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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tour Aoteroa November 2015 Update

Hi Folks,

Now that we have less than three months until take off, you’ll want to read this update carefully.

Draft GPS files are now available for the TA route here: http://www.kennett.co.nz/maps/tour-aotearoa/files/
These files will be updated in the next ten weeks and a final version sent out the week before the event.

The Tour Aotearoa course is described in full detail in the third edition of Classic New Zealand Cycle Trails, which is available from bike shops, book stores and online from us (www.kennett.co.nz) or Ground Effect (www.groundeffect.co.nz). I strongly recommend you get a copy as it has all the info you need to do the tour. Please don’t ask me questions about the route that are in the book (I simply cannot answer any more emails than I already am).

Erik Westra (the man who has been doing a training ride every day this year!) is also working on a cue sheet which should be ready before the event, for those that want them. Thanks Erik. You’re crazy, in a good way.

Bryan Pretidge contacted me last week with a useful table of locations to get water, food and accommodation. It shows the distance between each of those services, which seems quite useful as well. I’m editing it now and will send it back to Bryan for a final check before sending it to you all. Thanks Bryan.

Open Homes
We now have open homes in Auckland, Owhango, Wellington and Albert Town. Details for these will be given the week before the event. Some will require texting in to check they are open, or to find the exact location (for security reasons).
If you are able to provide an open home, please let me know.

Mike the Scout
Mike Brien is going to scout the TA course for us and will be leaving on the 27th December (he is a school teacher and can’t start with the rest of us). Keep an eye out for updates on the facebook page, and join him for part of the tour if you can.

There are now four top for Tour Aotearoa! You will have seen two Good Rotations t-shirts advertised on the facebook page, and also Jessie Rawcliffe’s T-shirt.
Now there is another top! It is a very nice NZ made merino wool cycling top with ‘Tour Aotearoa’ on the front and ‘Cape Reinga to Bluff – 3000 km’ and a bike on the back. Go to http://www.soigneur.co.nz/category/120834 to see and order.

TA bike/helmet stickers
If you want stickers, then buy a book from us, or email me your postal address. 600 have gone out and we have 400 left.

The entries are full at 300, and we have a reserve list of 40 riders. So if you pull out for any reason, please let me know ASAP. You’ll make one of the reserve riders very happy.

Helpful Bike Shops
Mt Eden Cycles (MEC) is right on the route and is more than happy to help out all Tour Aotearoa riders as they ride through Auckland.  And if anyone needs a place to sleep you’re even welcome to sleep on the shop floor!

And in Nelson, B-rad Cycles has taken an interest in the Tour and will be ready to do emergency repairs. See http://www.b-rad.co.nz/contact.html

Tracking – you all need to be tracked…

A message from Shane Davidson at Maprogress
Just a reminder that everyone needs to register their tracker at https://touraotearoa2016.maprogress.com/event/join whether you buy/hire your tracker from us or not, so that you appear on the website map, and your photos get logged too.

We have had some queries recently about how to attach your tracker. The design of the SPOT Gen 3 makes it quite easy just with thin cord. Have a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwNHkRwzaQk around the 50 second mark to see how we do it.

Kind Regards
Chief Adventurer at maprogress.com
Real-time online satellite tracking for all outdoor sport events

A message from Tony Glentworth from SPOTNZ
SPOTNZ are clearing out their 2nd hand stock of G2 Spot Messengers to make room for 250 brand new G3 units that have arrived in time for Tour Riders.
G2 Units are disconnected and require an annual connection to SPOT USA costing $164.99 USD. There are only 16 left and when they are gone there will be no more at this price ($90 inc GST + P&P).
For the budget conscious we still have the new G3 units to hire at $190 for the whole tour, and the Buy option at $539 including connection to the USA SPOT Basic service.
All bookings need to be paid for by Christmas. Check these deals at http://booking.spotnz.com or book a device from the menu at www.spotnz.com
We look forward to seeing you all at the start line, and all G3 hires come with a purpose made pouch exclusive to SPOTNZ.
+64 (27) 251 0928

Kaipara Harbour Boat
The boat will cost $50 each (cash), takes 3 hours, and does not run to a regular timetable. This is because it is a massive harbour, full of sand bars, etc. The captain will be watching your spot trackers and will make two or three trips a day to collect you from Poutu. There is no jetty or wharf, so he has to nose the boat up onto the beach. This cannot be done during high tide.  The boat will carry up to 30 riders at a time.  Take the attitude that Poutu will be where you stop and have a good long rest. There is a large hall there with bunks, a kitchen and board games.

Whanganui River Boat
I have contacted the two main jet boat companies, and had one reply at this stage – from Whanganui River Adventures, based in Pipiriki. This company also provides accommodation, camping and some food at Pipiriki.
The standard price is $90 per person, and they generally do pickups from the landing at 1:30pm and 4pm.
They will offer a discount for groups of 8 or more, of $80 per person.
They have 3 boats and can carry up to 31 people per trip.

I will see if the other operator (Bridge to Nowhere Tours) will do an early pick up at 10am and a late pick up at 7pm.

One tip about these boat operators. They are awesome, salt of the earth people, who have spent all their lives on these remote stretches of water. But they haven’t done a Kiwi Host course and aren’t going to react well to impatient riders trying to give them a hurry along. When you meet them, remember ‘It’s not a race’.

Northern Food Shops
I will contact all the shops north of Auckland asking them to stock up on supplies of bananas, chocolate milk, muesli bars and pies.

That’s all for this update. I’ll be in touch again in late December. Until then, happy training – there are only three months to go!

Pedal on

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