Conquering Le Race with TV3’s Mike McRoberts

Mike and Rach after Le Race

By Rachel Grunwell

As Good magazine’s wellness columnist, I take on adventure challenges quite a bit. I write about fitness/health/wellbeing & happiness generally for the magazine and part of being happy is taking on hairy/scary/bold challenges for a thrill (and then I write about them!)

I firmly believe that you can change yourself by challenging yourself. I live for adventure and get the biggest kick out of goal-crushing.

I wrote a weekly blog for months leading up to the Le Race event (a 100km cycle race from Christchurch to Akaroa), covering tips on nutrition, health, wellness, strength work, cycle classes and skills with riding, and how I prepared for the event thanks to my awesome coach Richard Greer from Team CP.

Here’s the final column published with the magazine. Click HERE

Meanwhile, that’s a pic of Mike McRoberts and I at the finish-line – sweaty, but smiling!

8 Reasons Why Cycle Classes Are Cool

rpm class


By Rachel Grunwell

Have you fallen in love with the cycle classes yet? If you haven’t tried RPM, then you are missing out!

Here are eight reasons why cycle classes rock:

  1. The workouts are generally short and intense and so they are great if you are short on time but want to get in an effective workout quickly.
  2. You burn calories for hours post the workout. Do you need any more reasons after this one!
  3. You cycle alongside others and it doesn’t matter if you are all at different levels. You just adjust the lever to your ability. So, it’s nice to cycle alongside others. So essentially you can be training alongside a pro-athlete.
  4. The workout is low impact. So, it’s easy on your joints.
  5. You seriously sweat in these classes and feel amazing afterwards.
  6. If you are training for a cycling event, then this is a great training option. It’s not weather-dependant and it’s also safe ie no cars to avoid!
  7. You feel like you’ve entered another world. In a darkened room, you sit on a bike while the music booms and a trainer leads you through your workout and motivates you along the way.
  8. You work harder in these classes than you might on your own.

Meanwhile, you can read my ‘Girl on an Adventure’ column published in Good magazine where I give the low-down on a cycle class called The trip at Les Mills. Click HERE

Article by Rachel Grunwell – wellness magazine columnist, yoga teacher, marathoner and director of lifestyle website Follow InspiredHealth on Facebook & Instagram.



Girl on an Adventure column 1


Girl on an Adventure column 1 – published in Good Magazine

By Rachel Grunwell

There’s a saying I love: Challenge yourself; Change yourself.

So in essence, by tackling scary adventures outside of your comfort zone, you can boost personal growth.

That’s my excuse for signing up for Le Race – an 100km bike ride from Christchurch to Akaroa on March 25, 2017. I was scared silly about the idea. So, of course I immediately signed myself up.I signed up a training buddy too, TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts. I figured if I trained with Mike then no one would notice how terrible I am at this sport. All eyes would be on him. Oh, and he’s also a great training buddy and top bloke, of course.

After signing up, he pointed out a small detail. “Er, neither of us have bikes Rach”. Small detail though, right?

Thankfully Mt Eden Cycles shop owner, Mark Taylor, (pictured above) came to the rescue with some loan wheels for us two crazy journalists who love scaring ourselves stupid (over things we know nothing about). Mark “fitted” me to a bike recently, which made me laugh. Here was I thinking you only get fitted for things like wedding dresses.

Rachel’s gear: Top and padded bike shorts, shoes courtesy of Specialized and a helmet courtesy of Mt Eden Cycles shop. 


It turns out road bikes come in nine sizes. I just told him to find me a midget-sized bike and I’d be right. But there was no getting away with that. He explains why it’s important to get the fit right. “Otherwise it could be a bit sketchy when you’re going fast down hills.” After that comment there was no further arguing from me. I prefer to keep the skin on my elbows and knees. So, he fit my midget frame to the bike frame, adjusted the seat and handlebars and then asked me to choose a colour preference in cycling helmet.

“Why bother,” I asked. “No one looks good with helmet hair anyway”. He agreed, but still asked me to please choose a colour.

“Challenge yourself; Change yourself”

I refrained from choosing the fluorescent pink helmet that caught my eye. I’m such a girlie girl, but I knew if I wore pink lycra too I’d likely resemble moving candy-floss. And remember, I want all eyes on Mike. Perhaps I could get him to choose the pink helmet…

Mark then kindly gave me some quick tips before unleashing me onto the street. He was probably worried about me crashing into someone’s parked Audi. I live in Mt Eden and so there’s a high chance of that. Perhaps I should move to another suburb?

He kindly taught me how to unclip my shoes so I can hopefully avoid “the zero mile an hour fall”. This is when riders usually stop at the lights, forget they are clipped in and then do a spectacular sideways crash – all in slow motion. So, he was kindly trying to save me from that hurt. To my body, but more importantly to the ego.

Wish me luck for my first ride. I hope you get to see a second column…

  • Column by Rachel Grunwell – Good Magazine’s wellness columnist, a keen marathoner, qualified yoga teacher and director of the InspiredHealth website.
  • Follow Rachel via Inspired Health on Facebook and Instagram.

Rach 02

Cycling Mission for Mental Health

Auckland Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Glossop and Alison Blyth (pictured) are among a group of cyclists who rode from Bluff to Cape Reinga to raise awareness over mental health issues in NZ.

Dave Glossop

Ride Out of the Blue was a 22-day cycle mission over 28-days – and 2330km.

The journey was to highlight that 1.5 Kiwis commit suicide every day. That’s 529 lives lost in the year to June this year, according to data from the Chief Coroner.
Dave says police deal with the fallout from depression and suicide every day. He has personally witnessed too much depression and suicide in his job and this spurred him to take part in this event.
“My career has given me a heightened awareness of depression and suicide. I have witnessed the devastation of friends and relations left behind. I am particularly conscious of the suicide rate involving young people. I have wished so often I could have spoken to some of these kids before they made the choice they have. ..
“I understand the pain and the feeling that they would do anything to escape from the pain, but I wish I could explain that the pain of today will pass…”

He likens cycling to an analogy for life.
“For every up-hill there will be a down-hill. When facing a headwind it will be at your back before long. It’s easier to maintain balance if your moving forward and above all, just keep turning the peddles, keep going in the right direction and you will get to your destination,” he says.

Dave says suicide affects all ages and walks of life. He wants to help take some responsibility to protect our young. This is why he helped raise money for the mental health foundation Mindfulness in Schools. This programme gives people some tools to handle emotions from an early age, he says.

He says when Alison Blyth, who organised the first Ride out of the Blue, contacted him about the ride, “I jumped at the opportunity”. He was lucky enough to get support from his wife Nicky who has been “left carrying the can back home” and he’s thankful for work support too – and giving him leave from work.

Now, he’s just hoping he’s done enough cycle training to keep up with his crew. The group is staying at quite a few marae as they make their way up the country. On Saturday they had finished the first leg and the group stayed at the Te Whanau o Hokonui Marae in Gore. “The support is awesome,” says Dave.