(Picture caption: USO Bike Ride have joined with Mr Tee from Tee Thrive in Mangere to bring together a group of 30 riders and 10 support crew to lead the Polynesian Cycling Celebration a ride from Mangere to Porirua from November 3-11.)
A peloton of 30 riders will pedal their way south in November to raise awareness around the benefits of cycling for Pacific Aotearoa.
Members of USO Bike Ride and Tee Thrive will join forces to lead the nine-day ride, starting in Mangere on November 3 and concluding in Porirua on November 11.
Along the way, the group including 10 support crew, will connect with communities, church groups and schools to showcase Polynesian cycling, and share about people who ride bikes, fix bikes, and the growth of Māori and Pacific community cycling initiatives across Aotearoa.
USO Bike Ride co-founder Chris Te’o MNZM is excited about the initiative.
“During the COVID years we saw many Māori and Pacific people finding ways to ride, fix bikes and set up community cycle hub initiatives,” Chris says.
“We want to showcase the wonderful contributions Māori and Pacific are making to the fabric of cycling, active transport and health and wellbeing around Aotearoa.”
Whanau of both groups have not been immune to losing loved ones from health and medical conditions, and for this reason, riders and community champions will share personal health and wellbeing stories at fono.
Local health services and providers have also been engaged to support the promotion of important health messages and enhance access to Measles immunisation’s and other vaccinations.
The group will cycle a total of 765kms, with the longest ride clocking in at 172km, from Napier to Palmerston North, while the shortest leg is 65km from Tokoroa to Taupo.
Cyclists will ride a mix of road bikes and e-bikes.
Community and schools can track the team via GPS tracking and tune in to live streams as they ride each day.
Learning resources about the ride and kaupapa have also been prepared for schools to use in the lead up to and during the ride.
Mangere cycling champion Teau Aiturau of Time to Thrive acknowledges the riding will be challenging but says he wants to set an example for me, my family and community that no matter what, he will always do his best.
“It’s about the kaupapa.”
Teau, also known as Mr Tee, is passionate about cycling and supporting communities to ride for health and wellbeing, as well as being beneficial for the environment.
USO Bike Ride and Tee Thrive lead community cycling initiatives in Porirua, Hawke’s Bay and Mangere respectively.
Teau leads the Mangere Bike Hub and delivers cycling education in schools, while Chris looks after the mahi in Porirua.
Both groups have been recipients of cycling, health and community leadership awards over the years and have built up a solid reputation among Māori and Pacific communities.
Since 2012, USO Bike Ride has become a well-known group in Aotearoa, Samoa and Hawai'i, with numbers of riders increasing over time.
Visit the Uso Bike Ride website for a schedule of the nine-day ride, and more information.