14 February 2010


The inaugural Kiwi Brevet was one tough nut to crack! Certainly tougher than I expected. There were a few sections that were more difficult that normal - the Port Underwood Rd, the descent of the Porika Track, the Big River-Waiuta track, and the Molesworth Road. So it was impressive to see about 55 riders complete the challenge within the 8-day limit. This must surely be one of the more difficult cycling events in the world, so I hope you are feeling suitably chuffed with yourselves. 1100 km at a good pace, unsupported, through such a rugged mix of terrain is awesome!

To those who pulled out, we hope you and/or your bike is recovering fast. There will be a chance to have another try, either next year or the year after.

We'll post some de-brief notes and trivia here over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, there are some interesting write-ups on Vorb, and Jeff and Sifter's blogs (see the links to the right). If you have a crazy tale to share, feel free to post a comment here, or email simon [at] kennett [dot] co [dot] nz

If you still have a SPOT tracker, please fastpost it asap to The Kennett Bros, PO Box, 11-310, Wellington.

Sunday 14th Feb, final day call-ins

Chris Gilbertson, 00:05 Sunday morning in Blenheim: "Epic day across from Acheron today, but very very very happy to be in Blenheim. Bloody awesome."

The 8 day time limit was reached at 12 noon today. At 2pm we shut down the phone system.

Peter Maindonald is taking things at a sensible touring pace. At 2pm Sunday he was in Hanmer.

Claude Dabaliz is a bit of a mystery. I don't think we've had a single call-in from him. His last tracker point was in the Awatere valley just over a day ago. Does anyone know if/when he finished?

13 February 2010

Saturday afternoon/evening call-ins

168 hours gone since the start. Less than 24 hours left til the 192 hour (8 "days") cutoff.

Pat Hogan, 12:28 in Blenheim: "I'm just back in Blenheim. Cheers."

Willi Borst, 12:33 in Blenheim: "Successfully finished the Brevet!"

John Morris, 13:16 in Blenheim: "I just got to Seymore Square, and the bell rang at 1:15.So, it was a great adventure and I'm going to be having a meal and going towards the ferry."

James Dick, 13:34 in Picton: "Finished last night. Don't know what time. Pretty much [???]. Just before [???]. Thanks very much.

Brett Porter, 17:11: "I withdrew after my freewheel broke 12k's into the Wharfedale track, at 12:20 this afternoon. I'll make my way to Blenheim."

Chris Serwood with Jo Holden, 23:56 Saturday in Blenheim: "Checking in at 5 to 12 at the clock tower in Seymore Square. We've officially finish. Um, we'll give comments later. Good job."

Saturday morning call-ins

Phil White, 09:23 Saturday morning, "Just making sure that... the web site has me as still out on the course, but I did actually finish on Thursday lunchtime."

Dirk Naish, 10:05 Saturday in Blenheim: "Completed the mission. And it's good to be back."

Marquita Gelderman, 11:58 Saturday in Blenheim: "Just beat the 7 day limit. Pretty happy with that!"

12 February 2010

Friday afternoon/evening call-ins

Over 144 hours since leaving Blenheim at 12 noon on Saturday:

Ed McDonald with Phil Byron and Joel McFarlane Roberts (the Aussy crew), 14:23 Friday in Blenheim: "We're in Blenheim, so we're finished. We're also calling on for Hanmer, by the way - just in case you missed that one. Yeah, we're done. It was pretty cool. Had lots of good times. Eating fish and chips on the grass for anyone who's interested. So that's an open invitation to the entirety of the internet. Cool! Thanks for the experience and we'll see you next year maybe."

Jo Holden with Chris Sherwood and David Bailey, 16:22 Friday in Hanmer: "30 degrees, balmy, breezy. We're heading up to Acheron tonight. Intending to do the big push down the Molesworth tomorrow, so last call-in at Blenheim. Hope all's well in Wellies, and looking forward to catching up with a few stories - particularly about those downhills that are really uphills Simon."

Scott McLachlan17:26 Friday in Blenheim: "I'm pretty shagged, but here and happy to have finished."

Chris Gilbertson, 18:06 Friday in Hanmer: "All well. Aiming for Acheron tonight and somewhere up the Awatere valley the following night - on the home straight."

Mondo Kopua, 18:17 Friday in Blenheim: "I got in about 5:15. Relieved that I'm finally here and it's over. Well done to all those who've already got here, and best wishes to all those that are still on the course. [Something else drowned out by wind.]

Matt Gerstenberger with Mike Thompson, 19:17 Friday in Blenheim: "It appears my tracker wasn't working today, but I've just ridden in with Mike Thompson and we are now finished."

Ian Gordan, 20:24 Friday in Blenheim: "Completely - and - utterly - shagged. Thank you." Then at 20:31: "My finish time was 8:15 exactly, I've got no idea what day of the week it is, possibly it's Friday. Cheers."

Dave Rudge with Bill Brierley, Gordan McDonald and Nathan Mawkes, 21:10 Friday in Blenheim: "Checking in and checking out. Just arrived at 9:08, and we're very happy, very tired, and I think we'll have a day off now."

Shelley Gosse with Ross Friedrich, 22:59 Friday in Blenheim: "It was awesome."

Tina Bayer, 23:03 Friday in Blenheim: "I'm here! I'm a bit tired though. Yeah - it's been awesome."

Chris Charles, 23:26 Friday in Blenheim: "Hurray! I've completed the Brevet. Boy! What a day, it's been pretty long - it looks like it's half-past-eleven, at night, so - yeah - what an adventure. I'm really pleased I stuck it out. Oh well - happy times, eh. There's quite a crowd of people here so I'm just going to just mingle and chat with those guys."

John Randals diary

Day 1: The clock tower in the square started chiming 12.  And with that, we were off...

Day 2: Sunday morning came pretty quickly, with the alarm going off at 5am...

Day 3:  I kitted up with a sense of trepidation this morning...

Day 4: From memory the cell phone started bleating at 6am...

Day 5: Ride to Hanmer, then through the Molesworth back to Blenheim...

Friday morning call-ins

Dirk Naish with Gordan McDonald, 05:16 Friday in Hanmer: "Just about to head off for Molesworth this morning."

Rodney Hanson, 07:15 Friday in Hanmer: "I'm going to pull the pin here. Legs are still really sore. It wasn't much fun riding yesterday, and I've been to physio and acupuncture, and physio says the only thing that's going to make them better is rest. So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm on a shuttle back to Blenheim today. Hope to catch some other people coming across the finish line. And good luck to everyone else. It's been an awesome ride. Seen lots of neat country. Met some really cool people. And, I did the Molesworth the other week anyhow in training - so, why do it again, when I'm in pain. OK, bye."

Willi Borst with Marquita Gelderman, 09:52 Friday in Hanmer: "We're heading over, up in to the high country."

Guy Wynn-Williams, 11:35 Friday in Blenheim: "We got rained out in the Awetere last night. Had to spend the night in a hay barn, which was pretty cosy. And then stomped in here. So it was good. It was a great event, so thanks to Simon and everyone who organised it, and all the guys that we bumped in to along the way - that was really neat. We've been greeted here by most [??] 12 hours ahead of us with a bottle of champagne which was good. And now we're looking forward to heading back home and hanging out with our family."

Laurence Mote, 11:40 Friday in Blenheim: "Very happy to finish the Kiwi Brevet. A long way for a pie, but bloody good event. Really enjoyed the places that the route took us. Discovered a few new places that ... [seem?] to be going back to. Probably the biggest thing I got out of this was that the Cycleway of New Zealand - I suggest that they plant more fruit trees because that would have been most welcome.. as we ran out of food this morning, after spending an unplanned night-over at the Hodder [river] hay barn. It was a very good sleep, but not enough food. So, Thanks Simon for orgnaising it. Well done to everyone who's finished."

