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The Evolution of Free Ride

It all started at The Bike Box...





The Bike Box was set up by Project Lead Lily Chalmers while managing Naenae Clubhouse. Lily saw that council was building cycleways that would come through Naenae, and thought


"how will our community get access to these"


There were no bike mechanics or bikes shops in Naenae, so The Bike Box was created as a way to get young people cycling. The Clubhouse worked with volunteers and Greater Wellington Regional Council to create a programme where young people could work with mentors to fix bikes.


After a while Lily noticed kids weren't bring their broken bikes back, so decided to trial a set of shared bikes, with support from Healthy Families Hutt Valley.


"We set up a 6 month trial of 10 Free Ride bikes, branded and tracked by GPS. it was trial and error and many of the bikes were stolen or never returned"

At that point, we transitioned to Free Ride the membership. The idea was to make bikes available to anyone who wanted one, and give access to having them fixed when they broke or needed fixing. The membership survey was set up as a way to gather the data needed to provide the programmes and services people were interested in. It also gave Lily access to data and stories that could be shared with potential funders.


Thanks to this data and the stories, Free Ride secured funding from Hutt City Council to open the Free Ride Workshop, the next evolution in the project and the next delivery of member voice. The funding will enable Free Ride to provide more free bikes, bike mechanic training, helmets, lights and locks and monthly Free Fix ups and pedal Ready skills training.


We are really looking forward to working with our community to upskill and get more bikes out to whānau.




