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Swings and Roundabouts

Sport has its ups and downs, its swings and roundabouts, winners and losers.

It is hard to believe that we are in the 3rd month of 2013. Where did that go? So much to reflect on….so much to look forward to.

The beautiful fine weather which is great for cycling is starting to create angst amongst our rural cousins. Two days rain would be nice.

The negativity around Mr Armstrong has been replaced by the positivity of the numerous local cycle events held here and elsewhere and the wonderful results recently achieved by NZ riders in Minsk at the World Track Cycling Champs.

The busy programme set down for all our members has on occasion been conflicted with other events meaning some of our riders have had to choose. That is always difficult and can be awkward for both riders and our decision makers. More support for our events group would help ease the decision making load somewhat. The full calendar is however always going to be a challenge.

Some of our riders are going great guns in Invercargill at present with Libby, Emily,  Campbell and Micheala leading the charge. It was more difficult for our under19 and elite riders to shine last month as the competition seriously heats up at this level. A couple of crashes did not help. Ruby flew the Bike Manawatu flag with some great results.

Steve Stannard has shown us all what can be done when your endurance base is maintained by placing high in the Wellington Auckland race.! Too late and too much Pinot Gris for me!Well done also to those who supported the riders as they passed through Palmerston North and to BDO for sponsoring the event.

Steve also helped put together the Massey /Bike Manawatu team for the men’s NZTC Tour in January. With the help of Roman van Uden an out of town rider, Team Massey/BM achieved a podium finish. It was a great experience for our younger riders and will hopefully show a pathway forward for aspiring riders in our club. As a Board we wanted to support this event in the best way possible as it is a great advertisement for all cycling in this region. Plus we have forged a closer link with Massey. There will be further developments on this front.

Bike Manawatu  held the second La Femme last weekend which saw a similar numbers of new riders as last year out for the first time. A great event organised by Glenys and her formidable team with great feedback. What a shame the Women’s Tour was cancelled and with it the opportunity to better promote this event. Better luck next year?

Sport Manawatu has also done a fantastic job promoting the 33 days of cycling in this region once again. I suspect that the conflicting calendar and fine weather probably counted against the Cycle Classic increasing its support and the numbers on previous years. Everyone is at the beach!

BikeNZ have finally  introduced to us an attractive new web site….but sadly the membership portal is still a real mission. Please do not be put off and make sure you register with the club. Poor Glenys has ended as the “go to” person for many existing and new club members trying to join our club. Don’t give up!

Colin Anderson is still doing age defying things on his bike. What a fantastic achievement to ride around Johnston Park for 24 hours. Such mental strength. Now he is riding Lake Taupo 65 times to celebrate 65 years. What will he do when he turns 75?

We really appreciate the enormous work done by the various coaches of our club members. Megan has coordinated a number of riders with coaches but has had to step down. Coaching is a vital part of the club going forward. We need someone to put up their hand. Planning for a development programme for junior riders is well advanced. You could be part of that!

The Bridle Track and cycle pathways around the city are proving very popular with many of our members. It is a good one hour ride in total I am reliably informed. The walkers and joggers however are not so sure. Bike Manawatu took on the concerns expressed by some City councillors and members of the public  and has introduced a free bike bell to all members registering this year. We hope to see bells being used to keep our cyclists and walkers safe from each other. Cars are another story!

The Kairanga Time Trial series has come to an end for 2013, following another very successful year. After concerns expressed by our STMS representatives around safety at that Rongotea intersection the Board made enquiries to Horizons to use their yard. By all accounts this has been a real success. Together with enhanced signage our members now feel a lot safer. This location will be reviewed as to the ongoing suitability.

Planning is well under way with both the Manfield 6 Hour and the Feilding Festival . We hope to provide bigger and brighter events for members ,visitors and newbies. The Novice Tour might also get a facelift this year. Here’s hoping.

As a Board we are fortunate to have a dedicated team able to give their time and effort into guiding this club. Unfortunately two of our members have resigned due to heavy work and family commitments. We therefore need at least two nominations for the new Board to be elected or appointed at the next AGM. You will enjoy the satisfaction of seeing our club grow and members achieve their goals.

Like life, with sport you often get out what you are prepared to put in. Sometimes we are dealt a bad hand. But the next day a gap might open in the bunch and you win that sprint to the line.

The important thing is to keep fighting for the things that count. As a club we are getting over the speed humps.

There will be swings and there will be roundabouts.

But we are making good progress.

Join the ride and keep pedalling.