25 December 2009

Altitude Graphs

After mentioning the detailed altitude graphs in the last post, Nathan Mawkes kindly sent these ones through. They are a bit rough, as they are based on the course map we made on Google Earth, but the are still very interesting and may help in planning your overnight stops. The total distance is an under-estimate.

Merry Christmas and happy trails,

22 December 2009

West Coast Section Pic's

Lady Lake

We were fortunate to have Coaster's Tony Coll and Mark Dawson check out the options for the West Coast section of the course. The conclusion in now on the Google map of the course (along with an updated run from Springfield through to the Wharfedale). Mark drove the route in the weekend to check the directions (we'll email the details of that out in January) and he sent through these pic's he took along the way. This is all between Stillwater and Jacksons. Looks like reasonably fast gravel roads (with some tarseal thrown down here and there).

BTW, Hamish Seaton is working on altitude graphs for the entire brevet course - I've seen the first one and it is looking very accurate. For the stretch from Blenheim to Picton his calculation is a total of 1511m climbing, and a distance of 66 km. The distance is 13% longer that Google's estimate. We always new the Google Maps estimate would be a bit low, but it's still surprising to see it may be out by that much. Don't be surprised if the grand total comes out a bit over 1200 km after all.

Blair Rd

Bell Hill Rd

Kotuku Bell Hill Rd

18 December 2009

Which Tyres?

There's been a bit of discussion about which tyres to use for the Brevet. The key things to look for are light-weight, low rolling resistance, reasonable durability, and the ability to be run at really low pressures (which means going for a tyre with reasonable volume). For me, that leads to the Stans Crow and NoTubes sealant. I used them at the Great Divide Race and never had a single puncture. After buying some tyres & sealant the other day, the importers said they'd be happy to offer the brevet riders a special deal. Here it is:

"NoTubes offer all riders on the Kiwi Brevet starters list the opportunity to purchase NoTubes products at a 25% discount from RRP. To purchase contact Mike at The Bike Hutt (Upper Hutt), Jonty at Revolution Cycles (Wellington) or contact the New Zealand NoTubes distributor Cycletech (info@cycletech.co.nz) to find a NoTubes dealer near you. Discount offer valid through to the start of the event."

16 December 2009

Entry Cut-off and Course update

Entries have slowed to a trickle and we need to make some hard decisions about where we get the SPOT trackers from, so we'll put a stake in the ground and say - Entries will close on the 6th January 2010.

The NZ source for SPOT trackers is only able to supply 10 and the original US source can't supply any. Australian options seem to be limited to a maximum of 25, so we're getting a quote from a big US supplier. It may be a little more expensive then we had hoped. We'll let you all know asap (and then be asking for people to stump up with the hireage fee, asap as well). If you want to know more about these beasties (for packing purposes it will need to be near the top of one of your bags so it can see satellites) check out this site

The course really is now 99% finalised. Check out the map here
In particular, have a look at the west Coast section. In order to avoid some private land we've changed the route to the east side of the Lake Brunner/Moana area. Also, we've added in a scenic detour south of Richmond. The only small section I can see that we're likely to change is the Springfield to Sheffield stretch (to get off the main highway earlier).

I'm slowly putting together a spreadsheet of directions which we'll pass around in the New Year. This isn't essential. You could navigate your way with a mix of 1:250,000 and 1:50,000 maps, Classic NZ MTB Ride directions and the 'Directions' feature off GoogleMaps. The trick is knowing where you need what - if you take the lot you'll need an extra pannier! I'll put together a list of recommended maps and send that out with the spreadsheet. Luckily the new series of topomaps just released are much cheaper than the old ones.

14 December 2009

How are you going to carry your load?

With so little walking in this event, it makes a lot of sense to have the bike carry most of your load. I'm hoping to get by with just a small camelbak and some stuff in my pockets on my back (everything else in bags on the bike). If you want a bike rack and have been struggling to work out how to put a conventional one on your bike, this should be of interest to you.

Freeload - the Dunedin designers of fancy, lightweight, bolt-onto-any-type-of-bike, carriers have managed to get their manufacturers to make a few more racks in their first batch, which will arrive by the end of the first week of January 2010. People who order them will receive them within 2-3 days, giving them 2-3 weeks of testing/trialling loads etc before the brevet.
They should have between 20 and 30 racks available to buy, on a first-in first-served basis. They will only be available to Kiwi Brevet riders, and be at our launch special price of $120 NZD for one rack or $200 for two, including shipping and GST.

Check the racks out at www.freeload.co.nz
Rather than ordering through the website, if people should order by email directly to tim@freeload.co.nz (that way he'll know you are a brevet rider).

06 December 2009

Quick Update

With another three Aussies just signing up, we have 65 starters for the Brevet (including 8 women). So, I'm off to Orb tomorrow to see if they can supply a big pile of SPOT trackers. Maybe we can push the numbers up to 80?

With some help from the locals, we're slowly nutting out the last few sections of the course. If you look closely at the Google map on the first post on this blog you'll see we've tweaked the Blenheim section. Will sort out the Nelson section this week (and hopefully confirm the access situation with the Lake Brunner/Moana leg, too).

If you haven't read the previous posts, please do so - there's a bunch of useful info packed in there.

Happy trails,