Go to the link HERE and the file below for the full article
Go to this link for a good insight into the collaboration and the leading role that Chris Te'o plays in the growth of cycling in Porirua
Go to the link HERE and the file below for the full article
Accross Aotearoa the MOH and DHB's are doing their part to spread the awareness of the COVID vaccination and answer community questions. Here is USO Bike Ride's Tofilau Talalelei Taufale sharing in Hawk'es Bay for an up and coming fono for the Hawke's Bay District Health Board. Thank you Radio 531PI for sharing this
Go to the facebook link HERE
Red this stuff.co.nz article about the Bikes in Schools initiative in Porirua that Chris and the team are playing a leading role in the initiation and implementation of things cycling!
Go HERE to read the article
USO Wananga/Camps are a great opportunity to Wananga together, meet new riders, share in the health and wellbeing journey and gain a deeper understanding of the USO kaupapa. Thank you to our lead riders, Martin and Siaosi of Porirua Mens Health and "Doc" for sharing with us. Thank you also to our hosts ELise, Fetaui, Penny, WIllie and aiga for looking after our nutritional needs! Here is a short video from the weekend-enjoy
Here is a fantastic interview of Chris Te'o MNZM to listen to.
We are blessed to see Chris acknowledged for the great work in cycling and community health and wellbeing. It has been a great journey and the rides continue. Thank you to all the USO leadership, whanau, communities and supporters who have helped us get to where we are today.
So many emotions cross through us and we are so proud
Here is the full list of recipients
Covid and the lockdowns for many families, in particular maori and Pacific, has been tough. While many are impacted by loss of income, many of our maori and Pacific whanau are the essential workers-out there working to keep the supermarkets open, MIQ and other essential roles. Here is a video put together by the USO whanau to share with you. Kia kaha Aotearoa!
Chris Te’o, Talalelei Taufale and Porirua Mayor Mike Tana spent the week end in Tauranga amongst 26 other National finalists of the Trust Power National Community Awards sharing, presenting, and judging to find the top volunteer group(s) in New Zealand. These were announced at the awards dinner last night.
Congratulations Supreme award winners Matipo Community Development Charitable Trust (Whanganui). The outstanding holistic approach to the community Garden and the outcomes achieved is exemplary for us all. Runners up South Catlins Charitable Trust (Invercargill) and Whetau Mataiata Award winner’s Under the Stars (Tauranga) are glowing examples of passion and commitment to help their communities.
USO Bike Ride were in the mix too - We were awarded the inaugural Trust Power Award.
Needless to say we were speechless. It really was a humbling privilege, especially when you consider the depth and quality of the volunteer work of all of the 26 other finalists- each finalist had a fantastic story of service to their respective communities.
Thank you Lord for blessing us with this opportunity. There are so many people to thank and acknowledge - our Porirua School community, Principals, lead riders, USO Riders and their families, community leaders, supporters and of course Mayor Mike Tana. This would not be possible without you.
We will continue to do our best to serve our communities and do our part.
Finally thanks to Trust Power, Board members, staff, Mayors, counsillors and sponsors who make this event possible.
Our list of things potentially could increase ten fold. But first, we think it may be a good call to go for a ride to just breathe, re charge the batteries and go for gold!
#uso4life #KeepTheWheelsSpinning #trustpower
Go to this Facebook link HERE for more
USO Bike Ride won the Supreme Award at the 2018 Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards last night. It was an excellent evening with many deserving recipient's attending. Fortunately the work by USO Bike stood out to take the top award. Congratulations Chris and team. Many thanks to the supporters of USO Bike Ride and community-we could not have done this without you!
Go HERE for the article and below for the video
Of course if you don't have the time to get around to Hilo or Kalapana and are based in Kailua Kona here are some options for rides.
Of course if you go to Kona and you get a chance to ride the Ironman course or part of it - Just do it!
The course is fast, exposed, undulating with many long false flats and equally long gentle descending slopes. Of course you also have the heat and wind to factor in too. It’s a popular route year round for all cyclists. A majority are on their tri bikes and deep dish rims-with set up’s like this everyone looks like a pro rider. Come to think of it, when we visited in September 2015 there were many pro triathletes arriving and acclimatizing early for the Ironman. It’s ideal if you can get there 3 -5 weeks before hand but I really admire those week end warriors who only arrive a week before IRONMAN .
With such wide shoulders and smooth roads it is a relatively safe ride out to Hawei and back. Be mindful of the loose chunks of rubber from truck/car tyre's as they do have exposed sharp bits of wire that can easily pierce your tyres. Unlike NZ the edge of the lane has deep grouted rivets that are harsher to ride over than riding over our cateye's here in NZ-keep an eye out for these.
