All Posts By

Janet Stark

MY BIKE BESTIES

By | About Me | No Comments

Introducing you to the Spokeswomen

A number of years ago when our kids were little, three of us decided to start riding regularly together on a Friday. From here more women joined and the Women’s PCBC Social Cycling Group was born.  We renamed ourselves the Spokeswomen and become a little more organised with regular rides, outings and weekend trips away.

Find us here http://www.pcbc.co.nz/ladies-rides/

This group very quickly became the highlight of my week (and still is present day).  We laugh, ride, go on adventures, crash, laugh some more, buy new bikes, visit lots of cafe’s, encourage, dream, support and just have SO MUCH FUN.

The group keeps me centered, they are my glue and the reason I started on the journey to become a Cycle Coach. They helped me discovered I was good at guiding, encouraging others to ride –  THEY BELIEVED IN ME.

The best way to enjoy cycling & improve is to find that group that gets you.  You will find that you will ride more and go on more adventures than you ever thought possible.

What group do you belong to?  

Haven’t found one yet – find one as it is totally worth it.

PROJECT GLOW WEAR

By | Events | No Comments

An event with a difference

PROJECT GLOW WEAR is a competition for talented and aspiring designers to create every day reflective wear for people walking, running or riding a bike. The aim was to develop and promote reflective wear that is stylish, wearable and effective.

A good chance to take my daughter out, who is no fan of cycling but loves fashion.  We started off with eating some of the food and drink provided.  Great way to get the night going, eating next to the fire pits.  After gaining a front row seat we waited for the show to start.  Magical lights shinning on the ceiling and everyone wrapped up in blankets to stay warm in the outside covered seating.

Then the stunning show began with accessories, t shirts, pants, cute kids outfits and gorgeous dresses strolling down the runway.   There were so many items that would look prefect in my own wardrobe.  It was a well thought out and put together show.

Want to come with me next year??

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CYCLING TIP #2

By | Cycling Tips | No Comments

Have you recently pushed your bike down your driveway and just gone exploring on your local streets and pathways

So many of us load the car with all our gear and drive to a bike park or popular cycling area, that we often forget about the one outside our front door.  You might be surprised by what hidden gems you find.

I live close to Sunkist Bay Beach and 250m from my home there is a short pathway down to the reverse by the beach. It has a fantastic tight corner perfect for practising body position and at the bottom you pop out next to the beach.

Where is your local hidden gem?

DELICIOUS BERRY SMOOTHIE

By | Pure Sports Nutrition | No Comments

Delicious Berry Smoothie

One of my favourite things to have after a ride is a nice cold smoothie, while I sit down relax and check out my ride statistics on Strava https://www.strava.com/

I like to see how far I have ridden and where I have gone and check out the stats for the ride.  Makes me feel good seeing the km’s adding up for the year.  It also forces me to relax for a few minutes before I dash into the rest of my day.

So what is in my smoothie?

  • Frozen Raspberries
  • Frozen banana pieces – I prepare them in advance and store in the freeze, makes the smoothie that bit colder
  • Plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1 heaped tsp Pure Sports Nutrition Blackcurrant Recovery powder
  • 2 heaped scoops  Pure Sports Nutrition Vanilla with cinnamon Protein Powder
  • Liquid of your choice – I usually use water

Whizz it up in your blender/bullet to your desired thickness (eat it with a spoon) or liquid (drinkable).  If the family are around I have to be quick especially my son, he starts lining up as soon as all the ingredients come out!!!

Other Pure Sports Nutrition Products that you could use in a smoothie are Exercise Recovery – Cacao with a hint of honey or Cacao Protein Powder and the Beet Endurance.  EXPERIMENT

What is your favourite smoothie mix?

Cycle Coach Janet Stark is a Stockist of Pure Sports Nutrition http://www.cyclecoach.co.nz/

CYCLING TIP #1

By | Cycling Tips | No Comments

Lots of my clients worry that they are not good enough to come on a group ride or are embarrassed by their cycling skills when they attend a coaching session. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are. What counts is your starting point and how you can improve from there.

If you don’t get on your bike and try something new you are never going to find out if you can do it or not – Just get on your bike and ride – seek help if needed.  Never be embarrassed from trying – be proud of your achievement instead.

