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Seven Reasons to be a Masters Track Cyclist

By Megan Blatchford-Peck

Looking for a new cycling challenge? Whatever your sporting background, track cycling could be the sport that ticks all the boxes! Following are seven compelling reasons to jump on a bike with no gears and brakes and to experience a new form of speed addiction. Jacqueline Dearlove and David Going describe how they have found fulfilment and success coming to the sport later in life.

1. National Age Group Track Nationals

An opportunity to challenge yourself against the best in the country. In 2010 more masters age group categories were added with the inclusion of women for the first time. The 2011 event is scheduled for2-5 March 2011, in Invercargill.

2. New Zealand Masters Games

This event alternates annually between Wanganui and Dunedin. Events include 500mTT, Sprint, Scratch Race, Pursuit with categories in 5 year age bands. The Wanganui Masters Games will be run 4-13 February 2011.

3. Personal Challenge

We all need stimulation in our lives. As we get older our lives can become more routine, and without new challenges, we can experience boredom, staleness, lethargy and even depression. Events like the Time Trial and Pursuit provide the opportunity to improve personal best times as well as podium finishes.

4. Events suited to your strengths

For riders new to track cycling and a bit cautious, the Pursuit and Time Trial enable you to ride on the track without others rider around until your confidence builds. For speed/power athletes there are events like the Sprint, 500m Time-Trial and for endurance athletes the Pursuit, Scratch and Points Races.

5. Resources

As you get older you often have more, time, money and motivation to succeed. In addition you may tend to prepare for events more strategically, with a quality over quantity approach.

6. Become a Record Holder

Masters age categories recognised by the UCI (international cycling organisation), are in 5 year bands from 35 years of age. World records for masters are recorded in the Time Trial, Sprint, Pursuit, and 1-hour events. BikeNZ are currently looking at introducing New Zealand records for the equivalent age bands.

7. An opportunity to wear the Silver Fern

The UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championship offers open entry. From 2007-2009 the event was held in Sydney with many Kiwis competing. In 2010 the event is to be held in Portugal, with some likelihood that the event may return to Australia in 2011.


PROFILE: Jacqueline Dearlove

JacqsSmallAge: 48

Occupation: Dairy Farmer /Podiatrist

Location: Invercargill

Coach’s: Ian Densie, Jerrad Stock

Previous sporting background: Swimmer, Multisport

Started riding on the track: Late 2007

What got you interested: Got sick of being wet and freezing swimming and can’t run to save myself and decided biking was much nicer!

Events you ride: 2000m Pursuit, 500m Time-trial and Scratch and Points races when available (under duress)! Not a Sprinter!

Track Successes: UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championship Silver Medal 2000m Pursuit and Bronze in Points Race 2008, 45-49 years.

What you enjoy about track cycling: It’s been a new and exciting challenge. I like the endurance events as you have more time to think about what is going to happen after coming from a multisport background.

Advice for someone who is thinking of taking up the sport: Get on a track bike, be brave and have fun.

PROFILE David Going

DavidGoingSmallAge: 57

Occupation:  General Practitioner

Location: Auckland

Coach: Steve Parker

Previous sporting background: Running for fitness in 20s and 30s.

Started riding on the track: 2008.

What got you interested: Reading Bill Pratney’s biography “Never say die” and thinking” I’d like to sprint on the track” then talking to the manager of my local bike shop (Steve Parker). He is a keen Trackie and he offered to coach me.

Events you ride: Everything I’m eligible for but especially 200m Sprint, 500m Time Trial and 2000/3000m Pursuit.

Track Successes: UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championship 2009 – beating 2 Aussies in my age group in the 500mTT and 2000m Pursuit and then getting 13th in the Sprint.

What you enjoy about track cycling: Being able to compete in shorter events, even winning a couple of handicaps on club night racing.  Being part of a committed training squad and especially having the opportunity to race at World Masters level after only one season on the track.

Advice for someone who is thinking of taking up the sport: Don’t be afraid of those slopes –

the track is actually safer than the road and lots of fun.

For more information on Track Bike hire or racing Contact Janneke on 323 9703 (after 6pm) or email for an appointment time.