The more times something is used, the less physical footprint it has over time!

I well remember my first bike. It was very special, because it was brand-new, and when I was a boy, new bikes were expensive and in my circle of friends, only the ‘privileged’ kids got brand new bikes. So how come I got one (my parents weren’t that well off)?

I thought all my Christmases had come at once!

On giving me my brand new bike, my Dad said to me, “Bob, there is one important reason why we’re giving you this bike”. Wow, I remember thinking at the time, I must have done something really good to get this. Dad continued, “We need you to double your young brother to school each day and that includes coming home for lunch”. Bugger, I thought, but still, hey, I have a new bike and a lot of others don’t, and that’s OK with me, and it’s only about three and a half kilometres. Besides, my brother was four years younger and much slighter at the time than the rather large man he’s grown into today.

That first bike stayed with me for many years – in fact, I remember repainting it at one stage in my late teens to make it look more ‘modern’ – but what eventually happened to it? I do not know – probably land fill.

Maybe you have a similar experience – maybe, your old bike (or your kid’s bikes, if they’ve left home) are sitting around in the garage.

And whether you’ve outgrown your bike, decided to upgrade, or simply don’t need it anymore, the first and best option is to find someone else to enjoy your bike.

Here in the Manawatu, there’s a place that will take your old bike(s), repair them, and either sell them (at a very reasonable price) or pass them on to someone else to use. Peter Cooke, owner of Green Bikes in Palmerston North says, “The goal from my perspective is to always try to find a way to reuse the product first, rather than see it end up in landfill”.

And as far as helping the environment, Peter continued, “As with most products, the more times something is used, the less physical footprint it has over time, also reducing its carbon emissions”.

“I’m also into helping people become healthier through exercise”, Peter said enthusiastically. “Through Green Bikes, I find It’s a nice way to help someone discover the joys of cycling – someone who may not have access to a safe bike or isn’t able to purchase a new one.”

Peter tells me his bikes start at around $150, so they are very affordable, and he has many different types of bikes, including town bikes, children’s bikes, step-through bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and for those just getting into gravel cycling, I saw a couple of really nice looking bikes converted for gravel (with our Slicks & Stones Gravel Assault event coming up in April, I almost got tempted myself).

Peter’s also doing his bit for our growing tourism in the Manawatu, with hire bikes at $30 a day, or better still, $60 a week. He tells me that, to his surprise, the hire part of the business is starting to take off.

So, if you are either looking to make use of your old bike by re-cycling it (pardon the pun) or looking to do a bit of cycling yourself and not sure whether you’d like it, either hire a bike or purchase one at a very reasonable price from Peter Cooke at Green Cycles, just behind the Square Edge Building, 47 The Square, Palmerston North. You’ll be doing the world a favour!

Bob Selden, is Chair of the Greasy Chain Charitable Trust, an organisation dedicated to helping all Kiwis become fitter through cycling.