The first ten brightly branded Free Ride bikes will then be available from special racks outside the Naenae Clubhouse and Naenae Library for anyone to borrow at no cost.
The idea behind the scheme is for riders to borrow the bikes to get around the city, returning them to the special racks when finished. Each bike is geo-tracked and if not returned can be picked up and put back into circulation.
Free Ride is one of a range of cycling related initiatives led by Hutt City Council as part of the campaign supported by Healthy Families Hutt Valley to encourage active modes of transport. If this pilot programme is successful, the next step will be to consider how it can be made sustainable.
Council is also considering how to incorporate increased cycling and pedestrian access as part of current work on a spatial plan for Naenae and to inform the design of the new Naenae Pool.
Lily Chalmers from Naenae Clubhouse says "We saw the opportunity to get more people cycling and Free Ride is another way we can support them to do this. With the Beltway Cycleway under construction, providing bikes for people to use seemed a great next step."
Naenae Clubhouse started their cycling related initiatives with the Bike Box project in 2017. The container based bike shed, situated outside the Clubhouse, is used to store bikes from the community that have been recycled, hosts mechanic courses, mass bike fix ups and Bike Rodeos where people young and old test out their cycling skills. The fixed up bikes are gifted to young people and families of the Clubhouse programme.
Naenae Clubhouse has become a local hub for cycling related initiatives and Healthy Families Hutt Valley is very happy to support their work.
Hayley Buchan, Healthy Families Hutt Valley manager says "We’re excited that more bikes will be freely available for anyone in the community to use. The Hutt Valley is perfect for getting around by bike and with the Beltway being ready next year, it will be even easier to get to all the places we want to go by bike."
The Clubhouse is a youth programme lead by Hutt City Libraries and Hutt City Council. The Clubhouse operates weekdays from 3 - 7pm at Taita Clubhouse in the Walter Nash Centre and Naenae Clubhouse in the Treadwell Hall. The Clubhouse is free to access.
The Clubhouse mission is to provide a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment where young people from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills and build confidence in themselves through the use of technology.
There are more than 100 Clubhouses across 20 countries providing 25,000 youth per year access to resources, skills and experiences to help them succeed in their careers, contribute to their communities and lead outstanding lives.