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.
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.
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.
The warm autumn weather has been kind to our cycling mad region with plenty of people out on their bikes getting fitter while others have been racing for themselves and Bike Manawatu at the New Zealand road Nationals down south in Alexander with great success.More about that in an upcoming report.
A followup reminder that Bike Manawatu has it first monthly "Happy Hour" for our cycling community this Friday the 29th of April from 5.30-7pm at Hotel Coachman.Support your club and fellow cyclists by coming along to enjoy some social time together off the bike if you can make it.
Also a long time favourite The Manfeild 6 Hour Cycle Challenge is next week the 8th of April which people are really looking forward to.This is renowned as a fun event not to be missed.Check it out if you want a great day out.