I'm quite excited by the move to expand the duration of the ridable months on the Heaphy and the recent addition of the OGR ride.
Coupled with another of your mentioned tours RonK, I think could be a winner for a definite thumbs up.
Yes, it opens up some interesting possibilities. For example, the Heaphy extended through November then dovetails neatly with the opening of the Rainbow Road in December, and once the Molesworth Road is reopened after the earthquake damage is repaired, a challenging (if convoluted) circuit ride could link them.
Starting from Picton (get there how you will):
Ride Queen Charlotte Drive to Pelorus Bridge (stop for lunch at the Mussel Boys in Havelock) It will be a highlight I promise you.
From Pelorus Bridge, ride (or perhaps walk) the Maungatapu Track to Nelson
From Nelson, ride the Great Taste Trail to Tapawera
From Tapawera, take the Tadmore Valley Road and the Gowan Valley Road to Lake Rotoroa, then the Braeburn Track to Murchison
From Murchison, take SH6 to Lyell and the Old Ghost Road to Ghost Lake Hut
Continue on the OGR to Specimen Point Hut.
Finish the OGR and continue on to Karamea
Ride the Heaphy through to Collingwood
Then cross Takaka Hill to Motueka
Rejoin the Great Taste Trail and then the Golden Downs Trail to St Arnaud
Ride the Rainbow Road to Hanmer Springs
Ride the Molesworth Road to Blenheim
Back to Picton.
Conseratively, around 20-25 riding days, depending on speed and fitness.