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Christchurch's relative flatness makes for easy biking, and the city has cultivated good resources for cyclists. White lines, and sometimes red-color tarmac, denote cycling lanes on city streets, and holding bays are at the ready near intersections. You can pick up a route map from the city council; a particularly nice paved pedestrian and cycling path is along the Avon running from the Bridge of Remembrance. Other popular cycle trails include the Rail Trail at Little River and the spectacular trails around the Port Hills.
City Cycle Hire. City Cycle Hire has mountain, touring, and tandem bikes. Rentals include helmets, locks, and cycle map and costs about $25 for a half day and $35 for a full day; they'll deliver your bike to your hotel. 68 Waltham Rd., Sydenham, Christchurch, 8023. 03/377-5952; 0800/424-534 (NZ only). www.cyclehire-tours.co.nz.
Mountain Bike Adventure Company. The Mountain Bike Adventure Company offers a $65 package including a ride up on the Christchurch Gondola to the summit station. Then there's the choice of either an off-road mountain-bike trail or a scenic-road route down to the beach and back to the Gondola base—cycle distance is approximately 16 km (10 mi). At this writing the Gondola is slated to reopen late 2011. 68 Waltham Rd., Sydenham, Christchurch, 8023. 03/377-5952; 0800/424-534 (NZ only).
Little River Rail Trail Day Cycle Tour. Little River Rail Trail Day Cycle Tour follows the new Little River Rail Trail with all off-road flat cycling around Lake Ellesmere. It's ideal for a family group with a cycling distance of 19 km (12 mi). Bookings are essential for this full-day trip, and return transfers to Little River are included. Bring insect repellent to stave off the sandflies. 03/377-5952. $120 adult; $45 child. Sept.-May.
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