Robyn Hyde is combining her professional skills with her passion for cycling.
The new Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail manager has moved to Oamaru from Christchurch, where she spent the past 10 years consulting as a transport planner for Aecom.
Ms Hyde, a keen road and trail cyclist, applied for the new role at the Waitaki District Council ‘‘quite randomly’’, seeing an opportunity to use her transport planning and professional skills in a role that incorporated her personal interests.
‘‘I am a passionate cyclist and I love being out and about and riding my bike,’’ she said.
‘‘My bike is my happy place.’’
Her children had all left home, and it was also a chance for her to ‘‘start a new life, in a new community’’ and enjoy a better lifestyle.
‘‘I’m looking forward to meeting new people and building my life here, really.
‘‘For me, this move is a lot about being able to give back to the community, bringing, I guess, some of my professional experience into the community and combining that with my love of cycling.’’
The new role was established as part of the Waitaki and Mackenzie District Councils’ restructure of the Alps 2 Ocean governance and operational model. As trail manager, Ms Hyde will work with the Alps 2 Ocean joint committee and an advisory group to lead the development of a new strategy and business plan, and oversee the marketing, which was previously done by Tourism Waitaki.
Ms Hyde said her immediate priorities were getting more familiar with the cycle trail and engaging with the community. She had not yet ridden the trail in full, but had cycled several sections.
‘‘I know there’s a lot of history I need to learn, but it’s about starting fresh for me, getting to know people.’’
She was looking forward to ‘‘working with the community, building the asset for the community, encouraging more people to see the world by bike’’
Ms Hyde is a passionate advocate for cycling, and the health and wellbeing benefits it offers. She wanted to encourage more people to get on their bikes and ride the trail, and make sure they had a great experience on it.
Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek was looking forward to working with Ms Hyde to ‘‘drive things forward’’.
It was time for the 310km trail to embark on a new stage, and for the councils to build on its success over the past 10 years, he said.