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Bike Manawatu Track 2020-2021 Season Newsletter #1


                              Welcome Back.

We’re back! Firstly we must say a huge congratulations to all of our club members as there have been so many fantastic personal achievements during the off season. Whether this has been achieving a personal best at the local time trial, competing in regional road cycling, triathlons, mountain biking, national track events or even just surviving the Covid -19 lockdown with your family. We just wanted to say we are proud of all of you!                                                                      

As we look towards the opening day of the 2020-2021 Bike Manawatu track season, we have a lot of information and positive changes to share with you. Firstly, we warmly welcome all the new members that have been produced from our ‘Have a go’ days. We have been very impressed with the level of skill from all new riders who attended our orientation days. We pay special thanks Ian Gray for working so hard over the past few weeks completing the hired bike fits.

We wish to thank those of you who responded to our online survey and as we look toward this season, your comments and feedback have been listened to by the committee and we have some exciting changes and events in the planning.

This weekend is our official opening day for the track season along with the 2019-2020 prize giving which we are very excited about.

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Please take note of the updated calendar which will take us through until Christmas.


This Saturday is our opening track meet for the 2020/21 season. This will be used as a grading day and should run from  1pm-3pm.  This will be followed by the 2019-2020 prize giving at 3.15pm in the Feilding Yellows Club rooms (next to the Feilding velodrome). It will be great to celebrate last year’s successes as this was previously postponed due to Covid-19.

Please bring a small plate to share for prize giving afternoon tea, drinks will be provided.


Registrations are online this year and can be found on our Facebook page – Click Here. Invoices for the season will be sent out via Bike Manawatu and are payable by mid-November as indicated on your invoice.


Thank you to those of you who have completed the track orientation.  We were very impressed with the riding standard of new members.
We have some house-keeping and key safety messages for our track family. Please read to your kids if they are not on Facebook.

  • No crossing the track while riders are on the track unless an official has said ok
  • Slow warm ups and warm down must be above the blue line
  • Hold your line for at least 50m after the sprint finish (until you have passed the cone)
  • We will have a restricted number of riders warming up on the track at once. This number will be based on experience and be decided at the discretion of the officials
  • Please make yourself familiar with the various safety signs around the track. These are paramount to keeping you and your fellow riders safe
  • No headphones, watches, or bracelets or anything that is loose is to be worn on the track
  • Gloves, sunglasses are strongly encouraged across all grades and is a requirement for all riders in the junior rider A and B grades

We love the family atmosphere at track. Any family and friends are welcome to come and support our riders. This year we will be enforcing no parking beyond the rugby grandstand on club afternoons. Many riders have younger siblings and we want to keep this area free from cars to offer them a safe space to play and ride their scooters or bikes etc. If they choose to bring a ball, we ask they only play with it on the top rugby field in front of the club rooms and not beyond. ABSOLUTELY NO sports balls, frisbees etc. in the track grandstand or grass area around track. They will be asked to put it away if seen in these areas as we would hate a stray ball to cause any issues. Supervision of siblings is up to their parents.

Toilet facilities are available up in the club rooms or under the grandstand (usually we keep this door locked so please just ask for the key from the gate marshal on the day).


Club results will be posted on our “Bike Manawatu Track” Facebook page and to the BikeManawatu website within two days.


We will endeavour to post most  programmes on our Bike Manawatu facebook page the day before our planned track sessions.


Our club has decided to try something different this year to foster a stronger competition at club level.      We are running A, B, C, D and Junior A & B Grades.  This bright new vision gives us a new format of racing for the 2020 / 21 Track Season

a.  The grades will be A, B, C and D Grades. There may be a separate Women’s Masters Grade, if there are 
    sufficient numbers riding.

b. There will be U13s and U15s grades – These may be split into Junior A and Junior B according to ability.

If you are racing in a grade with riders of similar ability and riders slightly better than you, this is an excellent way to improve your riding.

TIP – Racing or training with riders slightly better than you is one of the best ways to improve. This applies to both Road & Track Cycling.

The big question is how does this affect season points according to your age category?

The Track Committee have decided there will be not be any points allocated for seasonal point trophies for graded racing:

a.   To compensate for that decision, we will be running races occasionally, for all specific age groups,
      throughout the season for track points

b.   There will also be some new exciting individual timed events to which points will be allocated in each     
      specific age group

       e.g. An omnium event over 3 meetings, in which a standing 1 lap time trial (TT), flying ½ lap TT and a  
      standing 2 Lap TT will be run. These events will have a greater allocation of points e.g. 1st – 8 points and all
      other rider’s points determined as a percentage of eight points. The big bonus is that every rider in each
      event will get points! This will make the competition move exciting.

c.   The Club Championships, run for each age group, will be added to the season’s points.  This will not affect
      the Club Championship where the Championship Points won will determine the Medal Winners.


As the track season crosses over the license years 2020 & 2021, riders will race in their age group based on their age as at December 2021. For example, if your child turns 15 in 2021, they will need to start the track season as an U17 rider for all age group racing.

There is only one exception to that rule: Any rider may attempt a track record before the end of December under their current age group. Using the above example, the child could attempt a record as an U15 until the end of December 2020 of the track season.


All riders must use their allocated Bike Manawatu road numbers for the track season. These will be handed out at the opening day for those who have not yet been issued one.  These are to be worn on your left-hand side.

If you forget your number, see the Race Manager before the track meeting starts and they will direct you to the right person to organise a replacement number for that meeting. This number must be returned at the conclusion of the track meet.

