Locals urged to join cycle relay

By Lawrence Gullery

 A 10-hour bike ride in rural Hastings is the latest project by Napier man T Taufale, who cycled the length of New Zealand to encourage better health choices for Maori and Pacific men last year.

Mr Taufale, a former Hawks basketball coach, has come up with the Cycle Relay Hawke's Bay event which will be based at Twyford School, west of Hastings city, on April 27.

The team event will include a six-hour ride option and another 10-hour option, where cyclists will complete a circuit around the Twyford district. Mr Taufale and his team of supporters ran a similar event in Porirua in February to raise money for those affected by cyclone Evan in Samoa and Fiji in 2012.

"Each team will nominate a rider to do two laps or 30 minutes, and then swap with the next team member. There will be a range of experienced riders and new cyclists and it will be a good opportunity to meet other riders and get tips.

"We've got people from the Porirua event that want to come up for the Hawke's Bay one, as well as Iron Maori competitors and cyclists from the Ramblers bike club. We want to bring everyone together."

Mr Taufale said he hoped the cycle relay would encourage more families to get on their bikes and exercise.

"What we found in Porirua was that people went out and bought new bikes for themselves or for their children. Those are the sorts of stories we want to hear.

"We are so lucky in Hawke's Bay because we have many pathways for families to cycle and the weather offers ideal conditions for this type of activity."

Mr Taufale and his supporters also plan to cycle around islands in Samoa from May 24 to June 3 as part of a project with Cancer Society Samoa.

"We want to be able to connect the society and clinicians with people in the various villages around Samoa, to find out what the health issues are and understand how we can help people.

"We also recognise that it is equally important to work with Samoan families in New Zealand, and their families in Samoa."

Mr Taufale is also planning a second national ride around New Zealand in 2014.

"Everything we are doing this year will lead on to another ride around the country next year."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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