30 Jan 2018

A “fair amount of healthy competition” has got the team at Kathmandu pumped up and ready for the Aotearoa Bike Challenge in February.

The New Zealand Transport Agency – in partnership with Love to Ride – has developed the workplace-based challenge to encourage more people to get involved in cycling.

The emphasis is on participation. Organisations “compete” to find out which workplace can get the most staff to ride a bike for at least 10 minutes. The teams with the highest percentage of staff taking part – in their size category – win the challenge. The categories range from 2000-plus staff down to three to six staff members.

The second annual challenge offers tips and the opportunity to win prizes.

Kathmandu staff are taking up the Bike Challenge.

Kathmandu staff are taking up the Bike Challenge.

Kathmandu is one of a growing number of businesses taking part in the free, month-long challenge.

In 2017, 1936 people from 80 Christchurch workplaces took part. Nationally, nearly 19,000 people were involved.

This year, more than 100 Christchurch workplaces had already signed up by mid-January.

“Kathmandu has got involved because we are an active team of people who share a passion for the outdoors and sustainability,” Learning and Development Manager Kelly Hopkins says.

“These things are core values of our company and the challenge offers a great opportunity to combine the two and work towards something as a team here in our Christchurch support office.

“It is also a great way to promote well-being. We are an active group anyway, but getting people on bikes is just another way to encourage people to be active and healthy.

“The Kathmandu support office has 150 team members, and within that each department has its own team. There’s a fair amount of healthy competition there,” he says.

“Last year, our goal was to come in the top 10 for our category, and we came ninth. This year, we want to do even better and, hopefully, crack the top five.

“It’s a great way to become more active – and Christchurch is such an amazing city for cycling. It’s great for mental health, too. People feel much better arriving at work after a refreshing bike ride than a stressful commute.

“It’s also good to feel that you’re helping the Earth out each time you choose to ride your bike rather than take the car.”

Mr Hopkins says it’s always challenging to get everyone involved but “once someone gives it a go and finds they enjoy it – and sees the benefits – it’s much easier”.

Go to Love to Ride(external link) for more information.