For the last few years cyclocross in Wellington has meant mostly one thing: The Bike Hutt. Conceived by Mike and Alison Anderson after a relocation from Texas to Upper Hutt, the shop has spread its name far beyond the hills surrounding the alluvial valley from whence its name. Similarly the cyclocross races that they have been hosting since 2009 have spread in infamy to all quarters of these isles and even internationally. A recent attempt to leave the Hutt Valley was only partially successful, and they canoed down the length of the river to Petone, where Abi the Jack Russell jumped ashore to chase a tennis ball. They decided to stay there and are now on Jackson St doing bike business and drinking beer.
This year saw yet another great series of 8 races put on around the bubbling metropolis of Upper Hutt featuring Moonshine, California and Harcourt parks on repeat. With races for kids, beginners, intermediates and more seasoned cyclocross riders it's made a big impact on the area and has had great support from everyone - from riders; with over 100 regularly turning up to race through to the Upper Hutt City Council for kindly giving permission for us to temporarily shred and chew up all the ground every weekend.
The final race in the series was last month, but as 8 races just wasn't enough Mike and the team are putting on another, more enduring race tomorrow (Saturday September 14th) at Moonshine Park from 4pm. This is preceded by a skills clinic, going over technique for cornering, dismounting and remounting for obstacles and other things such as tyre pressure in a cyclocross-specific setting. Then there's a kids race of 20 minutes plus a lap, and lastly the big one - a 90 minute cyclocross enduro for individuals or teams of two or four riders. Unlike other teams races this one will require changes of rider upon every lap, so it should make for a close event for all competitors. The course will encompass all that we have come to love about cyclocross in Wellington, and as a last bonus half of the proceeds will go towards helping fund my travels to distant shores to compete in international cyclocross races this coming season.
So please gather up your families and bicycles, jump into your jauntiest riding pyjamas and come along to squeeze the last drop of cyclocross out of the NZ season!