Well done Matt van Wagtendonk on your award from the BikeNZ BRT Award ceremony in Christchurch last weekend. Matt has received the Volunteer Long Service Award for his services to the promotion and growth of cycling in our region over a number of years.
Matt and his family arrived here around 2004 from memory and immediately he got himself involved with cycling helping out at club level racing both Saturday road and Feilding track. His sons Sjord and Luuk were very keen, able young riders and have also contributed in many ways over the years both on and off the bike. Janneke was a long time committee member of Feilding Club and an original Board member of the present club.Young Mees also tried cycling but he wisely preferred golf.
What a great day for Bike Manawatu last Sunday at the Laskey’s 6 Hour Relay. By all accounts over 400 cyclists took part.Well done to those who thought up the idea, planned it ,organised it and ran a wonderful day for cyclists of all ages and abilities.I understand that it was a plan hatched by the former Masters Club with Mike Keenan instrumental in that, the challenge to organise and plan for this years event fell largely onto Mike Christie and he had the support and back up of Mike McRedmond .Dave Douglas , Glenys and others were also very much involved. Give yourself a big pat on the back because this event really ticked all the boxes.
Thank you on behalf of the club. Thanks also to all the sponsors and in particular Kevin Laskey who supported this event from the outset.
What a fantastic week that was for our young Bike Manawatu cyclists in Invercargill at the age group nationals representing West Coast North Island. By all accounts, the whole team performed remarkably on and off the track and came home with a host of medals. The WCNI team ended up 4th on the ladder behind the big centres of Southland , Auckland and Canterbury. Those Centres were heavily represented in the Masters categories….WCNI had only one rider in that group!!!!
Special mention should be made of Michaela Drummond with 4 gold medals in the U15 Girls. They could not touch Michaela for speed. We see evidence of her speed at Johnston park every Tuesday night over summer. Campbell Stewart won 3 gold medals and one silver…the Southland boys tried everything to block Campbell but he has too much racing nous and of course he has the gas. And of course big sister Kate ….despite a huge workload where she entered virtually every available U17 girls event from sprint to points to scratch plus teams events , Kate came home with 2 gold medals, 2 silver and a bronze.Incredible…she will be sleeping well this week!
I often think of why I and others get involved in the administration of a club like Bike Manawatu.
What motivates us? Is it a sense of duty, is it a passion, is it our past-time or is it power……no, no, no, not power!
I would like to think that for Bike Manawatu, we as a Board are motivated and get involved because of a passion for the sport and a desire to see our sport continuing to grow so that we truly are “ the heart of cycling in NZ’. There is also a bit of “ giving something back”.
But I am sure that it is the many little success stories and small victories that are regularly displayed by our members that keep the Board, Glenys our Secretary and our team of volunteers keen, enthusiastic and working towards the common goal.
Stories of a personal best on time trial night, a new record on the track, a medal at West Coast Champs, a new recreational rider getting up Valley Road the first time, organising the inaugural La Femme Tour, or one of our schools entering a team in the NZ Champs for the first time….or just new faces trying the sport…..that’s what keeps us all passionate and focussed.
You will also see it regularly…the Effort, Enthusiasm, Energy , Excellence , Enjoyment , and Events that cycling on our region brings ……these are the key words that keep the club going….and going …and growing!
2011 is rapidly drawing to a close.
It is hard to believe that it was only just over 12 months ago that the club was formally established at our inaugural meeting at Wharerata, Massey. A lot has been achieved….too much to mention, but one thing is certain…Bike Manawatu is here to stay and our ambition to be the ‘heart of NZ cycling “ is very well advanced.
Whilst not winning the National Cycling Centre of Excellence velodrome bid was a major disappointment for the club and this community, and we all know the process was clearly flawed, the positives through the wide media exposure has seen many spinoffs for cycling in this region.