Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I spoke with Gary Gibson, Wellington Velodrome Junior Coach, moments ago and he was “shocked and surprised” to have just won both the SPARC Regional Coach of the Year AND the General Coach of the Year. He believes the key to his success was, “Having such a lovely bunch of kids to coach”.

Gary is one of the Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Clubs prized volunteer coaches and spends countless hours at the Velodrome and researching and planning his sessions at home. Gary already has plans to display his accolade, “It’s going to given pride of place in the track clubrooms”.

Athletes and parents provided an exhaustive amount of quotes to support Gary’s nomination.

“Gary has helped develop my track ability and nurture my passion for track. Every track session is the highlight of my week, and Gary ensures every one is worthwhile and makes me leave keenly anticipating the next session. His level of commitment goes beyond what most would be prepared to do”, Beth Balmer, School Sport Road bronze medallist said.

“Gary is funny he makes me laugh sometimes when he is teaching me stuff. He helped me and my friends learn to ride our bikes better and he helped me when I was scared at riding on the track. He tells us off sometimes but doesn't get grumpy. He is also my friend even though he is old.”, Victoria Ngatuere, U13 track rider said.

One winner from each region will win travel, accommodation and entry to SPARC’s national coaching convention in May 2010, where the winners will learn from and mingle with high profile regional and national coaches. Winning coaches from each region will also receive coaching apparel from SPARC and a generous supply of Wattie’s products. Gary said the juniors better hope it’s not baked beans but thinks the prizes are very generous and is elated to be recognised.

Gary is not paid but receives a huge amount from volunteering and often can't wait to tell me about the juniors achievements. Gary is a modest guy but is rightly chuffed to recieve this award and I'm sure the juniors would treat him like a hero.

On behalf of Mark Coburn and I from Track Committee and the PNP Cycling Club congratulations to our tireless volunteer coach Gary, who we are very proud of.

Rachel Anderson-Smith
Convenor, Track Committee
PNP Cycling Club
Ph: 0274039742

Gary also works with Peter Reynolds at Cogcycling.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A tale of two bloggers

I was looking at this site that I had been told about the other day. Having been out of the MTB loop for a while I completely missed its launch. . Its a very very cool site that tries to show all the MTB tracks around New Zealand.

I thought I would see who was involved in it, and clicked on a few links to find that one of the developers was a guy (Jonny) I used to race with a bit back in the good old days. The cool thing was that he has a blog, ( ) about his life in the US where he currently lives with his family.

That made me think of an american couple whose blog ( ) I had seen about their new life in Nelson after shifting from Oregon (Don and Angela). I found their site incredibly interesting, and some of the things they come out with are quite funny considering the reasons why they made the move from the US to the sleepy hollow of Nelson.

What is really interesting is that Jonny and Helen are doing the complete opposite in their move to California. They have moved to the big smoke, family in tow, while Don and Angela are not having children to lighten the load on the Planet! I figure that's why they have more time to post on their blog, no sprogs in the way.

If we didnt have blogs we wouldnt know what people think about our respective countries. Its the little things that I find the most interesting to be honest. But some things you just cant help wonder about.

I want to know how in a country with an estimated 50 million people without health cover, there are people protesting and calling the president a nazi, while strutting around with fire arms, in response to his proposal for some kind of a public health system!

I will ash Jonny if he can give me a laymans view on what these people are thinking, or feeling threatened about. I don't think its been well enough covered in NZ, we just seem to be focusing on the extremeness of it, without any explanation for why these people are nutting off.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Whats a Brevet? See below.

Simon Kennett, obviously inspired by his big adventure last year is going to hold his own event in NZ. ( )

Howdy folks

We are planning to run a Great Divide style event in the South Island - a 1200 km, mixed terrain, self-supported cycle tour with a reasonably challenging time cut-off. Here's a map and some notes on the event (below).

We are still working through land access issues, which may well be resolved by requiring every rider to carry a personal locator beacon, but we thought we'd go public now so that you all have time to sort out gear, leave, fitness, etc.

We'll set up a dedicated blog shortly and then get some serious discussion going then. In the meantime, if you have any burning questions or comments, fire away.
Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

Kiwi Brevet

Proposed start date: noon, Sat 6th Feb 2010

(trying to get long days and good weather, but little holiday traffic).

Proposed course:

Start Blenheim, round Port Underwood road, Queen Charlotte Drive, Maungatapu Track, backroads to St Arnaud, Porika Track to Lake Rotoroa, Braeburn Track to Murchison, over Maruia Saddle backroads to Springs Junction, Rahu Saddle to Reefton, Big River and Waiuta Tracks, then backroads to Blackball, backroads to Jackson, over Arthurs Pass to Sheffield, Wharfedale Track, Lees Valley to Hanmer via back roads (?), Molesworth Station, Taylors Pass and then singletrack back to Blenhiem.

Approx 1200 km (note: our Google Map takes micro-shortcuts and under-estimates the total distance).

Approx 50% sealed roads, 40% gravel roads, 6% 4WD, 4% singletrack

Proposed rules:

Do it all yourself, under your own steam.

Riders must carry all their own gear (i.e. no domistiques).

No outside support (deliveries only to public addresses, no support from friends along the way). Prior to the race you may only post supplies to post offices.

Follow 100% of the course.

Riders must carry a personal locator beacon, and agree to cover the cost of rescue in the event they need to be evacuated.

Times under 4 days will be recorded as 4 days, 0 hours. (We're not after an exercise in sleep deprivation).

Riders must finish in under 8 days.

Drafting is OK.

When on public roads, follow the Road Code.

Cell phones OK, but must not be used to call for food or supplies (or any other assistance) to be delivered (except to a public address/business).

Call-ins to be made from designated towns to an 0800 number.

In the event of Molesworth Station being closed to cyclists due to fire risk, riders are to proceed through the Rainbow Station and North Bank road.

No entry fee; no prizes.

Some sort of koha will be requested for community charities along the route (yet to be determined).

That's all for now.

The Kennett Brothers
Office 523
Harbour City Tower
Brandon Street
Phone/fax 04 499 6376
Cell 021 0753 051

Distributors of Classic New Zealand Cycling Books
- Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides (7th Edition, out 3rd Nov 2008)
- RIDE: the Story of Cycling in New Zealand (sold out)
- Phil O'Shea: Wizard on Wheels
- Harry Watson: the Mile Eater
- Bill Pratney: Never Say Die
- Warwick Dalton: The Lone Eagle (out Nov 2008)