It’s about at­ti­tude, any old bike will do

Ruapehu Press - - High School Awards - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Cy­clists will gather this week to take part in the an­nual Tau­marunui Cy­cle Clas­sic.

The Tau­marunui Cy­cle Clas­sic is hosted by the Tau­marunui Cy­cling Club and at­tracts cy­clist from around the coun­try be­cause of its low en­try fee.

The 114 kilo­me­tre cir­cuit takes rid­ers on a pic­turesque jour­ney through chal­leng­ing and beau­ti­ful scenery from Tau­marunui to Ohura. Af­ter com­plet­ing the Ohura Cir­cuit cy­clists re­turn to Tau­marunui along smooth coun­try roads.

Club pres­i­dent Wayne Houpapa, also known as ‘Barn’, has been busy pre­par­ing for the Novem­ber 11 event along­side club mem­bers. Barn said the event is only able to con­tinue each year thanks to lo­cal busi­nesses spon­sor­ing the event and vol­un­teers. More vol­un­teers are still needed to help Barn and the team out on the day. In be­tween all the or­gan­is­ing, Barn has been busy train­ing for the Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge which is held later in the month.

Barn started cy­cling in 2011 on an old ten speed bike, prac­tis­ing on the Taring­amotu, Nga­puke cir­cuit. In­spired by cy­clist Gra­ham ‘‘Tinker’’ Bell, Barn and his friends found an al­ter­na­tive sport to keep fit that was easy on the body. De­scrib­ing cy­cling as ‘‘float­ing

‘‘You're like the gods, it's a bit like that when you're cruis­ing along’’

on air,’’ Barn has in­creased his fit­ness and lost weight.

‘‘He (Tinker) in­spired a lot of rid­ers here who had old bikes. He went and got us cy­cling bikes to ride with him be­cause he was the only Ma¯ ori cy­cling in town.

‘‘You’re get­ting to that age when you stop play­ing rugby and you’re look­ing for an­other sport to do.

‘‘You’re like the gods, it’s a bit like that when you’re cruis­ing along.’’

De­scrib­ing him­self as a heavy smoker he can now feel the ben­e­fits af­ter giv­ing up seven weeks ago. Barn wants to en­cour­age peo­ple of all fit­ness lev­els to join the club where they will be sup­ported by a team keen to grow cy­cling in the town.

‘‘It’s eas­ier and you build your­self slowly with cy­cling.

‘‘Walk­ing and run­ning is too hard, you need to be on air, float­ing.’’

Any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing can ring Dianne Bunn at REAP on 896 8680. Event in­for­ma­tion on www.tau­marunuicy­cling­club.co.nz

Wayne Houpapa (Barn) is pre­par­ing for the Lake Taupo Cy­cle Chal­lenge which will be held later this month.

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