Monday, 30 January 2017

Final word

The final word goes to Russ:

Date: 28/01/2017 10:11 am
Subject: SMS with Russell Lory
Final txt in from church of the good Shepard... thanks to you Dave fora great event, cheers Russ

Another GSB comes to a close

Last man standing. Russ rewarded with the best weather of the week to finish at the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shore of Lake Tekapo. Great Southern Brevet 2017 Edition is done.

Top effort, especially with only one good ankle! — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.
 
And the repair held! NZ baling twine has a few uses off the farm. And it is bio-degradable, so an environmentally sound repair material :-) — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

What wind?

This short video will bring tears to the eye of many a Great Southern Brevet rider. Shot at Dog Kennel Corner, the last turn and 15 kms to go to Tekapo. Why tears you ask? Not a breath of wind! No howling gale to ride into. If only every rider got to experience it

video

Million dollar view

Stunning morning to be riding into Tekapo with views that are this easy on the eyes. Sefton at centre in white and the massif just poking above to the right is Mt. Cook. The Great Southern Brevet turns it up for the last rider on course.

Go Russ.

Resourceful Russ

In case you are wondering what sort of resourcefulness it takes to complete a Great Southern Brevet, check this out. Russ has done 80 kms so far on his tyre repair (over a high country pass on gravel road!)

Split tyre bead, with baling twine to hold the tyre on the rim!

Good for another 30 kms on tarmac to get to Tekapo?

The end is near

As Russ nears Tekapo a certain song comes to mind written by a fellow Canadian:

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain


I've lived a life that's full
I've traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way

Enough of the wind alright!

Jane, Richard and Rob finally get to put their feet up after a tough last few kms into the head wind.

Another brilliant morning for the Great Southern Brevet!

Another brilliant morning in Tekapo. A few showers overnight and the 'gentle' nor'wester to keep riders honest to the end. Pascal and Dean complete the loop.

Pascal and Dean arrive to a rapturous welcome. Matt Hughes was the only one clapping so does that still qualify as rapturous? — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

Dean just can't part with his bike after 930kms — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

Dean sporting helmet hair for the obligatory finish line photo. — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

Not that we would advocate you ride one of these 1000kms through the mountains.... but a vintage early 90's Giant hard-tail with v-brakes. And this is it's second complete Great Southern Brevet!!

Pascal explains how much more exciting it is descending off the Cainmuir Range with just v-brakes to slow you down! — with Michael Hoogeveen, Andrew Scott and Matt Hughes at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

And on into the night

An small interruption to the serious business of recovery for the Great Southern Brevet riders in Tekapo. Out to welcome Phil Petersen back to where it began.

Day 5 morning finishers

This mornings finishers enjoying the sunshine and relatively light wind into Tekapo. Happy to be done and very dusty.

Date: 26 January 2017 at 10:31
Subject: SMS with Andrew Scott
Tekapo 10.30 am Thurs. TOAST

Date: 26 January 2017 at 10:34
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian has finished on his own. Shame about the drunken louts in kurow

Last nights finishers switch to waiting duty for the riders wanting to able to see where they finish (in daylight that is). — with Michael Hoogeveen and Matt Hughes at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

Ian Huntsman rolls into Tekapo to throngs of welcoming onlookers. Well OK, Matt Hughes and Michael Hoogeveen heckling from the lawn makes is more a Great Southern Brevet greeting! — at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

video

 Riding into Tekapo on a summers day. Finally the weather comes to the party. — with Wendy Riach, Andrew Scott and Nathan Mawkes at Church Of The Good Shepherd.

video

Another riders sneaks in past midnight

With excellent riding conditions last night (no wind and cool temperature of 12 degrees), and a little touch of competition, Pete rolls in just past midnight.

Date: 26 January 2017 at 08:19
Subject: SMS with Peter Maindonald
Peter M checking in from the finish, rolled in 12:15am, pushed the last 100km by Matt & Hooge. Thanks for all the effort you put into this Dave. Maybe one year we get "normal" conditions ...

