04 November 2011

2012 Course Map and new start time (earlier by an hour)

The 2012 course is up - click on Route Map under 'Further Reading' in the right hand column.

What's new? You'll be missing some of the rougher tracks near Blenheim and around Nelson the course will use some of the Tasman Great Taste Trail and then follow cycle lanes between Tahunanui and Nelson CBD. The latter change removes a couple of small hills and increases the amount of coastal riding in the Brevet. This helps to give the Kiwi Brevet it's remarkable variety of scenery - from the alps to the ocean.

With the course being run in the clockwise direction and a start time of 9am (rather than 10am) the big challenge will be to make it to the Molesworth Homestead campground (at about 125 km) or through Molesworth Station to the old Acheron Accomodation House at 185km by DOC's 7pm curfew. It's 205km to Hanmer.

To reach Acheron (at 750m altitude) by 7pm requires an average speed of 18.5 km/hr. Given the rough nature of much of the road and the amount of climbing (including Ward Pass - New Zealand's highest road pass) this is a big ask! You might be capable of that, but regret it the next day (and the day after). Or you might be feeling rather chuffed to make it all the way to Hanmer on day one (with potential for a sleep-in and a cafe breakfast).

The 9am start gives us time for an 8am briefing in Blenheim.

The local New World opens at 7am. We'll see if one of the local bike shops is willing to open early for those last minute bike bits - while there is a helpful bike rental place in Hanmer, the next bike shop isn't until Reefton (and their supplies are limited).