Be mindful that from the turn run off onto the Akoni Pule Highway to Hawei you are gently climbing and undulations are sharper and shorter compared to the long drawn out undulations you have experienced up until now.
NOTE: You don’t have to ride the full course. There are plenty of options to turn back earlier and still get a good workout or embrace the atmosphere. For example-turn back at the airport or Kiholo Bay turn off.
Safety: Unlike NZ you must keep right at all times. Be predictable and use your hand signals. In built up areas eg Ali’I drive be mindful of cars and people as there are some narrow spots. If in doubt at intersections slow down and get eye contact with drivers. Generally drivers in Hawaii give you time and space. Don’t forget to smile and say thanks-embrace the Aloha spirit.
If you don't bring your bike you can hire one. Contact Bike Works Kona. Connect with them early as IRONMAN Kona week is flat out. You’d be surprised at the amount of pro riders that take care of everything and leave the bike to the last minute for a check.
Coffee? A must stop is the Island Lava Java. The place to be for the tri-cyclists etc Grab a coffee, cold drink, something to eat and watch the world pass you by. Mind you there are plenty of places.
It really is a must ride if you get a chance to do it.
Here is a hill option as opposed to doing the Ironman ride. Please note: from sea level you climb straight up then drop down to the cove and then return the way you went out. It is a solid ride with x2 good climbs and some good descending to recover.
From the town area head out along Alii Drive and pretty much follow the road that links on to Ali'i Highway and then connects to the Mamalahoa Bypass road. The only turn off is when you turn right onto Napoopoo Road. Follow this road that drops to Kealakekua Bay.
The Napoopoo road is narrow and windy with plenty of foliage and natural fauna that can hide you from oncoming traffic-Keep right!! Keep your wits about you too and scan the road. Towards the bottom of the cove the road can be quite uneven and rough-watch out for this especially if you are not confident at descending or like to let it go as hitting a bump or a rock can be trouble. At the very bottom of the road turn right.
The climb back out is gentle but windy similar to Ngauranga Gorge or the Akatarawa climb from Waikanae. There are spots where you can stop to admire the view too. You will really appreciate just how tough the ride out is when you descend back along Napoopoo Road and Alii Highway. It is straight and super fast! Remember to keep right, hold your line and if you are with others keep an even distance between each other. Be predictable. If your not too flash on descending regulate your breathing, stay loose and feather your brakes. Try to ease into it and not use the vice like grip. Head up and follow the line of the rider in front as a guide
NOTE: A great time to ride is first thing in the morning before the heat kicks in. Take plenty to eat and drink as there aren't many handy places to stop at for a drink etc.
#RideAloha #RideAlofa #RideAroha
USO Bike Ride has enjoyed many hours cycling, exploring visiting friends and family in Hawaii. Recently I was asked about our experience in Hawaii and to share what it is like to cycle on the Big Island. I have used our visits in 2014 and 2016 to put this story together for the Big Island....
Perhaps it is more than a coincidence that there is a connection between Hawaii and Savaii-The Big Island of Samoa. The well known Upolu Point is also located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Upolu is the second biggest Island in Samoa. The word Hamoa(another word for Samoa) is also the name given to a popular beach on Maui. It’s obvious that the Poynesian connection through language, place names and cultures is what ties many of the Polynesian cultures found in the Pacific. Lets see how things unfolded by bike…..
Since the very first IRONMAN event in Kailua Kona back in 1981 the Big Island Hawaii has become known as the Mecca of Ironman. It’s the home of the Ironman World Championships. Most Hawaiian local’s we meet on this side of the island have had some form of experience in the iconic event. Many people you meet and talk to have experienced Ironman supporting or completing the event. The old skool stories about completing Ironman back in the day when it first started with no cut off times, and when it was sponsored by a brewery were revealing to say the least. The locals are friendly and the ethnic mix of the population reflect's the growing numbers form the mainland/abroad who have found the Big Island, fell in love with the place and stayed.
Today the Big Island is also host to the Ultraman-a triathlon event x2 the distance of Ironman, Lavaman Triathlon, 5km runs and through Lavakids there are a number of Biathlons, run clinics, events for Keiki. There is also the Hawaii Cycling club based on the Kona side of the Big Island who also run cycle races. If you want to hire a bike go to the number one bike shop Bike Works Kona-a huge range of bikes and the wheel sets on display are awesome.
From a cycling and learning perspective I urge you to venture outside of Kailua Kona. Cycle around the island. You will get to appreciate and experience a hidden mecca of endless smooth roads and an abundance of climbs that reach high up into the clouds-even higher than many of the peaks at the Tour de France. You will experience communities, people, beaches, historical sites that will remain untouched if you stay in Kona. So if you’re coming to support someone doing Ironman and you are a runner, swimmer, cyclist- set some time aside to check the Big Island out!
