Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
Keen cyclist Teau Aiturau is about to embark on a 700km journey to promote healthy living and get more Pasifika people peddling.
“You know that awareness, especially for our Polynesian, for our Pasifika; inspire, motivate and encourage,” he says.
He will be working with the USO Bike Ride group, who have ridden the country’s length twice, the first time in 2012 and then in 2016.
USO founder Chris Te’o says the ride will also be an opportunity to interact with Pasifika communities along the way.
“It’s not just getting off your bike, clean your bike, then go have a rest. We’ve got a community waiting for us to celebrate as well,” he says.
“I think our community has been through so much with Covid and everything, and I think we’re always about raising awareness, but I think now is a time to celebrate.”
Aiturau has been a familiar face on the South Auckland bike scene for almost a decade after dropping 100 kilograms through cycling.
“I just love it. I just want to share that experience with others,” he says.
He is now introducing his community to electric bikes through his bike hub, Mangere Bikefit.
“Once they get on it, they’ll just love it – especially our people – like it’s very hard to get on a normal bike.”
He will be taking his own e-bike on the journey to spread the word because there is nothing more satisfying than seeing someone ride a bike for the first time.
“Their smiles, you know, just puts you in another world. Like that’s why you try and, you know, all that sort of stuff man, it’s great.”