Nocturnal finishers

Matt Hughes and Michael Hoogeveen decide it is all in and are off to Tekapo. A big day out with 270+ kms in total from Middelmarch to Tekapo. They arrive just shy of 1:00am.

Date: 26 January 2017 at 00:56
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Made it back to tekapo

Want to buy a bike? Only ridden to the pub a couple of times ;-) — with Michael Hoogeveen.

Tired? I could go another round. — with Matt Hughes.




Riders vist McCaw Country

Kurow becomes a hive of activity with Great Southern Brevet riders hitting town and fueling up for the final leg. Big decision to be made: go for a finish tonight (very late and in the dark) or have a night in the Hakataramea and finish in daylight?

Date: 25 January 2017 at 17:47
Subject: SMS with Peter Maindonald
Peter M checking in from Kurow, crossed the river on A to O, couldn't find trail or sign, WTF returned to road...

Date: 25 January 2017 at 18:13
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Arrived Kurow, only one stage remains 🙂

Date: 25 January 2017 at 18:51
Subject: SMS with Matthew Hughes
Beers and nachos is Kurow. 😄

Date: 25 January 2017 at 20:23
Subject: SMS with Andrew Scott
Kurow, contemplating. Andre Scott

Date: 25 January 2017 at 20:23
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and Wendy are enjoying kurow hospitality in the top pub. Beautiful ride through danseys pass

Preparing to leave the Kurow Pub

2000 ft above worry level


The short detour around Naseby offered a break from the wind and some cruisey riding mid afternoon.

Finally somewhere without the worries of the last few days on the Great Southern. — in Naseby, New Zealand  .

Cruising the Mt Ida Water Race in Naseby Forest (with the trees!) — at Naseby Forest Recreation Area.
 
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Cruising the Mt Ida Water Race in Naseby Forest (without the trees! Glimpses of the Kakanui Mountains and Ida Range). — at Naseby Forest Recreation Area. 

video


Not quite warm enough for a swim — with Wendy Riach and Ian Huntsman at Swimming Dam Naseby.
 

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

Dean, Pascal and Phil Petersen finding shade on the Otago Rail Trail at Prices Creek Tunnel. The tunnel curves around the hill as you ride and is the only tunnel on the trail lined with bricks.

video

Russ enjoys Thierry and Annemarie's trail magic

Not all bad at the back of the pack as Russell discovers with double trail magic ;-)

Date: 25 January 2017 at 23:12
Subject: SMS with Russell Lory
In Middlemarch... (thanks for the left over beer Dave) ... Russ

The Welcome Sign in Middelmarch

And more finishers!

With the great weather more groups making progress throughout the day.

Date: 25 January 2017 at 13:50
Subject: SMS with Rob Halliday
Rob, Jane and Richard 'the slow movement' in ranfurly all well not enjoying head wind!

Date: 25 January 2017 at 14:50
Subject: SMS with Pascal Saker
Pascal and dean in middle march

And more finishers arriving in Tekapo during daylight this time! Well done Fleur Pawsey, Dean Ford and Linda Wensley.

Date: 25 January 2017 at 16:13
Subject: SMS with Fleur Pawsey
Fleur and Dean, made it to Tekapo 3.30pm. Stoked to be here, wind kept things honest right to the very end. Thanks for putting on a good adventure!

Date: 25 January 2017 at 19:49
Subject: SMS with Linda Wensley
Hi dave made it to tekapo. Yahoo. That was huge. Thanks sp much for all your organising and reorganising in such dynamic weather. Awesome. Look forward to catching up on stories some time. L

Danseys Pass Update

Good to hear Danseys Pass Road is back in shape quickly and free of vehicles for the near future so purpose built for bikepacking :-)

Date: 25 January 2017 at 16:44
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
All work complete on danseys pass Rd.
Crews are gone.
Gate probably open in the morning, but clear for bikes


Still closed to vehicles, Danseys Pass Road

Wind is the talking point today

The sunshine is welcome but perhaps not the wind. Riders get down to business with the end in sight.

