Blog: Pedal Power

Mad keen cyclist Andy Mackay has tackled the Tour of Southland. Now he's trying to complete as many cycle challenges as possible before the end of the year?

Taupo, where it seems everyone cycles

03:02pm 29 Nov 2012


The Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge isn't really like any other event in New Zealand.

First of all, it feels like the entire town is bursting at the seams with all the visitors. Second, it seems like everyone rides a bike.

This year, there were just more than 8000 people competing in the challenge.

For some who spent the better part of a day riding the 160km to the finish, they still managed a grin, a wave, or a sprint as they crossed the finish line.

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A challenge is laid down

11:20am 16 Nov 2012


It’s almost two weeks since Southland and I’m back on the bike with a new challenge and a new programme.

Next weekend is the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, and  thousands and thousands aim to better the time they did the previous year.

Taupo is packed out for the event, virtually every hotel/motel is booked out and, from memory, one of the gas stations last year ran out of petrol.

To say it is popular is an understatement.Taupo cycle race

For me, it’s back into competition and a terrain that I prefer; undulating roads with a few climbs biffed in for good measure and a longer distance, 160km.

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Across the finish line

02:54pm 08 Nov 2012


So the final stage has been completed and the Tour of Southland wrapped up.

For me, there were highs and lows.

A highlight was definitely climbing up Blackmount, Bluff and Crown Range.  I came in at 30th, with or just on the back of the front groups.

Andy Mackay rides the Tour of SouthlandIn the stage to Bluff, I was with the second group on the road and climbed well to get 49th.

The lows included getting an injury on stage 6 that stuck with me to the end of the tour and lost me a great deal of time in one day.  

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Thrills and spills

09:23am 31 Oct 2012


ToS Day 3

On the road: The peloton on their way to Waianiwa. Photo: Fairfax


Yesterday was a bit of chaos in the peleton.

But Team Olphert McKenzie Craik moved up to 8th position on the teams classification. A good day for us.

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On the road

08:55am 30 Oct 2012


Andy's ToS team

Cross winds, high speeds and a sprint finish, it was all on at the Tour of Southland’s
first road stage.

I came in at the same time as the main bunch which keeps myself, and most of the
Olphert Mckenzie Craik team, 21 seconds behind the leader.

The day was mostly about keeping safe, avoiding crashes, keeping watered and fed to
set up well for the week of racing.

It was pretty warm, about 16 degrees, so keeping the fluids up was important.

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