The Rotorua Singlespeed Society is making a donation of $5275 to the Cancer Society after the success of the 2013 Pig & Whistle New Zealand Singlespeed Championships at Anzac Weekend.
“Singlespeed events are mainly about having a laugh and dressing up to race around the forest on one-geared mountain bikes,” says Society president, Gaz Sullivan. “To be able to make a contribution to something as serious as the fight against cancer is a real bonus.”
Rachael Mounsey from the Waikato Bay of Plenty Cancer Society agrees. “We’d like to thank the Rotorua Singlespeed Society for their very generous donation,” she says “The Cancer Society receives no direct government funding so we rely on the generosity of our communities to operate.” The donation will stay in the region. “It will be used to provide supportive care for cancer patients, their carers, whanau and friends, fund cancer research and provide the public with information on the ways to reduce their risk of cancer through a smoke free, sun smart, healthy lifestyle,” adds Mounsey.
The Singlespeed Society hosted the 2008 and 2009 New Zealand Championships and then the Singlespeed Worlds in 2010, before running the national champs again this year. “It was great to have the event back home again where it all started in 2008,” Sullivan continues. “This year was probably the best yet, very relaxed and so very much in keeping with the spirit of singlespeeding.” The Society understands the value of long-term sponsors. “Gregg, Bevan, Rosie, Jenny, Andy and all the team at the Pig & Whistle have supported us since 2008 and it’s not just about sponsorship, it’s also about the perfect venue for prize giving,” says Paul Laing from the Society. “We also have a long list of local partners who help make all this possible, like First Sovereign Trust, who allowed us to build a great marquee race HQ at the trail head at Waipa.” A larger scale event like the Singlespeed World Champs was only possible with similar support. “It is times like that you really appreciate organisations like the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust, who were our main backer in 2010,” Laing continues. “The donation to the Cancer Society is in their name, too.
” The Singlespeed Society has raised money in the past to help send riders to World Championships and for trail development in the Whakarewarewa Forest. “We are all big supporters of the great work the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club does with trail building and are keen to help with that in the future,” says Laing. With only one gear ratio to play with, singlespeeding can be hard work and is also very competitive at the sharp end.
The 2013 field included top mountain bikers like Jenna Makgill, 2010 Singlespeed Women’s champ, Heather Logie from Australia, up and coming local young gun, Sam Shaw, and Olympian, Rosara Joseph. Once the three lap, 33-kilometre course was conquered, though, it was hometown favourite and 2010 Singlespeed World Champ, Garth Weinberg and Dunedin endurance rider, Erin Greene who took the winner’s tattoos. “The rest of the race field were happy to all be 2nd equal,” says Sullivan with a grin. The Society is already planning for another event at Anzac Weekend, 2015. “That’s the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli,” adds Sullivan. “We always get a healthy number of Aussies to our events, so it seemed mad not to, really. And the Rotorua Singlespeed Society is looking at running an event during the Rotorua Bike Festival, February 14-24, 2014 “. ”The first Festival this year was a big success,” says Laing. “Next year’s is looking even bigger and better.”
The event facebook page is: www.facebook.com/2015AnzacSinglespeedChamps
The event website is: www.rotoruasinglespeed.com