Monday, 23 May 2011

Start date and what a scenic start!

Midday (12 Noon) on the 21st of January, 2012 at the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of beautiful Lake Tekapo marks the start of your 2012 Great Southern Brevet adventure.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo

Have been working to coordinate the start date with a few other events and also to avoid the crowded roads and accommodation of the holiday season. The 21st to the 29th (Saturday Midday to the following Sunday Midday) of January seems to be the best compromise. Pressure should be easing from the peak holiday period, and although few secondary roads are used during the ride, accommodation could be a challenge otherwise. Weather wise it should be settling with fairly warm weather down low but still cool at altitude.

The first day of the ride begins with long flat stretches leading into a gentle climb to the high point (Monty's Saddle) and then downhill to Otematata. With extended daylight hours riders should manage the journey through Black Forest and Benmore well before dark.

So pencil it in your calendar and hope to see you on the shores of Lake Tekapo in 2012.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Food and accommodation?

A few people have commented on how challenging the route will be and that there are few places for food and accommodation.

The route was selected to be an adventure and to highlight the Mackenzie Country and Central Otago. However it was carefully planned to also allow options to re-stock supplies and have varying levels of accommodation from camping to motels/hotels.

Although riders of Brevets have noted that a day pack and an EFTPOS/Credit Card would be all you need, the Great Southern Brevet visits high altitudes and remote places so traveling that light is not encouraged. A few legs have been designed to ensure a bit of planning effort, and judging of personal fitness and ability are required. This is part of the adventure, a little uncertainty goes a long way to making a challenge ;-)

So if you are keen to do your own planning and map your own adventure then you may not want to read below, but to help those hesitant rest assured you shouldn't starve or go without a bed with a little planning. Some days you will enjoy a morning latte with Rail Trail riders and others a sip from your camelbak with just the spectacular view. Below is a sample of options and locations:

Tekapo - 4 Square supermarket and accommodation options from campgrounds to 5 star hotels
Otematata - small store, campground with small shop as well
Omarama - medium size store, petrol station, cafes, campgrounds to motels
Oturehura - pub, rail trail accommodation options
Lauder - small store
Omakau - 4 Square supermarket, summer campground and rail trail accommodation options
Wanaka - New World supermarket and accommodation options from campgrounds to 5 star hotels
Cardrona - historic pub and accommodation
Cromwell - lots of fresh fruit! New World supermarket and accommodation options from campgrounds to motels
Garsten - pub, cafe and hotel
Athol - cafe/shop
Lumbsden - 4 Square supermarket, shop, cafe, various accommodation options
Waikaia - small shop, Piano Flat DOC campground
Old Man Range - DOC huts
Alexandra - more fresh fruit! New World supermarket and accommodation options from campgrounds to motels
Poolburn - pub
Middlemarch - shop, cafe and various accommodation options
Ranfurly - 4 Square, small shop, pub, campground and motels/hotels
Naseby - small shop, cafes and campground, motels and historic pubs
Kyeburn Diggings - historic pub
Dansey's Pass - campground
Duntroon - cafe and summer campground
Kurow - shop, cafe and various accommodation options