By Arie Groenveld, 2010
Whilst out on a training run friends Mike Brown and Robbie Hislop discussed the idea of forming a new club which encompassed cycling as well as running.
With this in mind Mike Brown organised a Biathlon from the Waipawa School, which consisted of a 2km run followed by a 6km cycle.Five competitors turned up on the 26th Of January 1989 for this event. When looking for a name for this new club Suzanne Carpenter who was married to the local dentist came up with the acronym BATS and hence the name of the club was called CHB BATS, which stood for Biathlons and Triathlons club.
After a few years a group of people approached the club and enquired if people who only wanted to cycle could have their own cycle race. In 1991 a cycle race was added to the programme monthly. Gradually the cycle races increased in popularity and in 1993 cycle races were held in conjunction with the biathlons. The cycle races proved so popular that the biathlons and triathlons were shifted to a different night so that competitors could compete in both events. The weekly biathlons and triathlons slowly dwindled out but the club still runs a Duathlon club champs as well as the Mike Brown Memorial Duathlon which is a tribute to the founder Mike Brown who was tragically killed in a tramping accident in 1997.
The first CHB Tour race was held in 1993 and was run separately to the club by Ross Pepper, Richard Lee and Max Chatfield. This has now become the popular Tour De Beautiful, which is held annually in January, and now run by the club. It attracts fields upwards of 500 competitors.
In 2008 the club changed its name to Cycling CHB but recognised its history by keeping the Bats emblem, which it actively promotes as the logo of the club.
Club racing is held on a Tuesday night from various venues in CHB. Upward of 100 competitors turn up for these weekly events with competitors of all abilities catered for with a number of different distances.
The club has had a number of notable riders amongst its ranks. Jeremy Yates who won the Junior World Road Race in 2000. Current member Westley Gough who won a gold medal at the Junior World Cycling Championships in 2005 and a bronze medal at the Olympic games in Beijing in 2008 representing New Zealand in the Track Teams Pursuit. He is the only person to have won the Central Hawke’s Bay Sportsperson of the year on two occasions.