By SHELLEY TOPP
A group has been set up to provide a community voice to the Waimakariri District Council’s walking and cycling strategy action plan update.
The Walking and Cycling Reference Group includes a walking advocate, a cycling advocate, and representatives from a range of organisations within the district, from community board and council representatives to the police.
“Collectively, we are tasked with providing community input into the updating of the council’s Walking and Cycling Strategy Action Plan,” the council’s communications and engagement manager, Alistair Gray, says.
“The strategy has a vision that residents choose to walk and cycle. The environment is friendly, safe and accessible for walkers and cyclists and this is what we aim to achieve through our influence on the action plan.”
Keen cyclist Sarah Lewis, founder of Waimakariri Women’s Mountain Biking and Walking Group in 2016, is representing the Rangiora-Ashley Community Board in the new group.
Her biking and walking group provides a safe environment for women seeking the company of other like-minded women in a fun, social setting while enjoying outdoor exercise.
Sarah co-ordinates all its biking and walking events and enjoys showing members where the tracks are and encouraging them to return with their families and friends.
She says this involvement will be particularly helpful in her role in the reference group.
She enjoys all the tracks on offer in the Waimakariri and Hurunui districts but, if she had to choose a favourite, it would be the Rakahuri Trail alongside the Ashley/Rakahuri River.
“The Rakahuri Trail is a fun mountain-bike track comprised of several sections that connect up along the way, which means you can ride whatever distance you feel like.
“This particular track offers plenty of variation including flat track and the more technically challenging sections.”