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Monday, February 10, 2020

Tour Aotearoa Update – 7 February 2020

Only ten days to go for the first wave of riders! Let the countdown begin!

Start times
Not everyone realises it yet, but the start times coincide with low tides on Ninety Mile Beach.

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

7am, 3 March
8am, 4 March
9am, 5 March
10am, 6 March
11am, 7 March
12noon, 8 March

If you are not sure of your start date, please check your details on the public start list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/

If you can’t find your name on the list, and want to enter, then please email us by the end of the next week (touraotearoa@kennett.co.nz). There are spaces left in the last three starts.


Final changes
Correction: in the last update I mistakenly referred to Whakamaru Dam, which is not even on the TA course. I meant Waipapa Dam. The on-road alternative route that has just been signposted on the Waikato River Trail route, is from Arapuni Dam to Waipapa Dam. It is optional.

Te Paki Stream, between Te Paki Stream Road and Ninety Mile Beach is open to walkers and cylists. The closure you may have seen mentioned on Facebook only applied to motor vehicles.

The holiday park at Waipapakauri is currently closed for renovations. It is the one about 15 km north of Ahipara, on Ninety Mile Beach.

Kaipara Harbour: Please don’t forget that there is only one boat you can legally take across the Kaipara Harbour – Kaipara Cruises. The other boat, AliCat has been sold and left the district. And remember, you don’t have to take the boat, you can take the alternative option around the harbour, which is detailed in the TA guidebooks. But it is about 100 km longer.

The Arataki Wire Bridge has been repaired by DOC and so the course is still as described in the guidebooks (from Mangakino to the Centre of New Zealand). There is no change.

There are ‘road closed’ signs on Maruia Saddle at the moment, but cyclists are getting through ok. A report from riders says that it looks like a new bridge and general repair works have just about finished.

There is a great new cafe with accommodation in Maruia right on SH65. They opened at Christmas. The cafe is new and first class. Contact details are:

Reids Roadhouse 65
1956 State Highway 65
Email: enquiries@dogsdelight.co.nz
Ph: 0274 750 780

Reefton is gearing up for you. The town will be decked out in TA street flags, and some of the businesses will open longer hours if they see your dots heading their way. Keep an eye out for TA signs in town, and the Merijigs Hotel snack bar on the track to Big River.

There is a kissing gate below Big River Hut that you have to lift your bike over. If you are knackered, then open the gate with the combination 1969 (= the number of km you have ridden from Cape Reinga).

In Bluff there are medals available for $10 each to anyone who has walked or cycled from Cape Reinga to Bluff. You can pick them up from the café at Sterling Point, overlooking the AA signs at the end of the tour.

There are bound to be dozens of other changes you discover along the way!

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.

Shane will be at Cape Reinga to meet you and hand out the trackers for those that are hiring them.

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


Congestion on the course
There will be a lot of riders out on the course this year, so there might be a few choke points. Please be patient. You are no more, or less, important than anyone else travelling the tracks and trails of TA.


For more information…
Go to the Tour Aotearoa website or the Tour Aotearoa: General Forum on Facebook

During the event, Paul will be cycling the tour on a tandem with his son, and I will be riding Kopiko Aotearoa. Simon Kennett will be fielding any urgent questions. His email is simon@kennett.co.nz and he will be keeping an eye on the Facebook forum and posting Official Updates.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well... in 2018 three cyclones hit NZ during the tour, four unlocked bikes were stolen (two recovered) and two riders crashed and went to hospital with injuries. Almost every mechanical issue you can imagine happened, but never stopped anyone for long. And by the end of March, 87% of the riders had made it to Bluff, although many had been forced off the course in places. If the outcome of this adventure was certain, then it wouldn’t really be an adventure.

If there is a course change, Simon will post about it.

Tour Aotearoa Update – 20 December 2019

There are a few updates this time, and more to come in the early New Year.


