70-year-old Dannevirke man clocks up 1280km Lake Taupo ride

By Christine McKay

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Extreme enduro rider Colin Anderson cresting Hatepe Hill near end of the 7th lap of his Lake Taupo Challenge.
Extreme enduro rider Colin Anderson cresting Hatepe Hill near end of the 7th lap of his Lake Taupo Challenge.

When you're about to hit 70 years of age, riding eight laps and clocking up 1280 kilometres around Lake Taupo in less than four days, you can be forgiven for being a bit stiff, enduro rider Colin Anderson says.

In completing those eight laps former Dannevirke man Anderson has now logged 90 laps of the lake, an impressive 14,400 kilometres, the only rider to do so.

"I'm buggered and stiff," he said at the end of his fundraising ride as part of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge.

"It was particularly hard with changing climatic conditions from cold, wet, foggy and windy as.

"It was tough. On Thursday there was torrential rain and it was pretty miserable," he said.

"I could have flagged it many times over those eight laps but this year I was riding to raise money for Heart Kids, a particularly poignant charity as earlier this year my great-grandson was born with a heart condition.

"If I didn't have that thought in the back of my mind I would have chucked it all in because I'd buried myself in a pretty dark hole at one stage during the ride."

Anderson, who has now retired from his job as a Palmerston North postie, has been taking part in the Taupo event for 29 consecutive years. This was the fourth time he'd tackled the Extreme Enduro.

"It was a bit easier when I was younger," he said. "This time some of my decision-making wasn't perfect."

When the Dannevirke News spoke to Mr Anderson on Tuesday morning he was still trying to get the feeling back into his fingers and numb feet.

"When you've been hanging onto the handle bars for three days and six hours, with just two and a half hours sleep it does your noggin in," he said.

"But apart from the terrible weather and a very unfriendly magpie protecting its nest, I made my target to get to the finish line in time for the prizegiving to celebrate the event's 40th birthday."

Anderson now plans to take part in the Masters Games in Whanganui, not in an enduro event but racing.

"I might still be clipping my feet into my peddles when the rest of the field crosses the finish line, but I'm giving it a go," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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