Geoff Embarks on the Tour Aotearoa

Here’s his personal perspective on an amazing ride…

“ Know why you are riding the TA, because during the 3000kms / up to 30 days of riding, you will have many reasons to ask yourself this question!”

That’s sage advice from cycle supremo and ‘inventor’ of the 3000km Tour of Aotearoa route which traverses NZ from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

On February 21st, younger brother Mark and I start with the 5th wave of the tour – along with 100 others. These waves start daily until all 1010 riders get underway. The fastest will finish in 10 days, while everyone else will be seeking to finish within the allotted 30 days. The only other ‘rule’ is that riders must stop for at least 6 hours a day.

Tour-Aotearoa
Tour-Aotearoa
Tour-Aotearoa

The ‘why’ I’m doing this is somewhat difficult to pin down. Of the two opposing reactions I’ve experienced by others – “ You must be crazy!” or “ What a great idea – how do I join?” – this event had immediate appeal. At aged 67 its fair to say that I find staying fit difficult and while my self image is still of someone climbing high mountains, slaying dragons and rescuing damsels in distress, the reality is this event may bookend my past expeditions and trips.

Tour-Aotearoa

Getting ready for the trip hasn’t been easy. Its not just the specialist bike – but all the gear that goes with it. However over the past couple of years I have refined – and bought- the gear I need. Suffering through multi-day brevets has taught me some lessons – the key of which is that I have no ‘natural’ fitness levels and if I don’t train and spend time on my bike seat, – its going to hurt.

So here I am now, less than one week out and underdone with my fitness, but at my age I do know how to suffer, and I probably won’t burst out in tears when I get to face yet another damned hill!

Geoff Gabites

Geoff will be sending us regular photos and stories of his journey, so to keep up to date with his progress, check our the news section of our website regularly.