Safety is paramount. We strive to continually improve our  event in order to ensure that it is as safe as possible, but we need your help!

We ask all entrants to abide by the following rules: 

  • You must have had your bike and helmet checked before coming to the event. You do not need to provide any confirmation of your bike check at registration but we do ask for your safety and other riders that you ensure you have your bike checked.
  • NO ACCOMPANYING VEHICLES ARE NECESSARY OR ALLOWED ON THE COURSE; riders using such vehicles may be disqualified from the event.
  • Obey the course marshals’ directions – they are for your safety.
  • Do not ride on aero bars when you are in a bunch.
  • If you anticipate riding in a bunch then read our Bunch Riding notes here.
  • Practice riding in a bunch so you know how it works.
  • All traffic laws must be obeyed. Police traffic safety officers will be patrolling the course.

There are many precautions that we take to make your ride a safe one, but remember that the entire course takes place on public roads and are open to all traffic.  All MTB courses take place on public tracks.

Both when training and riding in an event it is important to remain aware of safety and other road users!

Wear high-visibility clothing and try to stick to back roads when training. If you’re heading out by yourself, tell someone where you’re going. Another important safety concern is fatigue. Make sure you have a good cycling nutrition plan in place to avoid getting hungry and dehydrated! See our page on Nutrition.

Cycling Road Code

It is compulsory for you to: 

  • Wear an approved safety standard bike helmet
  • Keep as far left as practical
  • Ride no more than two abreast
  • Ride in single file when passing other vehicles (including parked vehicles) or impeding traffic behind you
  • Use hand signals to indicate your intentions
  • Obey all road rules


It is compulsory for your bike to have:

  • A red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it.
  • Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the cycle was made before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).
  • When cycling at night or when visibility is poor, cycles must have the following:
  • One or more steady or flashing rear-facing lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.
  • One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of the headlights may flash.
  • Pedal retroreflectors on the forward and rear-ward facing surfaces of each pedal.

Be aware of: 

  • Cars pulling out of driveways or parking spaces
  • Hazards like parked cars, potholes, glass, litter and strong wind
  • Opening car doors

NZTA Factsheet – Cycles: Road rules and equipment 

Bike Taupo – Road Cycle Routes



If you are planning to complete the Round the Lake in less than 6 hours, it is highly likely that you will spend some time riding in bunches. For helpful hints about bunch riding during the event, we strongly recommend that you read our Bunch Riding Advice.

We want to keep everyone safe at the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. For that reason it’s important you’re used to cycling in groups. If everyone plays by the cycling rules and sticks to the event etiquette we’ll all have a great day.


Seed yourself on the start line based on your current ability. You are risking injury to yourself and others if you confuse ambition with ability and ride in a pack too quick for you.


Helmets must be worn at all times and fastened securely while cycling.


Don’t overlap wheels. Stay behind the rider in front of you or move up beside them.


Do not cross the centre line. Always stay left of the centre line.


Maintain a straight line. Practice taking the water bottle out of its cage and food out of your back pockets before the event. During bunch riding wobbling is dodgy. Minimise looking behind you – often it causes you to veer from a straight line.


Sudden movements create problems for riders around you. Keep an eye on developments ahead of you. Don’t always look down at the rider in front of you, but use their back as your target while regularly glancing 3 to 5 riders ahead, and also up the road to see problems before they occur.


Keep your upper body relaxed and loose. Any bumps on the road will be absorbed. Hitting a pothole with rigid arms, could cause an accident.


When moving from a seated position to a standing position, put extra pressure on the pedals so that you bike doesn’t ‘stall’.


If you see a hazard which would affect the line or momentum of the bunch it is your responsibility to signal to following riders, with subsequent riders continuing the signal further down the group.


Pass on the right, not the left.


This lets riders around you know what you are doing.


If you are passing a rider in front of you, say loudly “ON YOUR RIGHT”. If you are being passed you must keep your line.


Aerobars do not belong in bunch rides. They are dangerous and do not allow the rider to easily access their brakes.

LONG DOWN HILLS (Waihi Hill especially):

Don’t stay on your brakes. It’s safest to ‘feather brake’ which means tapping the brakes and applying intermittent pressure. This is wise in wet weather too. If you need to slow for a corner, do the braking BEFORE the corner and release the brakes as you turn. Touching your brakes in a turn will make your bike go straight.


Use the back brake more than the front (about 60 to 40%). Slide your weight back on the seat. Avoid locking up the wheels.


Don’t jam your brakes on suddenly – stay alert for hazards ahead and brake with control.


If you have to stop, clearly signal your intention and get clearly off the road (always on the left).


Wear high visibility or brightly coloured clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. Invest in appropriate clothing. A warm and comfortable rider is a safer rider.


Always obey the road rules of New Zealand, including the Give Way and Stop Signs on course.


Always pay attention to and act upon instructions given by course marshals, traffic management professionals and police.