Club member Simon Yates sent through this write-up of his summer season. Cheers Simon!
Did you enter any of these events? Let us know how you did in the comments below.
The race season was to start in December with Summerofcycling’s Gt. Barrier Island race. It was cancelled due to numbers, and a big race opportunity was lost to Auckland.
The Club will have to do a mission there next season !
Next up was the 2nd annual Puhoi 40/ 70k race on Waitangi Day. The inaugral race had 150 entries. It was a tough nut to crack in that early Feb heat – I entered the 40k but got flagged onto the 70, suffering a bit of early season brain melt but finished well.
This year was cancelled also due to low numbers (& with the conflict from Totalsport with a Riverhead event the previous day) and now the promoters will now only do their Australia events. They immediately refunded my full fee, thank you. Another big opportunity for everyone is now lost to race on the private lands out the back of Puhoi.
I passed on the Riverhead race on Feb 5 – well it was in the wet clay after one of the cyclones.
But it was fantastic riding that weekend instead on the Mangapurua then Ohakune Coach Road, in the in Wanganui then Tongariro National Parks instead. Both are nearing completion for the Summit to Sea national cycleway – nice one John Key. Watch for a Feb ’12 club ride there, as Mangapurua seriously rivals / exceeds Whirinaki.
Finally to racing – the 40k at the notorious Black Stump mid-Feb. It was in the dry (mostly) . You could finally see the scenery with views to the ocean & towns way in the distance – while grovelling up the 6 or so 300m hills . This race is a serious strength and endurance test over a moderate distance. The farm downhills are pretty full-on too – I upsized my disc rotors to 203mm’s after this one. It was a tough field of 80 riders. Regular club racer Geoff B came in a very impressive 3rd o/a on the s/speed – even beating the 2010SSWC champ. Adriano was pushed just outside the top 10, I regretted again not entering the 30k ( – never), and new clubbie Loan liked watching the tread pattern on my rear wheel.
Next training ride was two club days with an awesome club posse at Whirinaki – the N.Is’s best trail ride.
The Colville 10th anniversary was next.
Bit scary camping out that nite even in perfect weather – getting ready to drive up a hill if the 6am Japanese tsunami warning call came thru . . .
The 40k is my fave race. 3 big hills, with double ocean views both ways off the summits. Great track with a bit of everything – singletrack, farm, 4wd, metal (dare I say tarseal), enclosed pine forest. The new course is great, altered after the ridge-top misery in the rainstorm 3 races back. The numbers were down to 114 (- something to do with the ol’ price & demand ?) Great race, chasing Adriano all the way.
Next weekend training ride was crossing over to the lite-side. Road rides in Taranaki (during Womad weekend, the best music fest in NZ) – out of the Kennett Bros new Roadie guide book.
The March 2011 Ohope Ordeal & King Country challenge enduros were both suspended this year, but both are worthy races to do when they are back on.
Last summer race was The Dual 50k – during a stationary tropical weather front parked up in the Hauraki Gulf. Wet, warm, misty & humid in late March. Sold out with 600 total bikers. No real mtb singletrack – a few sheep trails, but a good mix of fast terrain overall. Some lovely scenery – from Rangitoto summit & the south road, and around Emu Point. Class prevailed in the 50k with the CoasttoCoast champ coming in 1st of 212. Good to see 2 prior winners returning on the podium also. Club rider Megan D took out the Womens title. Well done – there’s no yeilding to mechanicals unlike the classic Tour de France. Adriano & I battled in status quo positions. Paul P took a bit hit – blocked by a 30k back-marker & a fencepost, but tuffed it out. Lovely on that last down-hill to the line, with a swim awaiting ya. Good to see some real grass-roots racing made the tv 6pm sports news that night.
What to do until the ski season ?
Heaphy track reopens to mt. bikes in May, for the 1st time since 1995. Story to come . . .