When American triathlete Blake Wheale arrived in Auckland for this week's World Masters Games 2017, he was missing one very important element to his race - his bike hadn't made the flight.

"I got paged before the flight took off and there was something in my bike box that they wouldn't allow on the plane, maybe a CO2 cartridge," he told The Herald. "I had no choice but to get on the flight without my bike."

But a shout-out to the Auckland triathlon community on Facebook met with so many offers of assistance, he eventually had his pick of mounts for the Olympic-distance 30-34 race.

Hayden Goldsack, left, and grateful American triathlete Blake Wheale. Photo supplied.
Hayden Goldsack, left, and grateful American triathlete Blake Wheale. Photo supplied.

"A TT [time trial] bike would be ideal, but at this point, I will settle for anything," begged Wheale.


"I am willing to pay to rent a bike and can give it back right after the event, and pay you in beer, wine, cash - whatever your preference."

Among the offers was the exact size and model bike Wheale normally rides, but he eventually secured a sleek Cervelo P3 off local triathlete Hayden Goldsack, along with a helmet.

"I am overwhelmed by how nice you all are," responded Wheale. "Kiwis are my new favourite people.

"I need to pay it forward. Any of you need a place to stay when you come to San Francisco, you know who to call."

Wheale eventually finished second in his division and 19th overall, with a time of 2h 07m 30s for the 1.5km swim/40km cycle/10km run course.

"I did pretty well," he told the Herald. "I have a bit of an Achilles issue right now, so the run was challenging, but that performance is up there near my best.

"This was an amazing experience. If I had done this in the US, my chances of finding a bike would be pretty slim."

Goldsack didn't expect anything for the favour, but Wheale was as good as his word, providing a case of craft beer that was appreciated by his good Samaritan.

The World Masters Games 2017 wind up on Sunday, with several sports conducting finals and a closing ceremony at Queen's Wharf, scheduled for 6.30pm.