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Friday, April 10, 2015

Tour Aotearoa Update – April 2015

Hello riders,
There are now 220 of you confirmed for the 3000 km Tour Aotearoa. People are drawing up training programmes, buying new bikes, and planning their journey already. It’s going to be awesome!

Your allocated start date can be found on the Start List (see http://www.touraotearoa.nz/ )

Unfortunately not everyone could get into the 21st Feb start. There simply isn’t enough room on the Kaipara Harbour boat, and accommodation is going to be difficult as well. The first couple of days will be a bit crazy. We’ll just have to go with it.

If you are listed as a Reserve Rider then now is your chance to confirm your entry. There is space for another 20 right now. Your entry can be confirmed by following the steps outlined in the previous update, which is posted on the blog.

And if you really, Really, REALLY need to start on the 21st, let me know why and I’ll see if one of the 21st riders is willing to swap places with you.

Spot Trackers
I would like every individual and every couple to have a spot tracker. Teams of three or more need to have two or more spot trackers (because over 3000km it is highly likely your team will split up). There are several advantages to having the spot trackers. Safety is the obvious one. But it also means we can be sure riders follow the course. It’s also the best way for friends and family to spectate. And it means the Kaipara boat captain will know how many riders are waiting for a trip across the harbour.
For those that don’t have their own Spot Tracker, you can hire or buy one from Tony (tony@spotnz.com) at SpotNZ. He has offered Tour Aotearoa riders the following special deal:

  • Hire of Gen3 set at 10 min tracking for up to 5 weeks: $190 and will include 2 sets of fresh batteries.
  • Hire of Spot Trace unit set at 10min tracking only: $175 and will include 2 sets of fresh batteries. (Only suggested for riders also carrying PLB)
  • Sale of Spot Gen 3 inc first 12 months of unlimited coverage: $485.00 including new lithium batteries.
  • Connection of rider supplied GPS tracker to race site and inclusion in SPOTNZ safety plan and race supervision: $45.00 (free with G3 sale above)

Tony will negotiate with Shane from Followmyspot to supply the website and also improve the functionality to simplify the watching experience. In all honesty, Shane would rather be riding the tour than watching our dots wiggle their way down the country. But his wife has entered, so she will be one of the dots.

Go to http://booking.spotnz.com/ to arrange what you need and if you have any technical questions, contact Tony. Just to prove how dedicated he is, Tony will be in Cape Reinga for the start for the start of the tour. Thanks Tony.

Good money
So far, over twenty-two thousand dollars has been raised for a raft of charities, including track building trusts, rescue services, and cancer treatment. That is a great start to the event. Well done everyone!

Some people will also be raising money during the ride, including Jimmy and Richard who will be towing a trailer with a Shelter Box. These boxes are sent to disaster zones and supply the victims with shelter and vital supplies. I look forward to meeting Jimmy and Richard on the tour. 

Open Homes
As you know, one of the rules of the brevet is that you can’t accept outside support. This is tough for those of you that live near the course, myself included! So we’ve decided that if you’re willing to open your home to riders during the event, you can stay there. If you are happy to do that, please send an invite to the tour riders. I’ll go first.

Open Home Invite: 21 Hewett Way in Ngaio, Wellington, only 1.5 km off the course, and 10 minutes ride from the ferry terminal. There is plenty of floor space, hot showers, and a bike shed with tools. You are welcome to stay there during the tour. Phone 04 479 3173 the day before you arrive to make sure someone is home. You’re also welcome to post gear there and pick it up on your way through.

The Course
The exact route is still being worked out. It won’t be finalised until November. We will supply gpx files to all riders and will detail the route description in the 3rd edition of Classic NZ Cycle Trails, which will be launched in November. We will list all the useful food, accommodation and transport businesses along the route. We will supply the 30 photo monitoring points along the way at the same time as the gpx file. You can buy maps yourself and mark the information from either the book or the gpx file on them.

I am not going to supply a cue sheet as well, but if someone thinks that is important, and is willing to do it, then please volunteer (I’ll help). For that matter, if any of you feel the event would benefit from something extra, please volunteer.

And finally, if I’ve missed an email from you, I’m sorry. A couple went straight to my spam folder for some reason. Please try emailing again.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

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