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Member profile – Vaughan Hunt

vaughan How long have you been cycling?

Since the beginning of 2004

What drew you to the sport?

My wife says it is a mid life crisis thing… needing to feel like I can still compete with my peers. Of course I’m sure it was the health benefits and the camaraderie of other cyclists (not to mention the occasional café). Living on Valley Rd meant I have access to some great riding. Once I agreed to ride around Taupo in a team and started training, I never looked back.

What do you enjoy about cycling?

It feels good to use your body! When I started, I surprised myself with the distances I could ride and the hills I could climb. I didn’t realise how rewarding endurance sports are.

I’m a bit of a stats nut. I keep track of my road rides both on a cyclist’s website and on my heart rate monitor. I can tell you since Nov 2004 I’ve done 235 rides, 491 hours and burned over 250,000 Calories!

But possibly most importantly it gets me into a state of “Flow”. Wikipedia says “Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing with a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity” I bet you understand what I mean! It is said that achieving flow is a component of being happy and it gives you mind a way to process and deal with all the information of a busy life.

What do you hate about cycling?

It’s a time consuming sport. Getting organised for a ride, finding all the stuff. It means a lot of time away from home, which isn’t popular with the family.

What bike do you ride?

My road bike…

I’ve just joined the throng of other club members who ride a Specialized Roubaix SL. It’s a beautiful machine! I still have my Avanti Giro which served me faithfully for nearly 15,000km

My Mountain Bike…

A Specialized FSR Stumpjumper. I rode the Coleville Connection (72kms around the tip of the Coromandel Peninsular) 2 years ago on a hard tail and swore I would never do that again because it was so hard on my body. This year I used the full suspension Stumpjumper (for 6 hours!) and was at least able to sit down afterwards (couldn’t stand though!).

What aspect of cycling do you like best (eg. hill climbing, time trial, sprinting, tour riding)?

I enjoy both road cycling and mountain biking. Truth is I’d ride on the road for preference, especially for training. But mountain biking can take you to some cool places. I don’t buy into the whole Roadie vs MTB thing!

The cycling events available in NZ are fantastic. It’s a buzz to participate with a whole lot of fit people and even better if you can come in the top half!

I especially like the mountain bike team events like the Moonride or the DayNightThriller. The teamwork and the night riding in the forest with lights are great experiences.

What are your personal cycling achievements?

Participation is my usual achievement… My biggest buzz was doing Taupo in a shade over 5 hrs last year. No need to guess my 2008 goal!

Do you ride throughout the year?


Favourite rides?

Taupo of course…

Living on Valley Rd, my usual ride is a 35km loop, up the hill to Colyton, across to Ashhurst and back to Valley Rd. When I have time I like to ride further up the Pohangina valley beyond Totara Reserve, up under the Ruahines. The Valley is a great spot for riding with challenging hills and quiet roads.

Worst crash?

Crashed on the first lap of the 2005 Cateye Moonride and (unbeknown to me) broke 3 ribs. I didn’t want to let the team down, so I completed 5 laps in total over the 12 hour event.

Do you have a favourite brand of cycling clothing?

Not really, but I do love my Performance Bike cycle shorts from the U.S. They have a chamois with gel padding!

What’s your day job?

I’m an IT contractor. I specialise in software for Point of Sale systems. I’ve been working for the last 7 years for a client based in San Francisco and I’m part of a small team. I work from my home office.

Favourite foods?

I’ve spent some time working in Thailand and I love all Thai food. Otherwise anything spicy or Asian is good.


Yes, Pam and I have 2 boys. Oliver is 11 and Jeremy is 9

Favourite CDs/music?

Big fan of Kiwi music! Phoenix Foundation, SJD, Nathan Haines. Just bought the 30th anniversary edition of Jean Michel Jarre’s ground breaking synth album Oxygen. He faithfully re-recorded it in 5.1 surround sound using the original 1970s equipment. Sounds fantastic (even if it does make me feel old!).

Other sports and interests?

Technology, goofing off on the Internet, Photography.

What’s on your to do/have /be list before you die?

I would love to do some more touring in Europe. I spent a weekend in Hamburg following a trail map. I toured for 150Km through villages and beside rivers and ended sitting at a café table in a village square that hadn’t changed since the middle ages. I was starving and ordered a beer and a big steak which was EXCELLENT. I remember feeling satisfied by almost all definitions of the word!

Climbing the famous passes with friends sounds like a must do, and I’d like to cycle tour in Asia as well.

Finish this sentence.  What the MMCC needs is….

To advocate to the local Councils a bit more. I’d love to have them seal the metal road on the west side of Pohangina valley. That would make a great loop for cyclists from Palmy!

Final message.

Great club for a great sport!