Be Adventurous Live Life and Cycle

SO WHAT BIKES DO I RIDE??

By | About Me | No Comments

Giant Brava
I am not really a roadie kind of girl and just couldn’t quite bring myself to purchasing a road bike. Instead for Christmas 2013 a Cyclocross bike sat under the tree. She loved the West Coast Wilderness Trail and has been in many CX races around the North Island.

She is one very shiny pretty bike, comfortable to ride on the road and gravel.  I have even taken her on a few easy mountain bike trails.  Now, she mainly sits on my Wahoo Kickr for 2 x weekly training sessions.

Would I buy a road bike now?  Probably only because they go faster on the road.

Giant Obsess Advance – Harriet
At the time (2014) I was training for the Whaka50 and my Avanti Montari had seen better days. I tried out the Obsess and knew this was the one.  Since then we have been on many adventures together. The longest day rides have been on the Waikato Rivers Trail and in the Whakarewarewa Forest.

Harriet now spends more time on gravel and tarmac exploring the city and off-road options. She is often with me on Cycle Skills Sessions and on the Explore by Bike Guided Group Rides I offer. She has changed colour since I purchased her due to a crack in the frame, which Giant replaced thankful.

Giant Pique Advance
She’s pretty and I love her to bits. Buying the Pique at the end of 2016 was a bit of an impromptu decision. I had been looking at new bikes for a while and had even been along to some demo bike days, but had put the thought of purchasing a new bike aside.

After a bit of bad family news, I went out and rode my Obsess to think and decided on the spot it was time. Rang Pete at Planet Bikes and she was mine. She was totally built for trails like the Heaphy Track and Timber Trails. Say hi next time you see us on the trails. She will be with me for all mountain bike coaching and Bike the Trails Group Rides plus the Women’s Cycling Retreats.

So, what should I buy next…….
Road bike
Touring bike
Full Sus with more travel
All these options are so tempting……..

TIMBER TRAIL ROMANCE

By | NZ Cycle Trails | One Comment

My kind of date is spending the day on my mountain bike riding with my hubby, Brett. So, it was very fitting to celebrate our 26th Wedding Anniversary on our bikes exploring The Timber Trail.

We woke up to a very overcast and rainy day. This would not dampen our spirits, especially after a fabulous breakfast provided by Rem at The Flashpackers in Ongarue. After being dropped off at the start of the trail, our journey began in the pouring rain. Something nice about riding in the trees with the rain seeping through. The forest smells alive and fresh.

Not long from the beginning of the trail you start to climb at a nice gradient that just goes on and on. Winding your way through magical looking forests to the highest point of the trail. It sure is a nice feeling to get to the top at about the 14km mark. Then the real fun begins with downhill bliss, stunning bush, birdlife and bridges. Don’t be surprised when you must ride uphill again, the legs will hate you for a few minutes while they get used to that climbing action again.

We had decided to ride the trail in one day, testing out my new Giant Pique and Brett riding on his Single Speed. The plan was to ride to Piropiro Flats for lunch and then out to the end taking in the scenery and just enjoying being out in the middle of nowhere. By the time we got to Piropiro Flats the rain had cleared and the sun had come out. Prefect timing to enjoy our packed lunch made by Rem.

Now that the sun had come out it became rather obvious that we were covered in trail grit everywhere!!! We stopped off at about the 65km mark and went for a dip in the stream. Took your breath away and that was in the middle of summer. Feeling refreshed and ready to go again we got back on our bikes eager to continue.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the second half of the trail, great climbs and riding through the cutting with their mossy sides and muddy sections. However, the best was yet to come, the Ongarue Spiral – winding up and riding along the trail to the totally unbelievable downhill section. My bike just wanted to zoom. You could probably have heard us laughing so much from Auckland. If my legs hadn’t been feeling a little worn out I would have biked up again and zoomed down again.
Ha Ha I will just have to wait till the next trip because I will be back again and again. This is just one very cool trail to ride.

