Until 2013, the Fun Ride was managed by Jan & Geoff Lankow, long time residents of Martinborough. They passed the management of the ride to the Rotary Club of South Wairarapa in 2014.
Jan & Geoff both were prominent bike riders and sports people in their youth and carried that love of the sport into running this event, starting as the Wellington Veterans Cycling Club event and establishing it as a stand-alone charity ride in 2000. Jan & Geoff raised over $130,000 for local charities over that time.
Sadly Geoff passed away in 2020 however we are still fortunate that Jan is available to present the prizes at the 2021 event and will be helping in other ways as well.
Jan has contributed the following account of how the ride has changed over time:
"The biggest changes that have taken place over the twenty plus years that the Ride has been going are due to the advancement of technology.
In the early years times and placings were recorded by people standing on the back of a truck with stopwatches. After the riders crossed the line they were ushered into a shute in finishing order and tags were removed from their ride numbers and placed on a spike.
It took about two full days to record all the numbers and match up their times. This then had to be put onto the computer. Results were printed and sent out to each rider along with a certificate showing their individual ride time. One year I can recall having 900 envelopes, all needing results and certificates to be sent out!
The advent of transponders made a huge difference to us as organisers. Times and placings were accurate and certificates could be printed out on the computer if people wished. Results were posted on the computer by the end of the day meaning a lot less work for us.
After transponders the use of numbers containing a chip streamlined the process even more. Times and places are now more accurate and different categories within the ride can be calculated. Results are available almost straight away.
Over the years we have had some high profile riders do our event – Olympians - Gary Anderson and Kate McIlroy, NZ High Performance Coach – Ron Cheatley, NZ Cricketer – Bruce Edgar, Brian Lambert- holder of the Auckland to Wellington record and MP – Trevor Mallard to name a few."
As the new owners of the event, the Rotary Club of South Wairarapa is determined to carry on with Jan & Geoff's brilliant conception.
In 2020 the Rotary Club of South Wairarapa had to make the hard decision to cancel the event that year due to the uncertainty provided by Covid-19.