Without any of our schools actively promoting cycling as a school sport, Wellington Schools Cycling has set out to bring together schools cyclists from across the region to organise coaching, training and racing. Wellington Schools Cycling provides coaching and training opportunities primarily for road and track while racing is promoted by our local clubs across all disciplines.
Junior registration is on 18th October, with sessions running throughout term 4 and term 1 on a Tuesday and Thursday. Open to all ages and abilities, the soft grassy infield of the Hataitai velodrome provides a safe area to learn those vital skills before heading up onto the track. Our qualified coaches plan sessions to keep things fun with a variety of games through to tough motor paces work. Hire bikes are available at a very low cost, so no need to splash out on another bike. There is racing for all ages every Sunday provided by the PNP Cycling Club, with a Wellington Schools Track Champs in early February.
Wellington Schools Cycling are still trying to figure out how we can run Schools Events while Local Councils and Traffic Management are providing us with significant challenges. In August we hold the Gravity Grinder – a timed hill climb on the shared path of Wainuiomata Hill. Weekend bunch rides are available for our schools riders, and road bikes are available to hire. Kapiti Cycling Club runs club racing events, both a Winter Series and Summer Series with riders of all ages welcome.
PNP Mountain Bike Club run a massively popular Spring Series with racing for all age groups at various mountain bike parks in the Wellington region, with Schools points available. The Club Champs in late Summer / Autumn double up as the Wellington College Champs. Enduro riders are catered for with the Wellington Mountain Bike club running a series of events throughout the Summer.
Huttcross run some amazing events throughout the winter. Mighty Cross exists for Y7/8s or so but beyond that the racing is graded with all bikes welcome (except Ebikes!) apart from A grade where only CX bikes are allowed.
Here is the Wellington Schools crew at the SKODA North Island CX Champs:
WINTER SPIN CLASSES
With Schools Cycling events taking place for the most part in Winter when it is cold and dark outside, our evening spin classes provide an opportunity to keep fit while learning roller skills and heaps of useful coaching tips and advice.
We are advocating for a purpose built facility on the Kapiti Coast alongside our local clubs that will be able to cycling events along with inline skating and other human powered wheeled sports. The facility is currently undergoing a feasibility study with the local council. If it goes ahead, this will be a game changer for schools cycling in the Wellington region.
It's not an easy task running a cycling programme in the regions, but check out what happens in the Manawatu!
Palmerston North: It all starts at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School (PNINS) with their collaborative approach across school. At the start of the year the cycling coordinator at PNINS gets in touch with all the intermediate schools in the area to find out if they have any students interested in cycling. All these students from different schools come together for one joint programme.
The students take part in a road cycling safety programme where they cover safe riding on the road and how to ride in a bunch. They use the local cycling track to learn these skills and once they are ticked off as a “Rider ready to go” they move onto the road.
Over Term 2 and 3 the students get to take part in a weekly training session and also join the Manawatu Schools Cycling racing programme which happens on a Sunday morning. These races are run by a local parent group with each school in the Manawatu having a member in the group. Race formats are set to suit the level of riders for each week and build towards Nationals at the end of Term 3.
The PNINS cycling programme is focused on deploying rider skill level and confidence on a bike. This collaborative approach that caters for all the intermediates in the area has over the years ensured that the high schools have good numbers coming through the door with students keen to ride.
Whanganui: In Whanganui, there's the Cycling Whanganui Youth Road Series which runs every term – all the details arehere. This is a great series for newbies through to experienced riders.
Sport Whanganui are hosting the Whanganui Schools Mountain Bike Championships on August 12 at Pauri Lake, Kaitoke for Years 6-13, keen students can enter through their schools.
Whether on the road, track, trail, or BMX track, there are endless opportunities for schools cycling in Southland.
The SIT Zero Fees Velodrome is one of only two indoor velodromes in New Zealand, and is an amazing facility for schools in the region to access. Cycling Southland hosts sessions from Learn to Ride for beginners aged 10 and over, through Flyers, Rockets, Supersonics, and Hypersonics to cater for all age and experience levels all the way up to riders looking to take part in national championships. The velodrome also hosts the South Island Schools Track Cycling Championships annually, which is combined with the National Schools Track Cycling Championships every second year. There are sessions for students doing cycling as part of their NCEA, as well as the opportunity for schools to books sessions for PE, with access to skilled coaches and the use of club track bikes, presenting local schools with unique opportunities in a world class venue.
