December 11, 2011 cycling in Auckland will reach a new height, 43.27m above sea level to be exact, as cyclists ride over the Auckland Harbour Bridge thanks to the TelstraClear Challenge.
This is the first time approval has been given by the NZTA for cyclists to cross Auckland’s iconic Bridge, and leads on to another exclusive route: the Northern Busway. Until now permission has only been granted to the Auckland Marathon, which sold out again this year.
Like the marathon, entry numbers for the TelstraClear bridge ride will be limited.
Public on-line registration opens 9am Monday 20 June www.telstraclearchallenge.co.nz.
Event sponsor TelstraClear says the Challenge heralds a major celebration of New Zealand cycle-culture, encompassing all riders: kids, commuters, leisure and elite.
“We take our responsibilities to New Zealand, our customers, and the communities that support us, very seriously,” says TelstraClear chief executive Allan Freeth. “We’re all about connecting people. We try to do this with phone and Internet products that make people’s lives richer and more productive. This challenge is also a great way to connect with family and friends, has fantastic health benefits, and is safe.
“We thrive on challenge and that's why we're proud to be a part of the TelstraClear Challenge. For the first time ever, cyclists will be able to cross the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge travel new roads.”
The TelstraClear Challenge offers cyclists the choice of three outstanding paths:
The TelstraClear ClipOn 110 km: An exceptional course, beginning with the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, and leading into the exclusive Northern Busway, some of Auckland’s most scenic country roads, and a 3.4km Paris-Roubaix-style gravel road, especially groomed for this event. Options allow for this route to be completed solo or as a two-person relay.
The TelstraClear Pedaller 15 km: At 15km, this course is easy for every urban rider to breeze through and enjoy. This gem of a ride crosses the Auckland Harbour Bridge and cruises the Northern Busway, before finishing at Smales Farm. Participants can stay after the ride and enjoy the festivities at a Community Bike Festival.
The TelstraClear Bike the Busway: Choose between the 8km family ride (age 8+) and the 2km family ride (age 5+) along the Northern Busway. This is an opportunity for the whole family to get on their bikes and enjoy the Bike Festival at Smales Farm. The perfect start to a summer of family cycling.
NZ Bus is another champion for easier community connections. It will provide 160 buses to ensure the safety of participants; forming a 2.3 km barrier from motorway traffic to separate to cyclists as they descend the bridge and make their way to the Northern Busway.
Auckland Transport (who approved the use of the Busway), in cooperation with Cycle Action Auckland are excited to be part of developing the event’s community Bike Festival at Smales Farm. The 10.8-hectare site will host this fun, energetic expo of cycle culture. Even if cycling the busway is not possible for all family members, they will be kept busy with interactive demonstrations and activities based around everyday cycling, leisure sport, and road safety.
The Telstra Challenge ClipOn 110k race is stacking up to be the elite long distance race the Auckland road cycling community has longed for. AvantiPlus Ironman Cameron Brown and Pure Black Racing have already conveyed their enthusiasm to be part of this ground-breaking event.
“How fantastic for all kiwis to finally have the opportunity to ride over the harbour bridge! There is no doubt that this event will fast become one of New Zealand’s iconic cycle events that will appeal to riders of all levels from beginners to weekend warriors to our very own Pure Black Racing pro team.” Says Avanti spokesperson Amanda Till.
A key attraction of the event is the opportunity for corporate and individual participants to raise funds for the MS Auckland Region Trust. MS (Multiple Sclerosis) is a disease prevalent in New Zealand with no known cause and no known cure.
Under the banner of BikeMS cycling already has a close association with MS Societies in the US and Australia; the MS Sydney Gong Ride raised over 4 million dollars in 2010. All money raised by the event will be used to support the work of the MS Society in Auckland and for MS research. This partnership with the TelstraClear Challenge will mark the first event in New Zealand; teaming the movement of cyclists with the movement for an MS free world. A cause the event whole-heartedly supports.
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