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Thursday, October 5, 2017

September Tour Aotearoa update

Kia ora riders,

Less than five months to go now! Hopefully you’re sorting out your gear and starting to cover a few miles – even if you’re just doing some fun rides and commuting to work. Most important of all is to develop comfortable contact points for your hands, bum, and feet. 3000 kilometres really is a long way!

Reminder of the rules
The spirit of this event is laidback, self-supported, and respectful of yourself, others and the environment. It’s a low-key, but high satisfaction ride. This is reflected in the rules. If you haven’t looked at them yet, you may be surprised, so check them out here: http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/rules_27.html

Photo Control Points
Tour Aotearoa is a ‘dirt brevet’, and brevet’s have control points. Historically, they have been places that riders stop and sign in with officials, or text a message. On Tour Aotearoa, they are places where you take a photo. There are 30 photo control points, all described here: http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/photo-checkpoints.html

Note that the Giant Kiwi at Eketahuna has been moved 50 metres, across the road, to a safer site.

Also, Tane Mahuta, the massive Kauri in Northland is under threat of a disease called Kauri dieback. This disease can be spread by people – on your shoes or tyres. There is a boardwalk leading to Tane Mahuta, and you must not walk off this boardwalk.

Tracking and Trackers – a message from Shane at MAProgress
We at MAProgress are going to be extremely busy in February with almost 1,000 trackers out. To manage this demand we need to be organised early, and with changes to our pricing we encourage riders to register soon so everything is loaded and checked. Get in early to take advantage of the early bird pricing:

·  The tracking fee (which everyone pays) will increase from $45 to $60 on 1st December 2017. From 20th January 2018 this will increase further to $75.
·  MAProgress SPOT Gen 3 tracker hire will increase from $145 to $160 on 1st December 2017 too. This is definitely the easiest and best value option for you. You pick it up at Cape Reinga and drop it off at Invercargill, we look after the allocation, registration, batteries, updates, and everything else.

We've had a number of people confused with the hiring of trackers. You can hire your tracker from anyone – MAProgress, or SPOT NZ, or anyone else (of course, you can use your own or buy one too).

But there is also a tracking fee, which covers the cost of you actually being tracked on the website. If you are hiring a tracker from someone else (ie, SPOT NZ) then you’ll still need to pay the tracking fee to MAProgress. There is also an additional process in the MAProgress registration devices tab for you to follow:
1.       Click on "Enter details for a new device that I own/have rented"
2.       Give the device a name
3.       Select "SPOT Gen 3"
4.       Enter in the ESN  provided to you
5.       Tap the "Data source" box 5-times to enable via SPOT NZ / trackme.kiwi
6.       Select "via SPOT NZ / trackme.kiwi"
7.       Click on "Save Device"

Rider Numbers
The Tour is now full and entries are closed.
Start Date
Numbers
10th February
118 riders
12th February
113 riders
14th February
115 riders
24th February
107 riders
26th February
111 riders
28th February
108 riders

Please check your entry details and let me know if there is anything missing. If you haven’t paid your donation to charity and done your carbon offset by the end of next week, then I will offer your place to someone on the reserve list.
We are a bit oversubscribed at the moment, but the numbers should drop before we all start in February.

If for any reason you have to pull out, please let me know. There are people on the reserve list who would really like to enter!

For more information…
There are also two Tour Aotearoa Facebook pages, and you can ask questions from other riders.
The TA Official guide: due to changes in the course currently under construction, we are delaying revising the 2018 edition of the guide until December. We’ll let you know as soon as we can.

The next update will be in late October, at which time the course will be very close to fixed.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett 

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