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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Tour Aotearoa Update – June 2015

Only eight months to go! I know a lot of planning is in play, including buying new bikes. Here is some more information to help.

Tour Aotearoa now has a community Facebook page – thanks to Sean Duggan for setting that up. Find it by going onto Facebook and searching for Tour Aotearoa. Easy. Now you can share advice and make plans together.

TA riding gear
There are a few talented people working on a logo and a t-shirt/riding jersey. Thanks for making that happen. Hopefully we’ll have designs ready for the next update.

Spot trackers
Don’t forget, you all need a spot tracker so that we know where you in case you get lost. Tony at SpotNZ is offering a great deal for TA riders of $485 for the latest Gen3.
It is recommended for wild training missions (not only for emergency rescues, but also so your friends and family know where you are). They are awesome!

Contact Tony Glentworth at tony@spotnz.com to buy one now.

Please don’t forget that there are people keen to enter, and to start on the 21st. If you have to pull out – that’s a bummer, but please let me know.

We have decided to add a smaller third wave of riders, who will start on Wednesday and catch one of two boats on Friday. So here are the start times:

Start Time
Low tide  on beach
Kaipara Boats
First Wave 100 riders
12 noon, Sunday
21 Feb 2016
Hard sand 1:30-5:30pm
Aim to get boats on Mon and Tuesday
Second Wave 100 riders
2pm, Tuesday
23 Feb 2016

Hard sand 3-7pm
Aim to get boats on late Wed and Thur
Third Wave 60 riders
2:30pm, Wednesday
24 Feb 2016
Hard sand 3:30-7:30pm
Aim to get boats on Friday

It will take you about one hour to ride from the Cape to the top of 90 Mile Beach, and you should have good, hard sand conditions for about 4 hours during low tide. The beach section is 80 km long.

The first goal is the ferry across Hokianga Harbour to Rawene. It runs seven days a week, every 30 to 60 minutes, from 7am to 8pm and costs $2 (take cash).

The next boat is across the Kaipara Harbour, which is 348km from Cape Reinga.
This boat is not a regular ferry. It is chartered specifically for Tour Aotearoa, and will run twice daily from Monday to Friday.
The captain will be watching your spot trackers online and will know if there is anyone to pick up. The trip takes three hours one way and will cost $50 each (again, take cash).
He cannot load during high tide, because the front of the boat has to sit on the beach. If lots of riders arrive at Poutu at the same time the captain will try to do three trips in one day.

Accommodation in Kaitaia
Heads up! A lot of riders are booking in to the Orana Motor Inn in Kaitaia. They are offering a good deal to groups of TA riders. Contact Peter if you would like to make a booking (mail@orana.co.nz).

Some riders will be staying at the campground near Cape Reinga the night before the event. Great idea – you will love it up there! The ride briefing will be emailed to everyone two days before the event, so that you have time to think about it and ask any questions.
There will also be some paper copies of the briefing at the start line.

Ride rules
We were prompted by the death of the Oregon Outback brevet to add another rule to Tour Aotearoa; one that is really obvious. Leave No Trace.

History shows that sometimes great riders, are not great people. But this is a brevet and it is not enough for us just to ride the length of the country as fast as we can. We must do it with respect. Respect for ourselves and others. And respect for the land.

Respect for yourself is largely about finishing in good mental and physical condition. Simon has written a useful blogpost about that here: http://www.kiwibrevet.blogspot.co.nz/2014/01/looking-after-yourself.html

Respect for others is about treating people well – both fellow riders, and the locals you meet en route. When you’re dog tired, this can be a challenge. Consider it a test of character.

Respect for the land means leaving nothing behind you, except your tyre tracks.  

We now have a Mission Critical page http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/mission-critical-info.html as well as all previous updates.

Pedal on!


  1. Hi,I am a simple fellow and am confused over the start dates for the waves.

    This posting (20/06) states Wave 2 is Feb 23 however the facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/369229016613404/) dated June 8th states Wave 2 is Feb 22.

    Both pages claim low tide is 16.55.

    Can we have this clarified please?



  2. Hi Ed, it looks like Facebook has a new "feature" for us. It depends of whether you are logged in or not, as to what date you get. Rest assured. Feb 22 is WRONG and Feb 23 is CORRECT.