Bicycles Gifted to Wellington by Sister City Beijing

27 October 2011

An event to celebrate the arrival of 99 bicycles gifted to Wellington by the city of Beijing will be held on Sunday 30 October at 12.15pm in Frank Kitts Park.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown will speak at the event, which will be attended by the Chairman of Beijing's People's Congress, Mr Du Deyin, and Chinese Ambassador Xu Jianguo.

The Beijing bicycles ceremony is being held as part of Get Out There Day, which offers Wellingtonians the chance to try out a whole range of free outdoor activities, and also launches the Outdoor Festival and Free Wheeling in Wellington Festival.

The mountain bikes were gifted by Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong in July this year, when Mayor Wade-Brown led a Wellington business delegation to the Chinese capital. During her visit the two cities celebrated the fifth anniversary of the sister-city relationship and the bicycles are to recognise these links.

One of the bikes was given to the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing and the remaining 99 have come to Wellington.

Mayor Wade-Brown says she is delighted with the gift of the bicycles.

"Beijing shares Wellington's goal of promoting cycling and the gift will increase the visibility of cycling in the city," said Mayor Wade-Brown. "We enjoy a warm sister-city relationship with Beijing and look forward to a prosperous partnership with them."

The bicycles will be offered to Wellington organisations and groups for their use but because they are a gift to the city, they will still be owned by the Council. Some may be added to the Council's existing bike fleet.  

Councillor John Morrison, portfolio leader for sports and recreation, says it is entirely fitting that the Beijing bicycles are unveiled at the launch of two Wellington recreation festivals.

"Get Out There Day is a great way to encourage Wellingtonians to make the most of the wonderful opportunities we have here for outdoor recreation, and cycling is just one of these," he said.

Both the Outdoor Festival and Free Wheeling in Wellington Festival will be on until December.

Beijing Bicycle Ceremony, 12.15pm - 12.45pm, amphitheatre in Frank Kitts Park, Jervois Quay

Get Out There Day, 11.00am - 2.00pm, Sunday 30 October, Frank Kitts Park and the lagoon