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Friday, March 24, 2017

Tour Aotearoa Update – March 2017

Hi there,

By now you should have a good idea of what the Tour Aotearoa is, and if you really want to confirm your entry for the 2018 adventure. Just to summarise, it’s an amazing, self-supported, 3000 km brevet, from Cape Reinga to Bluff. A brevet is not a race. It is a ride following a set course, via 30 photo control points, which you must complete between 10 and 30 days – no more and no less. Riding conditions vary from smooth sealed roads to rough rocky tracks, and everything inbetween!

The starts:
There are six starts, with up to 100 people per start as follows
10th Feb: 100 riders – FULL
12th Feb: 100 riders – FULL
14th Feb: 100 riders – FULL
24th Feb: 100 riders – FULL
26th Feb: 100 riders – FULL
28th Feb: 100 riders – FULL

We have been revising the entry database, so please take a look and let me know if anything needs correcting: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/edit#gid=0

If you have not already done so, you will need to confirm your entry soon to be certain of getting a space in the Tour. There are only places available for the 28th February start. And just as a reminder of how to enter, I have pasted the relevant information at the bottom of this update.

As you know, there is no entry fee, but you do have to pay at least $100 to a charity and offset your carbon footprint. Once you’ve done that, you’re confirmed (obviously there will be no refunds if you pull out later).

The Charity
You can choose your own charity, but it must be registered – all the bonafide charitable organisations are. Pay $100, or more, to that charity in lieu of an entry fee, and send me a copy of the receipt. Simple.

Please consider donating to BikeTaupo - it’s a charitable organisation that does trail building and has agreed to use donations to do a final check on the Kaiwhakauka Track (and the Arataki Track) before we ride through. So support them if you can (put TA on the bank details when you make a deposit).

Name: Bike Taupo Advocacy Group Inc
Account Number: 02-0428-0107984-000

Carbon Offsetting
Carbon offsetting is just what needs to be done to pay for your travel pollution now rather than deferring the cost to future generations, which isn't fair. I believe most northern hemisphere riders will have their heads around this concept already. Some airlines already offer offsetting as a service, but I'd like you to use Ekos or  

The carbon offsetting for your travel emissions depends on how far you are travelling to get to the start of the event and back home again.

Dr Sean Weaver from Ekos has calculated the average emission for entrants from different parts of the world and set up a page especially for the Tour Aotearoa, so that you can offset very quickly:

Or you can do your own calculations at  http://calculators.enviro-mark.com/EmissionsCalc/tourismeditor.aspx and plug in all the travel (return) that you estimate you’ll need, then click on “OFFSET” at the bottom. The calculator will offer you a few choices on how you want to offset. I chose forest restoration. They will email you a receipt, which you should forward to me as proof you’ve paid.

Four Questions for You
Along with your two receipts to confirm entry, please also answer the following four questions.

  1. Where are you from?
  2. Do you own your own Spot Tracker or will you need to hire one?
  3. Do you have a strong preference for a start date, and what would your second choice be? 
  4. Have you attached your two receipts (donation and offsetting)? The only exception is that I don’t need a receipt for a Friends of Waiuta donation, as they will let me know who has donated.

The course
Millions of dollars are spent on cycling infrastructure every year in New Zealand, so the course will change as new trails are completed, and old ones upgraded. Any changes to the route will be:
·         posted on Facebook, and
·         included in a revised edition of the Official Tour Aotearoa Guide Books, and gpx files will be revised. 

I am happy to say there will be quite a number of improvements!
In the next update I will cover off the following:
  • Transport options to the start.
  • The exact start times from Cape Reinga.
  • Where to get Spot Trackers.
  • A realistic budget for food, accommodation and transport.
Until then, for more information go to:
And ask questions on the Tour Aotearoa facebook page!

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

P.S. We have just updated the Tour Aotearoa Official Guidebooks, but but we will revise them again in October this year for the 2018 Tour. Up to 10 percent of the course will change.

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