Celebrating Cycling in Aotearoa

Two centuries have passed since the bicycle was first invented in Germany and the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) is celebrating the significant anniversary with the opening of a new exhibition, Changing Gear, on Saturday 9 December.

Changing Gear explores the history of cycling in New Zealand and its growing place in our cities while showcasing innovations in the world of bikes, from the high tech to the quirky! Since the first rickety boneshaker hit Aotearoa’s cobbled streets, Kiwis have embraced the spirit of the bicycle; adapting its shape to fit our needs and using it as a tool for change.

With plentiful interactives and digital experiences, this exhibition gives visitors a chance to play digital dress ups in cycling clothes through the ages, experience the thrill of riding a BMX or mountain bike, test the power of their legs on Team New Zealand’s cycle grinders and have a go at improving a city by supporting cyclists.

MOTAT’s chief executive Michael Frawley says: “Changing Gear showcases how cycling has evolved from the days when pioneering Auckland bike builders were offering staff a bonus to ride their velocipedes down Queen Street, to the use of cycle technology on the winning Americas Cup Boat and what the future could entail.”

“We want our visitors to be inspired by Kiwi innovators like Bill Pratney who began his professional cycling career in 1929 and for the next 60 years went on to show the world that Kiwi and Māori cyclists were a force to be reckoned with,” adds Mr Frawley.

With a focus on improving the safety for people on bikes and the aim to get more people using Auckland’s cycleways which provide safe, separated connections to bike around the city, Auckland Transport is naturally aligned to partner with MOTAT to bring this exhibition to life.

Manager of Walking, Cycling and Road Safety, Kathryn King says: “We are delighted to be partnering with MOTAT for this fantastic exhibition and are counting the days till doors open. This summer we are celebrating new cycleways around the city. Aucklanders are now seeing the benefits of the amount of good quality connections that make so many more journeys possible.  The recently opened Waterview Shared Path is proving a hit for people coming into and out of town and exploring the local area. This is a great chance to try riding to MOTAT, which is just off the Northwestern Cycleway.”

Fascinating narratives from Changing Gear include stories from Frank Clavis, founder of legendary local BMX bike brand ‘Pantha’ who has been in the cycle industry for over 50 years. Visitors can also marvel over the do-it-yourself electric bike Auckland engineer Stu Harwood built as a birthday present for his partner – he used 72 recycled lithium batteries in the process! Further information about e-bikes can be gleaned from Anthony Clyde who credits the trialling and redesigning of the NZ Post e-bikes for the birth of his successful company, SmartMotion. Then there’s the inspiring story of Teau Aiturau who is famous throughout Mangere and beyond as ‘Mr Tee’, the founder of the Time to Thrive (Triple Teez) charity. Since 2014 Mr Tee has taught hundreds of children and adults in the South Auckland community to ride and repair bikes through his bike events and citywide explorations.

From the great outdoors to urban streets, bicycles have shaped our environment and enriched our lives. Where will they take us next? Come and explore the possibilities at Changing Gear and go in the draw to win your very own SmartMotion e-bike valued at $2,500. The exhibition is open at MOTAT daily from 10am to 5pm and entry is included in the MOTAT general admission fees.

MOTAT is proud to partner with Auckland Transport on Changing Gear:
The summer holidays are the perfect time to explore Auckland’s new and existing cycling network. With the recent opening of the Waterview Shared Path and phase two of the Nelson Street Cycleway, there are more and more safe, separated connections for people to ride bikes around the city. Many of the city’s cycleways now link up and provide safe routes, and they all go via places that people want to visit, such as MOTAT, Auckland Zoo and Western Springs which are an easy ride over the rainbow path.
Visit AT.govt.nz/aklbikelife for maps and bike ride suggestions.

MOTAT is open every day of the week apart from Christmas Day
Location: MOTAT – 805 Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland
Times: 10am to 5pm daily
Dates: 9 December to 4 June 2018

Entry to Changing Gear is included in MOTAT’s General Admission Prices
See the MOTAT website for details:

For further information, photos, media passes or interviews, please contact:
Vanessa Hefer
Communications Advisor | MOTAT
021 340 518 | vanessa.hefer@motat.org.nz

Joanna Glasswell
Auckland Transport
021 221 9279 | joanna.glasswell@at.govt.nz