30 November 2016


Hi Breveteers,

Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Kiwi Brevet/Brevette.

I hope this finds you fit and well, chomping at the bit in anticipation of the Kiwi Brevet?

Jo and I were hoping to have the course finalised, with cue sheets and .gpx files available by the end of November but with the recent earthquake in Marlborough we have had to revise this date.
Although none of the roads/trails we are proposing travelling on were directly affected by the earthquake, the additional traffic now travelling via Murcheson and Lewis Pass had given us pause.
After several iterations we now feel that we have come up with a great course for both events. We do still need to check a few bits n bobs before we can release the courses.

The full Brevet course will pass through MacDonalds Downs Station from Okuku Pass Road and MacDonalds Downs Road. This is a working station and as a requirement of allowing us to pass through, the land owners have requested that all participants (or teams riding together) carry a SPOT tracker so they can track people on their land at all times. They have also requested that nobody camp on their land, everybody must follow the prescribed route, leave all gates as found and please do not disturb stock. Please respect these few simple requests and remember that this is a working station, there are numerous hazards. You, as a participant of this event are responsible for your OWN safety.

Tracking for the 2017 Kiwi Brevet is being provided by Shane Davidson at MAProgress, a link to the tracking page will follow at a later date.
Every rider (or team) doing the Brevet MUST carry a Spot Tracker, as mentioned, this is a requirement by the land owners of MacDonalds Downs. 
Spot Trackers are not required for the Brevette, but tracking is be available if you have your own Spot Tracker and Spot units are available for hire. 
Priority of the allocation of Spot Trackers will go to Brevet riders, however if we have any left we will happily hire them out to Brevette riders. Please note that this will not be an issue at this stage (November 2016).
We are more than happy for "teams" to enter either the Brevet or Brevette, a team will be regarded as one "place" on the start line. Note that if a team is entering the Brevet you must have at least one Spot Tracker. At this stage we will only hire one tracker per team. You must stay within shouting distance of each other at all times throughout the event.
The rental cost for Spots is $90 for the event, this includes the Spot unit rental with a new set of Energizer Lithium batteries and tracking.
If you have your own Spot Tracker, the tracking service will cost $29 for the event.
Booking and payment for these services will be through the MAProgress website. We will provide a link at a later date.

Please note that the organisation of the Kiwi Brevet is done in our own time, we both work full-time and also like to ride our bikes occasionally, this is not a commercial venture in any way, therefore any costs need to be passed on. 
We (as do the owners of MacDonalds Downs, as another requirement of passing through their land) ask that you make a minimum $50 donation per person (please note teams) to our chosen charity to be nominated at a later date.

We hope to have the course maps available within the next couple of weeks and intend to have the cues sheets and .gpx files complete before Christmas.

We will also put up some event guidelines in the next few days but remember this is a Gentleman's (or Gentlewoman's) challenge, with few rules. Please only enter the event if you are prepared to take part in the spirit of the event. This is a fully self supported event, please no organising food caches, only commercially available accommodation to be used, no visits from loved ones to give you food etc.

Cheers, Scott and Jo

21 November 2016

Shake rattle and roll

Hi one and all,

Firstly I would like to send out our heartfelt best wishes to those affected by the earthquake last week. Jo and I know what it's like to be affected in this way by Mother Nature. Stay strong and patient :-)

Our course(s) for the 2017 Kiwi Brevet and Brevette are a little up in the air in the wake of the recent earthquake(s) in South Marlborough.
Although at this stage I do not think that any of the roads we travel on are actually affected directly by earthquake damage, the additional traffic now travelling between Picton/Blenheim and Christchurch on some of the same roads the KB travels on is causing us reflection on route choice. More-so for the Brevette course, than the full Brevet, due to it following the road through Lewis Pass. Post 2015 KB I received various bits of feedback about this road, mostly bad, and that was before it was the main trucking route up and down the island!

At this stage our intention is to still run the KB2017. I want to contribute to the economy of a region that will be suffering BUT I do not want to put any unnecessary strain on an already overloaded infrastructure or community. Please be patient while we work through options.

Any questions pop them through to kiwibrevet@gmail.com

Thanks Scott and Jo

01 November 2016

Registration of interest requested....

