The NZ Bike Expo was dubbed as a weekend celebrating everything to do with the bicycle in one big party; and over the weekend at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand it lived up to the mantra with two days of fun, entertainment, education and interest.
We had a great time throwing ourselves into a weekend that provided a different kind of cycling event. Christchurch played host to two memorable days where we were able to explore the wide expanse that is life on a bicycle. Dozens of exhibitors packed one big hangar and overflowed into the demo area by the runway to provide the public with an experience that was both educational and interactive.
What struck us was the wildly different flavours of experiences sought by all different kinds of people; different and diverse but all joined together by a love of life on two wheels. From the range of ebikes to the array of cycle touring and bikepacking destinations on display, to transportation options for young children and advocates for cycle safety, to cycling clubs and road bikes; there was something for everyone.
Highlights for the expo included the involvement of Anton Cooper, speaking to a packed out audience on Saturday about his experiences racing with the Trek Factory Racing team. Afterwards we caught up with him and asked how important an event like this was for cycling in New Zealand. “It’s pretty cool to have all these brands and all these different components and salespeople showing what their craft is, what they’ve made and what’s on offer,” Anton told us. “It’s all the latest tech in one spot which is pretty cool for the people, the public, to be able to come in and see that; and there’s a lot of kids here having fun which is always nice to see.”
Hundreds of conversations on dozens of different topics were fielded by the exhibitors over the two days. One of the exhibitors was Anthony Chapman of Optimal Performance who not only was one of the showcase speakers at the event, talking about the common injuries of cyclists and how to address them, but also partnering with Revbox to provide a very interactive experience for visitors.
“It’s been really great, we’ve had some really good turnouts [especially] in the mornings. A lot of people coming through. We’ve seen all different sorts of cyclists and a few people who weren’t even cyclists, they were just dragged in there by their spouses!” Anthony said. “It’s nice to chat to everybody and see the passion for cycling that’s out there.”
“I’ve enjoyed hanging out here for the weekend and talking lots of cycling with people, seeing all the people coming through. We’ll be involved again next year no doubt.”
Along with the possibility of winning a Revbox from the Optimal Performance stand, there was also the opportunity to win bragging rights on the Sunday morning as a number of brave riders took to their bikes – cyclocross, BMX, road or in one case a penny farthing – to compete in the Southern Cross CX cyclocross event. In grey and blustery conditions young and old took to the start line to tackle the course that twisted and turned its way around the airfield. Despite the somewhat torrid conditions riders threw themselves into the racing; enjoying the experience and the competition.
At the end of the weekend the common thread that seemed apparent for all was that this was a weekend well spent. For us the flight back to Auckland finally provided us an opportunity to enjoy a good sit down, somewhat exhausted after enjoying being on our feet for most of the two days, immersing ourselves in Christchurch’s cycling culture and seeing what was on offer.
Stay tuned for more video content here at RoadCycling from the 2018 NZ Bike Expo. You can catch up with all our Expo videos right here.