Huri Huri News
2 December 2015
Think cycling and images of wafer-thin tyres and multi-coloured tight-fitting lycra come to mind, but there are many different ways to have fun on a bike. Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Bike Festival offers a diverse range of biking opportunities and is encouraging casual cyclists and families to join in during the five-day event.
The festival is running in association with the New Zealand Cycle Classic, which features some of the world’s top men’s cyclists. The five-staged Cycle Classic will take place during January along numerous Wairarapa roads and up some of the region’s steepest hills, including the 500-metre ascent of Gladstone’s Admiral Hill.
Ordinary mortals have an opportunity to warm up the roads and the hill during ‘Pedal for Parkinson’s’ before the men take on stage four, which ends at the highest point, 10km up Admiral Road.
The Parkinson’s Wairarapa fundraiser is not a race, but a fun ride in grand fondo-style, and reminiscent of the secondary events at the big European cycling competitions such as the Tour de France.
“Pedal for Parkinson’s is ideal for individuals or social, corporate and sporting teams looking for a ride with a difference,” explained New Zealand Cycle Classic Director Jorge Sandoval. “It’s an opportunity to ride a circuit of an international cycle race on the same day as the pro teams. It's a challenge, not a race. This event is for everyone who loves to ride bikes and wants to take on a stage of the international tour or just part of it.”
Starting at Gladstone Vineyard, the event offers courses of 72km, 45km or a straight-out 18km climb up Admiral Hill and is open to anyone aged 15 or over.
Last year, local personalities Ruth Sutherland and Brian Lambert didn’t allow Parkinson’s to get in the way of tackling the Wairarapa’s infamous hill. Brian, displaying his usual determination, completed the 18km solo on his 35-year old aluminium frame Vitus, while Ruth rode tandem with her nephew Phil Sutherland.
“You don’t need a flash road bike to complete the course,” said Huri Huri Event Manager Catherine Rossiter-Stead. “Mountain bikes might be more appropriate for parts of it, and wouldn’t it be fun to see someone trying to get up the hill on a unicycle?”
Pedal for Parkinson’s takes place on Saturday 23 January 2016. Registrations are now open at www.hurihuri.co.nz.