The Weekly Rider - Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith is the La Velocita Weekly Rider! Nathan is our first New Zealand based Weekly Rider... he's got amazing rides on his doorstep and like so many of us, he loves to explore and use the bike as a way to focus and clear the mind.

Name: Nathan Smith

Lives: Christchurch, New Zealand.

Dream bike: Pinarello Dogma F8 with Campagnolo Super Record EPS. Right now though, I'd like a Cannondale Slate the most. 

Favourite local ride: The Summit Road between Sign of the Kiwi and Mount Pleasant is amazing. On one side you look across the city, Canterbury Plains and out to the Southern Alps, on the other it's across Lyttelton Harbour to the hills of Banks Peninsula.

Pegasus Bay and the South Pacific Ocean complete the stunning views out in front of you. The terrain is volcanic in origin and provides fantastic riding. Since the Christchurch earthquake, much of this road has remained closed to cars and motorbikes but, open to cyclists and pedestrians.    

My current cycling goal is: Peaks Challenge Cradle Mountain is on my mind and is the motivation to get some long rides in through winter.   

When I am on the bike I: Ride to where the road tilts upward. Climbing is my strength and I can never get enough of it. Challenging terrain with a vista is what spins my wheels. 

How did your love for bikes come about: I've always ridden bikes but the love was taken to another level when I started working part-time as a cycle courier while finishing university studies. This became a full-time job after graduation. The crew I worked with encouraged me to enter mountain bike races with them and I did so with some success. I've always preferred the road though and now also ride cyclocross which is intense and wicked fun.  

Share a cycling memory: In September 2013 I had two weeks riding in France with my identical twin brother Tim. We hadn't spent this much time together for 15 years or so and now we'd be biking some of the Tour de France's famous climbs side by side. Alpe d'Huez, Col de la Bonette and Mont Ventoux were amongst many climbs completed on some epic rides. 

Our last ride was 'The Giant of Provence' from all three sides - a truly memorable way to finish this very special holiday.  

I love to ride because: the sense of freedom that comes with being on a bike is wild and addictive. Monday to Friday I train after work and it's an opportunity to clear my head, when I'm on my bike it's all about sensing and feeling what's going on around me at the time.

Testing your limits, going to favourite places, going to new places and sharing these experiences with others are also reasons I love to ride. Physical exercise; especially cycling for me, is so beneficial for body and mind.