Taking to two wheels for The 2017 Auckland Bike Challenge has paid off for a lucky Kiwi, who will be winging her way to Croatia.
This year, not only was the Auckland Bike Challenge included as part of the nationwide Aotearoa Bike Challenge but it was also part of a global competition run by international organisation Love to Ride.
Aucklander Gracie MacKinlay was lucky enough to win the grand prize – a $3000USD ($4200NZD) trip to Croatia, beating out more than 56,000 other entrants from 12 countries.
Discovering the benefits of biking
Gracie, who works in marketing for Mighty Ape, says she has gotten much more out of the challenge than winning the grand prize.
She says, "I live only 3.5km away from work. There's a shower at work, so it was an easy decision to be part of the challenge. I usually drive between work and home including my lunch commute. These trips have been replaced with bike rides.
"By the end of the challenge, I felt so much fitter and I even achieved my fastest time in Round the Bays this year, which I've been doing for the past five years.
"It also helped me to better understand the impact on our environment. My bike commutes have saved an estimated 37kg of CO2 emission during the challenge.
"It's good for our health and environment, so others should get out and give the bike a go."
Gracie's prize allowed her to choose her own flights and itinerary to either Croatia or Vancouver and also provides her with a budget towards food and activities.
About the Auckland Bike Challenge
The Auckland Bike Challenge is a fun, free workplace competition that encourages people to give cycling a go during the month of February. This year 324 Auckland organisations competed against each other, as well as those who signed up throughout the rest of New Zealand. A total of 3,794 Aucklanders participated, 981 were new to riding.
Run by Auckland Transport and supported by NZ Transport Agency, Sustainable Business Network, Healthy Auckland Together and Auckland Regional Public Health Service, the event supports workplaces encouraging staff to ride for at least ten minutes during the month of February.
Rides are recorded online, and businesses can compete against other similar sized businesses within the Auckland region and nationwide. The businesses who get the most of their staff riding bikes win, plus there are lots of individual prizes to be won.