MP bikes island to support trail
Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has been showing energetic support for the island's bid to be included in a national cycle trail, despite a recent injury.
On Saturday, 12 members of Cycle Action Waiheke and Nikki Kaye headed out to ride some of the proposed trail - on the Esplanade, through Surfdale, and along Wilma Road.
The proposed Waiheke trail is presently going through the application process to be part of the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Government says the process is highly competitive, with 53 applications already lodged for inclusion.
A decision is likely to be made by mid-February on the successful trails.
Nikki is a keen sportswoman and has been supporting Cycle Action Waiheke in its bid for the island to be included.
She has been looking forward to riding some of the island's trail ever since the application was lodged, despite breaking her ankle late last year in a bicycle accident.
"When we put in the application, I never realised how beautiful the trail really was and how many day-trippers and locals are already out there experiencing it.
"I'm already hearing Fullers are experiencing a boom summer for visitors to the island. I have no doubt that many of them are enjoying the walks and cycle trails of Waiheke Island.
"There are so many locals that benefit from tourism and the Waiheke cycle trail could improve this."
Cycle Action Waiheke's Tom Ransom agrees, saying inclusion of the trail in the national scheme will definitely boost tourism.
He says as luck would have it Nikki met a couple of American tourists on Saturday's ride, who were already enjoying the views by cycling around the island.
"Having the national trail will attract even more, with accommodation providers, able to offer their guests bikes, set to benefit.
Tom says Nikki enjoyed her ride and was uncomplaining about the bruise on her ankle - still evident from the accident.
"She's gutsy," he says.