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Upcoming Events

  • Mechanic workshop
    Mechanic workshop
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, 30 May
    Lower Hutt
    30 May 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    30 May 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Come and learn some skills to help you fix your own bike. This is a casual mentoring session on Thursday nights where you can learn as you go. Rangatahi welcome but must come with an adult.
  • Free Ride Workshop open
    Free Ride Workshop open
    Multiple Dates
    Sat, 08 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    08 Jun 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    08 Jun 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Our Saturday workshop is open for getting fitted for new bikes, helmets and safety gear. Come get a standard bike service or other services for payment on a sliding scale.
  • Whānau Bike Skills
    Whānau Bike Skills
    Sat, 08 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    08 Jun 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    08 Jun 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Free Ride's Hutt Valley Whānau Bike Skills (level 0-2) Meet at Basketball Court, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae. Keen to get back on a bike or get riding for the first time? Want to build confidence on two wheels and get some tips about how to stay safe when sharing the road.
  • Tree Ride - intermediate ride
    Tree Ride - intermediate ride
    Sun, 09 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    09 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    09 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Riding from Free Ride through Lower Hutt, looking at notable and some protected trees. Information about the trees we see and other information about trees in the Hutt. 15 K approx.
  • E-bike ride Petone and Seaview - Intermediate
    E-bike ride Petone and Seaview - Intermediate
    Sun, 16 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    16 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    16 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Intermediate Ride. This is not for beginner riders. Riders must have some recent experience riding, and confidence on a bike. Tickets are free, but a booking is required.
  • Cycle with confidence
    Cycle with confidence
    Sat, 22 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    22 Jun 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    22 Jun 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Adults learn to ride with confidence, build your skills riding on the road, with our skilled instructors. You can bring your own bike, or if you don't have one, we'll supply one, just let us know. Meet at the basketball court on Treadwell Street.
  • E-bike ride Naenae to Waterloo - Beginner ride
    E-bike ride Naenae to Waterloo - Beginner ride
    Sun, 23 Jun
    Lower Hutt
    23 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    23 Jun 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    This is a beginner level e-bike ride along the beltway cycleway from Naenae to Waterloo station. There will be some basic e-bike training given, and this ride is all on safe and accessible cycleway.
  • Christ Church Taita - Beginner ride
    Christ Church Taita - Beginner ride
    Sun, 07 Jul
    Lower Hutt
    07 Jul 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    07 Jul 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    This is a beginner level e-bike ride along the beltway cycleway from Naenae to Taita to the Christ Church. There will be some basic e-bike training given, and this ride is all on safe and accessible cycleways.
  • E-bike Ride Te Ara Tupua - Intermediate
    E-bike Ride Te Ara Tupua - Intermediate
    Sun, 26 May
    Lower Hutt
    26 May 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    26 May 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Intermediate Ride. This is not for beginner riders. Riders must have some recent experience riding, and confidence on a bike. Tickets are free, but a booking is required.
  • Cycle with confidence
    Cycle with confidence
    Sat, 25 May
    Lower Hutt
    25 May 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    25 May 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Adults learn to ride with confidence, build your skills riding on the road, with our skilled instructors. You can bring your own bike, or if you don't have one, we'll supply one, just let us know. Meet at the basketball court on Treadwell Street.
  • E-bike Riverside ride - Intermediate
    E-bike Riverside ride - Intermediate
    Sun, 19 May
    Lower Hutt
    19 May 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    19 May 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Intermediate Ride. This is not for beginner riders. Riders must have some recent experience riding, and confidence on a bike. Tickets are free, but a booking is required.
  • Whānau Bike Skills
    Whānau Bike Skills
    Sat, 11 May
    Lower Hutt
    11 May 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    11 May 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Free Ride's Hutt Valley Whānau Bike Skills (level 0-2) Meet at Basketball Court, 31 Treadwell Street, Naenae. Keen to get back on a bike or get riding for the first time? Want to build confidence on two wheels and get some tips about how to stay safe when sharing the road.
  •  Naenae to Silverstream Bridge and return - RIDE FULL
     Naenae to Silverstream Bridge and return - RIDE FULL
    Naenae to Silverstream Bridge and return - RIDE FULL
    Sun, 05 May
    Lower Hutt
    05 May 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    05 May 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    This ride is an intermediate ride of about 20 km. Some parts are on trails, and through little mini forests. Ride one of our 10 e-bikes or ride your own. Coaching will be provided.
  • Cycle with confidence
    Cycle with confidence
    Multiple Dates
    Sat, 27 Apr
    Lower Hutt
    27 Apr 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    27 Apr 2024, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Adults learn to ride with confidence, build your skills riding on the road, with our skilled instructors. You can bring your own bike, or if you don't have one, we'll supply one, just let us know. Meet at Free Ride Workshop
  • Free Ride Workshop open
    Free Ride Workshop open
    Multiple Dates
    Sat, 27 Apr
    Lower Hutt
    27 Apr 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    27 Apr 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Our Saturday workshop is open for getting fitted for new bikes, helmets and safety gear. Come get a standard bike service or other services for payment on a sliding scale.
  • Beginner E Bike Group Ride - Taitā Rock and Motutawa Avalon Park
    Beginner E Bike Group Ride - Taitā Rock and Motutawa Avalon Park
    Sun, 14 Apr
    Lower Hutt
    14 Apr 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    14 Apr 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    This beginner’s ride goes from Naenae to Taita Rock on the Beltway Cycleway, then up on to the Hutt River Trail to Motutawa Avalon Park for a cup of tea. Ride one of our 10 e-bikes or ride your own. Coaching will be provided.
  • Mechanic workshop
    Mechanic workshop
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, 11 Apr
    Lower Hutt
    11 Apr 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    11 Apr 2024, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Come and learn some skills to help you fix your own bike. This is a casual mentoring session on Thursday nights where you can learn as you go. Rangatahi welcome but must come with an adult.
  • E- Bike Group Ride - Moonshine Park
    E- Bike Group Ride - Moonshine Park
    Sun, 07 Apr
    Lower Hutt
    07 Apr 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    07 Apr 2024, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Lower Hutt, 35 Hillary Court, Naenae, Lower Hutt 5011, New Zealand
    Come and use one of our e-bikes, get some tips and coaching and ideas for rides, and be part of our e-bike library. Rides are for adults only and are limited to 12 people. This ride will go from Naenae ato Moonshine Park in Upper Hutt.
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