Lund fights old age on 7hr ride

DETERMINED COMPETITOR: Bruce Lund is taking on his second solo Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.
DETERMINED COMPETITOR: Bruce Lund is taking on his second solo Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

Timaru's Bruce Lund jokes he is harmlessly rebelling against old age.

The 74-year-old is signed up for his second Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, that will see him ride 161km solo around the lake on Saturday, November 24.

Lund took up cycling two years ago and his "knees were seizing up" but has been bitten by the bug. "My doctor also said I needed to do something to improve my health. I didn't want to run and the bike was one of the few things that appealed."

Having bought the bike, Lund said he found Amy Taylor's book on training for the Taupo Challenge in the bike shop and thought he would see how far he could go.

"I needed something to follow as I'm not so good on my own and it was excellent." This year he has also gained a training partner in Caroline Breen, which he said helped with the motivation.

"She's like a whippet, just keeps going."

Lund is hoping to go under seven hours for the journey, having completed it in seven hours, 40 minutes last year.

"I'll have to improve my average speed by two kilometres an hour, from 21 to 23, which is huge, so it may depend on the conditions on the day.

"Also I've still got a lot to learn, when it comes to riding a bike."

Lund said the organisation of the event was superb and he would take off with the 76 other riders in his age group, which was in the 70 to 90-year-old age bracket, at 8.15am.

"All up I think there are over 8000 riding but that is in all sorts of events including mountainbikes.

"My main goal is to stay out of trouble."

Lund joked his doctor was happy with him since his cardiovascular capacity was better but his good mates at the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club gave him a bit of stick.

"The endurance and strength is okay. I'm just struggling to get to the top of the apex - speed."'

The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is New Zealand's largest cycling event and the world's largest cycling relay.

One of the reasons the challenge is so popular is the wide range of events available to participants of varying abilities and fitness levels, including the solo 160km around Lake Taupo, road and mountain bike relays, mountain bike challenges, along with separate men's and women's races, corporate challenges, enduro events (2, 4 and 8 laps of the lake) and the @Heart ride for kids.

The Timaru Herald