Cycle fest aims to set world record

Aims to set world record

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014
tdn bike full
ANDY JACKSON

New Zealand Cycle Festival Trust Chairman Peter Bennett at the official launch of the 2014 festival which is to be held in March

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A new cycling event which has something for everyone who rides a bike was launched in New Plymouth last night.

The New Zealand Cycle Festival will be held during Taranaki Anniversary weekend - March 7 to 10. About 1000 participants are expected for the inaugural event.

The festival will be held at the Taranaki Cycle Park in Bell Block, with eight events including BMX and mountain biking.

There will also be a 100k flyer, which is a road race from Hawera to Back Beach along Surf Highway 45, New Zealand Cycle Fest Trust chairman Pete Bennett said.

"We're also doing an expo - a show and shine. And even within that there are different categories, BMX bikes, old classic vintage stuff, road bikes, and the choppers.

"It seems to be a big thing these days, that it's affordable to do up a bike."

They've had a lot of interest in the event, he said. "We hope over [the] next two years, 2015-16, to have a national event here. We nearly got one this year, but they had already filled out their calendar. We know we have one next year, but we want two."

The festival will kick off on Friday afternoon, March 7, with an attempt at getting into the Guinness Book of Records for the world's biggest bike bus.

"You have a start where some bikes go through like a bus conductor, and they pick up a group of cyclists and so on until they get to Hickford Park, the cycle park. When they get there we have to have a continuous single motion of bikes all in one go."

They need more than 639 bikes to beat the record, Mr Bennett said. A lot of schools are keen to get involved.

The idea for the cycle festival came about last year during discussions about the two round the mountain rides that were run annually in January.

The Round the Mountain Cycle Challenge will still run on January 25, but the Egmont Seafoods Bone Collector event has evolved into the cycle festival.

The New Zealand Cycle Festival Trust was set up with appointed members from New Plymouth Cycling, BMX New Plymouth, New Plymouth Mountainbiking, Taranaki Triathlon and three independents.

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