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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: Tour Aotearoa is open to anyone to ride at anytime, but there is also a Tour Aotearoa Brevet. This is an amazing, self-supported, 3,000 km brevet from Cape Reinga to Bluff. A brevet is not a race. It is a ride following a set course, via 30 photo checkpoints, which you must complete between 10 and 30 days – no more and no less.

Q: When is the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: The next Tour Aotearoa Brevet starts in February 2021, listed here.  The start dates and times are set by the tide on Ninety Mile Beach (which becomes unrideable at high tide).

Q: What are the costs for participation in the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: Register for the Brevet by signing up for the Maprogress SPOT tracker service. The tracker is vital for your safety (the TA goes through some very remote places) and it makes your part of the social "event". And it allows your fiends and family to join your journey. Some businesses use the tracker to judge when you stay open - so if you have a tracker you'll get slightly better service in random places. (We've also discovered it's a fiendishly addictive way of pulling people in to the TA.)

We ask that you make a 100 NZ dollar donation to a charity of your choice. And of course you can add personal value to your journey by fund-raising even more for the charity you are supporting.

Besides the donation, all entrants are asked to offset their carbon emissions from travelling to the start and from the end of the Brevet. 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 last but not least you need budget for food, accommodation and transport during the Brevet.

Q: Where can I register?

A: You can register here for the 2021 Brevet.

Q: Are entry numbers limited?

A: Yes - we limit numbers to 100 people per day (there are 7 days of starts). This is about the maximum that the Far North can cope with, both before the event starts and once riders are on their way.

Q: What are the criteria for the charity I chose?

A: You can choose your own charity, but it must be registered – all the bonafide charitable organisations are.

Q: How much cycle experience do I need to ride the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: We strongly recommend you to have some cycling experience with the bike and gear you are intending to use during the Tour Aotaroa Brevet.
Most people do around 3,000 km of training in the year leading up to their ride. But you could get away with much less (virtually none) if you have a strong cycling background, simply by starting slowly and building your fitness up during the ride.

You can find a simple training plan, written by Jeff Lyall, here.

Q: Can I ride an e-bike on the TA?

A: We don't have a rule saying you can't, but... there are some pretty good reasons an e-bike may be less than ideal.
Some stretches of the route have a long way between recharge options - including day 1. You'll be carrying a fair bit of extra weight (motor, batteries & charger) - when the charge runs out you'll be working a lot harder than if you would be on a standard bike.
There are multiple spots throughout the Tour where you need to lift and/or carry your bike - lifting an e-bike is quite hard.
The TA starts with a ride down a sandy stream/river followed by 90 Mile Beach - if the electrics cut out at the start of 90 Mile Beach you will not be happy. There is no accommodation, food, or opt-out for a looong way. It takes four days to walk 90 Mile Beach.

Q: How can my friends and family follow my adventures?

A: When you cycle the Tour Aotearoa Brevet, you are required to sign up to the Tour Aotearoa tracking website: touraotearoa.maprogress.com. That way, friends and family can follow you on your Brevet. In case of an emergency, the tracker also functions as a personal locator beacon (PLB). MAProgress also hires and sells SPOT trackers.

Q: How can I prepare for the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: You can find all the information about preparation for the Tour Aotearoa Brevet for example a simple training plan and an overview of the gear you need here.

Q: What are the rules for successful finishing the Tour Aotearoa Brevet?

A: The rules for successful finishing the Tour Aotearoa Brevet are published here.

Q: How do I get to Cape Reinga?

A: See our Transport page

Q: Do I get a trophy or certificate at the finish?

A: After finishing the Tour Aotearoa Brevet you'll be fulfilled with pride and satisfaction about this achievement. No trophy or certificate can beat that feeling.

Q: How many people have completed the Tour Aotearoa?

A: Finish numbers for the TA Brevet are:
2016: 225
2018: 350
2020: 800
2021: 200
2022: 300
In addition to these numbers we estimate at least the same number again ride the Tour Aotearoa route outside the Brevet framework.

Q: Why is the Tour Aotearoa Brevet organised every year?

A: The Tour Aotearoa route is open to ride all year round, so you don't have to wait until the Brevet to cycle the 3,000 km from Cape Reinga to Bluff. However, if you chose to ride in the Brevet you'll always have a few like minded soles nearby to share the experience with. That can help your through the tough bits and give you people to share joyous parts too.