Heart week gets cycling boost
To celebrate Bike Wise Month and National Heart Week the Matamata Peddlers are inviting residents to join them on their Ride for Heart tonight.
The ride, which will consist of a 21 kilometre road cycle around some of Matamata’s flat and picturesque country roads, starts off from Founders Park at 6pm. It is recommended for intermediate age and over.
Matamata Peddlers founding member Dale Ertel said they are encouraging people to give cycling a go as it is a great way to stay fit and healthy.
‘‘ Cycling is something people can do together and you can go at your own pace, take your time and enjoy it. There is no need to feel intimidated that you can’t make the 21km because once you get going, a lot of people find they can make it, even without much training,’’ he said.
‘‘Cycling is so enjoyable because you get to rediscover New Zealand as you go down roads you would never normally drive on and you see new things.’’
The Matamata Peddlers came to be in 2005 not long after Mr Ertel suffered a heart attack.
He knew it was time to make some changes in his life and start exercising regularly so when someone suggested cycling, he took it up and never looked back.
‘‘When I was training for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, I noticed there were a lot of people out on bikes.
‘‘It dawned on me there must be a lot of people in Matamata who ride and I realised I didn’t know much about cycling. So I set about calling for cyclists and at the first meeting we had between 30 and 40 turn up – it was incredible,’’ he said.
‘‘After 12 months we made the club an official one and now we have nearly 80 members signed up.’’
The club rides together twice a week, on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.
‘‘ We are no Lance Armstrongs but we still really enjoy cycling, it is a recreational club,’’ he said.
Since taking up cycling, Mr Ertel said he has noticed his health improve a great deal because it has helped his fitness and is a low-impact form of exercise. After Ride for Heart there will be plenty of healthy food options available for dinner in support of National Heart Week.
Each participant needs to supply their own bike and helmet.
Photos: KATRINA LINTONBON
Ready to roll: Dale Ertel from Matamata Peddlers will be completing the Ride for Heart tonight.