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“The journey is never complete. We will never execute and deliver the perfect event, probably a reason event people do what they do—striving for the perfect event, an unattainable goal, that we get pretty close to from time to time!” —Hayden Dickason
PELOTON / ￼￼￼￼Andy Belcher
The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is New Zealand’s largest cycling event and had its beginnings in 1977 when 26 local Taupo riders decided to ride around the circumference of Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, to raise funds for charity. Now more than 8,000 participants from some 20 countries fly to the island to go Round the Lake.
At 160 kilometers, the one-lap, Round the Lake option is the most popular event category and hasn’t changed in the event’s 40-year history. In order to make the event accessible to everyone, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge now comprises 14 different categories, both road and mountain bike, with short and longer course options—the longest available is the eight laps around Lake Taupo coming in at 1,280 kilometers!
Hayden Dickason, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge sponsorship and communications director gave us some insight into the event: “Given the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge’s history, the event has gone through many cycles already—excuse the pun. However, there are a couple of key factors that we see setting it apart from other events.
“It starts with the location; the vista-filled Taupo region is like nowhere else in New Zealand and is an attractive place to play, stay and visit. Another key aspect is the iconic Lake Taupo, which lends itself to the signature event…. There is always the need to continue to look to improve the processes of the event, doing all that can be done to improve the event, and ultimately the experience of those that participate.”
The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is not a race first and foremost, although there are racing categories. Oftentimes, a rider will start small with the Quarter Lake ride (40km), progressing to the Half Lake (80km), the full Round the Lake (160km) and eventually the Enduro (320km), Maxi Enduro (640km) and the ultimate, Extreme Enduro (1,280km).
This can be a half-decade-long process for riders, but it is a beautiful place to push past personal limits and conquer Lake Taupo, New Zealand.
November 26, 2016; cyclechallenge.com