Legend of the Škoda Mountain Bike at Macpac Motatapu
March 8th, 2018
Bond, Douglas Bond; Legend of the Škoda Mountain Bike at Macpac Motatapu
Macpac Motatapu is a day for everyone, with all abilities, all ages and all backgrounds catered for across the six events on offer. Douglas Bond is testament to that, the 83-year-old will carry the tag of oldest on race day* and ‘legend’ status when he takes to the ŠKODA Mountain Bike event, but in truth he isn’t sure what all the fuss is about.
Born in Jersey in the Channel Islands, Doug came to New Zealand in 1956 and not long after settled in Balclutha where he began a career in the food industry, spending 30 odd years running the kitchen at the freezing works with his wife May, before they established and ran motels and a highway diner.
And while he is about to take on the 47km ŠKODA Mountain Bike, he doesn’t quite go so far as to call himself a bike rider, but over the past 15 years or so has dabbled in a few events and recreational riding.
“The first actual ride I went on was about 15 years or so back, a young lady who worked for me wanted to go on a particular ride, so I went with her. It was the Milton Jailbreak, I have done that about three times, and I’ve ridden at Lake Tekapo, the Hawea Epic and I have done the odd other ride. I have done Motatapu before and a few others down south at Taieri and Dunedin.”
Bond has always been a keen sportsman, over the years enjoying windsurfing, canoeing, yachting and some power boat racing. He doesn’t have a serious training plan ahead of Macpac Motatapu however, he just enjoys the chance to get out when he can.
“I haven’t done a terrific amount of bike riding, I used to ride to work a few years ago when I was working at Telford Campus at Lincoln University. I was head cook there and then at an old people’s home in Balclutha. Nowadays I just go out for the odd ride during the day.”
He recalls his only previous ride in the ŠKODA Mountain Bike at Macpac Motatapu with mixed emotions and a bit of a giggle, remembering he also went for a swim…
“It was quite a good ride, although I might have ended up in the river, it was quite good though, nice and cool and I enjoyed it.”
Bond’s amazing efforts have captured the attention of the event sponsor, with ŠKODA including Doug and his riding friend and former workmate Judy Nicholls in the official Team ŠKODA for the day, decking them out in official riding gear and inviting them to the hospitality tent after the ride.
Former Commonwealth Games gold medalist and World Champion Alison Shanks is an ambassador for ŠKODA, and says Doug and Judy are exactly what recreational cycling should be all about.
“Douglas is an inspiration to us all and proves that age is no barrier. Doug and Judy epitomize what Team ŠKODA is all about; a fun team environment for anyone who loves cycling.
“It is wonderful to support Doug and Judy on their big race day, they are a wonderful example of friendship created and adventures shared through their love for cycling and Team ŠKODA are proud to have them as part of our team on Saturday."
Doug does wonder about the fuss but is happy to be something of a role model for others of a similar age, encouraging people to stay fit and healthy and do what they can.
“It is a bit silly all this attention, but it is quite good. People should get out and exercise if they are that way inclined, you only get one chance at this don’t you!”
Entries remain open for all events at Macpac Motatapu this weekend, for further information visit the website www.motatapu.com
The ŠKODA Mountain Bike is one of six events on offer at the 14th edition of the iconic Macpac Motatapu. Overall entries are now well over 4,000 with 25 countries represented as the popularity of the largest one-day multi-sport events in New Zealand continues to grow.
March 10, 2018
Wanaka to Queenstown
• ŠKODA Mountain Bike – 47km – solo and teams
• Miners Trail – 15km
• Sawpit Trail – 8km
• Off Road Marathon – 42.2km
• XTERRA Triathlon – 2km swim, 47km mountain bike, 8.5km run
• Ultra-Run – 51km – solo and teams