Keen cyclist geared up for 100km Cambridge race
Tamahere's Paul Wallis is going through a dry spell on the farm, but is hoping he can get some flow going on his bike in Saturday's REV Cycle Festival in Cambridge.
The 51-year-old has raced in every REV since the race's inception in 2006. It was formerly a Hamilton-based event before being relocated to Cambridge last year.
Originally, he was scheduled to be shifting his daughter to university in Wellington this weekend. However, with the current dry weather, it turns out he would not have been able to make the trip, with other commitments on the farm. His wife and daughter are instead taking care of the move.
However, he still has time to fit in his 100-kilometre ride on Saturday.
"I like to support the local event and now it's recognised as part of the Bike New Zealand summer series, and I've just always enjoyed that particular ride," he said of why he kept coming back.
"It's got a bit of everything - climbs and flats and undulating roads and nice quiet country roads with great scenery - so it's really hard not to do it."
He used to cycle to school as a youngster, but it was only recently that he got into cycling.
"I took it up in the beginning of '05, really. I just bought a mountainbike actually for a bit of fitness, and found I wasn't getting off road much, so put slick tyres on it and rode on the road for 12 months, then bought a road bike and just got the bug like so many others have in the last six or eight years."
Wallis has a basic aim for Saturday - and that is to finish the race.
"And just do as good a time as I can.
"In the back of your mind you always like to beat your own personal best time, but with it changing to Cambridge last year it's only been from here once before."
Since taking up the sport, he has joined the Te Awamutu Sports Cycling Club and has met quite a few people through that, and will see plenty of recognisable faces alongside him on Saturday.
There are several race categories for the event.
Wallis' race is called the REV 100 and starts at 9am.
There is also the REV Midi (55km, starting at 9am), the REV Intro (18km, at 2pm) and the REV Mini Kids (a 2km circuit that can be ridden once, twice or three times, at 9.30am).
Elite cyclists compete in the REV Classic, which is 135km for men (at 10.40am) and 100km for women (at 9am).