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School Cycling CampOn Saturday morning 65 young cyclists from the Intermediate and High Schools in the Manawatu Region gathered at Palmerston North Boys High keen to take part in the annual Manawatu Schools Cycling Camp.

The kids were split into four groups of varying cycling experience before setting off for the old Pahiatua Hospital where they were to stay the night. Groups 1, 1A and 2, all high school age headed out Napier Road to Ashhurst, up and over the Saddle then once over the other side each group took a different route along quiet country back roads to Pahiatua. The youngest and newest group to cycling, the Intermediate Age cyclists were let off biking up the saddle (the organisers didn’t want to put them off cycling before theyʼed even started) and were driven to a location about 15kms out of Pahiatua and biked in two peletons from there.


Now, quiet country roads aren’t very well sign posted and poor old Group 2 and one Intermediate group, who had the misfortune of meeting up with Group 2 took a few wrong turns and ended up biking about 12km further than they had too but no one complained (in earshot of the adult drivers anyway) and all arrived safely at their destination still smiling.

Once all had arrived everyone was told the camp rules (one I overheard was “don’t go into areas that say ʻout of boundsʼ because the Guard Dogs WILL eat you!”). Thankfully cycling kids are VERY WELL BEHAVED and they were all still alive the next morning. With the serious stuff over it was into a shower to freshen up, followed by a sausage sizzle and onto a number of bike skills session. The younger cyclists practised cornering, drink bottle handling, turning round cones, and race starting while the more experienced cyclists had a race strategy session with Denise Brown.

Catering was a highlight for all campers with the Kinghorn family again providing restaurant quality food. The Kinghornʼs are a huge asset to our cycling family and we greatly appreciate the time and effort they put into catering at all of our school cycling events.

A big thank you also to Ross Castle, John Arbuckle, Denise Brown, Howard Pinder, Alex and Rebecca Denholm, John and Jo Stewart, Peter and Di Robson and all of the other parents who biked with the kids or drove support vehicles.

School cycling in the Manawatu has a great base of parents who help week after week and because of this word is spreading that we are a great sporting group to belong to and the numbers are growing…keep up the great work everyone and to all of the school cyclists ride hard, ride fair, look out for each other (especially the younger riders) and HAVE FUN this road cycling season.



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