Progress reports

Vegan powered Matt G will finish today. Awesome effort as he is riding a cylcocross bike (no suspension!) and isn't an experienced mountain biker. Probably done the 6 days on beans alone I'd guess!

Dave Rudge and Bill Brierley are both at Hanmer and will finish today too... Great stuff!

11 February 2010

Charlotte Ireland finished

From her Facebook update:

Finished! 5 days and 10 and a bit hours. But guess what there is no accomodation in blenheim so I'm off to the 2am blue bridge.

There's no justice!

Tim Mullinar's diary

 Tim posted this on Vorb:

Day 1

Blenheim 12pm. The clock chimes and we are off, following the wheels of local riders who direct us through the maze of rural back roads to the coast we make a funny site - a peleton of touring cyclists. It is not long until we are gasping for breath as our route takes us through a sand (and Matagouri) infested beach track. When we emerge I am amazed to see a small bunch of 4 of so riders way up ahead - an early break away into an 1100 km race!

Then we get to the first hill and we pity riders already removing wheels and removing Matagouri gauged tubes - I count 6 on the first hills and I am near the front. Lucky I have my Marathon XR tyres on which 'never' puncture'. I fall victim to the Matagouri too and soon watch most of the field ride past me. In my panic to change it was fast as I can, I suddenly stop - I still have a good 1090km to catch up, I may as well take my time.

On the hot day, the coastal road is energy sapping and when I finally arrive at Picton - 4.5 hours after leaving Blenheim for a paltry 65km I start to wonder how hard this thing is going to be. But i am determined to get over the Mangatapu tonight so push on arrving on the summit as dark sets in - don my rather lightless Petzl and somehow manage to negogiate the tricky descent in its meager light to the bottom where I pitch the fly at 10pm and have a restless night sleep, my limbs aching, my mind racing.

Day 2

Am on the road by 5.30 am, cruise through Nelson as day breaks and Simon and John (aka Sifter) catch me in the back roads of Nelson. Sifter and I ride most of the day together up to St. Arnaud, over to Murchison via a gnarly descent to Lake Rotoroa and together with Simon we hammer south down the gravel road as the light eases off before they head on to St. Arnaud in the dark and I pitch the tent on the Maruia at 10pm. I felt good today, much better than yesterday and am pleased at the days progress. Another fitfull nights sleep; 2 hours.

Day 3

Seen as how I can't sleep, at 4 in the morning I figure I may as well start riding. As I pull out onto the road I bump into a couple who I ride with for a few minutes before making good progress to Reefton after a dousing of West coast rain welcomes us to the West Coast. Together wiht several others we settle on lining our stomachs with a "Working mans breakfast" - I already had a huge bowl of porridge 3 hours before. I am really starting to feeling it today. My knees are starting to feel the pain and I am starting to regret bringing the kitchen sink (cooker) and a few other bits and bobs which I could probably have done without. But this is touring, and it would feel a bit starnge to me touring without something to cook with and something to live in.

Next step is Big River, a section I am really looking foward to as i have been meaning to ride it for a long time. I never imagined I would end up riding it with panniers and after doing 400km in the previous 48 hours but that's the way it is. It soon all goes horribly wrong. I have a photocopy on the Kennet guide for the trip which also has the Reefton Lookout ride on the same page. I start following the wrong directions and before I know it am passed the viewpoint (can't see a damn thing because of the mist) only to realise I have made a mistake. On my rush to get back and mad at my mistake, my rack breaks and my panniers fall off; then I get stung by a bee. I stop to calm my frustrations down realising that things are only going to get worse if I continue like this, recompose myself and head the right way up to Big River hut. Its 36km or there abouts and it takes 7 hours. Simon catchs me and he cops some abuse - he gets a lot more (and deservedly so) from others as the day/ride progresses.

We regroup - 5 of us at the road and make very fast progres along the flat lands south and then east towards Arthurs Pass. The others are keen for a big push to the pub at Aitkins but I am spent and ease off, ticking the legs over, not really feeling or thinking anything, just totally spent but still making slow progress. I eventually stop, have a feed in the rain and a dash of energy arrives, i hammer along, picking up Thomas on the way and we swoop into the pub for a feed of bangers of mash and a 10 minute respite.

We set off at about 9.30ish in the rain for the ride to Arthurs Pass. Everyone seems to get on quite well and at 11.30pm, after 20.5 hours on the road with no more than 1 hours of that stationary I lie down in the public shelter and 1 minute later wake myself snoring. Another fitfull sleep though - as Thomas who is also sharing my illustrious accomadation wriggles in his bivy bag (literally a plastic bag) all night to keep warm.

Day 4

A sleep-in this morning and am off at 6 - I am on a holiday after all! The ride to Sringfield in awful - or should that be I feel aweful. And as the bunch regroups everyone shares similar enthapies. But after 2 big meals and a stock up on supplies we tackle the Wharfedale easily - beautiful riding after the Big River massacre of the day before and yet again, it is Simon, Sifter and i stomping out the big gears up the Lees valley as the day strecthes on. As we emerge the other side the long gravel roads are endless and I eventually loose my nerve trying to keep up with these two as they hammer down in the dark. I go into cruise mode and eventually arrive in Culverden after 270km at about 11pm with Chris who catches me just before its outskirts. Too lazy to put my fly up I just sleep on the grass in the local park and actually have the best sleep of the whole trip - a whole 5 hours!

Day 5

I cruise into Hamner feeling like death early in the morning wondering why I am doing this stupid race,mission, tour, torture - what ever it is. As I stare at my pie and cake at the bakery I want to barf and I struggle to stomach anything all morning. The thought of the ride through to Belheim makes me feel even worse. Simon suggests we stay in Hamner and soak in the pools all day, but it doesnt happen as slowly the few riders mignling around take off by themselves - there will be no team efforts in getting over this strech. Riding up over Jollies onto the Molesworth I am a sorry site and the long long 80km or so corrogated ride to Acheron Station which has to be ridden in sprint mode seems like the most awful piece of riding I have ever done.

Joined by Simon and Sifter again, they soon drop me as I bomb and I figure I will never see them again as I struggle against the wind, the cold and tortously steep ascents (in the descent) of the Molesworth. Then, after nearly 10 hours in the saddle with a poultry 120 or so km to show for it, my body comes right again. It appears it is Sifters time to bomb as his eyes hang like he hasn't slept for a month. I put my head down and pound the countless corrugatons (not as bad as the other side), hills and rain, finally hitting the glorious tarmac and make fast progress down the Awatere. I catch Michi who I drop on the last big climb and finally, there it is, the turn off over the saddle to take me to Blenheim. It is dark now and once again donning my inadequate petzl I find my way up the hill and into the final descent. Bombing down the descent not really being able to see anything, I hit a patch of gravel, head side ways before straightening up and before I know it I am over the handlebars are splayed all over the road. I am 10km from the finish! I continue the descent much slower.

I have much difficulty finding the track to route me into the finish and I bump and squirm my way through it, falling off a couple of more times thinking how ridiculous this whole thing is and how I am never going to it again, and did I mention how hungry, cold and tired I am. I ditch the track for the road happy to take whatever penalty comes my way, but happier in the knowledge that I will be actually able to find the finish.
The fountain is a beautifil sight. The park is trobbing with thousands of well-wishers and streamers and fire-works charge off with the excitement. Well, Ok that was a lie, but there was a man there to shake my hand. I tried waiting for the others but I started to shiver, so doned the helmet and went off in search of my car and some dry clothes.


