Hawke’s Bay is the home of cycling in New Zealand, thanks to the abundance of accessible trails, quiet country circuits, its rolling terrain and Mediterranean climate. Since 1982, The Hub Cycle Centre has promoted and supported cycling in the Bay and continues that commitment today.
Here’s some information on local clubs and rides to get you on your bike and riding.
Ramblers is one of New Zealand’s largest and oldest cycling clubs dating back to the 1890s. More than 300 members compete across eight grades, so you can ride with others of similar ability and fitness. The weekly Saturday club races operate all year rain or shine, and often attracts more than 120 riders.
Pain Train – For over 20 years our infamous weekly Tuesday night shop ride known as The Pain Train helped spring-board local talent into international rank. Visiting professionals also used this ride as part of their off-season training.
A new Tuesday night ride, which has no affiliation with our shop, now leaves Havelock North at 5.45pm (Corner of Te Mata Road & St Hill Lane). The ride goes around Tukituki Road Loop via Longlands Road and Havelock North, finishing back up in Havelock North.
Every Sunday the Taradale Bunch Ride leaves from the Taradale Clocktower at 8.00am. This ride covers over 100km with an average speed of around 30kph.
The Hastings Bunch Ride leaves from Rebel Sport (Heretaunga St) at 8.00am and runs between 50 and 100km.
Tour of the Bay
The Hub has been involved in The Tour of The Bay since it started in 1991. It is run every October, with over 1000 cyclists taking part over several distances.
The Hub Tour
Every January The Hub 3 Day Tour is raced over four stages with $10,000 in prize money. The Tour attracts cyclists from all around the country including some of New Zealand’s top professionals. Grades are Elite, B and C Grade Men; Elite & B Grade Women; and Under 17 Boys and Girls.
The Hawke’s Bay Mountain Bike Club (HBMTBC) is the largest mountain bike club in NZ with over 1600 members and more than 100km of purpose-built mountain bike (MTB) trails within three privately owned pine forests. The jewel in the crown is the Pan Pac Eskdale MTB Park, ten minutes north of Napier, which is one of New Zealand’s premier bike parks set within 356ha of forest. The park has 80km of purpose-built cross country and free-ride / downhill trails, plus 25km of forestry roads that cater to riders of all abilities. Entry is by permit only (available for purchase in store). Annual membership is available on HBMTBC’s website.
Te Mata Peak behind Havelock North has a designated MTB trail and several shared trails that allow mountain bikers to exit down through the main gate or further down the valley to the Turoa Road carpark.
Bennelong Mountain Bike Club (BMC) is a group of local recreational mountain bikers that organise local Thursday night rides and trips away.
The Hawke's Bay Multisports Club (HBMSC) is a triathlon and duathlon-based club that has over 6000 participants in their events throughout the year. Triathlons are based at Pandora Pond in Napier and a duathlon series in run during winter in Havelock North.
IronMaori is a fun-filled race event open to everyone, but it also serves as a way of promoting healthy lifestyles within the Maori and Pacific Island communities. The event takes place in December in Napier and covers the half Ironman distance of a 2km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run. There will also be a quarter Ironman event as well as children’s and teenagers’ triathlons.
The IronMaori website contains information and training programmes.
Cyclocross Hawke's Bay (CXHB) runs a five-race series over winter and spring for all grades. Cross (or CX) is gaining popularity in New Zealand, having been adopted from Northern Europe where it is popular during the colder months. Races are held on a 2-3km circuits and go for about 30-60 minutes. The distance raced varies for each course and conditions on the day. Terrain consists of a mixture of grass, single track, paths, asphalt, gravel road, mud, stairs and barriers to jump, meaning riders need to dismount and carry their bikes over obstacles and up steep sections, then remount.
CXHB allow all types of bikes, but elite races require a bike with traditional drop-road handlebars and a maximum tyre width of 35mm. Knobbly tyres are used for grip, and cantilever-style brakes for clearance in muddy conditions are typical.
BMX went through a huge growth phase in the 1980s with BMX tracks hosting races throughout Hawke’s Bay. Sadly many local tracks went into disrepair in the 1990s but there has been a revival with local club Hawke’s Bay BMX Club Inc (HBMX) building a new track on Romanes Drive in Havelock North. The club hosts training on Wednesday evenings at 6pm.
There is also a dirt jump park and pump track in Taradale, and more pump tracks on Marine Parade and beside the Clive River.
Hawke's Bay has over 180km of on-road and off-road trails that offer safe cycling for all abilities and family. They offer a range of riding options from shorter 1-2 hour rides through to a full 187km riding experience.
The pathways link Napier and Hastings with coastal settlements and form Heretaunga Ararau – the land of a hundred pathways. The off-road pathways are made up of hard-packed limes, and many of them run along the top of stop banks, giving great views over the Heretaunga Plains.
The trails are part of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail project, with three distinct sections forming a ‘Great Ride’ in the region: the Landscapes Ride, the Water Ride and the Wineries Ride.
The rides offer a range of scenery from mountainous lookouts and beautiful lowland rivers to
endangered wetland wildlife and great views of the sweeping Hawke’s Bay coastline. There are also many places to stop along the way for coffee and ice cream, and you can visit many of our world-class wineries.
Hire Bike and Tours
Takaro Trails offers self-guided cycle tours in Hawke's Bay ranging from one day tours up to five days with accommodation. Mountain biking packages to the Pan Pac Eskdale Mountain Bike Park are also available.
Frocks on Bikes
The local “Frockers” here are affectionately known as the Deco Bike Belles. They have rides throughout the year and participate in the annual Art Deco ride in Napier in February. The Frockers promote bikes as a fun and sustainable way to move.
Commuting & City
iWay is a programme aimed at increasing the number of people walking and biking to work, school or for fun in the Hastings District. The Hastings District Council was awarded $4million from the New Zealand Transport Agency as part of the Model Community Project to fund new and improved cycle lanes, develop commuter-specific routes, upgrade roads and conduct community safety programs.
Within two years over 108 km of new walking and cycling pathways were constructed, including 4 key “arterial” routes that link the communities of Flaxmere, Hastings, Havelock North and Clive.
In June 2012 NZTA decided invest an additional $11m to increase network links to further improve safety, and to extend school promotions and educational campaigns.