Tip for the week - Riding in the rain

Riding in the rain is something that we need to be good at here in NZ, otherwise we wouldn’t ride on many occasions! Don’t be scared of riding when it’s wet; you just have to be prepared.

If it’s fine and not cold when you start out, but you think it might rain, pack a light but waterproof shower jacket. You can get these for not very much money at the bike shop or online. Mostly these are made of non-breathable material like nylon but that’s fine as they are for emergencies only. Make sure you get a bright colour, don’t get black! So long as you have appropriate clothing underneath your jacket (thermals, arm warmers), then you’ll already have some heat in your body when it rains. A nylon jacket won’t keep you warm.

If it’s raining at the start of your ride you need to begin with sturdier rain-resistant clothing otherwise you’ll just get wet straight away and not warm up. There are many good options available, but they will cost money as they will be made of Gortex or a similar fabric. It’s well worth buying one of these though, and if you look after it it will last many years. In this situation you might like to protect your shoes with some shoe covers as well. Woollen socks are a good option as they keep your feet warm even if they get wet. Especially important in winter. Again, you should have already dressed in your thermals, warmers on your arms and maybe even your legs.

Another useful tip when riding in the rain is to wear a cycling cap under your helmet. That helps shield your eyes from some of the falling rain. It can also help keep your head a little warmer too.

Remember, if you get wet you can get cold, especially if you’re just starting your ride, intensity is low, or the air temperature drops dramatically. Sometimes the latter can occur here in NZ if a southerly hits, and that can be dangerous.

Lastly, one of the best things you can do for for wet weather riding is to have some mud-guards. A rear guard is especially useful as it stops your back side getting wet. Makes it much easier for your riding companions to sit on your wheel as well! You can buy clip on/off guards from your bike shop or online that fit most racing bikes.

Good riding, Steve S.

From the Board Chair

Reminder:" Bike Manawatu Happy Hour"This Friday.
Where; Hotel Coachman
When Friday 27th May ( last Friday of every month)
Time; 5.30 to 7pm

Schools and BM racing attracts 93 Competitors

Last Sunday morning I went out to the Hiwinui Road race to watch 93 of our Schools and BM masters cyclists compete together in three separate graded races. It is a tough circuit and with the best male and female riders on show from as young as Intermediate,to High Schools, to Masters ,it was fantastic to watch such talented athletes push themselves.This kind of value between the ages in our cycling community is special and is one of the reasons why our club is the envy of many NZ clubs.

Schools Boss Mike Simpson runs a great ship and is well supported by enthusiastic parents and kids.Schools are training hard for there upcoming three day Schools Nationals here in the Manawatu/Horowhenua in September. If you love cycling this is an incredibly exciting event to watch.Something I can totally recommend to you all.  Racing at is best.

Also on show at Hiwinui was local schoolboy star Campbell Stewart who the night before was awarded Bike New Zealand's Road and Track emerging talent of the year to add to his list of NZ awards.A very humble nice guy I might add.

Sunday was fun for me catching up with many of our cycling community, organisers,volunteers, parents and riders.  This confirms the passion for cycling in our region is alive and well which was also evident at our recent Manfeild 6 Hour Challenge.

On the way back to Palmy I passed countless numbers of recreational cyclist out enjoying what they love doing.  The cycling bug in the club is definitely catching.

Join the Bike Manawatu Club Now.

If you haven't yet become a member of the Bike Manawatu Club,now is a good time to join us for a modest $45 per year.  Email our Club secretary Christine Christie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how. We'd love you to become part of a club of cycling mad people who look after each other and build friendships.

Racing at Hiwinui - 22May

This weeks racing:

22 May 2016

Schools is having a race on the Hiwinui circuit on this day, and have kindly invited bike manawatu members. There is no charge for racing as part of the invitation.

Note please, the compulsory requirement for a rear flashing red light on all bikes.
Road Race: Hiwinui school
Registration - 8:30am
Race Start - 9am
A grade - 2 laps
B grade - 2 laps
C grade - 1 lap

Self select your grade preference.

Board Chair's update

NEXT FRIDAY; 27 May; "Bike Manawatu Happy Hour"
WHERE; Hotel Coachman
TIME ; 5.30 to 7pm
Come along and Join your fellow cyclists and volunteers for some good old fashion banter across all ages for fun.See you there.

Cycling Falls- Ouch!
When you start out cycling, fellow cyclists say, "it's just a matter of time before you will fall off your bike" which is a scary thought and one you think will never happen to you. Yeh Right. For those of you who have come off your bike and hurt yourself I am now in your exclusive club after four years of cycling.First hand, it is not a nice experience but it is part of our wonderful sport.Like all sporting injuries they are not nice and some are worse than others.Think about gruesome rugby or snow skiing injuries.Your passion for cycling,fellow cyclists and riding picturesque Manawatu will help you recover and get back on your bike.Believe me.

Before my fall recently, I had always taken an interest in listening to other fellow cyclists who had fallen and injured themselves sharing their gruesome stories in horror.Then some time later we would see them reappear in a group ride looking very tentative and worried about yet another fall.Not long after they were back cycling stronger and better then ever.Thats what determination looks like.

If there is a moral to this story it can only be "concentrate" the whole time your are riding and always stick to good cycling protocols to minimise the risk of causing an accident in a group or falling off yourself. Falling off in cycling is not pleasant. Many have fallen before and many will fall in the future but this great sport is worth getting back on your bike for. Remember to empathise for the returning cyclist who needs you to ride along side them with care.

