the danger that not having safe cycle lanes creates” says organiser Christina Bellis of 350 Aotearoa, “Lowering our carbon footprint is also an issue at the forefront to bring the climate back into a safe zone. Cycling is carbon free and a fantastic transportation option for central Wellington.”

More than 150 riders came out on the beautiful sunny day to support. Among them was Kashi Leuchs, a New Zealand professional mountain bike rider and three times Olympic racer. Leuchs is an outspoken supporter of the 350 movement; 350 refers to the parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. NASA scientists have indicated that 350 is the safe upper limit of CO2 and currently the world is at 389 and rising. 350 Aotearoa, and global groups, are taking action to emphasise that people are ready to change so the climate doesn’t have to. On top of being a zero emitter of carbon, cycling is also beneficial for our health.

“Cycling is active. It gets your muscles moving, your heart-rate up, your body in motion. It keeps you fit and healthy while you travel quickly from A to B. And in a time of recession, it’s also free and has no parking fees! Although more bike lock racks are needed,” says Ms Bellis.

This event was one of many happening across the country leading up to the climate change conference in Copenhagen this December where world leaders will meet to agree on a new global treaty to cut emissions. Images are being captured at 350 events and will be shared with the world via internet on 24 October, International Day of Climate Change Action, carrying a global message to bring atmospheric levels back down to 350 or under.

The huge crowd on Saturday supporting cycling safety and the environment were not all suited up in cycling gear; the Frocks on Bikes beauties were out in colourful tights and stripes waving the flag that cycling isn’t only for those clad in lycra, but can be enjoyed in a frock, a power suit, a skirt, a nice shirt… just don’t forget your helmet!

Cycle Aware Wellington members (CAW), a local branch of the Cycle Advocacy Network (CAN), were also out in full force. CAW/CAN works to improve the safety of cyclists and advocate for better cycling infrastructure.

From advocacy groups, avid cyclists, Frocks On Bikes, Council members, and people who simply love their bicycles, the message was clear: Wellingtonians care about climate change and want safer cycling lanes.

350 Aotearoa, Cycle Aware Wellington and Frocks On Bikes are planning another event for the International Day of Climate on 24 October, again cycling for sustainability and raising awareness about the need for a safe cycle route along the Great Harbour Way.

Contact: 350 Aotearoa
Wellington: wgtn@350.org.nz
National: Aotearoa@350.org.nz


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