Date: 25 January 2017 at 10:35
Subject: SMS with Linda Wensley
In kurow and readying for the ride back to tekapo

Date: 25 January 2017 at 10:49
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Changeable wind conditions, but here we are in Ranfurly.
Leg 9 ends.

Date: 25 January 2017 at 11:33
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and Wendy Are in ranfurly. What did we do to deserve that wind? It was harder than climbing some of the high passes

Date: 25 January 2017 at 11:47
Subject: SMS with Andrew Scott
Relieved to be in Ranfurly Cafe out of zephers. Toot Toot. Anaru Scott

Late Day 4 messages

A couple of late txt messages from Day 4 as riders arrive in the dark.

Date: 24 January 2017 at 21:59
Subject: SMS with Russell Lory
Arrived in Alexandra ... Russ

Date: 24 January 2017 at 23:30
Subject: SMS with Dean Ford
Dean and Fleur very pleased to be in Kurow!

Morning Tea

Morning Tea in Hyde.

Richard, Jane and Rob Halliday enjoy the sunshine before heading into the Upper Taieri Gorge on the Central Otago Rail Trail.

Day 5 has a lazy start for some

Refreshed (after 3 bottles of wine!) and food and a warm, dry bed for the night the riders prepare for the penultimate day for most.

A more relaxed start to the day for Day 5 of the Great Southern Brevet — with Michael Hoogeveen, Matt Hughes, Wendy Riach, Ian Huntsman and Thierry Jutel in Middlemarch, New Zealand.


Chomping at the bit to get going. And to take advantage of the change in wind direction. Fingers crossed tailwind (and no rain) all the way to Hyde. — with Michael Hoogeveen, Andrew Scott, Wendy Riach and Ian Huntsman in Middlemarch, New Zealand.

Trail Magic

A superb example of Trail Magic last night as 9 riders enjoyed the hospitality of Thierry Jutel and AnneMarie at their abode in Middlemarch. A very welcome respite after a 180+ kms day.

All washed up (freshly showered that is), the group gather in the lounge for a photo. A few tired faces?


The only Single Speed!

Phil Petersen enjoying the ride across Rocklands Road after a tailwind on the Old Dunstan Road.

And more finishers on Day 4

A little later (and nudging into the next day!) Rob Davidson finished followed a couple of hours later by Dave Sharpe and Clifford Wellington.

Date: 25 January 2017 at 00:39
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Just finished. Tough end to a long day. Very satisfying when all is said and done😀Rob D

Date: 25 January 2017 at 01:52
Subject: SMS with Dave Sharpe
Doneburger - awesome stuff out there, and a stiff breeze to finish things off. Cheers all!

First finisher!

And the first finishers of the severely weather affected 2017 Great Southern Brevet arrived in Lake Tekapo as the light faded on Day 4.

Hats off to Matty Graham for an above and beyond effort in challenging conditions.
At the front of the field he had to contend with riding into the unknown on more than one occasion.

First the Herculean effort of riding over Duffers Saddle to the Nevis only to discover it impassable and having to ride back up Duffers Saddle (1300 meters) the next morning.

And later Matty was first to come across slips on Danseys Pass Road and had to negotiate, carefully, around the slips and washouts.

Date: 24 January 2017 at 21:01
Subject: SMS with Matty Graham
Thats a wrap

Riders making good progress

A busy evening on Day 4 of the Great Southern Brevet as riders tackled the Old Dunstan Road to Middlemarch.