First, the Kaipara Crossing only has one boat option now. That is Kaipara Cruises, which most of you have been booking with anyway. But a few of you may have booked with the Ali-Kat, which is a smaller boat, which has just been sold and won’t be operating on the Kaipara Harbour next year! So please make sure you are not booked with Ali Kat Charters!

The Hokianga Harbour boat is no problems as it runs almost all day long, seven days a week, and only costs $2 because it is subsidised by the government.

Further south, you should book your trip down the Whanganui River a day before you get there. They will run in all but the worst storm conditions.

Crossing the Cook Strait to the South Island also requires booking ahead, and we recommend two days ahead.

The only boat trip in the South Island is across Lake Whakatipu, and there are a few boat operators. You must book ahead.

Details for all the boats are in the TA Official Guides.

Here is a message from Magaret at Mangakino
“Last year I helped out with overflow from the hotel and really enjoyed the contact with the riders. I run an Airbnb here in Mangakino (I know I should have contacted you before the booklet was printed) and am happy to provide accommodation as are others. I have volunteered to be the first contact riders can use and once I am full I will give them other places to go.
I have a cottage that sleeps 8 and home stay that sleeps 4 plus plenty of room for tents.
Regards Margaret
33 Moana crescent, Mangakino
Phone 021 997274

And from the Timber Trail Lodge…
This lodge in the middle of the Timber Trail must be booked before you get there. They are likely to be booked out on some days, so we can’t assume we can just walk in and get a bed. They are a victim of their own success apparently!
A message from the lodge is “we will not be able to provide services, other than pizza and drinks between 1pm and 5pm, to anyone who hasn’t made a prior reservation.”

Bridge to Nowhere/Maungaparua Track
Contractors are currently working on this track, and all indications suggest it will be open again next week.

West Coast Highway update – and alternate
The West Coast highway opened again today, although sections of it are single lane with traffic lights, and it will be that way for quite some time. As extreme weather events close this highway quite often now we will create an ‘East of the Main Divide’ alternate and have that ready for you if needed.


Maprogress

Early Bird pricing ends on 6th Jan for GPS Tracking on Tour Aotearoa 2020, save by registering now at https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/event/register
1. Purchase your own Spot Gen3 to take on the TA and other adventures, save $50 off retail until 6th Jan.
2. Spot tracker rental price increases to $230 from $190 after 6th. If you hold off and leave it last minute it will cost you more.
Find more details go to https://maprogress.com/tracking/touraotearoa

Please make sure you are all sorted with a spot tracker. It is important for your safety and enables us to know where you are on the Tour Aotearoa.


Motutapu Challenge in Queenstown

“We do have a short road closure Tobins Track (near Arrowtown) on Sunday 15th March between 8 – 11am. At this time there will be approx. 600 runners coming up the track. It would be great if you could advise your participantr to travel down the Crown Range if they happen to hit exactly that time. Appreciate your understanding!”


And… a few summaries from the last update:


Official Guide Books

The TA guides (PDF version and paper version) are out now. They describe in detail the 2020 course, and include maps, cue sheets, a list of services, and an introduction full of updated information.
For those happy to read the guide on their phone or computer, you can get a pdf version by going to https://www.kennett.co.nz/product/tour-aotearoa-official-guides-pdf
The Paper version is available at most independent bookshops, bike shops, and online at http://www.kennett.co.nz or, if you are an overseas rider, we recommend www.groundeffect.co.nz (the postage is cheaper).


Official GPS files
Paul and I have just finished updating the gpx/kml files for you to load onto your gps. Here they are:
http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/routegpx-downloads.html
Note 1: these may be updated before your start. If they are, we will let you know.
Note 2: the GPX files have limitations. Basically, it's fine as a file to import into your GPS cycle computer, but if you try to load it into a website like Strava or RideWithGPS, those sites just can't handle the complex nature of the TA course.
Note 3: Peter Mitchell has created a little video that shows how to load KMZ to Google Maps (suitable for iPhone and Samsung), not the other platforms. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/ATfqMfNRBCY
Note 4: There is a known limitation of the Garmin system -- it expects the file you upload to consist of only one GPS "track", while the file you download from the TA website actually combines 25 separate tracks into a single GPX file. The only way to get Garmin to understand this file is to split it up into separate parts, one track per file, and import each one individually.


