Club rid­ers ex­tol benefits of bik­ing

New fig­ures re­veal that more than one mil­lion New Zealan­ders will be on their bikes as the New Zealand Trans­port Agency launches their an­nual Bike Wise pro­gramme this month. Teresa Hat­tan caught up with mem­bers of the Mata­mata Ped­dlers.

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

On a Sun­day morn­ing, you’ll of­ten see a brightly dressed group of peo­ple sit­ting around ta­bles at Robert Har­ris.

In front of them will be de­li­cious treats - from lolly log and strudel to smooth­ies and the odd flat white. There will also be a lot of ly­cra.

The Mata­mata Ped­dlers weekly Sun­day rides cul­mi­nate in a so­cial gath­er­ing at the lo­cal cafe.

They de­serve it though, be­cause they’ve been out travers­ing the roads around the dis­trict.

The Ped­dlers is a lo­cal club of about 100 mem­bers – road and track cy­clists, time tri­al­ists and even the odd moun­tain­biker.

Club mem­ber Wendy Mack­ereth rides in the ‘‘C’’ group, which on a Sun­day cov­ers roughly 25km.

A group of Ped­dlers also ride to­gether on a Wed­nes­day evening dur­ing the sum­mer.

Mack­ereth said when you move to a new town, join­ing a group is a way of meet­ing peo­ple.

‘‘I can re­mem­ber go­ing on a course and they said al­ways do some­thing phys­i­cal, some­thing so­cial, emo­tional, some­thing spir­i­tual and some­thing men­tal. If it ticks two things like this [cy­cling], which is so­cial as well as phys­i­cal, that’s why I do it. I’ve al­ways done some sort of ex­er­cise.’’

She got on a bike about eight years ago and hasn’t looked back.

She does have a piece of ad­vice for those keen on cy­cling.

‘‘You wouldn’t go out there [on the road] by your­self but in a group you learn the roads. You can choose if you want to do hills or flats.’’

‘‘There are some [of us] that go out for the speed and re­ally push, but our group, our ethos is to go as fast as the slow­est.

‘‘Of­ten we’ll stop and wait for them all to catch up and have a drink.’’

Mack­ereth said the club al­ways wel­comes new mem­bers.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple think ‘ I’m not fit enough, I’ll have a prac­tice by my­self’ but it’s bet­ter to come, bring a drink bot­tle and the Ped­dlers will look af­ter who­ever turns up.’’

Club com­mit­tee mem­ber Stu Edge­combe said, for the most part, cy­cling is eas­ier on the body than other sports.

The so­cial as­pect also ap­peals to him.

‘‘It’s about chal­leng­ing your­self and hav­ing fun with like-minded peo­ple.’’

But he does ad­mit when he first got on a bike he was ‘‘hope­less’’. ‘‘There are hills you don’t even no­tice now but to start with you were in ab­so­lute bot­tom gear and won­der­ing if your lungs were go­ing to come out your mouth.’’

Joanne and Simon Bel­ton, who are also com­mit­tee mem­bers, got in­volved with the Ped­dlers with their chil­dren and said cy­cling is

of

the

club cer­tainly a great fam­ily sport.

‘‘ You mix with peo­ple you wouldn’t nor­mally in­ter­act with,’’ Joanne said.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

PAS­SION FOR CY­CLING: Mata­mata Ped­dlers mem­bers, from left, Simon and Joanne Bel­ton and Stu Edge­combe are pas­sion­ate about cy­cling.

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