With arms up high Brett and I rode into Ongarue wahooing at the top of our lungs. We had done it – the Timber Trail in one day. The body felt good (a little used), ready for a shower and the fantastic 3 course meal prepared for us at Flasher Packers. Great company and entertainment then followed by a soak in the spa – bliss – the prefect date.

http://www.timbertrailhub.co.nz/

HEAPHY TRACK FUN

By | NZ Cycle Trails | No Comments

Heaphy Track – Queen’s Birthday Fun
Located in the Kahurangi National Park at the top of the South Islands West Coast. If you want remote and rugged, this track should be at the top of your list. You will experience lush forests, rivers, mountain views, tussock downs, Nikau palms and the sound of the roar of the waves crashing along the West Coast beaches.

Auckland to Golden Bay – Friday 2 June 17
We started off with a delayed plane trip from Auckland to Nelson and our bikes not on board. Too many bikes (9 all up) and they didn’t fit on the plane. Thank goodness, they arrived on the next flight. We all crammed into the cars with our bikes, gear & food then drove over to Golden Bay. Driving over the Takaka Hill was an experience with its tight turns and gorgeous views. It is worth stopping at the top.

Takaka Airport – Green Paddock – James McKay Hut – Saturday 3 June 17
We woke up to a chilly stunning morning, bikes and gear all sorted and off we went to Takaka Airport. A 5 Seater Plane awaited us for a 10-minute trip to a paddock about 4 km from the start of the trail. Bikes secured upside down on the wings – FAR OUT. Only place in the World – a total MUST. The trail starts off very pleasant and quickly turns into an uphill rocky pathway riding through the trees and plummeting straight down on the edge of the trail in parts. Don’t look down!!

It took us 8 hours to get up to James McKay Hut with lots of stops to take photos and admire the view. At one stage, I just stopped and listened to the bird life amongst the trees – priceless. We rode along rocky trails and crossed many steams up to Perry Saddle Hut where we stopped for lunch. The wind was cutting and we were now surrounded by tussock and less trees. The highest point of the trail is Flanagan’s Corner at 915m, not far from Perry Saddle Hut. Make sure you take the short side trip to the lookout point. From Perry Saddle Hut, we started riding downhill and the track soon became smoother and more flowing. This was my favourite part of the ride for Day One – tussock for miles, bridges and narrow boardwalks.

The James Mackay hut was a pleasant sight with the day starting to darken, getting ready for the early night sky of 5pm. The Hut was full of good conversation and new people to meet. A nice warm fire and gas available to use to cook one’s dinner, sure made it a pleasant evening. There were even flush toilets close to the hut, so no long walks in the dark to be had. What an awesome day surrounded by people you love and cycling.

James Mckay Hut – Kohaihai Shelter – The Last Resort Karamea – Sunday 4 June 17
With a bit of cloud in the sky and not so cold we set off for a fantastic downhill section that I just didn’t want to end. Originally, I had planned to zoom down as fast as I could, but it was just way to pretty with magical looking forests and stunning scenery. We popped out by the Heaphy River and started riding towards the West Coast. The bush changed to grooves of Nikau Palm trees and if it hadn’t been winter you would have thought you were in the Tropics. Sand-fly’s and the sound of the crashing waves on the beach confirmed we had arrived on the West Coast.

With heavy looking sky’s we made short stops along the coast to have lunch and rest breaks. Lots of short pinch climbs, sand and rocky streams to cross made for a fun ride. The rain came and the temperature dropped. We had opted to ride from the Kohaihai Shelter to The Last Resort in Karamea, about 17km in icy rain. They call it ‘The Road from Hell’ and now I know why. With icy driving rain and a road that looked like it went on forever. Thank goodness for my Helter Skelters from Ground Effect – they saved the day. The Last Resort couldn’t have looked better with its warm fire, heaps of food and the locals all made for a good laugh. With full tummy’s and dry clothes, we headed to bed realising our trip was almost at an end. Yes, the Heaphy Track was great but the people that you rode with and meet along the
way made the trip the best ever.

The Last Resort – Karamea Airport – Takaka Airport – Monday 5 June
This is a MUST. Flying back over the Kahurangi National Park was amazing and such a perfect way to end out trip. A 30-min flight up and over with views of the mountain and where you had biked. I was put in the chunder seat at the back of the plane and was glad it was only a short trip. I felt queasy for the rest of the day.
All up we rode 96km with 1632m evaluation gain, carrying all our gear to survive for a couple of days, not a bad effort and totally worth it. I rode on my Giant Pique and it just ate it up. My bike was made for this trail. Would I ride this trail again – TOO RIGHT.