Alrighty! Just over four weeks to go. Entries closed yesterday and we have 75 starters. We've just finished negotiations for hiring SPOT trackers from the US. We'll get 45 from TrackMe360. We'll also get 10 from Rescue Beacon in NZ. And we expect up to ten people to hire their own. That's a total of 65. Given they cost about $80 each to hire, we're not willing to hire more when 10 people may well pull out before the start. There may end up being a shortfall, in which case we'll expect the last people on the list to find their own SPOT or hire Personal Locator Beacons (which are more readily available, but don't provide a tracking service). We'll email out some details very shortly explaining how to pay for your SPOT hire. I must thank John Randal for helping sort this out and underwriting the fees - this wouldn't have happened with out him.
Leaderboard.com will collect all the indiviual SPOT data and lay it over a Google map of the course with rider names displayed at their location (updated about every 15 minutes). Leaderboard are the guys who do the Tour Divide coverage and they are doing this for us free of charge.
To add to the coverage of the tour as it unfolds we will give riders an 0800 number which they can call at set locations and leave a short message. At the end of each day the messages will be posted on this site as audio files. Big thanks to Cycletech NZ for providing the telecomms capability to make this happen.
The event coverage will be great, but at the start and end of the day, it's all about the riding. Here are a few pics from Jeff Lyall taken on the Maungatapu Track last week. It's steeper than it looks!