Hi one and all,

Jo and I would like to invite you to register your intent to "toe the line" in Seymour Square for the 2017 edition of the Kiwi Brevet. This is not the actual entry, we are just looking for an indication of interest at this stage.

Entry "proper" will open at the end of November, when we hope to have the course completely finalised along with maps and cues.
Please email your Name, Event intention (Brevet or Brevette), and if you have your own Spot Tracker or require the hire of a unit (you MUST carry a Spot for the full Brevet, one per team required) to kiwibrevet@gmail.com

Any other questions please send them to the same email address

Cheers, Scott and Jo

28 July 2016

2017 is go go go

Hi fellow breveteers, Kiwi Brevet is on again in 2017.
Starting in Seymore Square in Blenheim on the 4th February 2017, heading in an anti-clockwise direction.
More information to follow.
Cheers, Scott and Jo

22 March 2015

Feedback form

Hi everyone, hope you have all recovered.
Thanks to those who took the time to fill out the feedback form.
The link to find it in Google Docs is below.
This is a great resource for future riders.
Cheers, Scott and Jo


17 February 2015

A week after!

Hi everyone, I hope you are all recovering and still basking in the glory of doing the 2015 Kiwi Brevet?

We have caught up with our normal life, whatever that is.

We received an email from the Air Rescue Trust confirming we managed to raise a whopping $7370! Thank you all for your contributions.

Jo is coming up with a feedback form which we will try to get out to you this week. We would love to  receive any comments you have about the event, good or bad.

We would also love to share your stories about the Brevet with other riders and potential riders.
We have received a couple of Blogs already which I will load up here to help others find them.

I turned the KB phone on this morning, just in case someone had txt in, but alas no!

OK, carry on, catch up soon, Scott and Jo

Brian Alder's report below:

