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Riding in a changing wind

by | Nov 13, 2015

It’s great to see the participation we are currently experiencing on Sunday track afternoons and Wednesday Night road time trials. Track nights have a great organizing team led by Ian Gray and a group of willing volunteers, often parents of riders, for each occasion. The riders, of course, need to appreciate this volunteer support and make sure they regularly thank Ian and his team for their hard work.

Organising races on the road brings different challenges, because we need to deal with Manawatu wind, cars, road rules, and the odd dog or cow which get on the course. There is also little opportunity to watch the race unfold, and partly because of that, we don’t have a “captive” group of spectators from which we can request event helpers on the day. With Katherine’s organizational skills, and a bunch of helpful parents, the Wed road TTs are running smoothly and the results are being posted regularly to the webpage. Much to Katherine’s delight however, Tom Pirie has offered to take over the second TT series starting in January; her delight because taking the lead to organize a race series is a commitment and takes time. Therefore a big thanks must go to Tom for his willingness to shoulder this responsibility.

The Events Group meeting, chaired by Gabrielle and attended by representatives from schools, track, road, and recreational recently met to flesh out the racing calendar for the first half of next year. Since schools training/racing does not formally start until Term 2 and regularly meets Sunday mornings anyway, and the track program is largely set, the discussion mainly revolved around the dates for the road race and time trial calendar. There are some obvious events, such as Track and Road Nationals in the first half of the year around which we must work, the two big Junior Tours, and the big ‘Fun’ rides (including our own Manfeild 6-hr) are key events also. There is plenty of room left though for local club racing and those events will start appearing on our Calendar page soon. These will be in two parts: 1) criterium racing in Jan and Feb, probably on a Sunday morning; and 2) a five race prize-money series from March through to May. We have a good sponsor for the latter and thus good prize-money, but will need people to take on responsibility for organizing these events. A call for interested people will go out soon. We are determined to have a “recipe book” (list of instructions) for those people who are keen to help, but have not managed a race before. Please consider doing this, as without someone to fulfill this important (race manager) role, the racing simply will not take place.

The winds of change are going through sport with stricter Health and Safety laws about to be introduced. As such, we need to become more professional and organised in the way we manage races and special events. The “recipe book” will enable this, but only if we get enough people to volunteer to help. I would expect that anyone who rides in any BM club events whether young or old, short or tall, will help at some point during the year, even if it’s collecting entry money or helping with the timing.

As always, the Board is happy to take correspondence through Christine (secretary@bikemanawatu.co.nz) or in person to a Board member if you have any concerns, ideas, or interests in any BM activities.

Safe riding, Steve.