Tour Aotearoa 2018

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RonK
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Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:17 pm

Attention bikepackers: the second edition of the Tour Aotearoa will be run in February. Tour riders start in several waves from February 10 through 28.

"Tour Aotearoa is one of the world’s great bikepacking trips: stretching 3,000km from Cape Reinga to Bluff it follows a combination of cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by the most enjoyable country roads available."

The rules of the event are simple.
1. Do it all yourself, under your own steam.
2. Follow 100% of the course (side trips are fine, of course).
3. Carry all your own gear (i.e. no domestiques, unless you are part of a team).
4. This event is a brevet, not a race. It is not about finding the fastest rider. Riders must not complete the course in less than 10 days.
5. Riders must finish in under 30 days (that’s 100 km per day).
6. Between 9am one day and 9am the next, every rider must spend at least one block of at least six hours not travelling. In other words, the maximum time any rider may spend riding each day will be 18 hours (between each 9am-to-9am period).
7. No support vehicles of any kind meeting you along the way (the odd meeting with friends or family is OK).
8.You must have a Spot Tracker and be signed up with MAProgress.com. This is for your safety, and so that we know that you are following the course.
9.When on public roads, follow the NZ Road Code.
10. There are 30 photo control points on the course. At these places you must take a photo to prove you were there, and to collect a visual album of your journey.
11. Leave no trace. We remind all riders to respect the environment and not leave ANY waste behind them. If you have not been schooled in this department then please do some research.


In addition to the official brevet entrants, there are quite a number of unofficial riders already on the course riding it their own pace.

For information about the TA, the web site is here. Tour Aotearoa

And for dot watchers, the event is tracked on MAProgess here. Tour Aotearoa MAProgress

And for the really dedicated dot watcher there is also a MAProgress app available
Last edited by RonK on Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:41 pm

I am in the 26th Feb start... looking forward to it. I have done some of the North Island recently but have never been on the west coast of South Island
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:29 am

Well you will give us a special interest dot to watch. What name will you be tracking under? (PM if you want to keep it private).

I have ridden much of the South Island route, so I can say you are in for a treat.

Seems likely the hardest part will be the Maungatapu Track approaching Nelson, which is by many accounts steep and rough such that it is safer to walk down than ride.

Have a great ride. I envy you very much.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:04 am

RonK wrote: What name will you be tracking under?


Tracking as Calvin Avison.

The Maungatapu Track is currently closed due to high fire risk. have had little rain here so everything is dry. Hoping for some rain before it starts which should happen, rain is due at the moment.
Was funny cycling in Qld last week where it should have been dry but everywhere was green and then coming back here and its the opposite.
I am currently using my cyclocross bike with 46 x 11/40 set up but after riding back to back 250km days in the Geyserland Mega Gravel Grind in November I discovered the bike is to big so now about to order a Titanium gravel frameset from UK in the hope that I will have a better fitting bike for TA but may go back to 2x11 to save a bit of hike-a-bike... at least my kit is sorted and tested.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:57 pm

Yes, road closures due to fires/fires risks also affected my last visit to the top of the South Island.

If you have to detour it will be a longer but perhaps easier ride over the Whangamoa Saddle (coming from the north). I rode my loaded touring bike up from the Nelson side and was an unexpected nasty sod of a climb. It would be a doozy of a descent though.

Seems like a big gear for the climbing you will encounter along the way. I have a 22x36 low and used it frequently. You must have much better legs than I.

BTW - have you condidered the Curve Grovel GMX frameset? Plenty of room for wide rubber.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:57 pm

RonK wrote:BTW - have you condidered the Curve Grovel GMX frameset? Plenty of room for wide rubber.


I am looking at more gravel bike orientated than 29er but have looked at the Curves incl the new GXR as I have the original Curve Grovel which apart from being a bit big as handled everything that I have thrown at it but new versions the sizing is a bit unusual and doesnt really align with bike fitter so looking at Reilly Gradient frameset...but the head tube is border line short so just need clarification on actual measurement with headset before I purchase otherwise I will get a custom built steel bike locally made after TA, just like the Titanium and that I dont have to use miles of tape to protect paint or carbon. A big front currently moving down the country so hopefully it keeps going to Nelson...about to get drenched going home
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 am

5 days before the first wave starts... a few riders are drifting through Auckland on there way up to the start.

Live tracking here

In Wave 2 is Phil Peterson, I rode with him a few months back on the Geyserland Mega grind. He is riding single speed. Amazing the pace he keeps and is one that I am watching.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:36 am

Tracking has started with a Canberra couple starting the ride from Auckland yesterday due to time restraints... forecast for the weekend is crap with heavy rain for at least the next 3 days and showers for the rest of the week, although forecast here can change by the hour
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:18 am

Day 1 over for the first wave and not pleasant out there... the charter boat for the Kaipara crossing has been cancelled... there is an alternative road route and they have arranged a shuttle bus for those that don't want to ride that.... Wellington airport has been closed because of fog and I know of 6 riders stranded down there.. 2 are driving up now but are struggling to get to there tomorrow start... most of the country is wet at the moment ..canberra couple are skipping timber trail...and a few riders have missed turn offs...all action at the moment
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:58 am

Despite the conditions the leading rider made very good progress yesterday. Had covered 280 km for the day by the time I went to bed.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:04 am

