Bauer has sights firmly set on Rio
Olympic cyclist Jack Bauer reckons home-schooling made him stubborn. His mother prefers to call him persistent.
He's back home in Para Para, Golden Bay, riding the Golden Bay State Highway most days as he waits for the world cycling season to start up again in January.
Bauer and his parents cycled the Source to Sea race over the weekend. The race starts at St Arnaud and follows the Buller River to Carter's Beach.
"I just went along to be part of it. Dad cleaned everybody up and won his age category. I scraped across the line and managed to get there. I won a bottle of wine."
Bauer, who was homeschooled alongside his three siblings until he went to Otago University, is enjoying time out at his parents' property in Anathoth.
"The best thing about coming home is seeing Mum and Dad, having dinner cooked for me and everything that goes with that including getting my washing done. I'm having a mental rest, but I'm back on the bike and have been for the last two weeks. Which is another reason I come home. Here there are no distractions. It's quiet. You can do your own thing and recover well which is kind of paramount to the cycling and training."
Bauer said he was looking forward to the next Olympics.
"Four years is a long way away. And you typically wouldn't think about it until a year before. For the last Olympics I really had to look ahead and to plan ahead because I more or less came from nowhere. The next one's in Rio. I'm sure I'll be there."
Bauer treats his cycling like a job and is on the road by 10am, Monday to Saturday.
"Cycling at a really top level you've gotta take it like a normal job. That's not to say you do eight or nine hours a day, but every day or six days a week you need to be training and looking after yourself.
"It's a pretty savage sport on the body. If you don't look after yourself and eat right you lose weight and fade away. You lose strength, which means you lose speed, you get sick and all of sudden you're without a contract.
As a cyclist, Jack describes himself as "an allrounder, who typically goes well in flatter countries."
"Small hills I can get up. I thought the Takaka Hill would prepare me for the larger hills, but after many, many years, it hasn't."
Cycling season starts in January for Bauer, and he won't be back in New Zealand until it ends next October.
"For Kiwis and Aussies that starts with the national championship in January."