Entries
If for any reason you cannot take part in the event, please send me an email at touraotearoa@kennett.co.nz. This will possibly provide room for another rider.
Please check your details on this start list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/


For 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!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 25 November 2019

Wow! There are now over 1000 entrants in next year’s Tour Aotearoa. It is going to be quite an incredible event! In this update we will cover three things:

1. Tour Aotearoa Official Guides out now
2. Presentation at Taupo this Friday, 29 November 2019
3. GPX/KML files now updated

First some miscellaneous updates.

BREVET BUNDLES: Amy has asked me to remind you that she has produced a little bundle of brevet goodies like a TA map bandanna, a Blow on the Pie patch, stickers, discounts to help you get through the TA and freebies. They are available at www.kitupforta.co.nz  

POUTO POINT CAMPING: camp leader Janeen from Pouto Point wants to remind everyone that there is no freedom camping at Pouto Point, and riders should make a donation to use the camp facilities. They aren’t cheap to run, so make sure you chip in and contribute to this campsite.

Some riders have booked a stay at the camp ground already. There is only space for 50 people (council rules), so this is a good idea. Also, there is a small shop at the campground.  Camp phone number is 09 4350596. Janeen

We will compile all the useful notes like these (and others that are going up on Facebook) over the next two months and put out a list of them before you start your ride. Most of this sort of detail is in the guidebooks.

One last item, please don’t forget to register with Maprogress so that you can be tracked during the Tour Aotearoa. Goto https://app.maprogress.com/  for more information.

Official Guide Books

The TA guides (PDF version and paper version) are out now. They describe in detail the 2020 course, and include maps, cue sheets, a list of services, and an introduction full of updated information.

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

The paper version is available at most independent bookshops, bike shops, and online at www.kennett.co.nz or if  you are an overseas rider we recommend www.groundeffect.co.nz (the postage is cheaper).

Tour Aotearoa presentation this Friday

At the Taupo Cycle Challenge this Friday we are giving a presentation about Tour Aotearoa and NZs top 40 Mountain Bike Rides. This is an opportunity to ask questions and meet other TA 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 at Taupo all Friday and most of Saturday.

Pop by and say hello.

Official GPS files now ready

Paul and I have just finished updating the gpx/kml files for you to load onto your gps. Here they are:

http://www.touraotearoa.nz/p/routegpx-downloads.html
Note 1: these may be updated before your start. If they are, we will let you know.
Note 2: he GPX files have limitations.  Basically, it's fine as a file to import into your GPS cycle computer, but if you try to load it into a website like Strava or RideWithGPS, those sites just can't handle the complex nature of the TA course.

Entries

There are now 1010 entrants!  If for any reason you cannot take part in the event, please send me an email. This will possibly provide room for another rider.

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

For more information 

Go to  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!

Hope to see you at Taupo!


Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

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.

Entries

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).

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 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
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:
https://ekos.org.nz/touraotearoa

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]


Thanks,
Bevan Woodward”

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.
Thanks!

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 

Note

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.

Entries

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).

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 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
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:
https://ekos.org.nz/touraotearoa

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

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 23 August 2019


Just a very brief update this time, as wes are flat tack working on the 10th Edition of Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides (yes, it is hard to believe!).

Storm closures

A few people have been asking us “what happens if storms close a part of the route?”.  This is most likely to happen on the Maungapurua Track or the Waiuta Track, but it could also happen on the West Coast Wilderness Trail, or even the highway.  In this case, you should first see if there is an alternative route listed in the guidebooks. If there isn’t, then you take a look at the Tour Aotearoa Facebook Page, because as soon as a closure happens we will be posting reroutes on it. 

