Ride drops a gear

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Or­gan­is­ers hope a re­vamped Porirua char­ity bike ride will be­come an iconic an­nual event like Welling­ton’s Round the Bays run.

This year’s Hospi bike ride has been re­designed for Porirua and will also cater for less hard­core rid­ers and chil­dren.

The Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal fundraiser has been run since 2009 as a chal­leng­ing 50- kilo­me­tre ride from Kenepuru Hospi­tal to Welling­ton Hospi­tal via Makara.

But de­spite at­tract­ing more than 250 rid­ers a year, event or­gan­iser Ed­die Bright says the course was too chal­leng­ing and ex­cluded young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced cy­clists.

‘‘It was hard go­ing. Even ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers told me it was a tough ride,’’ Mr Bright says.

This year’s event on March 10 will be based on a 5km street cir­cuit from Kenepuru Hospi­tal to Prosser St via Raiha St, Ti­tahi Bay Rd and Kenepuru Dr.

‘‘It hit me like a sledge­ham­mer when I was rid­ing around one day – why not use this old course?’’ Mr Bright says.

‘‘Hopefully in a cou­ple of years this be­comes an iconic Porirua event.’’

Four chal­lenges will com­prise the event: men’s and women’s open races, a fam­i­lies’ course and a celebrity cir­cuit in­volv­ing sports stars and politi­cians.

For the adren­a­line junkies there will be a moun­tain­bike ride up Colo­nial Knob.

A smaller course will be set up for chil­dren at Kenepuru Hospi­tal, where kids can en­joy a bouncy cas­tle, face-paint­ing and a bar­be­cue.

Last year’s event raised $20,000 for the Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal.

Mr Bright’s Cy­closport cy­cling team will run the fam­ily events. One of the team, Pa­pakowhai cy­clist Gaby Peach, says it’s great the Hospi has found a home in Porirua.

‘‘It’s great hav­ing it lo­cally,’’ she said.

‘‘We don’t have much other stuff like this here.’’

Hospi char­ity bike ride, Sun­day, March 10. For more in­for­ma­tion and to reg­is­ter, visit www.hos­pibik­eride.co.nz. Adults $25, chil­dren aged 8 to 15 $10.

Call­ing cy­clists: Pa­pakowhai cy­clist Gaby Peach will help to run a re­vamped Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal char­ity bike ride on March 10.

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