A casual coffee trip to local George Street café Cyclista has had the happy result of 6 years’ worth of valuable volunteer mahi at Greasy Chain Charitable Trust for current board Chairperson Bob Selden. Cyclista Café owner Steve encouraged him to help out with the annual Gravel and Tar cycling event and Bob has been passionately involved ever since.

Bob came to Palmerston North with his wife six years ago from Australia quickly adapting to the Manawatū lifestyle. Cycling and active transport have always been a passion of his, so volunteering for an organisation focused on this has been a logical move.

Greasy Chain Charitable Trust has the goal of encouraging all New Zealanders to become healthier through regular cycling. Their vision is to bring about a change that will promote a more positive appreciation of active transport and in particular cycling, not necessarily as a different or alternative mode of transport, but as a complimentary one. What Bob enjoys though is ‘helping community’. He notes that the recent Retro Ride that took place ‘attracted 44 people, adult and kids…it was fabulous, with a wide variety of people from the community and was also a fundraiser for the local hospice’. The Retro Ride is an annual event showcasing retro bikes and costumes and open to  anyone keen  to have a taste of cycling Palmerston North's streets.

Bob also acknowledges the positive effect that cycling has on our environment and reducing our carbon footprint, the revolution of E-bikes being a game changer in this area. He notes that for people changing their habits to a more active lifestyle it’s important to ‘take the first step; commit to something regularly and then it will become a habit’. He also notes the huge mental health benefits of activity and how ‘increased physical fitness inspires better mental fitness’ making us happier as well as healthier.

The next big event for the Greasy Chain Charitable Trust is Slicks & Stones, taking place on 17th of February and attracting cyclists from around the country. The event is based from Apiti and riders can choose distances from 40-170km. You can find out more about the event by going to www.greasychain.com