How about taking your bike for a spin around the famous Pukekohe Park Raceway which is normally reserved for the V8s?

Well this October cyclists who enter the Counties Cycle Classic run by the Rotary Club of Pukekohe Inc. get to do just that as the race returns to the iconic venue for the second time.

Organiser Graham Russell says the move last year to the racetrack was a huge plus for the classic, with a big “thumbs-up” from everyone who participated.  “Apart from the thrill of riding round V8 territory, there’s heaps of parking, and it’s much simpler getting on the road out of town for the serious stuff.”

Riders get to do a lap of the track at the start of the race, and again when they return.  And while they’re out enjoying the picturesque Franklin countryside, there are rides around the V8 track for children up to 11 years old at $10 each.

Russell says Rotary is keen to encourage younger riders both on the race track, and out on the three distances available, and is offering a 50% discount for school teams of five or more.

The 2019 classic is set for Sunday October 13th with registration at Pukekohe Park Raceway open from 7.30 that morning. Distances are the same as last year:  42km, 52km, 97km plus a time trial for electric bikes on the 52km course.  

The ride is on roads with very little traffic and great scenery.  Fast becoming a fixture on the cycling calendar, the event is shaping up to be even bigger and better this year.  

Russell says the classic has again been well supported by sponsorship from local businesses and a grant from the Franklin Local board of Auckland Council. As a Rotary initiative, every dollar raised goes to charity or youth sport. 

The Counties Cycle Classic proved massively popular in its first edition last year, photo provided

“This on-going support along with the level of entries tells us that we’re ticking all the right boxes for what the community wants.  As well as a fun, healthy day out there are great prizes on offer.”

The feedback from riders has been encouraging too after the second year on the cycling calendar, organisers being praised for providing an enjoyable, well managed event that has excellent traffic management in place and catered well for everyone from experienced riders through to novices.

A strong element of the Counties Cycle Classic has been the e-bike section.  Run in the first year as a flat out race, organisers have adapted to the fact that different e-bikes have different levels of electric assist (with some being modified by smart owners to go even faster!) so it was decided in the second Classic to run it as a time trial.

Riders are given a target time to complete the 52km circuit.

Russell says e-bikes are a booming industry, with bike shops reporting more sales of e-bikes these days than standard ones.  One local retailer says his e-bikes are outselling pedal power 8-1.

Rotary is fortunate to have Counties Power as one of the sponsors, and the electricity network supplier is also pushing e-bikes along with EVs (electric vehicles) 

Graham Russell says he doesn’t care what you ride, so long as you come along and have fun on the day. 

For more information and registration, visit: http://countiescycleclassic.co.nz/

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