If you jump on the Tour facebook page you can get some running commentary.
I didnt see anyone going to work this morning, but the lead rider is making good progress. There is a bit of climbing from outer Auckland but once they get to the coast it is flat and the tail wind should be here.
2nd wave is getting ready to start. Phil Peterson done an amazing job driving from Wellington to get to the cape.. will be good to watch the chase.... I have itchy feet, still have 2 weeks before I start
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:07 am

2nd wave is well underway and making good progress aided by a tailwind.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:32 am

Its all happening this year... yesterdays weather although dry was 29c and 95 humidty... Looks like we have a change of leader from Group 1... Lord Wellington is scratched, Nijat is doing well... we have the same time restrictions and were comparing our planed stops a few weekends back when I was trying to sort is aero bars out so interseting to see how he is going... he is about to hit the Waikato river trail which was going to have sections closed for logging but now they are keeping it open ... They had thunder storms last night so will be a tough ride... one of the harder sections.
last night the boat across Kiapara harbour broke down 20min in... they are running buses again but there was a lot of people stuck at Pouto Point who are either getting lifts to the bus or cycling back to Dargaville and then to the bus pick up... personally I am hoping to cycle the detour... a pain having to align with the boat which has only managed 1 successful trip so far.
Phil was leading wave 2... amazing ride considering his epic drive to the start and he is on a single speed but he is a master of spin
Weather has turned to poo again today...raining and a storm warning has just come through.
Saw a few riders yesterday on my way home... they looked in good spirit but still only early days
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:55 am

to add to todays drama's, The bus from Auckland to Cape Reinga for tomorrows wave 3 start broke down and had to pull over to the side of the road... lucky one of the riders was able to fix it with his leatherman but in pulling off the side of the road the bus was bogged so everyone hed to help push it out.... stretching the legs for tomorrow I guess
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:06 pm

It's certainly been an eventful event so far...
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:43 am

It seems to have calmed down a bit now.
Wave 3 was quick down the beach, under 4 hrs for the first rider and he got to dargaville but due to the 6hr break he missed the bus whereas the 2nd guy stopped earlier and started earlier and made the bus and is now miles in front. I have now changed my tactics, I was hoping to push through to the Pouto Point (Boat will not be back...needs a new motor and no other boat wants to go to Pouto Point as there is no jetty) but will now stop (AT) 10 and start at 4. Hopefully bus is still 11:30 so can take it easy.
Couple of riders in hospital, 2 crashes, 1 broken ankle and the other badly lacerated face and a 3rd had heart issues (outside Dargaville hospital).
Weather is sunny at the moment although high 20's and humidity. I have bumped into a few riders and they all seem to be having fun.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:00 pm

Yes, it certain has be fraught, and with Cyclone Gita approaching the fine conditions are not going to last. One can only imagine what condition the tracks will be in with so much rainfall.

From the posts I've seen, community support has been excellent. Very heartening.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:26 am

Ex tropical cyclone Gita hitting us at the moment... not nice conditions but front runners are still pushing on while a few are bunkered down
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:34 am

Looks like you will be in luck and the weather will have cleared by the time you set off on Monday. No telling what the conditions will be like on the off-road sections though.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:46 am

wave 1 are just coping the weather... there was a snow dump on the crown range which is part of the course... why you need to be prepared for anything in NZ
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:30 am

Wave 4 is getting ready for tomorrows start... i head off to the Cape tomorrow.
Will try and post as i go but will be a bit busy... will have some spare time at Wellington...I hope
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:40 am

Have a good ride Calvin. I'll keep an eye on your tracker and FB posts.

Have you read the Kennett's huge list of route updates on FB?
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:49 am

cancan64 wrote:wave 1 are just coping the weather... there was a snow dump on the crown range which is part of the course... why you need to be prepared for anything in NZ

The last two or three km's up the Crown Range to the saddle (from the unnamed bridge) are tough enough without snow, you're up against the cliff face with plenty of random rockfall to avoid and a deep drain at the base on a very narrow winding road.

I walked a fair bit both times I've crossed as it's far too risky to have a wobble in the tight places. Take care. It's a fantastic view once there though.

And it is very cold and likely windy on the descent. I think the TA route takes Tobins Track down to Arrowtown, same as I did last visit. It is very steep, be sure your brakes are working.
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby cancan64 » Fri Feb 23, 2018 1:41 pm

Crown Range is closed at the moment... A car sized boulder was hanging over the road so they have just blown it up and hoping the road will be open soon. Nijat has gone the bypass and Phil is on the route. I am hoping the storm damage will be sorted by the time I get there, dont want to bypass anything, moreso South Island. Bridge to nowhere is very slippery from what I have heard and the boat may be running from Pouto Point but so is the bus. new times for the bus to Helensville, 8am, 1pm and 6pm. will decide on tactics on the day, should have a light tail wind and fine weather but will try and maintain a steady pace... will either pull up at Waipoua (230km) or if pace is good and feel well will try for Maungaturoto (350km) but cant ride past 3am... will see how I go... some very fast riders in my group... waiting to finish work and then it begins
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Re: Tour Aotearoa 2018

Postby RonK » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:59 am

Calvin started in yesterday's wave and has made excellent progress. At 11:52 local time this morning he has already covered 391.5 kms.

Go Calvin!
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