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Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 8 October 2019

Those of you starting on the 17 February now have 19 weeks left to train for your 3,000 km adventure. Hopefully you are building up to the sort of distance you plan to average each day on the tour and are taking your gear on your training rides. If you are good for 50 km loaded right now and you want to average 100 km per day, then you should add an average of 5 km per week, taking an easy week once a month. Also plan for a two-week taper before your start, so you are fresh and keen at Cape Reinga.

If you would like to check out a simple TA training plan, read this blog by Jeff Lyall: http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/training.html

One really good training tip is “make it fun”. There are some great biking holidays in NZ and ‘training’ is a good excuse to go out there and do those classic trips you’ve always wanted to do.  Also, commuting by bike is a sensible way to just keep gaining/maintaining a dependable base fitness.

Tour Aotearoa course details

Paul is furiously creating new maps for the TA Official Guide, and I am writing over 300 changes to the cue sheets and support services, etc. We aim to get the course finalised and released by 5 November.

We will create a list of all the major changes since 2018 and email these to you in a few weeks’ time. We will also revise the gpx files, so you can load those into your gps. You don’t need to use a gps to follow the Tour, but they do help when riding through complex areas like Auckland.

The TA Official Guides have the cue sheets as well as the information you need to plan where you might like to stay and eat, and book ferries, etc. They are being printed later this month and will be available at shops and online from 5 November for $20 (go to www.kennett.co.nz to preorder).

If you would prefer a PDF version, it will be available from next week (also at www.kennett.co.nz). We still recommend carrying the paper editions as backup.

Where and why?

You may sometimes wonder why the course goes where it does. Our goal is to follow the safest and most enjoyable route from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Choosing a safe route means we avoid busy roads wherever reasonably possible, even though a main highway would be more direct. Sometimes this involves taking off-road trails like the Timber Trail and the West Coast Wilderness Trail, which are highlights of the tour.  In a few cases, it’s a real balancing act, and so we give you a choice in the form of “Alternates”. The Hunuas are a good example – we provide two routes, one to the north and one to the south of the Hunua Ranges, and you decide on the day.

How you can help!

I’ve been out and about gpsing new sections of trail, such as the Hauraki Rail Trail and the Great Taste Trail, but it would be a great help if a few riders could check out the following new sections of trail and send me new gps files.
  1. If you live in Auckland, could you please go and gps the new section of the Northwest Cycle Route, between Takau Street and Alex Evans Street? Describe the route as you go, and email me the file.
  2. If you live in Invercargill, could you please go and gps any new sections of the cycle path to Bluff that have been built south of Kekeno Place.

Message from Shane at Maprogress

Just a reminder that you need to sign up for tracking on MAProgress by going to https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/event/register. There are various options to hire / buy / or connect your own tracker to the Satellite network. We will be adding a new FAQs page in the next few days, just for TA riders - look out for this at http://maprogress.com/. We have limited numbers of Spot Gen 3s (with an SOS function), if you don't book in early, you'll miss out on one of these.

Message from Sue at the Cancer Society

We have been approached by one of your participants, Dylan Turner, wanting to fundraise for Cancer Society with his ride. As a result of his approach, we have created an online fundraising website where anyone doing the tour can sign up and fundraise for the Cancer Society.  
The link to the site is http://everydayhero.co.nz/event/tour-aotearoa-2020
In 2018, we had a few riders support us and they raised over $8,000.

Message from Amy – new TA kit 

Tour Aotearoa rider and designer, Amy, launched the TA kit and Brevet Bundle last month (includes TA cycle shorts and jersey, and a funky bandanna in the Brevet Bundle).
This gear is very cheerful! Check it out on  www.kitupforta.co.nz
The final cut-off date for orders is 23 October.

Message from Soigneur

David Carman at Soigneur.co.nz , produces a merino Tour Aotearoa jersey, which you can check out here: https://www.soigneur.co.nz/product/Tour-Aotearoa-Merino-Wool-Cycling-Jersey-Bikepacking 


And just in case you’re wondering, the Kennett Brothers do not take any commission/advertising revenue from any of these businesses, or any of the businesses listed in the Tour Aotearoa guide books. That’s not our gig.


There are now 980 entrants and the first eight start waves are full.  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: 89 entries
9am, 5 March: 30 entries
10am, 6 March: 9 entries
11am, 7 March: 9 entries
12noon, 8 March: 30 entries

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

And if you still haven’t entered, the process is explained below.

Transport from Auckland to Cape Reinga

Real Far North Tours are offering bus trips from Auckland Airport (and Whangarei and Kerikeri) to Cape Reinga. Riders will be taken to a camping ground 6 km from Cape Reinga. There will be large tents with mattresses set up for riders to use at the camping ground. The cost will be $200 all up. Bookings essential.
Contact: realfarnorthtours@gmail.com

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 more information…
Go to the website: http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/home.html
There are also two Tour Aotearoa Facebook pages, where you can ask questions of other riders.
And if you are looking for inspiration, we still have a few copies of the Tour Aotearoa coffee table book: http://www.kennett.co.nz/product/tour-aotearoa-bikepacking-odyssey/

Until the next update, I hope your training has started and you’re focusing on the best ways to make it fun for you!

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

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