The Ebbett Pukekohe Counties Cycle Classic is back and set to be better than ever.
Organiser Graham Russell helped organise the inaugural event in 2017 and he says it will be another “memorable day”.
Proceedings will kick off from Pukekohe Park Raceway on Sunday, 14 October, with the course heading west from the venue and venturing into the scenic countryside around Pukekohe.
There are four different distances for entrants to choose from; 42km for fun cyclists, 52km for intermediate cyclists, 97km for experienced cyclists as well as a special 52km route for riders of e-bikes.
The cycle classic is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Pukekohe Inc but Graham says it’s about more than just raising money for the charities that the Rotary club supports.
“It was great to see people enjoying themselves [at last year’s event] and taking part in a healthy outdoor activity.”
To ensure the whole family can enjoy the day, Rotary is also offering rides around the V8 track for children and their parents.
As an extra incentive for young people to enter, schools with five or more entrants get a 50 per cent discount on entry fees.
A great way to see the region
Graham himself didn’t pick up cycling till he was given a bike for his 65th birthday, but thanks to his new-found love for the sport he is keen to share it with the community he’s grown up in and worked in.
He says for the more serious cyclist, the event fits perfectly into the race calendar for enthusiasts like himself.
“With two weeks to go before the K2 Road Cycle Classic and six weeks until the Taupo Cycle Challenge, the Ebbett Pukekohe Counties Cycle Classic also serves as a great warm up to the big day or as a challenge in its own right.”
Last year Graham spent almost 10 months, alongside his fellow Rotarians, pulling all the necessary elements together to make the event happen. He’s quick to acknowledge the community’s support, as well as Franklin Local Board’s significant grant to ensure this event became a reality.
Franklin Local Board chair Angela Fulljames says the event showcases all the things that make the area so great.
“What Graham and the Rotary Club of Pukekohe have done is really impressive,” she says.
“This event allows cyclists to take in our beautiful region, as well as tying in the raceway and our horticulture areas which are such important aspects of this area. It also showcases what a great community spirit we have in this region and the hard-working folk who make this a great place to live.”