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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tour Aotearoa update - August 2015

Hi riders,

Here is a quick update on the tour. Make sure you read the sections on spot trackers and t-shirts carefully so you don't miss out! Also, check out Ginny's givealittle page to sponsor her a few kilometres/trees.

With spring just around the corner, most people are starting to think about training and we’ve been asked a few questions. For those who’ve never done a long tour before, it is important that you do several multi-day trips to test yourself, and your gear. For the next couple of months, focus on LSD – Long Slow Distance rides. Build up strength and speed later on.

You may wish to use an event to motivate you. I’ll be doing the Lake Taupo Challenge ride at the end of November, on my brevet bike of course.

Spot trackers and Tracking
So that we know where you are during the 3000 km journey, you must have a spot tracker. It’s a condition of entry.

You can buy trackers from Tony Glentworth at tony@spotnz.com and if you are a frugal bugger then you’ll want to contact him right now and pick up one of the old Gen2 models for a song (he has 8 at $75 each). They only spot your location once every twenty minutes though.

The tracking website that will show where you are has been developed by Shane Davidson (shane@maprogress.com) who will be following the tour. It’s been used for a number of brevets now. To connect to this service will cost $45. Shane is also developing additional features for TA, such as an ability to manage the 30 control point photos that you’ll take. Here is an update from Shane:

  • If you have already paid SpotNZ, then we will provide the tracking for free, and rental if you've paid for that too. Let us know if you have already paid SpotNZ, and provide proof of purchase please
  • Unfortunately with the USD exchange rate we would be losing money at $485. Instead, you can purchase a SPOT Gen 3 for $259 (RRP) from us, and you get the Tour Aotearoa tracking thrown in for free. You still need an annual service plan with basic 10 minute tracking for Tour Aotearoa (164.99 USD, see http://au.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=103). 
  • Hire and tracking cost remain the same i.e. SPOT Trace $175, SPOT Gen 3 $190, and tracking only $45
  • Note that if you own an inReach you can connect that to Maprogress just the same as a SPOT for $45
  • We should be able to accept payments online within a month, if you would like it sooner, please contact us and we can provide details for a bank transfer
  • We want Tour Aotearoa to be the flagship event showing how tracking should be done, with stories, photos etc., on the map, all in real-time. We hope to have our iPhone/Android app. ready by November to help record your stories and photos, this will be included free with the tracking above. You will also be able to upload your stories and photos online along the way, or when you get home. 
  • I will be at Cape Reinga to hand out the trackers and explain how to use them. I'm really keen for any feedback you might have, so as you head down through the North Island I'll be trying to ride with you for short sections where I can. If there are any problems or changes needed, I can help and/or update the website along the way

TA T-Shirts
Matt at Good Rotations in Wanaka has designed a couple of cool T-shirts, which you can check out here: http://goodrotations.co/product-category/apparel/t-shirts/

There is a pre-order cut-off date of 5 September – only two weeks away. Order now!
If there is more interest later on then Matt will do another print run.

Matt is riding the tour and is offering a German made power and lighting system tailored for the event. Even better, he’s offering a 15% discount to registered Tour Aotearoa riders. It looks pretty hot: http://goodrotations.co/shop/bikepacking-adventure/mobile-power/supernova-power-light-system/\

Charity Riders
Ginny Wood from Nelson is raising money for 3000 trees – one tree for each kilometre of the journey. You can check it out on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/3000-for-3000/1624965387789126?fref=ts) and donate at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/3000for3000/donations
Mondo Kopua from Blenheim will be riding for the Mental Health Foundation.
Katie Underwood from Wellington is fundraising for the Heart Foundation.
Mckayla Holloway is riding for Foundation of Youth Development Southland.
Jimmy Griffiths will be riding for, and towing, a Shelter Box: http://www.shelterbox.org/ which seem both crazy and amazing! Hopefully he doesn’t come across any TA riders needing its contents.

Tour Aotearoa route
The route will be finalised in October after I’ve done a few more research trips.
Do you live in Southland? Could you provide some advice on the backroad options between Mossburn and Winton before I head down there in three weeks?

Until October, you can check the July draft here:

  • We will provide the final route as a GPX file in November.
  • Also tour rider Erik Westra is making up a cue sheet for the event.
  • And Paul and I will publish a special TA edition of Classic NZ Cycle Trails in November, which will have detailed guide book information about the route, including shops, accommodation, elevation charts and maps.

91 Significant Climbs
New Zealand is a hillier country than most people realise. Here is a table of significant climbs. Note that there are many more climbs under 100 metres.

Several people have asked me the distance of various types of terrain – gravel versus seal versus rough single track. Paul has created this pie chart to show the types of terrain by time – time is obviously more important than distance. We have estimated that people will travel between 5kph (on route single track) and 20kph (sealed road average).

 More information
You can find the start times for each wave on the Tour Aotearoa blog and the facebook page.
All past updates are posted on the blog at http://www.touraotearoa.nz

Until then, happy planning.
Pedal on

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