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.
12 November 2015
Wairarapa is offering the chance for families and serious cyclists alike to enjoy a variety of biking activities this coming Wellington Anniversary Weekend.
Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Bike Festival returns on 20-25 January to coincide with the New Zealand Cycle Classic, a UCI 2.2 race featuring the world’s premier male road cyclists. The race covers a distance of over 625km that will be held solely in the Wairarapa from 20-24 January.
Festival Event Manager Catherine Rossiter-Stead is encouraging people to make the region a must-visit destination over the weekend and to bring along their bike and join in.
“Summer in the Wairarapa is gorgeous and the region is just perfect for cycling,” she explained. “From the rolling hills that lend themselves to superb road cycling, to a range of excellent cycle trails easily accessible to families, and this year a one-off opportunity to mountain bike up the Atiwhakatu Valley in the Tararua Forest Park, the Huri Huri Bike Festival is a fun-filled excuse for people to get on their bikes in the Wairarapa this January.”
Festival events and activities will be held across the region and cater for all levels of involvement in biking. They will be a bike swap and market in Martinborough Square, a Ruamahanga Trail Ride along the banks of the Ruamahanga River to Lake Ferry, Pedal for Parkinson’s road cycle challenge up Admiral Hill in Gladstone, A Very Posh Pashley Picnic sponsored by Blackwell & Sons on the Greytown-Woodside Rail Trail, Town to Tide multisport race from Masterton to Riversdale, a kids criterium along the final stretch of the New Zealand Cycle Classic race and the inaugural Atiwhakatu Trailblazer.
The festival will also be promoting a month-long treasure hunt for young cyclists and families involving a selection of cycle trails and tracks across the region. Participants will have a chance to win a brand new bike from Avanti-Plus Masterton.
“Huri Huri is an opportunity for families to get out on their bikes during the summer holiday and explore what the Wairarapa has to offer as an excellent cycling destination,” added Rossiter-Stead.
The New Zealand Cycle Classic also gives people a chance to see some of the world’s leading road cyclists tackle challenges such as Admiral Hill. Spectators are encouraged to get roadside to enjoy the spectacle. Every year the race unearths new talent, and a number of riders have gone on to win stages in the Tour de France, the Tour of Italy and world championships.
Destination Wairarapa general manager David Hancock says the region’s relatively flat, pretty rural and meandering roads are a major draw card for visitors. They sit alongside the region’s touring routes and Rimutaka Cycle Trail, one of the Great Rides on Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.
“We have a series of touring routes that make it easier and safer for cyclists to ride to the Wairarapa and then enable them to experience all the other activities on offer here … from cycling around the vines in Martinborough and Opaki to visiting our townships like Greytown where visitors can enjoy first class restaurants and boutique shopping,” said Hancock.
For more information on Huri Huri: Wairarapa’s Bike Festival, visit www.hurihuri.co.nz.