Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge

Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge

At Eliot Sinclair we love getting out of the office to enjoy the great Kiwi outdoors!

In late 2011 six staff members set themselves a goal of completing the 2012 Lake Taupo Challenge. The Lake Taupo Challenge is New Zealand’s largest cycling event, with up to 10,000 riders from New Zealand and over 20 countries across the globe take part each year. For some of entrants this 160km challenge would be more than four times the distance they had ever cycled before so training was essential! Training began with very casual rides on Tuesday nights after work. As the year progressed, and the team’s fitness improved, these rides became faster and faster (and, consequently, less and less relaxed!). Weekend rides were added to the training schedule with 100km rides becoming quite common. Each team member set themselves a goal. These goals were adjusted as the year progressed, with all riders becoming increasingly confident.

The trip itself required a reasonable amount of logistical planning – Taupo is a long way from Christchurch. Two of the team drove a van complete with bikes, helmets, shoes, bottles, food, clothes and “refreshments” to Wellington, whilst the remainder flew. A car was borrowed and all set off on a most enjoyable road trip from Wellington to Turangi where a friend, of a friend, of a friend had a holiday home. A highlight of the trip was the Mt Tongariro eruption! Race day arrived and team members were there early to line up at start times allocated to them, based on their expected finishing time. Little wind made for perfect race weather.

The race began
Steam from Mt Tongaririo was visible for most of the ride and team members were relieved to reach the halfway point when they started riding away from the active volcano, instead of towards it! Hopes were high that everyone would have a good ride, no one was disappointed and all of the team members achieved their goals. It was an excellent adventure and a great break away from Christchurch which was, at the time, still shaking. The team (plus a few others) continues to ride together after work on most Tuesday nights.