Queenstown local cycle-mad for 30 years


Queenstowner Denis Mander has spent three decades cycling to work and he isn’t letting the resort’s chilly winters stop him.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager cycles more than 100 kilometres a week going from his Quail Rise home into town and back – and says the dark minus-seven degree mornings don’t put him off. 

“It takes me half an hour each way and when I was younger it used to take me a lot less so I’m definitely slowing down.” 

Despite saying the snow last year was a pain it didn’t stop Mander getting to work.
“The Frankton Track was about 10 centimetres under snow which eventually turned to ice, but I just layered up and used the road instead,” he says.
“You get used to it and it’s not a big deal – sometimes my earlobes start to hurt but it’s too good and too convenient not to do it.”
Mander moved from Auckland five years ago after 15 years with the Auckland City Council.
It’s the only chance he has to exercise during his working week, he says.
“I started biking in Wellington then onto Auckland and it’s always been a convenient way of getting to and from work.”
However, Mander says the pleasant trails around Queenstown are a stark contrast from the congested urban streets of the capital and City of Sails.
“You have the view of the lake and the Frankton Track is so wonderful because you can bike around there without traffic noise and the lake beside you – it is really quite a pleasant ride.”
Mander encourages people to think about transport choices as he says many people get into habits because they’ve done the same thing for so long.
“We aren’t saying cars are bad or people that walk to work have halos on their heads, it’s just trying to get people to think about transport options instead of being wedded to their cars.
“People will be surprised what they are capable of, people should give it a go – it’s not a big deal.”