Throughout this time, when the weather may be at it’s worst, you need to be excercising your own judgement and keeping yourself (and others) safe!  There will be a solution, there always is. But it might involve waiting for a track to reopen, or finding a way of getting across a bridge that has been washed out (last summer a huge dump truck was taking cycle tourers across the Waiho River on the West Coast for $20 each while the highway bridge was being rebuilt). Think laterally, and take your time to make good decisions.

Entries

There are now 940 entrants and the first eight start waves are full.  But there are places available on other 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 (could squeeze a few more in)

7am, 3 March: FULL
8am,  4 March: 70 entries
9am, 5 March: 25 entries
10am, 6 March: 10 entries
11am, 7 March: 9 entries
12noon, 8 March: 18 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 to Cape Reinga next year (pick up also available from Whangarei and Kerikeri). Riders will be given the opportunity to do last minute shopping for food at a supermarket in Kaitaia, and then taken to a camping ground 6 km from Cape Reinga. There will be large tents set up for riders to use at the camping ground, with mattresses for those who need them. The cost will be $200 all up. Bookings essential.
Contact: realfarnorthtours@gmail.com

GPS Tracking of the event

Every rider, or group of riders, must have a gps Spot Tracker for the event. Many of you will already own one. These have three great advantages:
  1. In an emergency you can call for help
  2. Your friends and family can follow your progress from anywhere in the world
  3. We can see if you’re following the TA course.
Shane from Maprogress has now set up the registration page for Tour Aotearoa at https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/event/register.

Whether you have a tracker or not, you need to register with Maprogress to be shown on the Tour Aotearoa webpage that Shane has developed. And if you need a spot tracker you can buy/hire one on top of that.

Note: If you own a SPOT NZ (trackme.kiwi), it is not compatable with the TA site at Maprogress, so you’ll need to borrow/hire another one that is compatible.

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).

THE CHARITY

You can choose your own registered 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

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 independant.

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 quickly:
https://ekos.org.nz/touraotearoa

Things change

There are several new sections of trail being built at the moment, on the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Fox Glacier Track and more! So the TA2020 will have significant changes!

There are also at least 100 changes to services along the TA course, with some businesses closing down, and others opening up.

All the changes will be included in the next edition of the Tour Aotearoa Official Guides, which will be released in November. We will also provide updated GPX files on the website.

Until the next update, I hope your planning is going well.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Tour Aotearoa Update – 29 July 2019

Hi folks,

The first 100 riders will be starting in 7 months! That’s not so far away, so I hope you are starting to get a few miles in, taking advantage of beautiful days like today, and any local brevets between now and then.
In this monthly update I’ll remind you of five things:
  • New sections of track
  • Transport to Cape Reinga
  • GPS trackers
  • Entries and entry process
  • The five boat trips
But first, have you done any multi-day cycling trips in New Zealand over the last 8 months? If you haven’t, you need to get out more! If you have, could you please fill out this survey (it helps the NZ Transport Agency identify where to invest in safety upgrades).

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CycleTouring2019

Right now the NZ Transport Agency is spending millions on cycling infrastructure, and some of it is on the Tour Aotearoa route. For example, you will be glad to hear there will be shoulder widening on the Pahiatua Track, and Highway 6 between Havelock and Pelorus Bridge, and an-off road path between Invercargill and Bluff. So fill out the survey, and have your say!

New sections of track

There are several new sections of trail being built at the moment, on the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, Tasman’s Great Taste Trail, West Coast Wilderness Trail, Fox Glacier Track and more! So the TA2020 will have significant changes!

There are also dozens of changes to services along the TA course, with some businesses closing down, and others opening up.

All the changes will be included in the next edition of the Tour Aotearoa Official Guides, which will be out in November 2019. We will also update the GPX files on the website.

Transport from Auckland to Cape Reinga

Real Far North Tours are offering bus trips from Auckland Airport to Cape Reinga next year (pick up also available from Whangarei and Kerikeri). Riders will be given the opportunity to do last minute shopping for food at a supermarket in Kaitaia, and then taken to a camping ground 6 km from Cape Reinga. There will be large tents set up for riders to use at the camping ground, with mattresses for those who need them. The cost will be $200 all up. Bookings essential.

