Each year on the last weekend of November, a group of cyclists from NOW head down to Taupo for the weekend to take on the Lake Taupo Challenge. The weekend is normally a mixture of serious athleticism, great fun with good people and ridiculous silliness. The three things generally happen in that order.
This year we had two road-bikers take on the full, around the lake course and one quarter lake racer who doesn't ride very often but decided to dust off their twenty year old bike (which has never been serviced) and take that caste iron chariot home to glory (beer). We also had a team of four enter the 35km Huka Teaser mountain bike event.
Here are a few images of the event and the fun that followed:
Andy Blaney is being chased down by a local upset that Andy's hair is longer than his girlfriends. Jokes aside, Andy was one of our around the lake entrants and he smashed his time from last year coming in under five and a half hours. He's already declared his goal to take another half hour off his time next year. Great job Andy.
Jimmy Stewart looks very happy, which is surprising as this was only moments after Jimmy fell off his bike on the least treacherous part of the course (literally, flat grass) and was lucky/unlucky enough that Chris Wyllie caught the whole thing on video. Why can't you see the video? The local car driving by laughing and shouting profanities out the window is one reason. The other is that Jimmy is our Head of Marketing and controls the website. Never-going-to-happen.
A huge, huge shout out for Leo Liu. This was Leo's first time around the Lake and he put in a great effort, getting around in a little under six and half hours. Anyone who's done the event will tell you how different it is to shorter distance events and how difficult that first time really is.
I will take a moment to mention Ron and his iron chariot. I don't have any photos of Ron to publish but I can tell you that his bike is very, very heavy and there are some very large, long hills on the section of the lake that Ron rode. Well done Ron, will we see you there again next year?
Finally, our team of four who entered the soft side of the event, the 35km mountain bike race. You've already heard about Jimmy's antics but Steve, Nick and Chris also took part and the four of them got around the course in record time, doing it in a little over two hours.
Despite the pictures, the event was actually mostly on trails, only the final few kilometres were on the road. We're soft but not that soft.
Finally, the post race beers. I can't mention much of what happened after the race but I will leave you with this photo of the team (spot our friend from Qlik), celebrating a great race, a great day and a great group.