I had a great 5 hours sleep in my car on the side of the road in Blenheim. When I awoke i was already planning what to do differently next year; that is despite spending most of the race vowing never to get involved in such folly again. But overall a great event, a real test of endurance and stamina and general will-power. I hope it happens again next year exactly the same as this year. There will be the same moans and gripes that are sure to come out of this years one (some of them will probably be mine), but in a way that's kind of the point of it all... Thanks Simon and co. for organising such a 'different' event.

P.S... My knees hurt bad!

Text from Bill Brierley

Received at 2:03pm. Venison and kumara pie at Arthurs Pass. Breakfast on the road again. Best cafe so far is Maruia Springs. And you thought it was a bike ride! ;-)
Bike going great, thanks! Arse is a bit sore though...

Thursday afternoon/evening call-ins

120 hours since starting at 12 noon on Saturday 6th Feb - and counting:

Phil White and Anne Mortimer, 12:33 Thursday afternoon in Blenheim; "We just made it to Blenheim and it feels good. Just got a puncture about 3kms from the end, and otehrwise, a pretty quite and uneventful day. And, ah, might now join these cyclists that I can see at a cafe for something nice. Cheers!"

Rodney Hanson, 14:17 Thursday in Hanmer Springs: "Made it through the private land about 10-10:30 last night. Camped. The Aussy guys on the Fargoes weren't far behind me. We all spent the night together. And rolled on through to here today. I've got a bung leg. First 30k's this morning were good - last 50k's were absolute agony. It's been like that the last few days. So - resting up here this afternoon and deciding whether or not I carry on."

Mondo Kopua, 14:26 Thursday in Hanmer Springs: "Going to the pools for a while. Do some washing, and the ride up to the Acheron later this afternoon-early this evening, where I'll camp and then hopefully ride through to Blenheim tomorrow."

Ian Gordan with Scott McLachlan, 15:50 Thursday in Hanmer Springs: "We're going to - take - our - time."

Jeff Lyall with Nick Treadgold and Jonty Ritchie, 18:00 Thursday in Blenhiem: "This is our final check in at 5:59. OK, cheers."

David King, 18:22 Thursday in Blenheim: "I'm in Seymore Square, in Blenheim, laying on the grass, and may never be able to get up. Nice day here anyway. Done and dusted!"

John Morris, 18:35 Thursday in Culverton: "I'm about 30 or 40 km's short of Hanmer - where I hope to be tonight. And then start on the Molesworth tomorrow."

Peter Maindonald with Brett Porter, 18:37 Thursday in Jacksons: "Definitely in cruise mode. Bot feeling really well. Minor problems with bikes, but we've managed to resolve them. We're heading through to Sheffield tomorrow. The Waiotu track wasn't a good place to be yesterday in the rain. Quite a nasty bit of work, but never mind. That's about all from Jackson - catch you later."

Chris and Bob, 19:28 Thursday in [Blenheim]: "Cheers."

Mondo Kopua, 19:32 Thursday in Hanmer: "About to head off to the Acheron soon after having a very restful afternoon in Hanmer, catching up with some laundry and washing and nice food and seeing some fellow Brevet riders."

Shelley Gosse with Ross Freidrich, 19:46 Thursday in Hanmer: "It's been a pretty awesome... so far... look forward to the next bit."

Thursday morning call-ins

Jo Holden with Chris Sherwood and David Bailey, 09:17 Thursday in Sheffield: "After a biiiig long slog over Porters Pass last night, we're now heading through the Wharfedale, and hopefully the Huranui area tonight, and aiming for a Saturday finish. All's good and see you at the finish."

Andrew McLellan, 10:44 Thursday in Blenhiem: "I've finished! What a ride. Can't say I'll do it again, but I'm glad I did it."

Chris Gilbertson, 10:58 Thursday in Sheffield: "All is well. Thanks and apologies for the incident a couple of days ago. The locator beacon got discharged accidentally on the front of my handlebars. It was only when I heard the big bird in the sky that I realised that the 911 light was flashing. Um, yeah, so, um. I turned it straight off. But I'm all fine, and still truckin'."

Jasper van der Lingen, 11:29 Thursday in Blenheim: "Made it to Blenheim! 11:21 I turned up. Absolutely buggered, but exilerated and relieved to have got here. Just here with Darryn and Andrew. I have to revocer a bit and collect my thoughts, but ah, big camelian [?!?] to the Kennett brothers for organising it and good luck to all the people who are still out there. What an amazing event. Alright - over and out for the last time."

Sifter and Simon make it to the finish!

John, Simon and Thomas Lindup all arived together according to John's voice recording...
Congratulations to them and the day's earlier finishers, Oli, Andy, Lisa, Mark, Tony, Tim and Darren. You guys are amazing...

Vorb has some good finish pics...

10 February 2010

Vorb Gossip

Some of the things being said over on Vorb

by scatter on 2:52pm


Ca-caw ca-caw!


by DrMack on 5:09pm

Talk about a tiger for punishment. Within 10 minutes of finishing Oli was wondering out loud about the sanity of considering the Alpine Epic in a couple of weeks. Two words, in sane.


by pedalingkiwi on 5:41pm

Two vignettes 
1. Ollie applying a goodly smear of anti-chafe in his 15min pitstop at Wharfedale Shelter yesterday - just as essential as food and chain lube for 4 consecutive hard days on the saddle.
2. Tony Bateup's bike featured a Sram XX drivetrain, and a piece of closedcell foam taped to his seat for extra padding - the latter looked ather No8 wire-ish, but I'm sure his bum appreciated it, even more so as he was riding a rigid.

Interestingly - with all the ponderings on "what bike is best" - the 5 bikes at the head of the field yesterday were; 
a 29er hardtail with hub gearing, 
2 x cross bikes with skinny tires, drop bars and rim brakes, 
a 4-5" fully, and 
a full carbon XC hardtail = a pretty mixed bunch. 
Maybe it's not about the bike ??


by Slim on 6:53pm

Just got a text message from the legend himself, Mr Oli "arse of steel" Whalley.

He said, and I quote "life changing shit"

Wednesday afternoon/evening call-ins

96 hours (four "days") and counting:

Mondo Kopua, 12:27 Wednesday afternoon in Spingfield: "I'm about to have some lunch, and then I'm going to push on. Hopefully get towards Culverton, somewhere today."

Duncan McKenzie, 13:59 Wed in Blenheim: "Just calling in from Seymour Square, we're awaiting Oli's arrival any second now. Overcast, bit of a southerly, perfect riding conditions. Not too hot and a little bit of a tail wind for the last bit. So hopefully everybody enjoys that across the Molesworth."

Duncan McKenzie, 14:13 Wed in Blenheim: "Oil's just arrived in. Looking remarkably fresh. Quite dusty. Amazing ride by the looks of it. No daubt he'll be able to give you far more detail."
Jo Holden, Chris Sherwood, Dave Bailey, and Chris Gilbertson, 15:24 Wed  in Arthurs Pass, "The time is now... sometime today. We're having more fun than a bug in custard. Look forward to seeing you in a few days. 

Chris Charles, 15:29 email from Springfield: "Well its wet and cold. Rather than soldier on to wharfale hut I have decided to take advantage of Tracy the barmaids hospitality and stay at the Springfield hotel so will be drinking pints and playing pool until the weather improves. The last 200 kms on the road were easy compared to the big river waiutu section, that was quite an eye opener! Just to confirm - I have not pulled out and I am still loving it ;o)"

Duncan McKenzie, 16:21 Wed in Blenheim: "Seymour Square Blenheim... and a 'shot to pieces' Andy Reid has just finished. Awful lot of achilles trouble and a bit of a knackered ankle after a twist going through Big River. But, he's home now and looking forward to putting his feet up and not looking at a bike for a wee while."

