GLCC Kune KOM Weekend 2023
So, the GLCC Kune KOM Weekend was a success. We travelled along one of New Zealand’s best cycling roads, Fields Track. Last year we tried to ride Fields Track, it was closed for the first time in 10 years for the Targa Rally. It was definitely worth the wait.
The weekend started on the Friday afternoon. We managed a tiki tour around Ohakune, discovering the hidden gems. Some great roads and places of interest were discovered. It’s a great little town, with a great cycling future. Now, if they could only organise some events.
The next morning, Saturday, we were on the road early. It would have been earlier, but someone had a puncture in the kitchen of all places. So a relaxed change of tube, and we were away. We headed east of the Ohakune township towards Whangaehu Valley Road. This road, although scenic in its own right, leads to the picturesque Fields Track. If you ever get the chance to ride this road, do it.
Following on from the delights of Fields track, we ended up on a quiet state highway 4. There was quite a lot of damage to the road, so I guess this added to the road works and quietness. For a quiet as it was, the wind made up for it. Riding the Ridgeline down to Upokongaro, we nearly got blown off our bikes. All making it down safely, we headed to the Behind The Door On 4 café.
The 2nd half
Fuelled up, we were ready to tackle the rest of the ride. Heading back to the Whanganui River Road, we were soon joined by one of the locals. A white car full of bored hoons, just looking for trouble. For the next 20km they tried to door us, ride us off the road, threaten us with their car, abuse us, the list goes on. It spoilt, what would have been, a great ride alongside one of NZ’s most beautiful rivers.
We soon reached Matahiwi, our next coffee stop. The locals are superb. They offer an ideal break, with coffee and home made cakes. The café is easily identifiable with the movie prop boat from the film ‘The River Queen’. Definitely worth a stop. We did it last year, and also on the Tour Aotearoa.
It’s then onto the serious climbing. The rolling hills give way to the largest climb of the day when you reach Pipiriki. Peter, Michael, and Denny all had good legs, and Mark just cruised up with me. I thought I was saving myself for Sunday, but that was futile. The climb goes on, and on, and on. Not in an Alpine way, but more from the fatigue from the other 2,000 metres climbing already in the legs.
Once at the top, it’s pretty much all down hill back to Ohakune. Although, I was already spent, Michael and Denny waited patiently. After Michael offering a gel, I simply couldn’t refuse, we were riding back to town, and beers and food at the Powderhorn.
Kune KOM Challenge
Sunday is all about the Kune KOM Challenge. Riding up the Turoa ski field road as quickly as is possible. I’d woken through the night with a very tight and sore right knee, so I scratched. I know, excuses, excuses. But, the others were more than game.
From the off, Peter rode into the distance. His strategy was to go hard on the first 5 km, and psych the others into submission. It duly worked. For Peter climbed NZ’s on HC climb, Turoa in 1:07:20. Beating last years winner, Calum, by 25 seconds. Michael was 2nd with a very respectable 1:13:41, and Mark 3rd with a time of 1:17:34. Chapeau to everyone that completed it.
GLCC Kune KOM Weekend 2024
Save the date
We’re mixing it up for 2024. Travel down on the Friday and join GLCC for the annual Kune KOM Challenge. On the evening of the 1st March 2024 6pm, we’re going to ride the KOM Challenge. Rather than have tired legs from Saturday’s ride, everyone’s riding it on fresh legs (unless you’ve driven from Auckland).
Saturday’s ride is shorter, but travels along one of NZ’s, maybe the world’s finest cycling roads, Fields Track. Because the route is only 100km, we’ve also added an Individual Time Trial (ITT), and to finish the day off before beers at the Powderhorn, we’re riding a criterium.
If road riding ain’t your gig anymore, why not try the GLCC Kune GRVL Deluxe Route. No one is judging. But must ride in checkered shirt.
Sunday’s ride is a gentle 35km recovery ride, before we all head back to where we’ve come from.
It’ll be a great weekend, so why not join us?
Friday’s Ride: https://www.strava.com/clubs/50775/group_events/1360744
Saturday’s Ride: https://www.strava.com/clubs/50775/group_events/1360747
Gravel Ride: https://www.strava.com/clubs/50775/group_events/1360766
Sunday’s Ride: https://www.strava.com/clubs/50775/group_events/1360748