Cambridge is arguably the most cycle-friendly place in New Zealand.
In 2013, it will become the National Home of Cycling for all four disciplines of the sport - indoor, road, BMX and mountain biking - with a world class international velodrome (known as Avantidrome).
The town is central to thousands of kilometres of flat roads well-suited to cyclists, and the area has many tracks dedicated to outdoor cyclists.
The Waikato River Trails provide cyclists with 100kms of pathway beside New Zealand's longest river. The pathway takes cyclists past five lakes, four hydro dams and through some of the most scenic parts of our region. You may want to tackle the entire course in a day or more likely take several days to really experience the bush, forest and historic landmarks along the way.
The trails are suited to off-road mountain bikes, and are graded level 4 (advanced). The southern and northern ends of the course are mainly grades 1-2 - these include Lake Karapiro, closest of the lakes to Cambridge, as well as Lake Whakamaru and Lake Maraetai. Lakes Waipapa and Arapuni are graded 2-3. The Waikato River Trails are listed among the 18 Great Rides under Nga Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
A shorter ride enables cyclists to travel 6km from Cambridge to Lake Karapiro on the Te Awa Walk/Cycle Way. From Cambridge, start at the corner of Carlyle and Browning Streets, Leamington, to enjoy 6kms of dedicated pathway to the Mighty River Domain on the shores of Lake Karapiro. Mostly flat, the walk/cycle way runs adjacent to Maungatautari Road and is an enjoyable and safe way to explore areas beyond the town.
Cambridge's Sarah Ulmer became the first New Zealander to win an Olympic Gold for cycling (at Athens in 2004), and is a world record holder. She promotes female-only 'stride or ride' events, known as SUB (Sarah Ulmer Brand) events, where females from 8 to 80 line up over different walk or run courses from 5km to more than 50km.
Cambridge also has one of the country's best BMX tracks, capable of hosting national championships. BMX champion Sarah Walker (Olympic Silver at London 2012) trains at the international-standard track while Marc Willers, who has topped the world's male rankings, is also from Cambridge.
The Maunga Cycle Challenge is an annual event, first held in 2005, which is a 100km ride around the Maungatautari Mountain. Usually held in November, the start and finish is at Albert Park, Te Awamutu.
Mountain bikers can enjoy using tacks on Mount Kakepuku (36km and 41 minutes drive from Cambridge) and Mount Pirongia (48km, 47 minutes). The Pirongia Forest Park has a loop track ideal for family cycling, called the Nikau Walk (it's shared with walkers).
Te Miro Scenic Reserve (19km, 29 mins) has tracks among native trees and birdlife. The Te Miro reserve is accessible from Gray Road.