Children’s bike park opened

The children’s bike park shortly after it opened in Oamaru on Saturday. Photo: Damien McNamara.
The children’s bike park shortly after it opened in Oamaru on Saturday. Photo: Damien McNamara.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher cut the red ribbon and about 30 children wheeled on to Oamaru’s "latest playground attraction" about 11am on Saturday.

After two and a-half years of planning, and about four months of construction, Friendly Bay Railway Bridge Restoration Trust’s $250,000 learn-to-ride bike park at Oamaru’s waterfront was child-tested after a brief opening ceremony.

Mia Berry (5), of Oamaru, is among the first to try out Oamaru’s children’s learn-to-ride bike...
Mia Berry (5), of Oamaru, is among the first to try out Oamaru’s children’s learn-to-ride bike park on Saturday morning. Photo: Hamish MacLean.
The project was spearheaded by Mr Kircher and Waitaki district councillor Melanie Tavendale.  The opening of the 720sq m controlled environment for learner cyclists was a proud day, Cr Tavendale said.

"We were aiming for just an awesome community facility — that will be used — and I think we’ve got it," she said.

The bike park was as much about education as "kids having fun". Police in Oamaru had already booked the first  cycle safety lessons for a school group  this week.

The bike park at the end of the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail was a "natural fit" for a town with a "real cycle theme". And the bike park had road markings and replica street signs that most of the children obeyed on the park’s opening day,  Cr Tavendale said.

Mr Kircher noted the work was not completely finished as a "climbing tower" would be added in a section of the park’s green space and picnic tables and bike racks were planned.

The council committed about $130,000 to the project and approved plans for the park in 2015. And in October last year, the Otago Community Trust put $55,000 towards the project.

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