Tina Bayer with Dirk Naish, 17:08 Wed in Sheffield: "We're heading up to the Wharefdale hut. Bit wet, but all good otherwise."

Oliver Whalley, 18:12 Wed in Blenheim: "Hello, this is Oli calling from sunny Blenheim! I must say it's very much a great relief to arrive in one piece. And, ahhh... pretty stoked to do it in the four days. It was my goal. So pretty happy. We got up really really early this morning - 4:30 I think it was. And - contrary to Andy's report his ankle was in fact stuffed. He smashed up the first hill and then we rolled down hill together, but I put a gap on him - after that. I did manage to have a quite a big stack and, if anything, it really motivated me to get to the finish faster and get some first aid, but managed to ride it all out by myself so it was great to see some peopel at the finish. [Summa?] Jane came cheered me on to the line. Fantastic experience - and I recommend doign the Brevet to anyone else out there. Hopefully Simon'll go about organising it for next year as well."

Chris and Bob, 18:20 Wed in Hanmer: "We're going to bunk down here tonight and make out for Blenheim tomorrow."

Rob Garden with Marquita Gelderman, 19:17 Wed in Spingfield: "I am retiring from the race with a recurring back problem - that I brought in to the race unfortunately - and Marquita is carrying on, with Willi and possibly a guy called Chris [Charles]. They're probably going to leave here early tomorrow morning. That's all for now. See ya."

Chris Tennant Brown with Mark Rayward, Tony Bateup and Lisa Savage, 20:43 Wed in Blenheim: "It feels really good. We are pretty stoked. Cheers."

David King, 21:05 Wed in Hanmer: "We're my sunshine? Aeerrh! I don't fancy 180k's in the rain."

Darren Tatom, 21:12 Wed in Blenheim: "I'm at the finish! And pleased to say the ordeal is over. So, ah... I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it but I'll have to think on that, and have sleep on it first. But... anyway, it's all been pretty good! Big tough day today - two tough days in a row. Actually those a re two hardest days of all. Really just endless gravel road. But we did it! And it's done. So ah - couldn't quite get the end sorted out. So, ah... there! All good!"

Laurence Mote and Guy Wynn-Williams, 21:32 Wed in Culverton: "Bit of a long day today. Bit of a slow day really. Quite tough riding through Wharfedale and Lees Valley. It was a little bit drizzly. So we figured it wasn't worth going to Hanmer, 'cause be were going to run out of food to get through the Molesworth, so we're going to hit Hanmer early tomorrow and see how far we get on the Molesworth. It was good hearing from family and friends, and that the crew have already made it Blenheim. It's very exciting. Look forward to getting there ourselves very soon."

Guy Wynn-Williams, 21:40 Wed in Culverton: "When Laurence called in earlier he forgot to mention that we had one of those neat experiences - when we were riding in to Hiranui we were talking to one of the local farmers who was on the side of the road and we stopped and chatted to him and he'd been following whole Brevet on the blog and having a great time. And, anyway, we've got a bit of a tactical dilemma about getting food just before we get in to the Molesworth tomorrow and so he just volunteered to whip-off home and get some food from the kitchen and they met us back done at the pub in Hiranui and stocked us up. So, that was a neat experience - James in Culverton sorted us out. So, it's all good."

Tim Mullinar, 22:43 Wed in Blenheim, "I have made it to Blenheim probably about 10 minutes ago. I'm thoroughly shagged. I know what else to say really. Huh - over and out."

Jeff Lyall with Nick Treadgold and Jonty Ritchie23:03 Wed in Hanmer: "We're just warming up and drying out, and... going for a big push tomorrow."

Micki Speck, 23:09 in Blenheim: "Good race. Nice and fun, and... yeah!"

John Randal with Tomas Lindup and Simon Kennett, 11:48 in Blenheim: "Very pleased to be here. Going to go and find some food now. Phooowh! It was a tough day again today."

Tuesday afternoon photos from Rob Hambrook

Some photos of the tail enders at Reefton and coming out of Waiuta Valley Tuesday afternnoon:








And there are some cool photos of Oli and Andy in the Wharfedale over at Vorb.

Video replay of the first three days

From the fine folk at topofusion.com: http://vimeo.com/9327048

Wednesday morning call-ins

In the Karapoti Classic we usually found that the slowest rider took twice as long as the fastest rider. It's looking like the front runners will reach Blenhiem this afternoon.

Micki Speck with Mark Rayward, Lisa Savage and Tony Bateup in 07:07 Wednesday in Hanmer Springs: "Hope to be pushing on further today. Cheers."

John Randal with Simon Kennett and Chris[?],  08:14 Wed in Hanmer: "Just arrived in Hanmer. Had a short sleep in Culverton. Feeling pretty hammered - but, on the home stretch. So... phoowh - Blenhiem here we come."

Darren Tatam, 08:43 Wed in Hanmer: "Just walking up Jollies Pass. Actually listening to some Beethoven. Feeling pretty good  and looking forward to one or two cool beers in Blenhiem. However - the pubs will be shut by the time I get there."

John Morris, 09:24 Wed in Arthurs Pass: "Doing fine, although yesterday was a long day of walking thjrough the woods... and... looks like we're headed - there's a bit bunch of us at Arthurs Pass and a lot of people are headed for Wharfedale Hut tonight."

Dirk Naish with Tina Bayer, 09:26 Wed in Arthurs Pass: "We're having breakfast after staying in Jacksons last night. All's well."

Marquita Gelderman and Rob Garden, 09:38 Wed in Arthurs Pass: "At the moment - eating more eggs on toast. Ross Friedrich and Shelley Gosse were here as well. They've just left. All going well and hope to hit the Wharfedale hut tonight."

Phil White and Anne Mortimer, 10:16 Wed in  Hanmer: "Looking forward to a nice cool ride through the Molesworth. I dunno, it hasn't really rained much, but - enough to keep it cool. Not sure where we'll stay the night. But, probably get to Blenheim tomorrow. Having a good time and... yeah, having fun."

Ed McDonald with Joel McFarlane Roberts and Phil Byron, 11:22 Wed in Sheffield: "Happily and pie-face-idily in Sheffield - the pies are so good apparently. Seventy[?] pies. It's a bit rainy outside, but we're trying to head to... ahhhh... yeah, as far out, as far towards Hanmer as possible. Came down Arthurs Pass today - it was very cold. That's about it. Hopefully we will be in Blenhiem in two or three days time."

Jasper van der Lingen, 11:30 Wed in Hanmer: "I'm about to head off again. Unfortunately my batteries are just about dead on this phone so I don't know if I'll be able to call again, but... other than that, it's overcast, slightly drizzling but not too bad."

Sifter and Simon safely in Culverden for the night

I got this text from John Randal (Sifter) at 12.08am...
   Rocked into Culverden just before 11 after another tough day! Last 100km were torrid!

09 February 2010

Elevation chart: Hanmer to Blenhiem

It's 200m height gain between the horizontal lines. Hanmer to Blenhiem is about 200km.

The Molesworth Station section is open from 7am to 7pm.

Andy Reid in trouble too?

According to Oli Whalley's phone in at 7:38pm tonight Andy Reid may not be starting tomorrow due to a swollen ankle - hopefully a good night's rest sorts him out.

And here's Andy's call-in just after 10pm:

Andy Reid, 22:06 Tuesday in Hanmer: "Things are going pretty good. Olly thinks I've got a really sore ankle, but - hah - put one over him. So, ya know, maybe tomorrow I'll get up just an hour earlier or something like that while he's still asleep. Just... just launch into it. OK - um - cheers, bye."