A kiwi Brevet.
I’d been hooked on the idea of these bikepacking events since I found out about the 2012 Kiwi Brevet a week before it started. I was horrified that I’d missed my chance for two whole years and set about making up for it. Thinking I was pretty fit for cycling, I entered a 70km road race and got totally spanked, quickly realising that a 2-3 hour recreational mtb ride and these other events were going to be completely different. For the next 12 months I focussed on the road, riding the Milk and Honey, Taupo, club races and Le Race and generally feeling comfortable riding 4-6 hrs at a time. The 2013 Le Petite Brevet was to be a bit of litmus test of my theories and once that went pretty well I knew I was on the right track.
My plan for 2014 was to ride the Great Southern Brevet and if that went ok the Kiwi Brevet. In the GSB I got lucky as I hooked up with Craig Phillips, a veteran of this event and with plenty of long mtb touring journeys under his belt. My basic strategy was to stick with Phelps as long as I could and learn everything that was on offer. Through some incredibly tough times this worked out to be a good plan and as the days unfolded we ended up riding with Tristan Rawlence & Anja MacDonald. Tristan’s ability to generate energy on the singletrack and Anja’s iron determination were abject lessons in how to cope with the highs and lows that events like this produce. In the end we were the first to complete the entire course. The GSB taught me that no matter how bad it is, it will get better if you keep going and the trick was to keep rolling at all costs. Ten days later I lined up for the Kiwi Brevet with a bit more confidence in my ability and rolled around the course in much smoother fashion than the GSB, feeling pretty chuffed that only Dave Sharpe’s ludicrous ride and legend Nathan Fa’avae were in front of Steve Halligan and myself. To my surprise I had discovered that I was quite good at this game.
Once Scott & Jo announced that they were going to run the KB in 2015 and then there’d be the Tour Aotearoa in 2016, I started giving serious thought to what I would do differently for this years’ Kiwi Brevet. I had ridden my Scott Genius full susser in all these events so far and was pretty happy to stick with that approach. Partly as I only had one bike and partly as I found riding the technical / singletrack sections on an appropriate bike gave my spirits a huge lift and was something to look forward to while slogging out the road sections. I’d realised that the time I’d spent being a roady was quite handy and I could keep pace with the rigid 29er crowd on the flats and then have a fun time off road and not get too beaten up to boot. The biggest area of improvement I could see was in spending more time on the bike. Only a couple of short stops during the day, eating on the bike and using the “dark zone” hours for more than sleeping – carrying food to eat in that time and getting chores done like bike maintenance etc done in those hours too. I figured I couldn’t ride much faster but I could ride for longer. When Scott announced the course I realised that the first couple of days were pretty flat and fast so back to the roady I went trying to get plenty of time in spinning miles and on aero bars. This didn’t quite play out as planned as work interrupted a bit, but generally I felt pretty happy with my preparation. My goal was to complete the course in close to 4 days as I could. This would mean I would need to ride a couple of 300km+ days, something I’d never done before. On paper it looked possible but I wasn’t quite sure whether my 50 year-old body would be up to the repetitive grind.
As it turned out, it was. As predicted the pace was high up the valley the first morning and when the hammer went down as we hit the gravel I put my head down wanting to be at the pointy end by the time we hit the main road again. I popped out with Keith Payne, with Seb Dunne and Ed McDonald a short distance back and Steve and Joe Jagusch up the road. Seb, Keith and I hooked up with Ed cruising off to the Brevette course. Once into the St James my bike came into it’s own. Keith punctured and Seb & I made Scotty’s just on dark. Seb decided to stay there when Joe appeared out of the darkness. He’s been in front but had detoured to Lake Tennyson. Joe & I rode onto the homestead for the night, with Stealth and then Dean Ford turning up a little later. Stealth and I made our way into the Hanmer bakery next morning, and with a pie in my belly and a pastie in my pocket I was out of town before 6am. I spied Seb at Culverden, grabbed a bit more food and together we cruised through to the Wharfedale in the early afternoon. I found the last few ks into the hut frustrating, but the track upgrades leading to the saddle made for some great riding. Seb waved me on here and I had a whale of a time out to Sheffield and then boxed onto Springfield in the building NW for dinner. I was pretty daunted about riding through Arthurs Pass into the wind alone and briefly contemplated waiting for Seb who had just arrived but I heeded my own advice and crawled my way to the bottom of Porters and then up the hill. Once in the basin the wind wasn’t too bad and when I realised I could make Flock Hill lodge for a feed, shower and bed I took that option, arriving at 9.30 pm.
Passing Lake Pearson in the dark on Day 3 was a bit demoralising, the wind was buffeting me sideways, trucks were ripping past and progress was slow. I set my sights on Klondyke Corner and made it for a morning kea show. Once over Arthurs I was having a great morning, thinking only Steve was in front of me and easy miles were coming. I was behind my 4 day schedule but once I clicked past halfway I felt every revolution was taking me home. I started to notice two sets of tracks and figured that Seb had gone past me in the night and sure enough I finally caught him at the Blackball junction. He was heading up for lunch and having plenty of food onboard I rolled onto Ikamatua, having a great chat with some cycle tourers along the way. Arriving in Waiuta mid afternoon I reckoned on missing the shops in Reefton but making the pub for dinner and set my goal on Springs Junction for the day. The single track was much better than I remembered and I rode most of it, only getting stumped by a downpour just before Big River. However the sun soon came out & I had a ripping time over the cobbles of the Big River road, finishing with a sprint down the road to beat the store’s 7pm closing. A Giant burger later and the evening breeze at my back I rode in digestion-mode up the Rahu. The mix of twilight and mists gave an other-worldly feel and the dreaded slog drifted by with the empty road. Springs Junction felt unwelcoming so I wound down along the west bank into Maruia, parking up at the school about 10.30 pm feeling very chuffed with my 290 km day which had started so badly.
I turned off my lights at the top of Maruia Saddle and let the dawn light do the work down to the Glenroy bridge the next morning. By now I’d written off the concept of finishing near 4 days and made a plan of seeing what time I got to Nelson that night and taking it from there. The Mataki valley was a drag, but a decent breakfast and being back on familiar ground from a winter tour helped alot. Catching a few Brevetteers gave me a boost too. Finally by the top of the Porika I started to feel better and I kept the stoke going as I boxed into the wind at Kawatiri. Here I met brevette cruiser Dean Cameron, and though he dropped me over Tadmor Saddle I kept him in sight down the valley to Tapawera where a mixed berry smoothy took the heat out of the afternoon sun. Dean assured me that Nelson was in easy reach, and with the “Seb ghost” not far back, I left the sanctuary of the cafĂ©. It was a welcome relief to have a few hills as my butt had been in a bad way for a few days now and was far worse dealing with it on the flat. Passing the Dovedale domain I reminisced of my first game for the Waimea College 1st XI cricket team at the ground and how I’d held a screaming catch. The last time I’d been over the road to Wakefield was way back then, 35 year ago – so plenty of good memories to keep the spirits up. Nice tail winds made the trails into Nelson pretty cruisy as did a few ks with Jasper and the fat bike. My brother and then Andrew Smith stalked me into Nelson where a resupply at Akbars had been the carrot for the last hour or so. It was 7pm and the Maungatapu loomed – I needed to refocus a bit and set a new goal as the Pelorus and 300km + was now possible. The cool evening made for pleasant riding up the Maitai and I decided to go all out over the Maungatapu to see if I could make it before dark. Not quite but I was down in the Pelorus just after 10pm and cruised out to Havelock under the full moon and little traffic to finally bed down before midnight – 305km and my biggest day ever.
At the Picton bakery next morning I checked my phone and was surprised to see Seb just about in town. I realised he must have skipped stopping in Nelson last night and was now only 10 minutes back. I once again thought about waiting and finishing together but decided I’d worked bloody hard on my own up to this point and it was worth carrying on, whether he caught me or not. I stuffed food down my mouth and scooted out of town. I tried to ride consistently round the Port Underwood road but the hills were taking their toll. Out of Robin Hood Bay I saw Seb back in the distance and realised that he was unlikely to catch me with 30kms to go. Man that was a relief! Once on the flat I kept a wee eye over my shoulder just to be sure, tacking into the wind all the way to Seymour Square.  I was happy! 4 days, 1 hour, 38 minutes and second home.  Clare my wife was there to meet me and Steve Halligan crawled out from under a bush (figuratively) after his epic last few hours. Seb rolled in 15 minutes later. The podium snap felt pretty special with me the old crusty….
Standing in the shower a few hours later I reflected on my ride. I felt I’d ridden as best I could, I had ridden within the spirit and rules of the game and I’d managed to ride most of the route alone. Apart from an hour or two in to the wind at Arthurs Pass I’d had a positive mindset and enjoyed myself immensely. My prep and planning had worked out great and my bike had been a joy. Once again I had surprised myself with what I had achieved and couldn’t quite believe it.
Thanks to Jo and Scott for taking the reins and your enthusiasm and positive vibes. Thanks to all the folks in blue–dot land who keep the wheels spinning when the legs don’t want to. See you at Cape Reinga next year.