#RideAloha #RideAlofa #RideAroha #uso4life
In Hawaiian mythogy Mauna Kea (White Mountain) was an ancient site sacred to all but ranking tribal chiefs. Today at the very summit of this dormant volcano are 13 telescopes that are also popular with visitors. These telescopes were first built in the 1970’s for scientific and so called economic benefits. However it was the prospect of building a gigantic new thirty meter telescope in April 2018 that led to a wave of indegenous protests throughout 2015.
Lets face it, with a natural site perched so high above sea level with unobstructed views it is a perfect site to view the skies. The claimed economic benefits would continue to flow back to the community. However, the success of this development needs the buy in of the local indegenous people. World History is littered with stories of colonised takeovers by European powers of pre occupied land. As is obvious with this story, the locals will fight to the end. The Thirty Meter Telescope International Observatory group appears to have severely underestimated the connection of the people to their land and the cultural identity that comes with it. See this article for more…or do a search. There are plenty of stories and videos on this important subject.
Mauna Kea stands 4,200 meters tall- Climbs like the world famous Alpe D’Huez and Mount Ventoux are easily overshadowed by Mauna Kea. Five of us took this beast on. Kelly, Nigel and I started us off. We were joined later on for the bulk of the middle section of the climb by Jemma an Deb's-Kelly and Nigel's wives. We needed all the help we could get today. We left from the small township of Waikaloa and cycled to the Mauna Kea visitor center a total distance of 64kms. Heres our course
The gearing on my bike was a 36 x25 set up. Fitness wise I felt I had enough form to get up, it wasn't a race and we could take our time. We also had a support vehicle with food, drinks and a change of clothing. However it is a hot virtual non stop climb for the first 3/4's. The last 1/4 the temperature drops and the density of the air starts to thin out.
For this climb there are different spots around the base of the mountain like Hilo or Waikaloa where you can make a start. We started from the Waikaloa Village. The first 56kms of the ride was non stop climbing- a gentle false flat for the first 4 kms and then it starts to pitch up. Most of the elevation for the climbing is like Ngauranga Gorge- steady but sure climbing. Find your rhythm and spin. Aim to conserve your energy-it is a long day in the saddle. We made a point to eat and drink plenty as it was hot. You are also exposed to the elements and really need to get into a good head space and spin away. The roads are nice and smooth with wide shoulders-plenty of room. Traffic is minimal.
The length of the climb means we climb at our own tempos we are comfortable with-we stay within distance of each other and regroup at drink breaks. The loud bang of the big barreled military guns echo around the valley as we head up Saddle Road past the Pohakuloa Training Area with a small military airstrip - Bradshaw Army Airfield.
We take our final rest stop at the Saddle Road turn off to the Mauna Kea Access Road. This road leads to the Mauna Kea Visitor Center. We pull over here, fuel up, eat, put on a few layers of clothing etc and are ready for the final assault up the climb.
The climb to the Visitor Center is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. This is when the reality check really ramps up. The climb itself starts to pitch up 10+ percent. You think its ok- and try to settle into your rhythm, manage the breathing BUT you find yourself breathing even heavier with each pedal. Then you hit the 2km stretch with an average gradient of 14%+ Now you feel like you are virtually crawling. It feels like everything is in slow motion and your lungs are bursting. You try to stay relaxed but it’s a real struggle and then you virtually hit a brick wall. I came to an absolute stop! Breathing heavily I jump off and walk the bike to the side of the road. I wait for the heavy breathing to subside. The mind is all good but I couldn’t seem to get out of 1st gear. I’m standing there regretting that I had underestimated the density of the air at this height. I'm also regretting that I should have put a 34x32 ratio for this climb!
Once composed I start off again. Further up the road the support crew are set up encouraging and calling out “only ¼ of a mile to go!” It actually felt like 5kms lol. I finally arrive at the visitor center and notice x2 things. It’s a lot cooler now compared to when we started and the air is thin. Kelly and then Nigel arrive shortly afterwards. We congratulate each other and then Nige starts to attempt the last section and I follow.
From the Visitor center to the summit there is a gravel road and a short sealed section to get to the Observatories. All up about 10kms. As I follow Nige my tyre's start to slip and sink into the sand, loose gravel. I am crawling and sliding and thinking this will take forever! We make a decision to stop return to the visitor center- A good call!
Nige puts on some warm gear and then proceeds to bomb the descent back to the turn off. He is literally flying..
All up a great climb not to underestimate. Obviously if I did it again I would go with a 34-32 combination and do some training. The support crew is essential-plenty of food, drink and some warm clothes. Support crew must be weary that sitting in a car and then getting out at altitude can have a dizzying effect. The support crew would also need a 4x4 vehicle and take spare mountainbikes for the last 10kms!.