Chris Gilbertson might like a hand

We had a little drama at lunchtime when Chris Gilberston triggered his SPOT alarm whilst in the middle of Big River.

This caused the monitoring team in USA to call 111 in New Zealand. Who then called Rescue Coordination NZ. They called up a helicopter to go look for Chris.

Fortunately they had his GPS location to home in on.

Unfortunately the helicopter couldn't find him.

Then about an hour after the alarm was triggered Chris pressed the "I'm OK" button - so the Rescue Coordinators call off the helicopter.

I've been watching his tracker and he made very slow progress out of Big River - but he is out.

His latest SPOT's show he made it out to SH7 at Hukarere - but then he headed north, back towards Reefton. He may be doing that on purpose - or he's confused.

If you are near there - or know someone who is - can you go out and have a look?

Here's his latest location...

If you do find him - lets us know on the Kiwi Brevet phone line: 04 973 1531

Thanks, Paul

Update 9:30pm Tuesday: Chris's SPOT tracker is showing him making good speed towards Blackball - it looks like he'll get there about 11pm. He's doing about 16kph and he's about 20km from Blackball.

Update 11:45pm Tuesday: He's in Blackball now.

Update 6:45am Wednesday:  Received this email form Rob Hambrook: I spoke very briefly to the Reefton Police whilst I was in the area today. They said the helicopter pilot had spoken to Chris at Big River ( I assume somewhere around the hut) and he was okay. What ever that means. I'm assuming good enough to get himself out of the the Big River area.

[I forgot to mention yesterday that the SPOTs showed Jo Holden - who is a highly experienced Search and Rescue person - caught up to Chris soon after he triggered his "Help" button.]

Scott from trackleaders.com on crazy SPOT info

Hey guys,

Scott from trackleaders.com here. Sorry for not chiming in earlier -- we are also tracking Yukon Quest which has been pretty involved.

A few riders do have multiple SPOTs registered on their SPOT share page, and that is causing the confusion and crazy speeds, points et cetera on the tracker. Unfortunately we can't change that without access to their SPOT accounts, and we aren't sure where the SPOT units were hired from -- apparently only Simon knows and he's out riding.

I will see if I can deal with the issue on our side, but I may start looking for NZ companies that hire SPOTs. We just need to find whoever Simon hired the units from. It's a simple fix on their end.

I also saw that someone pointed out the times being wrong? I adjusted it by an hour earlier today and *think* it is correct, but if someone can confirm that would be great.

Any other issues? Feel free to post here or (better) hit us with an email at info@trackleaders.com

It is really quite nice to see so many cyclists and fans for the Kiwi Brevet. I've been a part of the Great Divide Race / Tour Divide for many years and it's great to see a similar event be so successful elsewhere in the world. Kudos to the Kennett bros and all the riders out there pedaling their hearts out.


An update from Wharfedale track

I saw Ollie and Andy at 10.45 this morning at Townsend Hut - Ollie came in 5 mins ahead but hung around for a munch and a dump and for Andy to change brake pads - they were planning to stay together "because Andy knows his way through McDonald Downs", and were headed for Hanmer, maybe Acheron for tonight.

Also saw Mark Rayward at 13.20 on the Wharfedale saddle and was riding just 5 mins ahead of Lisa Savage & Tony Bateup - they had all overnighted in Castle Hill. Saw Lisa & Tony again on my way out - Tony had had a couple of punctures, but they were happily munching on wholewheat sandwiches as they headed north. Mark, Lisa & Tony had Acheron in their sights for tonight.

When I left Mt Pember Stn (start of Lees Valley section) at around 3.45 nobody else had come enrough.

It was low-mid 20's up there, mostly sunny, with light winds - southerly through the saddle but out in Lees Valley more like a light NE - not enough to really make things harder.

DNF list

Ash Brown - Had a crazy number of punctures over  the first two days. Rreluctant DNF.

Helen Van Hoof - Monday AM. DNF due to mechanical probs.

Jan Witkowski, Poland - 08:44 Tue, Ikamatua. DNF due to injury.

John Mote - started the ride with a cold and never shook it. DNFed on Port Underwood Road.

Mike Anderson (USA, Texas) - 17:17 Sunday, DNF due to severe saddle sores.

Rob Garden - Wednesday evening, DNF with a recurring back problem.

Rodney Hanson - 7:15am Friday in Hanmer, DNF due to really sore legs

Brett Porter - 5:11pm Friday, DNF "I withdrew after my freewheel broke 12k's into the Wharfedale track"

Have I missed any?

Elevation chart: Shefield to Hanmer Springs

The horizonal lines indicate 200m elevation gained.

Tuesday afternoon/evening call-ins

Over 72 hours since leaving Blenheim:

Micki Speck, 12:13 Tuesday afternoon in Shefield: "All going good."

David King, 12:49 Tuesday in Arthurs Pass: "Calling-in for "Jacksons" of course, because there's no [cellphone] coverage [in Jacksons]. Lovely sunny day here. Lovely sunny day here and about bloody 10 tour buses, so it's a huge wait for food at the cafe."

John Randal, 13:09 Tuesday in Shefeild: "Bloody great train just going past. Been a tough morning from Arthurs Pass, through to Porters Pass, was just an absolute nightmare. Just up the road Simon Kennett and Jeff were goign for a nature break. We are heading for the Wharefdale, and then onwards to Hirinui or Culverdon or something. Hope everyone's well at home. Right about now I wish I was there with you which this from the internet. Just about ready for a new saddle I think."

Jasper van der Lingen with Simon and John, 13:11 Tuesday in Shefield: "It's good to be able to turn and head back towards Blenheim finally. Weather's good. Feeling OK-ish other than the sore legs and sore bum, but that's alright."

Dave Rudge with Gordan McDonald, Bill Brieley, 16:42 Tuesday in the Stillwater Pub: "I don't why I'm ringing in from here - I just like to say we're in the pub, really. Ah... not enjoying the road or the headwind, but we're enjoying the burgers."

Barry Bryant, 16:59 Tuesday in Blenheim: "Ahhh... my 800km shortcut seems to have done the trick. Unfortunately him still a bit-um-pzshurh-yes. Ahh, I, let me startthat all again. I've done by 800km shortcut and I will continue touring on from here. So, I've had a great time - for what it's worth - the bike is perfect, I'm feeling comfortable, my almost no cost ghetto tubeless tire conversion was no trouble at all, um, recommend it highly. Um, yes, it's all good. Uuuum. Omaka Vintage Air Museum is pretty cool. The riverside track conversion is very nice  - there's a little amphitheater there. Um, didn't know that was there. It made me think quite highly of the place. So, um, yes, I'm going to continue on my way, and I've had a good time, thank you very much, and good luck to everybody, and all the finishers."

Phil Byron, Ed McDonald, Joel McFarlane Roberts, Rodney Hansen, 17:59 Tuesday in Arthurs Pass: "We're all up here, all just tackled the pass in nice warm daylight with a slight tailwind which didn't actually help much up the 15% gradient. I'll see you on the flip side."

Brett Porter, 18:12 Tuesday in Reefton, "All good. Thanks."

David King, 18:54 Tuesday in Shefield, "It's a lovely warm Canterbury evening. Had my first crash and lost a few chunks of elbow but otherwise... a lovely day."

Peter Maindonald, 19:08 Tuesday in Reefton: "We're in to 'tour mode'. It's all good - no major issues with the bike or the body, we're just going to press on. We're possibly not going to make the time cutoff, but everything's all good everythings happy, so we're going to press on in the morning and look at this Big River."

