Club­bing to­gether to give cycling a home

Central Leader - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

Cen­tral Auck­land bike en­thu­si­asts now have a lo­cal place to call home thanks to a new cycling club based at Auck­land Gram­mar School.

Be­fore the for­ma­tion of the Gram­mar Cycling Club ear­lier this year, Coun­ties Manukau and North Har­bour were the only two clubs in the city.

With nowhere lo­cal for cy­clists to train and so­cialise, the school’s mas­ter in charge of cycling, Dale John­son, de­cided to use its large net­work of old boys to get a new cen­trally-based club go­ing.

“We’ve got a strong tra­di­tion in the sport, with so many old boys still ac­tively cycling. It’s a way to keep them en­gaged.”

The school’s top cycling team con­tin­ued a tra­di­tion of suc­cess com­ing sec­ond at the Na­tional Secondary Schools team time trial cham­pi­onship be­hind Saint Kentigern Col­lege ear­lier this year.

While the old boys and cur­rent stu­dents make up most of the club’s mem­bers, John­son says they’re keen to get the gen­eral pub­lic in­volved.

“We want to make cycling grow and open it up to ev­ery­body.”

Both com­pet­i­tive cy­clists and those who jump on a bike for fun are be­ing en­cour­aged to join.

Year 11 stu­dent Adam Smith, 16, who is on the school cycling team, says he’s plan­ning on join­ing the club to im­prove his per­for­mances in com­pet­i­tive racing.

“It’ll in­crease my num­ber of races and ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Bike en­thu­si­ast and old boy Richard Kerby hopes the club will help cy­clists in a num­ber of ways.

“In form­ing a club we can share ideas, tech­nol­ogy and costs.”

An­other old boy Alex Ray, 19, who re­cently claimed victory at the Auck­land champs, also says he’s keen to join the Gram­mar club.

“It was great racing for the school and I want to con­tinue that. Me and a few other guys are looking at head­ing over­seas, so when we come back it’ll be good to be able to race with your mates.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on the club visit www.gram­mar cycling.com.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Pedal power: Gram­mar Cycling Club sup­port­ers, from left, Richard Kerby, Alex Ray, Dale John­son and Adam Smith are call­ing for more mem­bers to join up.

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