Spring is here, the days are longer, and the temperature is warmer, so it is the perfect time to start gearing up for the 42nd annual BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge.
The largest cycling event in New Zealand will take place on Saturday, November 24, leaving entrants just under two months to prepare.
While the challenge is best known for its 160km Bike Barn Round the Lake, the one-lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupō, this is just one of 14 categories on offer.
There is something for everyone, including road cycling and mountain bike options, long and shorter distance choices, perfect for individuals and teams, and catering to all levels of cycling and fitness abilities.
Event director Debbie Chambers said, while the event was popular with high-performance athletes, it was also about participation and inclusion.
One of the goals of the event this year was to encourage as many people as possible to start together, ride together and celebrate crossing the finish line together.
"For many, it's about the challenge and participation, not the race. That's why we are offering some great extras, like the discounted price for kids and the BDO teams' challenge."
The entry fee is halved for children under 15 (with a paying accompanying adult).
The BDO teams challenge offers fun and camaraderie. Aside from bragging rights, teams of four receive a discounted entry fee of 10 per cent, and BDO will put you in the draw to be one of 10 teams hosted by the BDO team in the event village after the ride. Simply register a team of four in the same event category.
"I know some cyclists tend to hibernate a bit more over winter. But now's the time to get the bikes out of the shed and get back on the road or trails," Chambers said.
The event entertains cyclists and spectators alike. There is a range of free entertainment and activities suitable for all ages on Friday evening and all-day Saturday.
• BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge event and entry information can be found at www.cyclechallenge.com