Titled ‘Feel More, Ride More’, this is the first stage of a three year programme aiming to get 10 million more trips made by bike by 2019 and the launch begins with street posters, murals and a video.
“Research told us people find excuses not to use their bikes for day to day trips," says Victoria Slade, senior advertising advisor at NZ Transport Agency. "It’s raining, there are limited places to chain my bike and they’re put off by getting a little sweaty. We needed more people to get over these barriers and use their bikes more often for commuter and day to day trips."
Some may find it strange that the video includes a sweaty crotch shot and a cyclist getting pelted by the rain, two things that could put potential cyclists off. But Slade says this is a brave direction for cycling and was intended to be very different to the messages that are already out there.
"It doesn’t deny the challenging aspects of cycling, but focuses on encouraging and motivating people to care less about these, and promises they’ll get to feel more in return.”
The campaign is aimed at those in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch who already ride for recreational purposes and enjoy the ‘feel good’ factor and shows them that they can experience these good feelings more often if they ride their bike more frequently for everyday trips.
As the site says: "Every rider experiences the ‘feel good’ factor in their own unique way. It is a very personal experience and therefore the feelings are different for every individual and can change from one day to the next."
With the continued expansion of cycle networks in our biggest cities improving safety and increasing traffic congestion, cycling is becoming increasingly appealing. And the rise of hill-flattening electric bikes has also led to a surge. According to Stuff, sales of e-bikes are expected to reach 20,000 this year, "with older women and men among the biggest buyers".
There's no doubt New Zealand is improving on the cycling front, but, as with many other things in life, we can learn a lot from how the Dutch did it.