Day 3 and the front of the field is seeing some intense action as the weather plays out its hand.
Any activity in the outdoors in New Zealand must contend with the weather. Changeable and even unpredictable it can defy the seasons and play havoc. Where you are and the time of year (summer/winter?) are factors to take into account.
Plan as you may, mother nature doesn't always sign up to the same rules and can even show complete disregard. The Great Southern Brevet is as much about celebrating the nature of the Lower South Island as about personal challenge.
How to contend with this change? The ride was set for a time of year normally associated with dry settled conditions. The course does take people into remote areas but with the timing, and riders preparations for the course, all should play out as planned.
Combined with the self-sufficiency ethos is decision making. Riders should never proceed into a situation that presents real risks. Be it crossing a swollen river or a snow covered range. Find a safe place and sit it out. The decision must be an individuals in this very individual event.
Having said that there are measures to decrease risk or mitigate it. Some may have not seen the need for carrying a locator beacon, but they are proven to increase your chances of getting help when most needed.
The situation as it currently stands is conditions are set to improve on the Old Man Range. It is however, not adviseable to proceed (this possibility was made clear in the information provided to riders). I have spoken to the lead group bar Ian and they are taking the right steps.
Riders approaching the situation are advised to check conditions before continuing. Given there are 5 more days, the alternate route will not be activated unless conditions remain unchanged or deteriorate over the next 36 hours.
The field is largely in good spirits (save a few sore bums and the odd knee joint) and tomorrow will present new challenges.