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Ōpōtiki initiative teaching kids to bike safe

Monday, February 26, 2018

 Catherine McCulloch from Sports BOP donates an old family bike to Candice Porter, Healthy Families East Cape Ōpōtiki.

There's no shortage of youth riding bikes in Ōpōtiki and the Ōpōtiki Bike Kitchen is all about educating them to bike safely in their community.

Founder Steve Hodge saw the need in Ōpōtiki after moving from Auckland last year.

"It's only going to build from here. We probably need more bike donations soon so we can just swap people's bikes out, because some of them are just at the end of their road!" he said.

Bike Kitchens are already up and running in Auckland and New Plymouth, with the aim of fixing up old bikes, while teaching kids basic DIY skills.

"Just to learn how to change an inner tube and a puncture, or to tighten your brakes. These simples fixes, that if they spend five minutes with our mechanics, they are going to work out they don't have to leave it lying on their front lawn for the rest of its life," Hodge said.

Hodge said he was surprised at the number of young people riding through the town without helmets. They've now handed out 100, donated by AMI.

Local mechanics like Rohan Alton have been quick to jump on board.

"There's obviously so many bikes out there that are in ill repair. So to have people able to come down for free and get their bikes fixed up, while learning how to fix them up themselves is really cool, because any bike on the road is a good thing."

The initiative, which runs once a month, is now looking for bike donations so it can continue to keep the community moving, safely.

Bike Kitchen Ōpōtiki is supported by Healthy Families East Cape Ōpōtiki, Te Ao Hou Trust, Te Pou Oranga o Whakatōhea, Sport Bay of Plenty, Whakaatu Whanaunga and Motu Trails.

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