Cycling Southland presents bike skills training in local schools under the Waka Kotahi Bike Ready programme. It also organises the Top Bike competition, with school teams testing themselves across mountain biking, grass track racing, and a skills course.
Cycling Southland also hosts regular road races on a Saturday, with racing for age groups from U13 up. In addition, the Southland and Otago Schools road cycling championships takes place in Invercargill each year, with racing at the Teretonga Park Raceway.
The crown jewel for school age cyclists is the Yunca Junior Tour of Southland, a three day, six stage road race that attracts top junior cyclists from across New Zealand to the region each October, creating an excellent opportunity for local riders to test themselves against the best the country has to offer while holding a home road advantage.
The regions boasts excellent mountain bike trails in Sandy Point and Bluff, catering for various ability levels, with the Southland MTB Club organising regular racing over the weekends. The region will also host the National Schools MTB Championships in Bluff in October 2022, which will be a wonderful opportunity for our local riders, as well as showcasing the newly upgraded trails network in Bluff.
At present the cyclocross scene for North Canterbury is hosted by Southerncross Cyclocross Club Inc. Our season information is posted on our website around April each year with our season kicking off in May.
With regards to the season format, we aim to host six club rounds between May and August. Each race day is reviewed each year, typically four races:
- MTB 3 mins, men and women categories.
- Development/Junior 30 mins. D Grade, Years 1-8, Years 9+ (school years) by men and women.
- CX B 50 mins. Men and women
- CX A 60 mins. Men and women
Course is typically 1.3 to 2km long. Aim is to complete as many laps s possible during the race time (we display remaining laps after 2nd lap is completed). If you do less laps than the leader that's totally OK - complete as many as you can.
CX bikes only for CX races, any bike welcome in D/J and MTB only in MTB race.
The Canterbury Schools road season starts around June each year, with a variety of graded scratch, time trial, team time trial and hill climb time trial races offered on a Wednesday night. There is an average of 150 riders who attend each week, with riders from year 7 through to year 13.
Riders are graded on the result of their first event, an individual Time Trial, with the knowledge of riders and results in subsequent races determining whether they progress up through the grades.
In the earlier events of the season they provide coaching for inexperienced rides and ensure they are followed by a proficient ex rider on a motor bike. These younger grades have also had adult rides on the back offering sage advice and ensuring the correct protocols of riding in a peloton are learned.
Check out this highlights video here from the Canterbury Schools TTT Champs to see what it's all about!
Track run an annual development program which is always well supported. They have a number of bikes available allowing riders to "try before they buy"
The Waikato region is spoilt for choice when it comes to cycling, the rolling terrain perfect for all types of cycling. You’re highly likely to come across a New Zealand team member while riding or you can always go and watch the NZ team training at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome.
Waikato Schools Cycling is growing and gaining speed after a few bumps in the road over the previous years. If your school does not offer cycling, reach out to a school that does and they will help you in the right direction.
With the world class Grassroots Trust Velodrome in Cambridge understandably Track is a hotly contested school sport in the Waikato. The Velodrome offers a range of opportunities from beginner to expert. You can hire a bike if you don’t have one, or you can bring your own. There are numerous classes to pick from for all ages, with the session’s coached by current elite cyclists or talented track coaches.
Friday night racing is dedicated to schools cycling and racing occurs every second Friday at the Velodrome. The racing programme changes so there is always a race to suit your strengths and also challenge you. Click here for the FNR info.
Also dotted throughout the Waikato are some awesome outdoor tracks. These are a great way to learn to ride the track and you can also use these for riding road bikes and doing some riding in a safe environment.
Road cycling in the Waikato is strong thanks to the local clubs around the region. Te Awamutu, Morrinsville and Hamilton all have regular races throughout the year for all grades. Through the Waikato we have the Te Awa River Trail which provides some awesome scenery and safe off-road riding. Waikato Schools cycling is still looking for some more opportunities to get the schools of the Waikato together for some fun competition throughout the year.
Waikato is also graced with some amazing MTB facilities, Te Miro, Pukete, Pirongia and Tokaroa to name a few. There are also a few pump tracks around the place to test your skills. There is a Junior MTB series coming up with races at Pukete on the 6th of Nov, and Te Miro on the 13th Nov. Tokoroa run Wednesday afternoon Junior rides during day-light savings. Click here for info. Te Miro also run Saturday morning kids rides in Term 1 and 4. Click here for the Te Miro Facebook page.
The home of cyclocross in the Waikato is Fog City Cyclocross – An awesome winter option, especially if you love mud! You don’t need a cross bike to participate.