Taupo cyclists hope that two ‘GIANT BIKES’ will perpetually promote the region as a cycling destination and alert vehicles to the ‘shared road policy’ in both Taupo and Turangi. Taupo Moana Rotary, owners of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, was the principal sponsor of the Taupo GIANT BIKE project.
Queues of cyclists and non-cyclists alike have lined up to have their photo taken after the Taupo GIANT BIKE was installed. Young and old, mountain bikers and roadies, BMX and hybrid bikes, Taupo residents and visitors posed in between wheels, or tried to climb the triple sized replica road frame.
When non-cyclists are asked what the significance of the GIANT BIKE meant to them, they quickly state, “there are lots of cyclists on the Taupo roads, and we should watch out for them while driving”. Taupo is well established as an international and domestic cycling destination, with an estimated 100,000 cyclists riding the region annually. It now boasts 150km of mountain bike singletrack, with the Ironman, Half Ironman, numerous triathlons and the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge attracting all-year-round cyclists.
Local ‘Forged Artist’ Marcel Zwezerijnen has been contracted to build the 3 metre high bikes. The Turangi GIANT BIKE will be positioned near to the Tongariro Bridge, close to the start of the new Tongariro River Trail. It is hoped the Turangi GIANT BIKE will alert North-bound road users of possible cyclists riding in the narrower sections of the lake loop on SH1, particularly as it is the yellow of Tour de France maillot jaune.