Guy Win-Williams with Lawrence Mote, 19:27 in Springfield: "We're having dinner. We're going to head off towards the base of the Wharfedale to sleep tonight. Had a good day today, beautiful weather coming through the hills. My SPOT seems to be working intermittently. So in terms of tracking me to can probably look at Laurence's, because we're pretty much doing the same thing."

Mondo Kopua, 17:30 in Jacksons: "Think I'm going to go up the road to Otira and [just see?]. The Big River-Waiuta section was absolute crap. See ya."

Oliver Whalley with Andy Reid, 19:38 in Hanmer: "We've jsut made it into Hanmer! Which is great. What we're going to do is stay overnight and make for Jollies Pass in the morning. I'm feeling amazing but unfortunately Andy's ankle has just blown out. So much that he's not contemplating riding tomorrow. So were searching for some quick medical cures. As far as bikes - mine's been going really well, but the chain's just started to wear. It's running a magic ratio of a Rohloff, so fortunately the guys at Crank Adventures have hooked me up with a chain to replace it. [something] And hopefully we should make it to - sometime early afternoon - back to Blenheim! [something]"

Andy Reid, 22:06 Tuesday in Hanmer: "Things are going pretty good. Olly thinks I've got a really sore ankle, but - hah - put one over him. So, ya know, maybe tomorrow I'll get up just an hour earlier or something like that while he's still asleep. Just... just launch into it. OK - um - cheers, bye."

Saturday afternoon photos from Heather Bates

Heather just sent thru some pics from the top of the first big hill climb before Whites Bay, Blenheim:

See the whole gallery...

Tuesday morning call-ins

Tim Mullinar with Thomas Lindup, 05:35 Tuesday morning in Arthurs Pass: "Arrived here at 11pm last night. It was a very long day; I started at 4:30am, about 20kms before Springs Junction. Spent 7 hours in Big River - hell ride. We gave Simon heaps - of course he just smiled back. A real mission. Up the gorge at about 10pm last night in the light rain. So we got here alright and now we're off to Hanmer."

Tina Bayer with Willi Borst, 06:10 Tuesday in Reefton, "Just going to head off with a [????] so that should be fun."

David King06:59 Tuesday in Stillwater, "Another belated call-in. I forgot about Reefton. Cheers."

Jasper van der Lingen, 07:09 Tuesday in Arthurs Pass: "Feeling reasnoalbe OK. Good to be in the East Coast. Next call-in Sheffield. See you then."

Phil White and Anne Mortimer, 07:34 Tuesday in Authers Pass: "So far going all right today. We had a tough time yesterday - including a 2 hour detour because some nice man parked himself and his bike in front of a sign post which pointed to the Big River track and didn't tell us when we were going the wrong road. And had a few mechanical issues... but were getting there.Hopefully we'll have a better day today."

Mike Anderson08:41 Tuesday in Murchison: "I am in Murchison, have been since 11 trying to recuperate from 3 ridiculously hard days of riding. Unfortunately I'm in an advanced state of saddle soreness - so bad that I can not even sit on my saddle and I had to stand or walk over the Porika track and the Braeburn. I'm not getting any better unfortunately. So I'm going to call it quits. It has been a fun - in a strange sort of way - experience. I'll be back next year with some lessons learned. First is that a cyclo-cross bike is not sufficient. Went down the Maungatapu track in the dark on the first day... [call truncated at 60 seconds].

Joel McFarlane Roberts with [something], Ed McDonald, Phil Byron (all from Aust.), and Jan Witkowski (Poland) 08:44 Tuesday in Ikamatua: "Jan is pulling out at this stage - he has an injury and will be riding to Greymouth and making his way back to Blenheim from there."

Chris Gilbertson, 09:19 Tuesday in Reefton: "All is well."

Chris Sherwood, Jo Holden, Dave Bailey, 10:17 Tuesday in Reefton: "The sun has come out, it's turning into a beautiful day. Enjoying it so far. Hope all is well."

Chris Tennent Brown with Simon Kennett, Thomas Lindup and Tim Mulliner11:49 Tuesday in Sheffeild: "And we are so full, and we are so smashed; we had the worst 60k, followed by quite a fast 20k - we were god-like coming in to town. We were sad before then.

Mtn Bike History

There's a touch of irony out on the Kiwi Brevet. The event itself is creating history as the first of it's kind in NZ, but take a look through the entry list and it's a who's-who of NZ mtn bike history.

Start with Simon Kennett, who decided NZ should have a mtb suffer-fest after doing the Great Divide race from Canada to Mexico last year - two weeks unsupported... think about it ! Anyway, Simon and his brothers Paul and Jonathan have been around mtn biking since Adam rode a bike. They created the Karapoti Classic, produced NZ's first mtn bike guide book, organised NZ's first world cup event, and still drive alot of Wellington's trail building. Not sure what Simon was riding - but it'll be similar to his Trans Divide rig, which was hardtail mtb frame frame with carbon road forks & a 700c front wheel. He's notorious for slow starts & fast finishes, and after a cruisie opening day he appears to be galloping through the field, reaching Arthuir's Pass at around 11pm Monday. Simon reckoned he'd cut it out in about 4.5 days, so will be interesting. Will also be interesting to see if his tactics of an easy start & more sleep in the first two days will work compared to Andy Reid and Oliver Whalley, who have been cranking since the first climb and sleeping to the 4hr minimum. Simon is about 6hrs behind them now.

Trevor Woodward, who as of 10:40pm Monday appears to have kipped down for the night somewhere near Lake Brunner maybe, is a bit of a legend in Wgtn circles. He was a contender nationally in the mid-90s and placed 2nd & 3rd at Karapoti, where he still returns every year & has racked up 16 sub-3hr races in a row. He was last seen in J'Ville Cycles a week before the start telling everyone he was just gonna have fun & wasn't interested in the sleep-monsters, while at the same time spending a disgusting amount of time deciding on tyre choice. But maybe he is just playing it casual - did you notice the pic of his wheels, with his jandals wrapped in the spokes because he couldn't fit anything more in his kit-bag. Notice also his bike - a Cannondale Lefty, which he's he's riding he said "because it's the only bike I have right now".

Jeff Lyall, Jonty Ritchie & John Randal are others from the Wgtn mtb mafia, guys who have been around longer than even they can remember.

Jeff's a keen cross-over guy who meddles both on and off road. More known for more standard distances, especially time trialing on the road, this is his first ultra race. He mentioned prior to leaving that he wasn't into sleep deprivation, but at the same time was quizzing anyone who had experience in long adventure races and bike races. But Jeff is a rabid techno-phobe... He's riding a Santa Cruz ultralight fully with aerobars & listed his entire riding kit at 41 pounds... who weighs that sort of thing ?

Jonty & John are well known for being the most talented recreational riders in NZ. Jonty once scored a top 10 at the world junior mtb champs. John is just a machine who smiles as hard as he rides, usually as he's passing you. A couple of years ago in a road race where John was smacking it out a couple of hard core roadies sitting in the bunch remarked that the big guys will disappear on the climb - he did, he disappeared up ahead. Jonty appears to be enjoying the Brevet experience, rather than racing, and is no doubt riding something wonderfully retro. Apparently John is riding a carbon Giant XTC with a carbon road fork and was last heard of at Arthur's Pass with Simon Kennett, so he's pretty serious, although no doubt grinning from ear-to-ear.

