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Tour of New Zealand ideas

There’s something simple and luxurious, maybe even privileged about being able to ride your bike. Riding with friends and strangers alike, it’s a wondrous joy. But I can’t help think that the Tour of New Zealand could have been so much better.

I’ve some Tour of New Zealand ideas. If it weren’t for using Adventure South, and especially having Richard Mortiboys as our guide, the Tour of New Zealand would have been chaos.

Whilst there were so many things right with the Tour, there were so many things that need improvement, or overhaul. Let us start with the positives.

1, The scenery: What’s not to love about NZ’s great scenery.

2, Riders: Riding your bike every day is a privilege. And should be seen as one.

3, South Island roads rock. Quiet and scenic, that’s what makes a good race/ride.

4, Small charities rely on events such as this, and the Yarrells do an amazing job. As did Mike Pollok. This event alone raised close to $500k. The world would be a lesser place without that money.

What should be/can be fixed.

Most of the fixes are small, and achievable.

1, The event needs to decide whether it’s a cycling event or charity ride. Whether both can be done at the same time, well who knows. But this conflict marred the event. It’s trying to be everything to everyone and fails.

The charity aspect is amazing. They raise lots of money for lesser-known charities. And goodness knows they need the cash. But, and it’s a big but, this is at the expense of the race.

For riders that came from overseas, the shortened days decided on the fly, the poor handbook, and poor logistics made for a stressful event. With the situation so fluid, no one really knew what was happening. Riders were promised an average of 90kms/day or 630km over the week.
What riders really experienced was 435kms over the course of the week or 62km/day. Not nearly long enough.

2, Unless the weather is so atrocious, stages should be as described in the handbook.

3, The handbook should be detailed, with distance and elevation accurate.

4, A logistics company to run the show. This needs an entire overhaul. An events company needs to take control of the organising and day to day running.

5, Feed stations should be in place, especially important for the slower riders.

With all this said, would I do it again, hell yes!
All of the staff are volunteers, that has to be applauded. With limited resources, they do a fantastic job. I Feel that the money chartering a plane would have been better spent on the small things, as mentioned above.

Perhaps one suggestion is to run the event annually, one year on the South Island, the next on the North. They could also take a leaf out of The Haute Route’s book, and run a similar event, or Haute Route could run one.

New Zealand is crying out for more cycling events, and one of this calibre would highlight the stunning attributes of NZ.



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