I've never raced a bike race before, so today was a fun day. A lot of races that I am used to a only available to riders of cycling clubs, so being able to race a bike race with other cyclists and not part of a triathlon was pretty cool.
The plan was to do the 50km race with my girlfriend and decided I would use my mountain bike for the race as an extra challenge. I kinda feel like I took a knife to a gun fight though as even though this was small race, the bicycle hardware on show, even for the kids were pretty expensive. So I felt pretty good to hold my own with a $300 second hand mountain bike.
The race was started after local rider Fred Ogle was hit by a car an killed while riding his bike a few years ago. Fred was a bike safety advocate, so it was fitting to start a ride in his name, where the course take on the hill climb where Fred lost his life and is marked with his bike, painted white on the side of the road.
The race was pretty relaxed with aprox 100 riders in the 110km ride and about 30 riders for the 50km ride. The course is held on the back country roads of Whangarei in the north of North Island of New Zealand, which is amazing to ride on. The roads a varied between flat to rolling hills, to steep hill climbs, and the day of the race was a beautiful sunny day with limited wind on the course.
Unfortunately the race organizers had some issues with the marshaling and as a result some of the riders on the 50km ride, including myself and my girlfriend were shuttled in the wrong direction causing use to fall short on the 50km course. It's not really a reflection on the bike race, as we had a great time and rode well on the day, but it would have been nice to see where we would have ended in relation to the other riders. Myself and my girlfriend went and made up the extra kilometers at the end of the ride to make sure we did a full 50km for the day.
Not sure if we will be able to make the ride again next year, but it was pretty fun so can recommend anyone else who may be interested.
For more details on my ride you can see it on Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/1957504098