Contact: realfarnorthtours@gmail.com


GPS tracking of the event

Every rider, or group of riders, must have a gps Spot Tracker for the event. Many of you will already own one. These have three great advantages:
  1. In an emergency you can call for help
  2. Your friends and family can follow your progress from anywhere in the world
  3. We can see if you’re following the TA course.
Shane from Maprogress has now set up the registration page for Tour Aotearoa at https://touraotearoa2020.maprogress.com/event/register.

Whether you have a tracker or not, you need to register with Maprogress to be shown on the Tour Aotearoa webpage that Shane has developed. And if you need a spot tracker you can buy/hire one on top of that.

Note: If you own a SPOT NZ (trackme.kiwi), it is not compatable with the TA site at Maprogress, so you’ll need to borrow/hire another one that is compatible.

Entries

There are now 900 entrants and the first five start waves are full.  But there are places available on other 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: 93 entries
1pm, 23rd Feb: 79 entries

7am, 3 March: FULL
8am,  4 March: 58 entries
9am, 5 March: 23 entries
10am, 6 March: 10 entries
11am, 7 March: 9 entries
12noon, 8 March: 16 entries

Public start list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e2VTW2D5BcBY-zlNcgmESIR0uqX3-nhgbhYDD6E61m8/

And if you still haven’t entered, here’s the process:


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).

THE CHARITY
You can choose your own registered 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
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 independant.

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 quickly:
https://ekos.org.nz/touraotearoa

Five Boat Trips

Those who have done a bit of research will realise there are five boat trips on Tour Aotearoa. Here they are, along with some tips:

Hokianga Harbour: This is the easiest boat trip. It runs every hour from 7am to 8pm, only takes 10 minutes, and costs $2! No booking required.

Kaipara Harbour: This boat trip needs to be booked and will be cancelled in bad weather (and if the boat doesn’t run, you need to ride around the harbour, which adds 100 km to your tour!). Here is a message from the boat operator.

“Visit our website www.kaiparacruises.co.nz for a schedule of dates and times for the crossing.
Bookings are essential. Email kaiparacruises@xtra.co.nz to book. We need your name and phone number. We collect the fare, $50pp, for the crossing as you board the boat.
Please allow sufficient time to get to Pouto as we have found in the past riders underestimate how long it takes.
If anyone wishes to stay at the Kaipara Cruising Club in Helensville ($10pp camping or doss down in the club house) let me know in the same email when booking and we will arrange it for you.
Kaipara Cruises
Ph: 09 420 8466
Email: kaiparacruises@xtra.co.nz


Whanganui River jet boat: This is the coolest trip. There are a few companies that run jet boats down the river. One that is already advertising to TA riders is Whanganui River Journeys.

“Hi TA riders. Whanganui River Adventures pick up times at the Maungapurua Landing (Bridge to Nowhere). 8.30am. 1.30pm. 4pm. 6pm.
Our commitment to the TA2020 is we will come and get you even if you’re the only one, as long as its on the specified times. Cost is $90pp (includes bike). Ph 0800 862 743. (Save this number) please call before leaving Taumaranui.
The 8.30am pickup will suit riders coming from Johnsons camp (along Mangapurua Track).
At our base in Pipiriki we will have food available, bike wash, some cabins and camping.
Cheers, Ken”


Cook Strait ferries: there are two ferries and they run several times a day, but the Cook Strait is a wild body of water, and in bad storms the ferry may be delayed. Information about these ferries can easily be found by googling BlueBridge or Interislander. And details are in the Tour Aotearoa Guidebooks.

Lake Whakatipu: There are a few options, with the most flexible being a water taxi which you need to book, and the most historic being the Earnslaw steamship which runs to a timetable. Again, details are easy to google. Stock up well before this trip as there are no shops for the next 103 km of cycling!

Until the next update, I hope your planning is going well.

Pedal on!
Jonathan Kennett