Tonia Nesbitt wants to cycle ever faster.

The Whanganui woman likes to be fit and she did triathlons for seven years. This season she's focused on cycling, which was her strongest discipline in triathlon.

On the first day of the Masters Games in Whanganui she won three gold medals in her 45-49 age group. She was pleased with her time of 32 minutes and 14 seconds over 20km.

Cycling as a sport isn't cheap. She now has three bicycles, for use in time trials, road racing and track cycling. Her coach Ron Cheatley and former Olympic cyclist Gary Anderson set them up for her. The road racing bike alone cost $5000.


For Mrs Nesbitt cycling isn't about transport or recreation - although she enjoys it and likes being outdoors. What she wants is to be fast and faster.

"I want to do my best and I've always gone by personal best. I haven't reached my goal yet," she said.

This season she has joined the Wanganui Cycling Club, which has lots of cyclists over 30. She said it was a great club and had been very helpful.

She's in a group voluntarily coached by Ron Cheatley. They do training rides every Tuesday and Thursday at the velodrome.

"He is a great trainer. He gets you working, and that's what I want."

On other days there are individual programmes. A 60km easy ride, for example, might be out toward Westmere, Papaiti or Upokongaro. Afterward the cyclists might have coffee together.

She rides an average 200km across five days of a week, in all weathers.

"You have your time for training that you can do and you have just got to use it. You get warm while riding."


Mrs Nesbitt is self-employed, with children aged 13 and 15 and husband Paul, who is a runner. On training days she will finish work, go home and take her bike to the velodrome.

She's competed nationally, and is on the waiting list to ride in the World Masters Games Cycling in Auckland this year.

After her last event in the Whanganui Masters on February 6, Mrs Nesbitt will be settling back into her usual training regime.

"I have learned a lot this season, and got a lot to learn," she said.