Rolling in positive direction

A Queenstown charity is doing its bit for alternative transport, recycling and refurbishing old bikes, and giving them away.

Established two years ago, by The Lightfoot Initiative, the OneBike community project aims to ensure everyone has access to safe and affordable bikes, spare parts and quality cycling equipment.

Simultaneously, it’s working to reduce waste to landfill, provide increased access to active travel options, and reduce emissions.

OneBike board members, from left, Matt Wong, Michael Thompson, Mark Baldwin and Nina Clark. Photo...
OneBike board members, from left, Matt Wong, Michael Thompson, Mark Baldwin and Nina Clark. Photo: supplied
OneBike board member Nina Clark says it’s a "myth" everybody has access to a bike — or in fact knows how to ride one.

"We’ve got a large number of people in the community that don’t have access to the bike culture, and this is one way to make sure that everyone has equal access to this low-emission form of transport and recreation."

The project started after Lightfoot Initiative’s Amanda Robinson and Michael Thompson, teacher Chris Fitzpatrick, Love to Ride’s Matt Tyrell and resident Franco Nobell got their heads together, inspired by similar initiatives they’d seen overseas.

To date, OneBike has given away 150 bikes to locals, and has recycled another 50, which are ready to give away — its long-term goal is to donate 10,000 bikes to the community.

"We want to make sure that everyone who wants to learn how to ride a bike is able to do so," Clark says.

Along with plans to offer learn-to-ride programmes, OneBike’s started bike maintenance workshops, held every Wednesday night at Wakatipu High, in conjunction with Queenstown’s council and The Lightfoot Initiative, ensuring everyone who has a bike in the Whakatipu can carry out basic repairs on their own.

"This will increase the lifespan of bikes and will reduce the waste that’s going to landfill," she says.

They’re also planning to open a ‘OneBike Hub’ at Frankton’s Remarkables Park by the end of next year — they’ve launched a Givealittle page — — for anyone wanting to contribute.

Meantime, anyone wanting to apply for a OneBike can visit, and provide info about the type of bike required, and the rider’s height.