The Ground Effect guys, Guy & Laurence, have been around as long as most. Guy was a founding partner in the well-known Ground Effect online cycle apparel empire. Laurence rode as a pro for most of the 1990's before nabbing a sweet job there. As befitting of Guy, he didn't reveal much about his rig on this ride - but you can bet it'll be something very retro-chick. Laurence finished 2nd at Karapoti once & represented NZ, but he seems to be socialising on the Brevet. But like a true ex-pro he's riding a titanium rig with aerobars, although it is 11 years old. Like several Brevet riders he didn't take any cooking gear, so his credit card must be taking a beating. Was a pity to see Laurence's dad, John, withdraw through illness on the first day. John's a legend in his own right in Christchurch circles.

Looks like Chris Burr and Bob (Brenda Clapp) are riding together. The Nelson couple have also raced at the top level and represented NZ in past lives. Brenda still dusts off the racing kit every now and then, so she'll be keeping Chris honest. They've been around the traps since the mid-90s. Brenda won Karapoti in 1999 & Chris was 3rd in 2004. Interesting to note several smiling Brevet riders bending the rules to grab a feed at their house as the race passed through Nelson.

We could go on all night... Lisa Savage (Nelson) and Jo Holden (Wgtn) are former national class riders who got even better with age. Jo is on the experienced side of 50, but still bloody fast. She's head of Police Search & Rescue in Wgtn, so I guess she's doing the Brevet to find herself ! Lisa's doing it probably because she couldn't think of anything better to do. She was a top rider in the 1990s, has also been a top adventure racer and avid cycle tourer... So no surprise she's leaving plenty of guys behind her.

And a final word to the Wgtn good keen men, Gordon MacDonald, Bill Brierly & Dave Rudge, who like Lisa have been around multisport & mountain biking forever. Looks like they've been keeping each other company for most of the way thus far, which is probably tactical on the part of Dave and Gordon... Bill is the only rider in NZ with a moustache wider than his handlebars... Gordon and Dave probably figure it'll be a handy tow line up the Otira Viaduct to Arthur's Pass.

Michael D. Jacques

08 February 2010

Pics from Vorb


Brevet Leaders

A bit of insight into the two guys charging toward Wharfdale Tk. For those who aren't aware, Andy Reid is a former national class road cyclist & mtn biker. His brother is Olympian Robin Reid. Andy's best days are behind him, but when you've spent half your life riding 20-30hrs a week, maybe the Kiwi Brevet isn't really much different mentally.
In contrast, Oliver Whalley, his drafting buddy for much of the race so far, has been enjoying his best riding years of late. He's a national class mtn biker & regularly in the top 5 in national series & eighth at Karapoti last year. Glutton for punishment that he is, he's entered for Karapoti in 4 weeks time as well !  If yopu do a few 12hr searches you'll find he's probably better at the longer stuff, so no surprises with his Kiwi Brevet ride to date.
Interesting to note what these boys are riding. They didn't list their rigs, but no surprise that a hard-core boy like Andy is on a cyclo-cross bike. Olly appears to be on a steel or titanium frame with one of the new rear hub gearing setups - but hard to tell. Neither guys are carrying much, particularly Olly, so they'll be praying the weather in wharfdale doesn't turn to crap weather. 
Hard to say about their prospective finish time. The Sheffield to Hanmer section is slow going if they get caught in the dark, so they'll probably save it for early Tues AM. If nothing goes wrong they'll probably hit Blenheim before dark on Wednesday, which would be just over the 4-day minimum time in the rules... me thinks they going for sub-4. 

Michael D. Jacques
MDJ Media & Events Ltd
P.O. Box 13 793
New Zealand
Ph:    04 461 6461
Cell:  0275 244 821

Jeff Lyall: fun with a baby deer chasing us at 50kmh

Spoke Magazine: two stories on the Brevet

Caleb is onto it:
Someone needs to organise a charity boxing match so these guys can duke it out in the ring, Andy and Ollie on there way to Lady Lake.
Read the full story...

And another story:

Emma the kids and I headed down to Blenheim in the weekend to watch the start of the inaugural Kiwi Brevet. For the next 8 days (4 and a bit for some) sixty five cyclists and a wide range of bikes will attempt to cover over 1100kms. Race organiser Simon Kennett has picked a pretty epic route with more off-road than road and over 12000m of climbing.
Read the full story...

More photos from Rob Hambrook

Click here for a bunch more photos from Rob taken on Sunday.


And here's one from Chris Charles in Springs Junction today:

Monday afternoon/evening call-ins

It's now over 48 hours since they started.

Brenda Clapp with Chris Burr, Trevor Woodard and Barryn Westfield, 12:57 Monday afternoon in Reefton: "Had a wicked ride here from Matakaitaki, and only two bee stings."

Helen Van Hoof - DNFing due mechanical problems.

John Morris, 15:21 Monday in Reefton: "I'm going to push on to, at least, Big River and see how that goes this afternoon and evening. I'm doing well."

Jeff Lyall with Jonty Ritchie and Nick Treadgold15:24 Monday in Reefton: "We're going to go on to Big River and Wiata and see if we can get to Blackball."

Rodney Hansen, 16:19 Monday in Reefton: "Got my wheel sorted, can't speak highly enough of the guys at Reefton Sports, who sorted it out promptly - and some other guys who were have some mechanicals as well. I'm on my way, off up towards Big River."

Oliver Whalley with Andy Reid, 18:13 Monday in Arthurs Pass: "We've just knocked off the Otira Viaduct. Beautiful day out there and very nice tail wind - was quite steep but were lookin' forward to the ride out. We're hoping to get to Shefield tonight. Havin' fun!"

Brett Porter, 19:08 Monday in Murchison: "Heading to Reefton tomorrow. Had a flat tire today, but sorted."

Mondo Kopua, 19:59 Monday in Reefton: [no comments]

Rob Garden with Marquita Gelderman, Ross Friedrich and Shelley Gosse, 20:29 Monday in Reefton: "Had a fantastic day. Left St Arnaud 5:30 and arrived in Reefton at 7. The Porika track and Braeburn were just stunning. Had a wonderful day. Wasn't stinking hot like yesterday, so we're very pleased with things.

Chris Charles, 20:45 Monday in Reefton: "Ahhhhh, yeah! Sorta, pretty, happy. Sorta got ahead of schedule actually. So, um, made it to Reefton. So, pretty happy and... looking forward to more riding tomorrow."

Micki Speck, 21:25 Monday in Arthurs Pass: "Good ride today. Nice and fun. And a big climb up. Didn't get quite as far as I wanted to, but... you never know. Cheers."

Barry Bryant, 22:03 Monday in St Arnaud: "Did about 180km yesterday. Got as far as Golden Downs, camped by the side of the road; slept for 8 hours. Ran out of all food. Grovelled up to Tophouse. Had lunch; slept for 3 hours on the couch their in the heat of the day. Crawled into St Arnaud and sifted around for a bit - which is hoe I normally fit my touring operations. I've decided to take a short cut because frankly I'm over climbing massive hills in blazing February heat. I'd rather do it in the middle of winter, so... I'm taking a short cut. Ahhhh... so you can see where I go next and, um, time penalties will be calculated, I'm sure. If you could do that Paul. I hope the number don't get too big, and, ahhh, I'll call in tomorrow."

Dirk Naish with Bill Brierley, Dave Rudge and Gordan McDonald, 22:21 Monday in Reefton; "We made it to Reefton about 9pm. All's well.

Simon Kennett with Chris Tennant Brown, 22:52 in Arthurs Pass: "It's been a pretty amazing day. Lot's of incredible scenery. Very hard riding; very cruisy riding as well, and we had some good bunch riding going on as well. So, nah! it's a good day. Really glad to be here."

