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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Tour Aotearoa Update – August 2014

There have been a lot of question from a lot of riders!

First question – is a Brevet a French bow tie? Nope – for a full definition go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brevet_%28cycling%29

No there will not be a KiwiBrevet in 2016. But there will be one in 2015, starting 31 January. We recommend it if you haven’t done one before. Keep an eye on http://kiwibrevet.blogspot.co.nz/ for updates.

The amount you donate should be according to your means. It is in lieu of an entry fee.  Most people will probably donate more than $100. It would be good if people also offset the carbon pollution from their travel to the event, which can be done at www.carbonzero.co.nz and will obviously be proportional to the distance travelled (from not much for Kiwis up to a few hundred dollars for Icelanders).

If you don’t ride the full 350 km in time for the last ferry then you will have to book a special sailing and this will cost a lot (approx. $400). Also, you probably won’t make it to Bluff. So please, train up enough to meet the booked ferries with everyone else.

Team entries are allowed.

The course will not be marked, but we will provide a run sheet and a very basic map.

You must ride all of the course. It’s fine to wander off the course at times, to go to shops and accommodation, but you must re-join the course where you left it.

You have to organise your own accommodation, and transport, to and from the event. We will need to co-ordinate a little from Kaitaia to Cape Reinga, and for the Kaipara Harbour Ferry, but otherwise it is up to you.

Camp and stay wherever you wish. You don’t need to use designated campsites. Some people will stop and sleep when and where their bodies tell them they need to. Others will stay in the best accommodation they can find. It’s up to you, your budget and your travel philosophy.

Sure, you can take longer than 30 days if you want, but you will be counted as a dnf.

We have decided not to organise separate North Island and South Island brevet options. There are more than enough people interested in just doing the full length of New Zealand tour.

Entries and rider profiles will be called for in August 2015. You have a full year to make up your mind – for most of us this will be the biggest ride of our lives.

There will not be recommended stopping points, but we will provide a list of campsites and accommodation along the way. You are free to stop when and where you like.

You are not expected to carry all the food for the whole trip! You can stock up at any stores along the way.

Training is up to you to work out. But we recommend you train for the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, and do some cycle touring trips from 2-5 days in length.
There are various gear lists floating around on the net. We might provide one in due course, but once again, it is up to you to decide what you take.

No outside support. That means, no one follows you in a car with gear. As for staying at friends places along the way, well…that’s ok. There will be a few open homes along the way, which any rider can stop off at for a shower and a sleep.
Most GPS’s won’t do the job. You need a SPOT tracker, which will send your location up to a satellite every ten minutes – then spectators can watch your progress, and we know where to go if you get lost.

Yes, please do purchase your own SPOT tracker. However, we will also try to hire some from America for those that don’t have them.

Some people have asked for a facebook page so that they can meet up with other riders for training rides. We will probably do this.

Of those that expressed a preference for the starting date, two thirds were keen on Feb, so there you have it. Aim to start 23 Feb, and finish 10 to 30 days later.
Yes, it is going to be crazy! Especially with people like Paul Smith attempting it on a fixie!

How will the course be chosen? For those of you who don’t know us, we have been writing NZ cycling guide books for over 20 years – for mountain biking, road riding, and cycle trails. From the top of this country to the bottom, we will make up the best 3000 km course possible.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

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