Bikes in Schools

"In 1990, New Zealand primary school children were biking an average of 28 minutes per week. Today it is less than 5 minutes per week - with many children not getting to ride a bike at all."- Bikes in Schools website

Bikes in Schools is a charity set up by Paul McArdle and Meg Frater in Hawke's Bay in 2010. Its aim is to help schools throughout the country get more children on bikes.

After spending time living abroad, the pair became convinced of a link between the number of young cyclists and a country's wealth and health.

So far the programme has helped over 35 schools with a package of bikes, helmets, bike tracks and cycling lessons. This has got over 8,000 school children onto bikes on a regular basis at school.

Funding for the programme comes from a range of sources including school fundraising and organisations including DHBs, the Ministry of Education and local councils.

This Way Up's Simon Morton paid a visit to Holy Cross School in Miramar, one of three schools selected recently for Wellington City Council support to introduce Bikes In Schools.



Cuba/US relations

Relations between the US and Cuba have been frosty for more than 50 years.

That's reinforced by a travel and trade embargo that stops Cuban goods like rum or cigars being legally sold in America, and prevents American tourists from travelling direct between the 2 countries.

But the relationship is improving. In December, the US President Barack Obama and the Cuban President Raul Castro told the world they would re-establish diplomatic ties and work towards relaxing these economic restrictions.

Among the people who stand to benefit from a closer relationship between the two countries are technology and tourism businesses, lawyers, and expatriate Cubans wanting to return home with money to invest. But it could be bad news for nearby Caribbean tourism hotspots like Puerto Rico.

David Usborne is the US Editor of The Independent. He's just returned from a visit to Cuba to see the impact this thaw in diplomatic relations is having.

Science: Pain gene and better robots

Dr Chris Smith of The Naked Scientists

Dr Chris Smith of The Naked Scientists Photo: SUPPLIED

Science news with Dr Chris Smith of The Naked Scientists. A gene for pain is discovered, and a robot that can adapt to injury and even walk with a limp!

Tech: Charlie Charlie and internet report

Tech commentator Peter Griffin.

Tech commentator Peter Griffin. Photo: Supplied

Peter Griffin talks technology. A Mexican demon takes a terrible revenge on the world's internet users, the camera maker Go Pro moves into drones, and Mary Meeker's influential report on the state of the global internet comes out.

Eric Topol - 'The Patient Will See You Now'

Eric Topol.

Eric Topol. Photo: John Arispizabal

Eric Topol is a practicing cardiologist and a geneticist who studies the role our genes play in increasing our susceptibility to heart attacks.

He's also interested in the future of medicine, and the challenges and opportunities offered to healthcare consumers and the medical profession by new digital technologies.

In his new book The Patient Will See You Now (Basic Books) he looks at how this brave new world of medicine could look.

Bikes vs Cars

Two cyclists amongst many cars.

From the short film The Invisible Bicycle Helmet, by Fredrik Gertten, with Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, Malmö, Sweden. Photo: Marek Wieser

Swedish film director Fredrik Gerrten

Fredrik Gerrten. Photo: Martin Bogren

The Swedish film director Fredrik Gerrten explores the car-centric design of the world's cities in his documentary Bikes vs Cars.

He insists that it's not a protest film, but an attempt to understand the complicated and sometimes fraught relationship between cyclists and motorists.

Bikes vs Cars will be playing at the 61st Sydney Film Festival which starts on Wednesday and Mr Gerrten hopes to announce dates for some New Zealand screenings shortly.