Being awarded a UCI (1.2 level) International race is a big deal says Steve Stannard founder of the Manawatu Gravel and Tar Classic which has been running for two years. It has been described in rugby terms like holding a Super 15 Rugby final here in the Manawatu year after year. Its that big.
All I would like to say is I hope our members and the community embrace and support the beginning of something special for our region which involves an even bigger focus of people entering the new circuit of the Gravel and Tar 70k Gran Fondo and 30k recreational rides to make the weekend a success for everyone in the region. This big news will satisfy many after missing out to Cambridge on having a Velodrome built in the Manawatu a few years.
Bike Manawatu's concept of a summer weekend " Manawatu Festival of Cycling" on the 27th and 28th of January at the end of the school Holidays every year will be good for all cycling age groups and abilities. The economic benefit to the region over time will build every year but the first two years will be important. Our members support on and off the bike where possible along with spreading the word would be appreciated. Consider how the Lake Taupo Challenge got started all those years ago and where it is today.
On Sunday 28th of January our good friends the Manawatu a Mountain Biking Club are hoping to support our weekend "Manawatu Festival of Cycling" which will allow cyclists to ride the Gran Fondo on Saturday the 27th and then ride the Mountain Bike event on Sunday 28th.How good would that be.
The UCI Board awarded Bike Manawatu the Gravel and Tar Classic after a massive drive by the club and a team of dedicated people along with the support of many local identities, authorities, businesses and Cycling New Zealand.
Steve Stanard says on the 27th January 2018 cycling fans in mid-winter over in Europe will be glued to their computers and TV to see who is going to win our tough Manawatu Gravel and Tar 125k Classic and get UCI points.
The "Gravel and Tar Classic" is a bit like the down under version of the famous "Paris Roubaix" in Europe where the best riders love to ride cobble stones and gravel versus normal sealed roads all the time. This will put Palmerston North and Manawatu on the International cycling Map.
Still to be finalised-The club are looking to create a festival atmosphere in George Street before and after the three rides where registrations will likely take place at Cyclista Cafe in George street. Neutralised starts from the square at a respectable 1pm start time we hope will capture a crowd atmosphere to give the event a Kiwi/European Vibe.
The finish line will be at Memorial Park with the usual UCI finish line structures and hoardings we see on TV at International races across the world. A nice way for all the Gran Fondo 70k and 30k Riverpath Challenge riders to finish.
It must be said that for this "Manawatu Festival of Cycling" event to be an all-round ongoing success we are hoping and encouraging all members to ride either the new 70k Grand Fondo circuit or the 30k Riverpath Challenge designed for rider fun and safety you will really like. The 30k circuit will not have gravel so that all can participate.
If your holiday plans can see you back in Palmy for the last weekend in January-You won't want to miss the start of something great in our region. Why would you be anywhere else?
Check out Bike Manawatu Calendar for details
When:Saturday 14th Oct:Trial a track bike for free to see if you like it? If you like it then you can a track bike from the club for a modest amount of money.
Where;Johnston Park Feilding
Sunday 15th October: Try out Track Orientation.
Where; Johnston Park Feilding.
All under the watchful eye of legend Ian Gray and his team.Fun.
When; Saturdays 21st October. We offer medium distance graded club races for all ages and abilities on this beautiful Manawatu countryside ride. Open to schools and master’s riders. Enjoy riding with your mates and finish off with a coffee or a real drink at the end.
Where; Pohangina Township.
Time; 2pm Registration. Start 2.30pm
When: starts Wednesday 25th October:
Where; from Horizons yard on Kairanga-Bunnythorpe road.
Time; From 6pm. A flat 12Km course time trail points series run weekly. Approximately 50 riders biking out to the course and registered from 5.45pm .A great way to improve and exercise before dinner.
Registrations are now open
When; Starting on Tuesday's 7th,14th,21st.29th November
Start Time: 6pm. Safe off road fun graded riding for all ages. Last year people loved it and the improvement in their cycling was huge. Pencil this one in. It’s contagious.
When; Sunday November 5th
Events: 114km,75km,43km,16km options.
Check out registrations tourdemanawatu.org.nz
When : 9th and 10th of December
Two days and four stages
44 years of history and bringing most of the best young riders in New Zealand to the Manawatu to compete in four stages over two days. A tough Tour and brilliant spectacle Manawatu are proud of. Some of New Zealand former and current stars have ridden rode this tour and they speak fondly of what a great the Novice tour was in their development.
Bike Manawatu welcomes all new members and value all of our current members who turn out week after week to ride a bike. Our annual memberships cost of only $45 for adults, youths under 19 years old at $25 and family memberships with three or more at only $80 represent great value compared to most other sports.
What is important to know is that your club membership covers public liability insurance which is a valuable benefit. With over 300 Bike Manawatu organised rides per year and loads of great people and friendships you make, what could be better for bike enthusiasts than joining our club.
With your membership contribution we hope you try out as many local events as possible.
Equally we extend a request for more members to help out with our annual calendar of club events during at events from time to time.
Standing down riding an event every now to help out would help provide an even spread of helpers versus the small few who put there hand up regularly.