Brian Alder

07 February 2015

Saturday lunchtime texts

Derek Poshtar:
Made it to Murchison, legs stuffed, but let's see how much more they can take

Glenn Wright:
Hi Glenn Wright and Grenville Hirst back in Seymore Square in Blenheim

Denise Thorne:
We are finished!!! Big day ;) Denise and Geof

Grenville Hirst:
Wow wat a blast, persevere che is necessary to establish perfection. The rude material receives its fine polish but from repeated efforts alone. Nothing short of indefatigable exertion can induce the habit of virtue, enlighten the spirt and purify the soul. Loved the journey cheers Scott and Jo Grenville

Kirsty Moran:
Square, beer!! Awesome!! Come down :-D

John Etherington:
Seymore square, 10:30 pm!!

Barryn Westfield:
Trev, Jackie n B all done and dusted, just shy of 8:30pm. Great week thanks! Today's highlights,,,back side of Maungatapu and Port Underwood!

Colin Dodge:
Colin Blenheim finished

Alistair Davidson:
11:58 yahoo!

Dean Marshall:
At the end. All good and thanks for a great event

Alistair Davidson:
Hey Scott and Jo.just had a celebratory beer and a nice hot shower, thank you so much for putting on an amazing ride. I have gone so far out of my comfort zone that GPS couldn't find the way back. I've seen stuff that most people will never get to enjoy and have been challenged like you wouldn't believe. The fact that you do this as volunteers is amazing and I am really grateful ( although there were times when I cursed you ha ha ) I've never been challenged so much, but now that I'm finished I also feel damn good. Thank you!

Brendan Pheasent:
Final check in after a mammoth final day. Highlight was the large pod of dolphins in QC Sound

Oliver herdsman:
Fin. 0339

Barryn Westfield
Thanks Scott. REALLY enjoyed the Hope Tadmor valley - cool to see/be somewhere new

Steve Bilton:
Thanks so so much for