If you end up on the start line with no number, it will mean you will get no placing in the race, no points or prize money (if it is applicable to the race). If it happens a second time the rider will be asked to carry out a small duty for the club.
Tip: Do not use rusty pins; they will put holes in your top.


All riders will race according to Cycling New Zealand rules which set the gear limits for specific age groups.  This is of particular important for the U15 and U17 age groups.

For U15s the maximum roll out allowed is 6.61m. This can be achieved using a 47 tooth chain wheel (CW) and a 15 tooth (T) back sprocket or a 50 CW and a 16T sprocket.

For U17s the maximum rollout is 7.00m. This can be achieved using 50CW x 15T sprocket.

Some wise words of wisdom:

  • You should not use a gear too big, rather a gear where you can develop good cadence (leg speed)
  • Experienced senior men riders should ride 49 x 15 (88in gear) or 50 x 15 (90in gear) as a maximum. This should be reduced by 2 points for women riders.
  • The elite U17 boys riders can ride 48 x 15 (86in gear) only in good track conditions, with no wind ride a 49 x 15 88 gear.  It is very interesting to note that before the U17 gear limit was raised by Cycling New Zealand to 7.00m in 2014, the U17 Feilding Track Record for 2000m individual pursuit was held by Campbell Stewart with a time of 2m 27.9s and was ridden when the maximum gear for U17 was 6.61m (84in).
  • In windy conditions, it is advisable to drop your gear 2-3 points e.g. 88 to 86in gear for U17 riders or 84-81 for U15s.
  • As in the past, new riders will be advised on the gearing they should use and new riders hiring bikes will set up on a gearing which is thought to be suitable for the rider’s ability. This has been a major factor of the great success of Feilding riders, who have achieved to a high level at West Coast North Island (WCNI) and NZ Track Champs


Any rider wishing to attempt a track record must advise the Bike Manawatu Track Committee two days prior to a club meeting, and state their age group and the event they are wishing to attempt a record for.  This can be done via the Facebook page, email or text.  If, on the day of the meeting, the weather is unfavourable, the rider is able to cancel their record attempt.  Record attempts will be limited, so the order of application will determine those accepted.


A ‘Rookie Track Rider’, is a track cyclist who is racing on the track for their first season.
Follow the below tips to come across as less of a ‘Rookie’:

  • Get your position on your track bike checked out on the track. A track position is different to your road bike. We have good coaches with lots of experience to help you set your bike up

  • Most track cycling is explosive, short distances so you need to be well warmed up. Arrive at least half an hour prior to the start of the meeting to get well warmed up. If cold, bring plenty of warm clothes to wear during the downtime between races

  • Wear gloves and a singlet under your racing top

  • When having your bike fittings, bring your cycling shoes, pedals and measure your seat height and know your crank length on your road bike

  • Pulling your feet out of your clipless pedals is extremely dangerous on the track as you put optimum pressure on the pedals. It is very strongly recommended that you get Velcro straps fitted. We will do this for you at minimal cost

  • Make sure your tyres are pumped near to the maximum recommended pressure for the tyres specification. Don’t roll soft tyres as your bike rolls much easier at correct pressure. Check this before each meeting or training session

  • All rookie riders must attend one of the orientation sessions before they can race on the track

  • It is recommended you purchase “Beginners Guide to Road and Track Cycling” written by Ian Gray and Jonathan Kennett. It has a lot of essential information for ‘rookie’ track riders and is available at half price for new track riders (normal price $20).


We are a sub committee from BikeManawatu in charge of running the track programme. Our present committee consists of:

Ian Gray: Track Coordinator
Edward Craw: Board Representative
Committee members: Cheryl Murphy, Stephanie Foote, Renee Evans, Patricia Dickason

We are looking to add a rider representative to our committee. If this sounds like you, please speak to anyone on the committee about what this role would involve.


Firstly, thank you in advance to those who have already indicted they are available to help this season during our track meets.  We have a variety of weekly roles that ensures the events run smoothly:

Sweeping the track, setting up cones and signs, race starter, gate marshal, holders, first aiders, time keepers, record keeper just to name a few.

As we are a close-knit club these roles usually get filled naturally on the day. However, we may look at a roster system for track sweeping with two families each week doing this role once our season is underway. The track needs to be swept and ready thirty minutes before racing  begins as this allows for people to warm up on the track. This job can sometimes take twenty minutes depending on how windy it has been over the week and how much debris is on the track.


As it was indicated in the online survey results that everyone is keen for coaching sessions, the committee is keen to organise some fundraising this year to go towards some specialist coaching clinics. We would like to put together a hamper to raffle off and  ask if each family member could bring something non-perishable to donate towards the hamper. Any donations can be brought along and put it in the box in the club rooms before the 15th of November as we would like to kick off this raffle at our carnival on the 22nd November.


Carnival will be open to all CNZ registered riders. Please see the attached poster for some details. More information will come out closer to the time. In the meantime please save the date 22/11/20. 11am-4pm


We are fortunate that many of our club members and parents are qualified first aiders.

We have two fully stocked first aid kits. One is attached to the wall between the toilets up in the clubrooms and the other can be found on the hook to the left at the bottom of the steps heading down towards the track on club days.

These are there to be used. If you do use something from the kit please just private message Bike Manawatu on Facebook so we can re-stock the kit.

In the event of an incident the most important thing to remember before we all try to help is to watch for other riders who are still on the track remember they don’t have breaks!

We look forward to a successful season with you all. Our next newsletter will come out just before Christmas with the programme for the New Year to be included there.

Bike Manawatu Track committee.





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