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Monday, February 1, 2016

Tour Aoteroa February 2016 Update 1

Hi folks,

Now that we have less than three weeks until take off, you’ll want to read this update carefully.
There will be one final update on the 11th Feb when I will give out the final course route and an event briefing.

Q. Can I count time on a boat as part of my 6 hour rest?
A. The intent of the rule is that people are forced off the bike for 6 hours, so you can count the three hours on the Kaipara Harbour Boat and the Cook Strait Ferry as part of your 6 hour stop, so long as you also have 3 hours stop at the boat pick up, drop off location.
The boat times and costs are in the tables below.

Q. Do I have to text in at control points?
A. No. This event has photo control points. At 30 locations you must stop and take a photo to prove you were there and give you a lasting reminder of your tour.
The photos can be uploaded onto the Maprogress Tour Aotearoa webpage (when you are logged on go to https://app.maprogress.com/photos/upload).
If for privacy reasons, or techno reasons, you don’t want to do that during the event, you can send the photos to me or Shane Davidson later.

Q. Where are the photo control points?
A. They are pinned on the latest GPS file (see below), and I will give you a final word document of them in the final update on the 11th Feb.

Q. What should I do if there is a difference between the GPS file and the cue sheets?
A. You should follow the GPS file, which is the same as the route shown here: http://www.kennett.co.nz/maps/tour-aotearoa/

Q. What type of tyres/tent/spoke nipples should I take?
A. Ask on the Tour Aotearoa facebook page, or browse through the resources page at http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/resources.html

Q. Is there one place I should look for all the critical information?
A. Yes, you should read http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/mission-critical-info.html and check out the 3rd edition of Classic NZ Cycle Trails.

Q. Do I really need a Spot Tracker, registered to Maprogress?
A. Yes, for four reasons.
- Safety first: if you get lost we can find you, and the Spot also acts as an emergency locator beacon.
- Second, the Spot means we (and your family and friends) know where you are and that you are following the course.
- Third, the Kaipara Harbour boat captain will be watching the Maprogress page and using it to decide if there are riders to pick up at Pouto or not.
- Fourth, we’ve been contacting the remote cafes along the route and asking them their opening hours (see below), and their response has been, “our hours depend on if there are people around or not”. So they will also be watching your dots, and may stay open longer as a result.

Q. When are the boat times and cost?

Hokianga Ferry Timetable* Cost is $2 for a 10 min trip.
Departs North Terminal (Rawene)
Arrives South Terminal (Narrows)
7:15am (weekdays only)
7:30am (weekdays only)

*Note: At peak times the Ferry may change to shuttle mode, at which times the above time table may be suspended and sailings will be more frequent

Kaipara Harbour Boat Times
Cost is $50 (take cash). The last money machine is in Dargaville.
Sailing time is approximately 3 hours. Loading bikes could take a while.
These sailings are for Tour Aotearoa riders only. There are no other sailings during this time. They will watch trackers and wait a while if there are riders just about to arrive at Pouto. Please be patient and treat this crossing as an adventure.

22nd Feb
12 noon
23rd Feb
24th Feb
No sailing unless needed.
25th Feb
26th Feb
Note: If you miss the last Kaipara Harbour boat on Friday then the captain will pick you up while doing a fishing charter on Saturday (approximately 11 am pick up, for up to five people).

Whanganui River
There are two main companies operating on the river, and they offer jet boat trips and hire Canadian Canoes (which hold bikes fine). Contact details are on the web and in Classic NZ Cycle Trails. Take cash if you want fast service.

Whanganui River Adventures, based in Pipiriki. This company also provides accommodation, camping and some food at Pipiriki.
They generally do pickups from the landing at 1:30pm and 4pm.
They offer a discount for groups of 8 or more, for $80 per person. Otherwise it is the standard price of $90.

Bridge to Nowhere Tours will do an early pick up at 9:30am and a late pick up at 6:30pm if riders book in with him. A group of 8 or more would be $75 per person. Otherwise, the standard price is $90-$100.

UPDATE 24 Feb 2016:
Bridge to Nowhere Tour and can/will do pick ups from the Mangaparua Landing down to Pipiriki at 8.00am,
10.00 am, 12.30 pm, 2.30pm, and again at 5.00pm during the day for groups of 6 or more.

Bookings must be made in advance to 0800 480 308 from National Park area or down at Blue Duck Lodge /Whakahoro before arriving at the river landing.

Cost for this option is $75 per person. For numbers lower than this cost will be $90 per person.

They also offer food and accommodation at their lodge partway down the river.

Cook Strait Ferry
There are two ferries offering a few sailing times a day, and prices between $50 and $90. All riders must take one of these ferries (no flying across the strait).

Lake Wakatipu
There are two options: the historic steamship SS Earnslaw or a water taxi.
The Earnslaw sails several times a day and can be booked at https://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/tss-earnslaw-vintage-steamship-cruises/
The water taxis offer more flexible times and can be booked at http://www.queenstownwatertaxis.co.nz

The Tour Aotearoa Route is almost final!
Updated January draft GPS files are now available for the TA route here: http://www.kennett.co.nz/maps/tour-aotearoa/files/
These files have had minor updates. The final version will be sent out on the 11th Feb.

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.

Erik Westra has put some draft cue sheets up on the Tour Aotearoa facebook page – check it out. These will be updated when the final GPS file is released.

And Julie Williams has been phoning shops on the TA route to get opening hours, to add to the shops cue sheet that Kevin has written (see spreadsheet). Feel free to add to this if you would like.

Open Homes
We now have open homes (or back yards) in Auckland, Owhango, Wellington and Albert Town. Details for these will be given on the 11th Feb. Most will require you to text the owner to ‘book in’ and get the address.
If you are able to provide an open home, please let me know.

Mike the Scout
Mike Brien completed the tour in good time and provided some valuable feedback. He also had a great time and achieved the first TA ride in fine style.

Butt Care!
Jennie from Sweat Cheeks is offering a 100gm pot of Butt Butter plus free Super Balm and shipping to Tour Aotearoa riders. You’ll want to use some chamois cream every day, and this stuff is good. Go to http://www.sweetcheeksnz.co.nz

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

That’s all for this update. I’ll be in touch again at the end of next week.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

P.S. If you have any questions, the next week is a good time to ask. Also, there are a few spare places available if any reserve riders would like to enter.

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