Posted on Sep 06, 2019
Our guest speaker was Ron Skelton who has recently completed his 2nd successful ride of the World’s Toughest Bike Race.
His first attempt (successful) was in 2011 and 2019 was his return visit to this race.
It traverses America from the East Coast to the West Coast – a distance of 3,000 miles.
As a solo competitor, Ron is given 12 days to complete the ride plus an additional 21 hours as he is now in the 60+ bracket.
Ron was born in Helensville in 1959 and took up his passion in 1977 of driving trucks – the job he is still doing today.
He and his wife Christine (Gizzy girl) have been here just over 2 years and Ron is now in his 3rd winter of forestry truck driving in our district.
In 1982, Ron joined the army reserve (still on the reserve list today) and this introduced him to triathlons, parachuting and iron-man competitions. He has completed Ironman NZ 34 times with 32 finishes (2 DNF). Ron has also ridden the Taupo bike race and completed the only 2, 8 lap courses that have been held. The last 8 lap race was in preparation for his first America race in 2011. In 2011, his time was 11days 14 hours and in 2019, 12 days 19 hours.
Ron encountered a significant impediment during the 2019 race in that he was badly affected by the sports drinks he was taking (too many & not good for you) and it was thanks to Christine’s background as a nurse that they were able to sort out the problem quickly – although it took time to clear his system.
The race has a comprehensive rule book amongst which are the rules of no alcohol, no firearms and no nudity! Ron is the only NZer to successfully complete 2 races, with 3 others have done it once each. His race number is 424 which he was allocated in 2011 and which you retain for life following successful completion. The race commences in San Diego California and finishes at Annapolis Maryland. In Ron’s age group of 60-69, there were 8 starters with only 3 finishes.
A bubbly person with an infectious personality and was an excellent speaker/ presenter with a really interesting story that was well told.