Date: 24 January 2017 at 19:36
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Phil in M. March. Hot and windy!!! :)

Date: 24 January 2017 at 20:37
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Arrived in Middlemarch
Loved most of today.
Was great to be on rideable route all day 😊

Date: 24 January 2017 at 22:34
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and Wendy are in middlemarch. Windy but a tail wind. Unbelievable

Traffic Jam Upper Taieri Style

Matt Hughes waiting for traffic to clear in the busy Upper Taieri. The locals sound a bit put off by it all. First the rain and now having to move to a different eating spot.

video

Improving weather

Conditions are still good midfield and those riders are clocking up the kilometers as the forecast showers, threatened, haven't yet produced. Temperature is a comfortable 19 degrees.

Date: 24 January 2017 at 14:11
Subject: SMS with Linda Wensley
In middlemarch at last! will head to ranfurly at some stage.

Date: 24 January 2017 at 14:23
Subject: SMS with Dean Marshall
Dean M in Alex
All good

Date: 24 January 2017 at 15:15
Subject: SMS with Russell Lory
Arrived in Cromwell... Russ

Date: 24 January 2017 at 15:20
Subject: SMS with Pascal Saker
Pascal is in alex

Messages from the riders about the flooding

Oh Dear!

Well not exactly what came to mind when the txt from Matty arrived. More like .......

Date: 24 January 2017 at 12:31
Subject: SMS with Matty Graham
Dansys pass road is closed. I managed to sneek through but tye contractors were not overly happy about it.
Main concern is unstable slip at top of pass and washes out box culverts on duntroon side

and then Rob added a little bit more:

Date: 24 January 2017 at 15:11
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Hi. Rob D here. A section of the a2o is closed due to flooding. Riding the highway as the sign said please..😆

Date: 2017-01-24 15:11 GMT+13:00
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Last bit to Kurau

Date: 24 January 2017 at 15:12
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Matty may have mentioned..
Seems the aftermath of the storm is substantial.

News coverage of the flooding

More stories on the flooding around the area. The rainfall was the worse many people had seen in at least 8 years. Does that mean the next 3 Great Southern Brevets will be sunny and dry?

Otago Daily Times story on the flooding (click on link below)

River Trail Cruising

How about a gentle morning ride before grabbing breakfast at the Courthouse Cafe in Alex. Great Southern Brevet riders enjoy the easy pace in the dappled morning light on the Centennial River Trail from Clyde to Alex.

video

Morning Descent

Descending off the Cairnmuir Range towards Clyde and Alexandra on a brilliant Central Otago morning on the Great Southern Brevet.

video

Better weather and better riding

Assume there was a break in the riding Phil Petersen after checking in at midnight in Oturehua.
The crisp but clear morning made for some excellent riding conditions. You'd swear riders were enjoying themselves ;-)

Date: 24 January 2017 at 00:05
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Phil in Oturehu. Cheers


Date: 24 January 2017 at 07:46
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Omakau. This is where I will break from the course and head towards the poolburn>Middlemarch leg. Cheers

Date: 24 January 2017 at 07:58
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Rob D here. Texting in from Ranfurly. Cold night out. Over putting wet socks on! Great looking day though😀

Date: 24 January 2017 at 08:39
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and Wendy are in Alexandra . I take back all I said in 2014 about the road to Clyde. That was a very pleasant ride

Date: 24 January 2017 at 09:00
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Lovely morning, beautiful sunrise.
Enjoying breakfast at the courthouse Cafe in Alex.
End of leg 5,6 & 7

Great recovery by Matty

Matty puts in a long day after a disappointing start in the Nevis with the flooding making the original route impassable.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 22:21
Subject: SMS with Matty Graham
Middlemarch. Matty
(188km from The Nevis to Middlemarch)

Monday, 23 January 2017

Riders take advantage of the improved weather

Day 3 txt messages. Riders seemed to be back in full brevet mode with some pushing ahead with a long day in the saddle to take advantage of the great weather and daylight hours.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 14:43
Subject: SMS with Dean Marshall
Dean M in Wanaka
All good


