Course getting older riders back in the saddle

Getting back on a bike for the first time in 50 years can be daunting, but now there is a programme in Queenstown to help.

Cycling Uncovered is a programme run by resort resident Chris Foggin aimed at upskilling older riders who are returning to the activity, including the many using e-bikes, which can be faster and more difficult to control.

Mr Foggin set up the programme three months ago with the purpose of preventing injuries among older riders.

Instructor Chris Foggin teaches a group of riders on the Cycling Uncovered programme next to Lake...
Instructor Chris Foggin teaches a group of riders on the Cycling Uncovered programme next to Lake Hayes on Thursday. PHOTO: DANIEL ALVEY
He believed basic skills courses could prevent more accidents and injuries.

"There’s a massive growth in cycling, but there’s a growing need for delivering skills training."

Cycling Uncovered was a “cog”-style programme catering to all skill levels, from basic maintenance to handling courses, progressing to on- and off-road sessions that could cater to an individual rider’s needs.

Kelvin Heights resident Kathryn Burns has returned to cycling recently after never having owned a bike.

“As we’re all out there biking more, I think we need to learn some of the fairly simple things about riding.’’

Ms Burns said she had found her e-bike a great way to get around, and easier to ride as she got older.

ACC statistics show there were 2883 cycling injury claims in Otago last year, an increase of 293 from 2019.

The number of e-bikes being imported into New Zealand is rising steadily.

Mr Foggin said the increase in injuries could be attributed to many people returning to riding who had not been taught properly.

The Queenstown area had many trails of varying difficulty, and riders needed to be aware of the basic skills required to ride them safely without harming themselves or others.

More information about the programme is on the Recreational Riders New Zealand social media page.


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