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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 24 October 2019

In this update we will cover three things:
1. Final call for entries
2. Official Guidebook launch
3. Last minute advocacy for three sections that need improvements

Final call for entries!

There are now 1001 entrants!  This is the last call to join Tour Aotearoa. If you aren’t on the start list, then you are not yet entered.

Please check your details on this start list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/

If you can’t find your name on the list, then you haven’t entered. If you want to enter, then please email us by the end of the next week at touraotearoa@kennett.co.nz (see details below).

Official Guide Book Launches

Last week we finally finished updating the Tour Aotearoa Official Guide. It outlines the 2020 route, and includes maps, cue sheets, a list of services, and an introduction full of updated information.

The new PDF version is available now and the paper version will be out early next month.

For those happy to read the guide on their phone or computer, you can get the PDF here: https://www.kennett.co.nz/product/tour-aotearoa-official-guides-pdf

The Paper version will be launched in Wellington on the 5th November and in Taupo on the 29th November (Taupo Cycle Challenge weekend). It will be available at most independent bookshops, bike shops, and online at www.kennett.co.nz. If  you are buying overseas we recommend going to  www.groundeffect.co.nz (the postage is cheaper).

At the Taupo Launch, we will take the opportunity to give a talk about Tour Aotearoa and meet riders. The talk will be at 4pm at the Great Lake Centre Theatre on Friday the 29 November. This is also where riders doing the Taupo Cycle Challenge can pick up their race packs. We will have a book stall there all weekend with our full range of cycling books.

Advocacy for Tour Aotearoa

As you probably know, dozens of sections of the Tour Aotearoa course have been enhanced over the last two years. But there are three sections that really need some advocacy.
  1. SH6 Speed Limit Reduction. NZTA is currently seeking submissions on their plan to reduce the speed limit from Picton to Nelson (18 km of the TA course is on this section). They are considering lowering the speed limit from 100kph to 80kph because international research shows this would save lives. It seems like a no brainer, but there is a lot of opposition to it. So please consider writing a submission to support safer speeds. Go to: nzta.govt.nz/blenheim-nelson-speed-review
  2. Invercargill to Bluff shared path. Invercargill City Council and Environment Southland have been slowly planning a new path to Bluff, so that people walking and cycling the length of New Zealand can finish their last hour in safety. But’s it’s not really a high priority and it looks like they might not start work until Febuary, when you are riding the Tour. Perhaps you could email the mayor and let him know that you’re coming and would like to finish your 3000 km journey on his new path.  Contact Mayor Tim Shadbolt by emailing mayor@icc.govt.nz
  3. Auckland Cycle Improvements. Riding into and out of Auckland is currently a challenge. Auckland Transport is in charge of the roads, and although they seem to have plans for speed reduction and shoulder widening, they don’t necessarily align with the Tour Aotearoa course. Let them know, where you will be riding, and that any safety improvements would be appreaciated. Contact Mayor Phil Goff by emailing phil.goff@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Good news

Significant enhancements on the Tour Aotearoa course since 2018 include:
  • there is a new section of cycle path in Auckland,
  • a 30 km extension to the the Hauraki Rail Trail,
  • an upgrade of the The Timber Trail including more toilets,
  • DOC now have contractors upgrading the Kaiwhakauka Track,
  • the Whanganui District Council has almost finished a trail from Upokongaro into town,
  • NZTA contractors start widening the shoulders on the Pahiatua Track on Tuesday,
  • DOC are currently building a new bridge across Siberia Gully on the Remutaka Cycle Trail,
  • several upgrades have happened on the Hutt River Trail,
  • the Great Taste Trail has been extended to Kohatu,
  • there have been three new sections built on the West Coast Wilderness Trail,
  • DOC are building a new cycleway access to a Fox Glacier lookout on the south side of Fox River (the north side has been destroyed by the largest slip in New Zealand),
  • the Queenstown Trail has built a new section near Frankton,
  • and new shelters and toilets have been built on the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail.
All of these improvements are incorporated into the new Tour Aotearoa Official Guide.


There are now 1001 entrants!  There are still places available on later starts. We need to spread riders out so that transport and accommodation is not congested in Northland.

7am, 17th Feb: FULL
8am, 18th Feb: FULL
9am, 19th Feb: FULL
10am, 20th Feb: FULL
11am, 21th Feb: FULL
12 noon, 22th Feb: FULL
1pm, 23rd Feb: FULL

7am, 3 March: FULL
8am,  4 March: FULL
9am, 5 March: 31 entries
10am, 6 March: 9 entries
11am, 7 March: 9 entries
12noon, 8 March: 30 entries

And if you still haven’t entered, the process is explained below, one last time. After this update we won’t be taking more entries.

Entry Process

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 emailed touraotearoa@kennett.co.nz the receipts, along with your name and where you’re from, we will confirm your entry (obviously there will be no refunds if you pull out later).

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 us a copy of the receipt. Simple!
A good charity to donate to is the Waikato River Trail: https://www.waikatorivertrails.co.nz/page/donate-now/

Carbon offsetting is what needs to be done to pay for your travel pollution now rather than deferring the cost to future generations. 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 Enviromark because they are independent.

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. It will be approximately:
Londoners = 8 tonnes = $300
Australians = 2 tonne = $60
New Zealanders = 0.4 tonne = $30

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

For even more information

Go to the website: http://www.touraotearoa.nz

There are also two Tour Aotearoa Facebook pages, where you can ask questions of other riders.

Until the next update, I hope your training is gaining momentum and you’re keeping it fun!

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

P.S. Here is what TA rider Bevan Woodward recently wrote in his submission for SH6:

“I commend NZTA's proposal to adopt the safe and appropriate speed limit between Nelson and Blenheim. 

I note that a significant part of this 100km/h route is used by cyclists on Tour Aotearoa length of NZ journeys. From personal experience I can advise that this is an intimidating road to cycle.

I note that some local residents claim that lowering the speed limit will encourage reckless driving and therefore more road trauma.  I attach the research from the International Transport Forum on speed limit reductions from 10 nations providing evidence that this does not happen in practice:

All the cases indicated a strong relationship between speed and the number of crashes, i.e , an increase in mean speed was accompanied by an increase in the number of crashes and/or injured road users. Conversely, a decrease in mean speed was associated with a decrease in the number of crashes and
injured road users. [Page 5]

Bevan Woodward”

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