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2017 Chain Reaction Challenge NSW – Day 1 Blog

25 March 2017 Chain Reaction

Blog Day 1 – The Urban Randonee Prologue

This year is the 6th Chain Reaction Challenge New South Wales. Before we turn a peddle it is important to mention just why a bunch of cyclists and support crew have taken a week out of their busy schedules to fly across “the ditch” to ride a push bike around the North Island of New Zealand.

Every rider’s story will be different but the underlying reason remains the same. We ride for the children we may not see or know, many of them in hospitals, in treatment or otherwise facing challenges that deprive them of the everyday innocence and joy of childhood. We ride in the hope that the dollars we are raising will make a difference to them and their families.

It is significant that since that first ride in 2012, Chain Reaction NSW riders have raised over $3.5million to fund the Chain Reaction Research Program into Congenital Heart Disease at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. We are also pleased to continue to support the great work TAD’s Freedom Wheels program does building bespoke bikes for kids with disabilities as well as the Benevolent Society.

So thank to everyone who has donated so far to this year’s ride. Donations are open right through the ride, so if haven’t yet done so, or would like to do so again, please dig deep and support the riders.

The next six days on the bike should be fantastic.  At this time of year in the North Island of NZ anything is possible with the weather. We expect wind, rain and hopefully some sun and that will probably all occur before lunch each day.

With a cracking course through a unique and spectacular part of the country, the whole peloton is chomping at the bit to get out and ride – a few even got out for an early ride this morning to test the legs. With 1,000km and over 14,000m of elevation ahead of us, there is going to be some long days on the bike, and the collective fatigue will be felt as the week progresses, however the mood on the start line this afternoon was a mixture of apprehension, enthusiasm and excitement for the cycling to come.

Photo: IMG_0458

Today’s ride was about warming up the legs, getting used to the surroundings and each other. The peloton covered a straight forward 60km without any real climbs. Leaving the hotel in the early afternoon, we embarked on an urban randonee, looping out through the suburbs of Auckland to Achilles Point for views of the city skyline and the bay before returning via the bayside flats – a great way to see the city. We finished with a brief but sharp climb up to the look out at One Tree Hill in Cromwell Park to give the legs a taste of what lies ahead.

Although only a short day, everyone in the bunch came together and rode cohesively, functioning well as a single unit.

Tomorrow should be more of a test as we head east around the Firth of Thames to the tiny town of Thames at the foothills of the Coromandel Range. Going on today’s form, everyone looks like they should be fine through the 165kms that is in store.

Distance: 60 km
Metres climbed: 585m
Ride time: 2hrs 28 min