Cycle speed dating a 'quirky' addition to bike month in Queenstown

Cycle Higher bike shop owner Paul Earnshaw will be participating in the "quirky" speed dating event on February 14.
Dasha Kuprienko / Fairfax NZ

Cycle Higher bike shop owner Paul Earnshaw will be participating in the "quirky" speed dating event on February 14.

Those looking for love this Valentine's Day have a new option in Queenstown - speed dating on bikes.

The event is a new addition to the Queenstown celebration of the Aotearoa Bike Challenge and involves getting to know potential lovers on a bike ride around Queenstown Gardens

Participants meet at the Cycle Higher shop on Earl St, head off for a three minute ride with each rider of the opposite sex and then everyone will meet for a drink after.

Cycle Higher owner Paul Earnshaw​ said speed dating on bikes was popular in England and Australia but this was the first trial in New Zealand.

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"It's something fun and quirky.

"It's not standard and has the element of surprise that everything can happen," he said.

Earnshaw would be participating in the speed dating and expected it to be hilarious. 

Many Queenstown businesses are expected to encourage staff to get on their bikes in February to support the Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

Queenstown Trails Trust chief executive Mandy Kennedy said the aim of the challenge was to encourage more people to get on their bikes. 

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"The Trust is fully behind this initiative and is calling on local employers to sign up teams to the challenge and inspire staff to take part in a daily ride during February," Kennedy said.

The challenge was free and prizes would be given to businesses with the most bike-active staff. 

"It's all about participation and all employers have to do is sign up teams and motivate their staff to get out and ride for at least ten minutes a day," she said.

Trust executive assistant Lou Vicente said sixteen Otago businesses have registered to participate in the challenge and show their "competitive spirit".

Queenstown Lakes District Council, AJ Hackett and Queenstown Airport were some of the biggest companies on board.

"It's a diverse mix of businesses," Vicente said.

Mountain biking was popular in Queenstown but as an after-work activity and the challenge was encouraging commuters to bike. 

Tickets for Cycle Speed Dating include a drink at Church Lane bar after a ride and a match mail after the event. 

Riders meet at  Cycle Higher on Earl St at 6.30pm and the ride starts at 7pm.

For more info and tickets go to


 - Stuff


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