Bike Manawatu Manfeild 6 Hour Cycle Challenge Well Supported.

One of the great things about sport at most levels is how competitive we can all be when entered into a sporting event which has to be healthy.
At last Sunday's Bike Manawatu 6 Hour Cycle Challenge a unique event for riders anywhere in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to interview a cross section of riders from schools girls and boys to masters men and women, volunteers and supporters over the loud speaker.
Some were preparing to ride, others were shattered having just completed a leg,but all shared humorous insights about their day.
The perfect weather set the scene for a great day of fun for individuals and teams
and all comments reflected people having a thoroughly enjoyable day aiming at completing as many laps as possible in this iconic 6 hour challenge.I hope everyone felt the same and achieved what you were wanting to achieve.

In saying that,there are always things to improve on when running a fun event and life is not perfect. Any challenges we faced this year we will endeavour to iron out for next years Challenge.That is always the priority.The organisers worked tirelessly to bring this event together and we are lucky to have such an fabulous event in our region.
We thank those 320 plus riders who participated in this years Bike Manawatu Manfeild 6 Hour Cycling Challenge and those many volunteers and supporters who made the day even better for the riders.We look forward to you all returning to improve on your performance in next years 6 hour challenge again.

Photos where kindly taken by Kirsty Kaihau and are on this website for veiwing.

Bike Manawatu" Happy Hour"
Don't forget to join us at our next Bike Manawatu "Happy Hour" on Friday the 27th of May at Hotel Coachman 5.30 to 7pm. Lots of banter and stories off the bike to keep you amused from passionate fellow cyclists.See you there.

Mountain bike/off road trail rides


Rides will be once a month, around the same time and mostly all off road. Cancellations will be posted on Facebook – Bike Manawatu by 8.15am prior to ride

Once every three months we will plan a bigger day trip excursion

Anyone interested in being a trail ride coordinator, or can suggest possible rides around the region and beyond please contact the ride organisers:
    Megan Blatchford This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Christine Christie This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

A Club Culture is Caught not Taught

I am in the learning phase as club chairman and I am sure you will agree that there are a lot of great characters in our club across the many different riders and volunteer groups. The banter between people is a huge part of why we enjoy biking so much apart from the health and fitness cycling brings.When we talk to members they often share funny stories about fellow club members or how proud they are of both past and present club riders who have enjoyed, local, National or International success.These are humble people who ride amongst our riding groups today who we can learn from.

At last years Bike Manawatu prize giving held at Hotel Coachman we were treated to some great insights by our former Olympian and Commonwealth games racers Mike McRedmond and Anthony Cuff as well as our young crop of NZ rising stars Campbell Stewart,Robert Stannard,Michaela Drummond and Elizabeth Stannard.They shared the hard work they put into their training programs and racing lives.Brilliant to listen to and a great people asset our club can share with all members.

The growth phase within our club is all about the members helping each other improve whatever area of participation as a cyclist or volunteer you are involved in. By each taking some responsibility for your riding group or racing event to support "cycling etiquette and safety" is top of mind and has to be a continual priority for us all.
When it is required,just saying to a fellow cyclist who is not riding safely "safety is one of our key cycling protocols". The right encouragement to help them become a safer rider can only help build a great culture amongst all members.This also gently removes bad habits such as "half wheeling" which for most cycling enthusiasts is dangerous.

A culture change occurs both on and off the bike by members committing to more time talking together.We can all learn more from each other especially being around knowledgeable cyclist who ride in our weekly riding groups.This could be at the after ride coffee catchup or the Bike Manawatu "Monthly Happy Hour" where you get the chance to connect with more members more often.

Bike Manawatu First "Monthly Happy Hour"
Feedback from last Friday's first Bike Manawatu "Monthly Happy Hour" has been excellent. Roughly 30 people mingled and shared a very social get together at Hotel Coachman.
Positive comments from, "it was a relaxing way to end the week" and "it didn't interfere with family time" or any weekend ride time made it enjoyable".All in all this is positive club initiative for our cycling community and we look forward to seeing more people join us on at our next "Happy Hour" Friday 27 May 5.30 to 7pm at Hotel Coachman.

Club Race Report, Halcombe 30th April

With a number of riders taking well-earned breaks following the National Championships the previous weekend, the field was smaller than expected for a handicap race on the Halcombe/Stanway circuit last Saturday. Nevertheless, with some good handicapping and some quality riders made for a very competitive race.

The limit riders on the 41 km course (first to go) were Sam Russell, Katherine Stannard, Ben Irvine, Zoe Croton, Jamie Dennis (‘limit’ group). Tom Pirie was next, on his own 4 min later, then a small but strong group of Mike Craine, Chris Pinkney, and Toshi were at 12 min. Angus Claasen and Ethan Craine were given the hardest task, off ‘block’ with Joel Yates, Steve Stannard and James Denholm on scratch (20 min) only 6 min behind.  All the groups worked hard, and the race all came together on the last hill on Tokorangi Rd before the descent into Halcombe.

In the end, Joel was just too strong for the rest of the bunch finishing just ahead of Angus in 62 min (average 39 km/h). James was third across the line just a few seconds behind. Three of the younger riders did one lap, with Kyra Craine first home in 69 min, Josh Mulchay 2nd, and Alex Croton 3rd.

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