Registrations are open for the 5th annual Frog Rock mountain bike challenge on Saturday 9 November, 2013. Private landowners in the beautiful limestone hills of North Canterbury will again reopen their roads and tracks for cyclists to test their strength and stamina, all for a good cause – to raise funds for their local Waikari School.
The annual Frog Rock mountain bike ride offers cyclists with good fitness levels – from enthusiasts to seasoned Coast to Coast pros - a choice of circuits with challenges and views that will literally take your breath away. For energetic families there’s also a new kids-friendly circuit.
There are three circuits to ride: adults (age 15 and over) 15km and 20km, and a new separate track for children (ages 8-14). Each of the circuits offers exhilarating combinations of up and down hill tracks through some of North Canterbury’s finest landscapes. Set amidst stunning terrain with expansive views, cyclists will have a unique opportunity to ride through four privately owned estates - Shellrock, Mt Donald, Carvossa and Lockerbie, plus neighbouring properties.
Coast to Coast 2007 winner, Fleur Pawsey, cycled the Frog Rock MTB track for the first time last year and gave it full marks for challenge. “I did the 20km route and it was a lot tougher than I expected, which was a great surprise,” she said. “This course definitely demands a good level of fitness, so be prepared. There are some steep and pinchy climbs, but each is rewarded with a fast and flowing downhill, great for the adrenalin seekers! In addition to the challenge, one of the best things about the Frog Rock MTB is the awesome organisation by Waikari school volunteers and the generous and tasty lunch awaiting you at the finish line prepared by a top local chef and caterer. It’s a great day out - and now with their new kids circuit it will be fun for all the family.In short: excellent challenge, fantastic value, and a worthy fundraising event.”
Matt Bamford, Chair of the Waikari School fundraising committee (FAST) says, “This year we’re hoping to raise funds to provide the children with musical instruments, new sports facilities and a shade cover for the small pool. And what better way to do this than to get the whole community involved?”
All circuits are very rideable, but a good standard of fitness is required. The track conditions include gravel farm track, 4WD track and open tussock grassland. To help gauge the difficulty, the average finish time to complete the 20km course is around 2 hours. And the average time to complete the 15km course is around 1½ hours (the guns can break 1 hour, while more sedate riders will take over 2 hours). The more gentle children’s course will take about 20 minutes to complete.
Weather wizard, Ken Ring, is forecasting temperatures in the early twenties on 9 November and recommends that cyclists bring both sun cream and light rain gear. He says, “The 9th comes at the end of an 11-day dry and sunny interval. The barometer is likely to start falling on or near the Saturday. If the wind turns north-easterly there may be the look of rain and possible showers developing. It is always best to be prepared.”
The cycle tracks will be made available for this MTB event on 9 November, come rain or shine,” says Bamford. “It can get quite hot cycling in the sun, so a little breeze and cloud cover wouldn’t be a bad thing.”
The races start from 10:00am. Prizes and certificates will be awarded to category winners, teams, and - for those eager to have a bit of fun - the most inspired costumes at the end of the race. Race fees are $45 for adults (aged 15+), $15 for children (aged 8-14) and $100 for families (max 2 adults, 2 children).
“And don’t bring your lunch!” says Bamford. “Our local chef, Kate McMillan, will be serving up another much anticipated array of gastronomic delights that will guarantee to satisfy every hungry appetite; a bargain for just $15 for adults and $10 for children. So get your bikes and helmets ready and register today. You’ll have lots of fun, and it’s for a really good cause!”
Registration details together with circuit route descriptions, terrain maps and altitude profiles can be found at www.frogrock.co.nz.