About SPOT trackers

There are two different pricing/service options with SPOT;  
basic - which requires the user to press a button to transmit your location, and  
tracking - which provides the 10 min auto transmit (for 24 hours) feature

The 45 SPOTs that were hired from USA are using the full tracking service.

The 10 SPOT's hired in New Zealand are using the full tracking service.

Some of  the privately owned SPOTs are using the basic service. So these trackers will appear to be much more intermittent than the others.

Here's some background info from the SPOT website on the tracking service:

Once activated, SPOT acquires and sends your GPS coordinates to your SPOT account every 10 minutes. Anyone with access to your account information can log on and view your route, complete with virtual views provided by Google Maps™. To continue tracking on longer journeys, the SPOTcasting™ function must be re-activated every 24 hours.

Also; like any GPS device - they may have trouble communicating if the rider is under thick native bush.

Monday morning call-ins

Tim Mullinar with Darren Tatom, 07:37 Monday in Reefton: "Waiting for a big breakfast and an enormous latte. Had a pretty good day yesterday. Had a bit of rain this morning, but it's cleared up, which is all good. Off to Arthurs Pass hopefully."

Jasper van der Lingen, 08:13 Monday in Reefton: "Just having breakfast with Thomas [Lindup] and Darren [Tatom], and a couple of others. Had a nice ride through Rahu, other than it rained a little bit. We'll see how far we get today."

Chris Tennent Brown, 08:46 Monday in Reefton: "I'm about to have a big breakfast so I'm pretty happy and everything is going pretty well."

John Randal with Simon Kennett09:24 Monday in Reefton: "We met Andrew [McLellan] at Springs Junction - he set off from Maruia Saddle at 5 in the morning. We were all just being amazed at someone going past with a trailer with about twice as much gear as we've got, combined. It was a bit wet on the climb up to Rahu Saddle, but a nice descent and - a very nice mince and cheese pie down here in Reefton. Hope your all well and enjoying the show.

Marquita Gelderman with Rob Garden, Ross Friedrich and Shelley Gosse, 10:20 Monday in Murchison: "We're all sitting in a cafe at Murchison. Had a great time going over the Porika and Braeburn - and [we're] on our way to Reefton.

David King, 11:03 Monday in Maruia: "This is actually my Murchison call-in. I had a bit of a brain fade yesterday. Heh!"

Chris Charles, 11:11 Monday in Murchison: "Had a really good ride this morning through the Porika and Braeburn - just very very pleasant and quite surreal. Weather's starting to warm up a bit, so... hopefully it doesn't get too hot. Looking at the thermometer yesterday it got up to 35 degrees. Hopefully not going to be as hot today. So... yep! all going well... and... try and push on, and get somewhere nice and comfy to sleep tonight."

Mondo Kopua, 11:39 Monday in Murchison: [no comment]

Tina Bayer, 11:44 Monday in Murchison: "Looking forward to lunch now."

Dave Rudge with Bill Brieley, Willamena [huh?], Gordan McDonald, Dirk Naish 11:59 in Murchison: "All having a lovely day and a big breakfast, well - second breakfast anyway. "

07 February 2010

Call-in system rebooted

The call-in answer phone system wasn't working from just after 6pm til 10:25 Sunday. I'm not completely sure what happened but I'm willing to blame John's cat - who may have walked over the computer keyboard and put the laptop into hybernation.

Or the cheap hardware and/or software I'm using fell over.

Either way I'm going to come and reset the system once a day - which should fix the problem.

Sorry to the riders who tried to call in during the outage.


Sunday afternoon/evening call-ins

They've been going for over 24 hours now - so this is now the second "day" of racing. I'll keep adding call-in messages to the bottom of this post till I go to bed tonight. Enjoy.

Note 1: you may have noticed the answer phone page list hasn't grown since 13:26. It seems to not cope with more than 50 messages in the list. I've now reset it so it's restarted listing form message number 59. All the old messages are still on the web site though - so you can still hear them.
Note 2: And the sytem stopped answering the phone from 6:30 till 10:25 when I reset it. I'll reset it once a day from now on. Paul K.

Gordan McDonald, 12:06 Sunday afternoon in Brightwater: "Jolly hot. Almost as hot as yesterday."

Dirk Naish, 12:17 Sunday in Stoke: "Going well, but the weather is very hot. Otherwise - enjoying myself."

Tina Bayer, 12:29 Sunday in Nelson: "All going well. It was a bit of an interesting downhill, but the bike and I are still in one piece. It's all good. Another hot day. So far it's all fun."

Brett Porter, 13:29 Sunday in Nelson: "Thank you."

Chris Sherwood, Jo Holden, Dave Bailey, Tina Bayer, 14:04 Sunday in Richmond: "Having lunch. Hope you're all well in Wellington. Cheers."

Barry Bryant, 14:38 Sunday most of way down the Maungatapu: "Stinky brakes. My strategy of coming last seems to be paying dividends, 'cos I'm sure I would feel as good, if I wasn't coming quite so last. And any of you people who want to take shortcuts better watch-out, because I'm bloody slow. My brake leavers are nearly touch the handlebars, but I've still got pads left, so that's good. I'm very please I've got my 2.3 tires on. And nothing appears to have broken, so that's cool. I've run out of water, but  - 'no biggie'. Be in Nelson shortly."

Micki Speck, 16:10 Sunday in Murchison: "All good."

Phil White and Anne Mortimer, 16:14 Sunday in Murchison: "We're a bit sore as you might expect, but we're still going OK and we'll have a bit of a feed here and see how far we get tonight. We had our plan and we're pretty much 'on it' so we're happy with that."

Simon Kennett with Tim Mulliner and John Randal, 17:00 Sunday in Murchison: "There's a cool breeze blowing. The Porika was pretty hardcore on the descent - it's in incredibly bad condition. Apart from that it's been pretty good riding. Some good beach forest. We're going to push on for Springs Junction or thereabouts, after having a nice meal at the cafe in town here. Hope everyone else is having a good time."

Mike Anderson, 17:17 Sunday in Murchison: "Rode over Maungatapu last night in the dark - which I thought about all day long - what a scary thing to do on a cyclocross bike... with a very poor light. So I'll pat myself on the back for that. It was a hard slog today I'm glad to be here. Now for a feed.

Jasper van der Lingen, 17:27 Sunday in Murchison: "Feeling reasonably OK. Probably head a bit further on and see how I go, and other than that, it's all looking not too bad. Had a very good first two days."

Chris Burr and Brenda Clapp, 17:56 Sunday in Murchison: "Having dinner then heading up Matakitaki. Bikes and everything going OK, but a distinct feeling of discombobulation that's for sure.

Chris Tennent Brown, 18:11 Sunday in Murchison: "Been a pretty hot day, but all going well."

John Morris, 22:26 Sunday in Murchison: "Snug as a bug in my little holiday cabin and I'm doing fine, but a little low on food so wait til a dairy or bakery opens on the morning before I hit the road again."

Rodney Hansen, 23:23 Sunday in Murchison: "I've just, not long ago, rolled in to Murchison after camping at Murderers Rock last night. Racked up 189 km's today so I'm quite pleased with that. Still feeling good. A few mechanical issues, in the form of busted spokes on my rear wheel; two of them so far.I'll pootle on towards Reefton tomorrow and try an sort 'em out there. And then make a decision about what I do after that."

Photos from Rob Hambrook

Here's a few photos Rob Hambrook took on Saturday. Let me know if you can identify people in them.

Jasper van der Lingen on a rigid single speed.

 Darren Tatom (in green cycle top)

 Tim Mulliner
 Dave King

 Dave King, Trevor Woodward, Jan Witkowski at Chris and Brenda's house in Nelson.