From Riders to Sponsors: Our Journey with the Martinborough Lions Skyline Challenge

Imagine this: A bustling crowd gathering at the starting line, anticipation hanging in the air like a tangible force. This isn’t just any race—it’s the Martinborough Lions Skyline Challenge. And for our family, it’s not just a race anymore; it’s a journey of transformation.

Seventeen years ago, we were just participants, a motley crew of family and friends eager for adventure. Mom, Dad, James at 14, Sarah at 16—plus a gaggle of pals—all geared up with whatever bikes we could scrounge together. Back then, electric bikes were a distant dream, and rental services like Green Jersey Bikes weren’t even on the horizon. We relied on Dad’s thrift shop finds, rusty relics that carried us through our early biking escapades.

The atmosphere was electric as we arrived, bikes in tow, joining the throng of fellow enthusiasts. Under the shade of towering oak trees, we eagerly circled, warming up for the challenge ahead. And what a challenge it was—our goal? Outpace Dad, the unofficial leader of our pack.

Pedaling and pushing up the hills surrounding Martinborough, we were rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the South Island’s snow-capped peaks. The camaraderie of the event was palpable, with Lions volunteers ensuring we stayed hydrated and on track, even if it meant curbing our shortcuts.

The downhill stretches weren’t without their bumps—literally. Cattle prints peppered the path, posing a challenge for even the sturdiest bikes. A friend took a spill, a minor setback quickly remedied by the swift action of nearby paramedics.

Despite the hurdles, we triumphed, crossing the finish line with a sense of accomplishment that transcended mere victory. A family picnic followed, where Lions BBQ sausages tasted like gourmet fare, the perfect ending to a day filled with adrenaline and camaraderie.

Fast forward to today, and our role has evolved. No longer just participants, we’re proud sponsors of the event, a testament to the transformative power of community and shared experiences. As we reflect on our journey from riders to sponsors, one thing remains unchanged—the spirit of adventure that continues to unite us, year after year.

Don’t have a bike but still want to ride? Book now to secure one of our bikes, conveniently delivered to the start of the event.

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