A Bit About The Geraldine Bike Challenge
The Geraldine Lions Club association with Mountain Biking came in 2005, when Allan Kelly suggested we start up a Sunday riding group. Usually about ten riders meet ( we still do) and enjoy a couple of hours riding round one of the many different tracks available in this area. Over the years we have enjoyed a lot of trips away riding including the Otago Rail Trail and Molesworth to name just two.
In 2007, Allan mentioned to the Club there was a lot of land running alongside the Orari River, some of which had tracks used by the river control authorities providing access to their flood protection works. It was decided to approach Ecan (Environment Canterbury) seeking their permission to establish Mountain Bike tracks. They agreed, with a few limitations on what we could or couldn't do and in the ensuing years we have established over thirty kilometres of tracks. Having adopted a policy of seeking Ecan's approval before doing any work out there we have had great co-operation and assistance from them.
The Geraldine Lions Club has invested a great deal of time and expense in developing the tracks and in 2008 a decision was made to run an event with the dual aims of getting people out on bikes and also generating a few dollars for further development and maintenance of our tracks.
We are very pleased with the outcome of the three events so far, we not only got a lot of people out on their bikes, but also made some dollars for the upkeep and development of the tracks. A further bonus of running the chalenges has been the great support from the riding public as well as generous sponsors which has enabled us to donate a considerable amount of money to various causes. Of course neither of the last two events would have been possible without the generous support from our sponsors. We thank them sincerely and urge you to read the sponsors page and support them whenever possible.
The 2013 Challenge
Sunday March 17th started as the first wet day for quite a few weeks but by 9 o’clock the rain had gone and the day became very suitable for biking – not too hot, very little wind and no further rain. 431 riders had entered and around 410 started the ride at 10:30. As in previous years it was very pleasing to see so many families out riding the events. In the Recreational Fun ride there were 67 in the 12 years old and under category with a further 13 in the Intermediate Race. Fastest Male rider in the Recreation Ride was Philip Knubley in 39 minutes, a very fast time. 169 riders completed the 32 km Intermediate Challenge and 87 completed the Geraldine Challenge.
Download full results here
Thanks to all who competed, we hope you enjoyed the day and we hope to see you again.
Next year’s date is almost certainly March 16th
The 2012 Challenge
The day dawned bright and clear for 424 entrants to line up for the start.
Competitors coming from Christchurch to Queenstown as well as two from Sydney and one from The Netherlands have raised over $5000 for charity.
As has been the case over the last four years there was a good line-up of Mums and Dads and children with 74 under 12 year old riders taking part.
The Lions Club are extremely grateful for the support received by local and some from a bit further afield – businesses, who once again assisted us with major sponsorship and spot prizes. Without this support we wouldn’t be able to run such a family friendly event.
The 2011 Challenge
2011 Race Day dawned wet and cold, a fact that obviously made some who would have come along as late entries decide to stay at home. However we still had a field of (amazingly) 284!
The day improved and by the time the race was under way it was, once again, very pleasant.
The 2010 Challenge
For the 2010 event it was decided to shorten the two main races to bring them more into line with the length of other races being held in the area. The Geraldine Challenge became 52kms, the Intermediate Challenge 32 kms with the Recreational ride remaining at 18kms. In 2010 we had 435 riders and were once again blessed with a lovely sunny day.
The 2009 Challenge
The first Geraldine Challenge was held in March 2009 and attracted 307 riders from as far afield as Christchurch and Dunedin. The Orari Race course management have been extremely helpful and we are extremely grateful to them for allowing us to use their property as our base for the races. All our races so far have started and finished at the Racecourse, it is a great site with plenty of room for all our activities. The tracks used for the 2009 event were quite a bit longer than those used for the next two races. The Open Challenge (since renamed Geraldine Challenge) was 72 kms and the Intermediate Challenge around 40kms. A beautiful sunny autumn day got the Geraldine Lions Cycle Challenge off to a good start.