29 January 2014

Rules for 2014

 What's shown below is an edited version of the rules blurb from 2012. The main thing is to complete the course under your own steam, without a support crew.

Note the 10th rule;
Text-ins (rather than 'call-ins') are to be made from designated towns along the route until you either finish or abandon the brevet. Tweet your texts to 8987, or text event HQ on 027 284 5599. Tweets are preferred as they'll go up on the event blog directly, but they must be limited to 140 characters. If you want to share something longer, text the cell phone number.

The designated towns are shown on the course Google map.

Regarding the map, note that it shows the most direct way through Nelson via the I-Site. The more detailed cue sheet sent out this week shows 'Google Directions' suggestion, which includes a few backyards along unformed road. Once in Nelson, just follow your nose to the i-Site on Hallifax St, on-road please.

Note also that there will be an open home in Nelson on the Saturday and Sunday nights, with room for several riders. I'll give out the details at the briefing.

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What is the Kiwi Brevet? What defines it? How does it differ from a race? Can it be won?

The Kiwi Brevet is a cycle touring challenge. It is defined by the course and the event rules. You can complete the course without following the rules, but you will have completed something that is, to some degree, different from the 'Kiwi Brevet'.

In 2010, most riders followed the Kiwi Brevet rules perfectly, but many did not. Some missed parts of the course, some entered Molesworth Station early, some picked up gear that was waiting at private addresses, some rode as domestiques for others. This was disappointing and lead to a complete lack of enthusiasm for finalising finishing results.

After completing the Tawhio o Whanganui - a far more relaxed brevet style event - I've concluded that results are not important. In fact they can be counter-productive, as they encourage a level of competitive riding which detracts from a truly fine cycle tour. This year we have two optional sections which I hope will mess with the instinct to complete the course as fast as possible.

A really great dirt brevet has a challenging time component, but that is only one small element of what defines success in this event. If there were 'winners' in the inaugural Kiwi Brevet, I would say they were the riders who exceeded their expectations and shared their adventures with others (through photos, blogs, amusing call-ins and articles, etc). If you can meet some of the locals, enjoy some great food and scenery; and finish uninjured with a little bit left in the tank, then you have done very well indeed! And if you enjoy the company of fellow breveteers - deepening old friendships or developing new - you've really hit the jackpot.

The event culture is largely determined by its participants, but the rules lay the groundwork for how the riders tackle the course. With that in mind, here are the rules for 2012.

1. Do it all yourself, under your own steam.

2. Riders must carry all their own gear (i.e. no domestiques, unless you are part of a team).

3. No outside support (deliveries only to public addresses, no support from friends along the way, no support vehicles of any kind meeting you along the way). Prior to the race you may only post supplies to post offices.

4. Follow 100% of the course.

5. It is recommended that riders carry a personal locator beacon, and agree to cover the cost of rescue in the event they need to be evacuated.

6. Riders must not complete the course in less than 4 days (This event is not about finding the fastest rider).

7. Riders must finish in under 8 days. That is, by noon on Sunday the 9th Feb.

8. Between 9am one day and 9am the next, every rider must spend at least one block of at least six hours not travelling. That is, the maximum time any rider may spend travelling along the course will be 18 hours (between each 9am-to-9am period)."

9. When on public roads, follow the NZ Road Code.

10. Text-ins are to be made from designated towns along the route until you either finish or abandon the brevet. Tweet your texts to 8987, or text event HQ on 027 284 5599.

11. Riders must observe all rules laid down by land mangers along the route (such as the Department of Conservation). Riders must not camp or light fires in the McDonald Downs Station section or the North Bank of the Wairau forest section of the course.

In the event of Rainbow Station being closed, riders are to proceed through the Molesworth Station. Please note that Rainbow Station (about three quarters of the way between Hamner and St Arnaud) is closed during the hours of darkness. The dogs at the homestead will wake the manager if you go past after dark.

In the unlikely event that the private forest on the North bank of the Wairau is closed, riders should proceed directly down the valley on the highway.

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