Christchurch Bike Tours in quake re-build zone

Now is the time  to visit post-quake Christchurch, New Zealand,  and take a Christchurch Bike Tour in the Rebuild Zone,  This  two-hour, personalised tour of the cordoned-off Rebuild Zone allows you to see the Christchurch CBD rebuild in a safe, personalised and interactive way. It is the first opportunity the public have had to go into the Rebuild Zone on bikes.

You  will enjoy a sensory experience within the cordon as Christchurch Bike Tours guides’ offer information on the new city vision, including the new precincts, community projects and local business stories incorporating the strength and resilience of the people from Christchurch.
Christchurch Bike Tours owner Stephanie Fitts says the tour is designed to give locals and visitors the opportunity to understand the changed nature of the Christchurch CBD and the future of Christchurch as a 21st century city.
Tours are  limited to six people to allow for a personalised and safe experience and you will be required to stay on the bikes throughout the tour and wear closed-in footwear. Of course the route may vary depending on safety conditions.
Tour departures are at 10am and 2pm. Tours are two-hours long, and cost $40 per person, which includes the bike, helmet, hi-visibility safety vest and a local guide.
Bookings are essential by phoning 0800 733 257 or online at www.chchbiketours.co.nz
Christchurch Bike Tours was awarded the contract by CERA to run the tours in the Christchurch Rebuild Zone.

Note: this is New Zealand’s only guided city bike tour.

web bikes mona vale

bike around the city and see the sights

web bikes mona valeChristchurch is flat, so today should be a breeze! Why?  I’m joining Christchurch Bike Tours for a two-hour trip, the weather is balmy and the wind is even less than a breeze, and of course the terrain is flat!web bikes closeup

People often think travel writing is all about ‘exotic overseas places’. Well lets face it, we are a small island country (about the size of Japan, UK or California) at the bottom of the world so,  for most of the world Christchurch, New Zealand is an exotic overseas destination, and I love introducing readers to my backyard: my city and my country.

This is a perfect cycling city set on the edge of the Canterbury Plains in the South Island. This city’s’ Maori name is Otautahi and the South Island is called either Te Wai Pounamu, or Te Ika o Maui – the place of greenstone and the fish of Maui. [See  more blogs about Christchurch, Maori, and New Zealand on this blog]

web starting point bikesweb bike tour museumOur trip starts outside ‘the old post-office’, now the Visitors’ Information Centre in Cathedral Square  – which is considered the centre of Christchurch, the  Anglican cathedral being one of two cathedrals in the city – the other one is the Catholic one in Barbados St.

We are given a safety briefing, including making sure all know  that us Kiwis drive and ride on the left, and then walk to the building where the bicycles are housed. I have a mountain bike so this more upright, retro style bike felt strange at first. ‘They are built for comfort not speed,’ we are told   and with our helmets on, and after a wee practice we were soon on our way for New Zealands only city bike tour.

I won’t tell all we saw and heard on our trip as that would spoil your trip with the group, but here are the highlights – the Arts Centre, the historic Antigua Boatsheds, Christ’s College, Riccarton House and Deans Bush, Mona Vale Gardens, and New Regent St: in just two hours our guide showed us what would normally take a whole day on foot.web deans bush bikes

Enjoy these photos that I took on my trip – but even more, book an enjoyable trip for yourself and take your own photos. And, if you are a local, go with your guests and see a different side of Christchurch, it’s great being a tourist in your own city

did you know the bike was invented in Scotland?
did you know the bike was invented in Scotland?

go ride a bike – in thailand

Last week I was riding a bicycle in Thailand ….. I’m now in the process of writing a story about it – well more about me and how unfit I am, and how hot the day was: keep your eye out for it in a newspaper or magazine.

Part of the cycle trip on Phuket in Thailand
Part of the cycle trip on Phuket in Thailand

In the meantime, thought I would tell you about Spice Tours.

I did their Bangkok bike trip ( 35k) a couple of years ago and can recommend them: and right now they have 10% off all trips  starting after 31st March and includes all of 2010 (they have cycle trips all over Asia —  from hours to days long — so if that sounds like something you would fancy, have a look at the website. (and start practising .. not just little rides around a flat city like I live in!)

Check here for information about cycling in Thailand  in particular.