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Bike Manawatu Schools’ Cycling Camp 2012
Another cycling camp done and dusted for 2012. As we departed Girls’ High School on Saturday morning anticipating for the ride we had a head of us to Rathkeale College in Marsterton. This year we had around 60 students this year, which is definitely an improvement from last year. Due to the Pahiatua Track being a no go, we had to make an alternative start point this year. So instead of starting at Girl’s High on our bikes we started at the intersection to go to Balance instead which slightly reduced the number of kilometres we rode. Due to big numbers this year we spilt the students wanting to participate in the 100km ride into an A and B grade to make the groups safer and to avoid any accidents. So at 9am the students involved in the 60km ride, drove to Rongomai to begin their ride to Rathkeale. At 9.05 the A group for the 100km ride departed to the Balance intersection, shortly followed by the B group 10 minutes after, and lastly the 40km group drove to Alfredton school where they started their ride.
The ride down was reasonably successful with a tail wind the majority of the way and only a few minor mechanicals and one crash where the rider only came out with a few scrapes and bruises. Once each grouped arrived at Rathkeale it was off to the dorms to check out the sleeping arrangements, then showers and lunch with a little free time before we started the afternoon activities. The activities in the afternoon consisted of cyclist being divided into 6 groups of 10, which gave them the opportunity to mix and mingle with new people. The groups rotated around different stations with skills that each rider participated in. The activities included skidding, cross country, food down, leaning with mini chocolate bars being awarded to stand out cyclists with in the skill and a block of chocolate for the overall best cyclist at the certain skill. After the mini skill groups there was a rugby game that involved the entire group of students at the same time, which was a great laugh and entertaining to watch. There was a break which meant the students could do whatever the wished before dinner. After dinner we had another group rotation but this time it was more off the bike topics such as nutrition, core work, basic coaching, bike cleaning, puncture repair and beyond school cycling. This gave the students a chance to learn new facts that they may not have known previously. After this it was more free time before bed at 10pm. We rose the next morning at 7am, ready for another hard day on our bike. With breakfast not being till 8 it gave us a chance to clean up our mess and pack our bags so we could leave straight after breakfast. With a couple of group changes, we were off on the road again at 5 minute intervals just like the previous day with everybody leaving Rathkeale and stopping at either Alfredton school, Rongomai or the Balance intersection. With a head wind the majority of the way home, it made it a hard challenge, with lots of group changes along the way, but hey; we made it safe and sound back at Girls’ High were we collected all our belongings and headed off home to the rest of our Sunday afternoon.
On behalf of all the riders that participated I would like to say a huge thanks to all the parents who help us out over the weekend, whether it was driving in front or behind us all the way down to Rathkeale or just to the ones that dropped and picked us up from Rongomai, Alfredton School or Balance intersection. We would not have been able to go ahead with the camp if it wasn’t for you. I would also like to thank Denise Brown, Howard Pinder, John Arbuckle, Ross Castle and Mel for organizing the students from each of the schools that you are from, it really means a lot that you would give up your time to help us out. And lastly Matt for organizing everything down to the last detail, without you none of this would have happened, so thank you so much. And thanks to all the riders who made it enjoyable camp for 2012.
Written by the Girls’ High Cycling Team 2012.