Christchurch has a reputation for being a stuffy, conservative settler city but in fact, the city has long been home to radical educationalists and reformers who have bucked social conventions.

This is a guided cycle ride around places in the central and east of Christchurch associated with people who have questioned the received wisdom of the time.

Some were formal educators with unconventional ideas about pedagogy. Alexander Bickerton and Robert Julian Scott were both remarkable figures in the early history of the University of Canterbury, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Bickerton's relationship with the university was particularly turbulent – he was fired (despite Ernest Rutherford's protestations) but is also the only person whose ashes are interred in the walls of the Great Hall.  R.J. Scott pursued practical technical education for engineers in the face of opposition from Oxbridge-leaning members of the university.

Others dedicated their lives to educating the community, including about sexual health (Ettie Rout) and peace/international relations (Elsie Locke).

This event is a three-hour cycle tour that explores places connected to some of these fascinating individuals. We will start by biking around the central city, then enjoy a beautiful ride through the traffic-free Avon-Otakaro Red Zone to Wainoni for a bike-side snack. Dr. Rosemary Baird of Heritage NZ Pouhere Taonga will explain the history and significance of each stop.

This is a gentle, social ride that is sure to bring a smile to your face, but you do need to be confident riding around the city as well as on uneven ground/mixed surfaces. As far as possible the route uses bike lanes and shared paths, including through the Avon-Otakaro Red Zone.

You must wear a cycle helmet approved by law. Your bicycle must be in good working order (check your brakes).

In the event of bad weather, Biketober may postpone the ride until the following Sunday (22 October). We will let you know on the morning of the ride and offer a refund to anyone who cannot make the new time.

Basic Covid precautions apply – that is, please do not attend if you are testing positive or are a close contact. In such cases, we will refund your ticket price if you alert us before the start of the ride.

Image: Postcard Wainoni Park pleasure garden early 1900s - CCL.