The New Zealand cycling team has turned in some stellar performances at the recent Commonwealth Games. Sam Gaze and Anton Cooper claimed gold and silver in a dramatic mountain bike race, Olympic rower turned cyclist Hamish Bond won bronze in the time trial, and the track cycling team collected a record 12 medals in the velodrome.
If you’ve ever fancied having a go at track cycling, Cambridge’s Avantidrome is the place to go.
The Waikato velodrome – recently used as a training venue by the Canadian women’s cycling team prior to the Commonwealth Games – offers one hour, introductory sessions. Incorporating basic knowledge on how to ride a track bike, as well as the opportunity to experience riding on the velodrome, this is a great way to get a feel for the thrill of the track!
Have-a-Go sessions cost just $25 per person and include the use of a bike and helmet, as well as support from an experienced coach. Sessions run regularly at the weekends – click here to book online.
Aside from the Avantidrome, the Waikato region is home to hundreds of kilometres of cycle trails. Laid-back riders and families might like to check out Te Awa – The Great New Zealand River Ride, which offers 70km of smooth trail riding along the Waikato River. The route stretches from Ngaruawahia in the north to Lake Karapiro in the south, taking in waterfalls, historic Maori sites, shops, cafes and wineries along the way.
If challenging terrain is more your thing, head for the Waikato River Trails (image above). While some sections of the trail are easy-going, the Waipapa and Arapuni segments are graded 4 and 5. Both offer challenging downhills and unpredictable riding through native and exotic forest. Other impressive features along the route include two massive hydro dams, and the 80m long Mangawera Suspension Bridge.
Have a good week,
P.S. Like to give mountain biking a go, but not feeling that confident about your skills? Take a look at our half-day mountain bike training courses. These offer structured training with a qualified instructor in either the North or South Island. Find out more here.