Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Wellington Off-Road Hill Climb Series

In signing up for yet another trip of a lifetime, namely, riding the 2018 Tour de France route, one day ahead of the pro peloton, I've committed to a fundraising target for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.  All proceeds from this four-race series will go towards that target.

Those of you who are preparing for Karapoti will find these races excellent preparation.  If you haven't tried Karapoti, you should - it's part of NZ's mountain bike folklore - here's the blog from my most recent attempt, and you'll find all sorts of great content at

Deepest darkest Karapoti!
For others, hopefully the novelty value of these events, and the worthy cause, appeal.

If you don't feel like riding, but would like to be involved, please email me on - I'll need a few marshalls/track sweepers each round.

Wellington Off-Road Hill Climb Series

When:  Tuesdays 16, 23 and 30 January, and Wednesday 7 February.  From 6:30pm.  
What:  Off-road climbing, time-trial format, suitable for MTB or generously geared CX bikes (ridden carefully through the rough stuff)
How:  Turn up from 6:15pm with warm legs, and join the start queue!  
Cost:   Entry by donation to the Mental Health Foundation.  Minimum donation: $30 for the series, or $10 per race.  
Enter:  make your donation here, and simply mention the hill climb series in your comment.  Or, pay cash on the night (and forgo the tax-rebate receipt).


  1. Makara Peak, 16 Jan.  Assemble at the end of St Albans Avenue.  Course:  Rimu, Miro, Smokin', JFK, North Face, 4WD to summit.
  2. Karori Park/Makara Peak, 23 Jan.  Assemble at north-west corner of Karori Park.  Course:  Wahine, Varley's, 4WD, North Face to summit.
  3. Te Kopahou, 30 Jan.  Assemble on the south coast just before the stream crossing before you get to Devil's Gate.  Course:  Red Rocks track, to high point of Barking Emu.  
  4. Polhill, 7 Feb.  Assemble on Holloway Rd, at the bottom of Clinical.  Course:  Clinical, Roller Coaster, Carparts to windmill carpark.  
Tracks will be closed to other users during the events.  Note that you CANNOT practice the round 1 course, nor ride the final sections of rounds 2 and 4 (North Face and Carparts, respectively).  

Thanks to:
  • Simon Kennett, with whom I developed the original concept for this series
  • Landowners Wellington City Council for event permits
  • Makara Peak Supporters and Brooklyn Trail Builders for developing and tending to the amazing infrastructure.
Extra special thanks to:
  • Michael Jacques, for spot prizes: three entries to Karapoti and one entry to the Crazyman.  One of these will be handed out each round.  
  • Jennie Taylor, from Sweet Cheeks.  Jennie's "natural products for athletes" are great, and the person with the longest total duration will be getting a tub of one of her finest products, the Butt Butter.  
  • Kashi and Mat at Yeti Cycles for some wonderful Yeti socks.  The first four Yeti riders to enter the whole series get a pair each, and there might be a few extra pairs to give away to stragglers.  (If you ride a Yeti, forward your donation receipt to, and I'll chase down your size if you're early enough.)
Proudly flying the Yeti flag

* * * * *

This blog describes a fundraising project for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
  • Nearly 50% of New Zealanders will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, and one in five will have experienced a mental illness this year.
  • Depression is set to overcome heart disease as the biggest global health burden by 2020.
  • The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) is a charity that works towards reducing stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. We provide free support, training, and resources for anyone who is going through a difficult time, or for people who are supporting loved ones.

To make a donation, visit  Any contribution, big or small is greatly appreciated, and will be put to good use by the fine folk at MHF.

Round 1 Results

Round 2 results

Independent Herald, 24/1/18

Round 3 results

Round 4 results