Date: 23 January 2017 at 14:49
Subject: SMS with Dean Ford
Fleur and Dean about to leave Alex. Would love to get to Middlemarch in the wee hours, but suspect we might be camping tonight

Date: 23 January 2017 at 14:55
Subject: SMS with Pete Barnes
Arrived Tekapo 2pm after riding Haka Pass from Kurrow. Due back at work tomorrow so my GSB was do ways going to be a short one. Thanks for a great event Dave.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 15:54
Subject: SMS with Jane Liddle
Sunny and windy in Alexandra Lovely alternative route. Richard Jane and Rob heading on.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:20
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Hi Dave, have just seen this message. Im 1/3 up the climb now so reluctant to turn around. Beautiful day up here. Will not attempt to cross any watercourse that is not fully safe. Will check messages again near top. Thanks Phil

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:48
Subject: SMS with Russell Lory
In wanaka, lovely hot day... Russ

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:48
Subject: SMS with Matthew Hughes
In Cromwell getting Indian for t.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:48
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and Wendy are in Cromwell. We're at the Indian by the public toilets by the z ish. Cold climb up the crown range and then the summer Brevet got some use in the gibston and

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:51
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Water levels are dropping fast so you should be OK.

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:52
Subject: SMS with Linda Wensley
Hi dave I'm in alex and heading out. Expect to camp out at poolburn or ford. Linda

Date: 23 January 2017 at 17:59
Subject: SMS with Michael Hoogeveen
Arrived in Cromwell, enjoying the tailwind

GSB2017 Summer Riding Videos :-)

Cruising the Arrow River Bridges Trail on a sunny afternoon. Easy riding compared to the previous two days.

video

A couple of nervous glances over the sides of the Edgar Bridge on the Gibbston River Trail. It's a long way down (without your bungy cord).

video

Summer, Yeah!

Central Otago? Wait a few hours if you don't like the weather.

Summer has arrived in a big way today on the Great Southern Brevet.

Back of the Remarkables and Rabbit Ridge with its fresh dusting of snow and the descent on the right.

Trying to pry Matt and Mike off the lawn at Arrowtown

Cromwell from Duffers Saddle with the snow capped Pisa Range prominent and Cromwell below just right of center. A different view from 8 hours ago!

Hmmm... a curry and 3 more hours to ride tonight. A wise combination?

Sun lifts the mood

A little sunshine creeps into the txt messages as Day 3 warms up the riders (and their mood!).

Date: 23 January 2017 at 09:59
Subject: SMS with Matthew Hughes
Wanamaker and sunny :)

Date: 23 January 2017 at 10:03
Subject: SMS with Wendy Raich
Ian and,Wendy are in wanaka. I thought I had experienced weather. I was wrong. Now I have. A bit confused by the new,route. Hopefully won't be an oops monent

Date: 23 January 2017 at 10:26
Subject: SMS with Phil Petersen
Phil P in Otematata... ta

Date: 23 January 2017 at 11:32
Subject: SMS with Matty Graham
In alex

Date: 23 January 2017 at 11:57
Subject: SMS with Rob Davidson
Just left Alex. Negotiating rail trail riders..

Date: 23 January 2017 at 12:29
Subject: SMS with Linda Wensley
In cromwell and heading for alex. Linda w

But wait. There is sun!

Wait, what's that yellow thing up in the sky?

Yes the sun finally shines on the Great Southern Brevet and even brings out a few smiles from weather beaten riders.

A late breakfast in Cromwell makes for happy riders! — with Dean Ford and Fleur Pawsey in Cromwell
Linda happy to have the snow behind her
Pete with the climb over Crown Saddle done. It's all downhill to the Arrowtown Bakery and a big lunch. 

Nathan with the big climb of the day also done. Crown Range Lookout


Andrew Scott on lead out duties heading out of Cardrona for the Crown Range. Wendy Riach and Ian Huntsman enjoying the ride in unfamiliar temperatures. — in Cardrona, New Zealand.