This is NOT an XC race ;) This will be a 6 day enduro event, where climbs are untimed and descents are timed. Expect a range of 4-6hrs on your bike per day with several timed sections throughout each day. Times will be added together over the span of the 6 days to get your overall result at the end of the event. Progressive daily times will be announced during dinner and briefing each evening.
South Island of NZ. This spectacular scenic 6 day event will start in Christchurch and finish in famous Queenstown picking some of the best riding on the South Island. You will be based in the Canterbury area for 2 nights before moving on to Queenstown where you will be based for 5 nights. Return transport back to Christchurch is included in registration or you can choose to stay in Queenstown longer, which is the best option and fly out of Queenstown to save the 7hr shuttle ride back to Christchurch.
SKILL LEVEL / EXPERIENCE:
Riders are required to have a strong mountain biking background with enough endurance and fitness to get you through 6 back to back days of 3-6hrs of riding each day. You are required to have solid technical single track skills. The trails and courses will be a vast variety throughout the 6 days - some faster, smoother flowier days, some technical steeper rootier days, some open terrain rock slab trail riding and everything in between.
Most trails are from harder blue's to black trails
Expect to climb 900m-1500m each day
Expect to ride 20-30km's each day
Expect 4-6 stages per day that range from 3mins in length to 15mins in length each
Here is the good news.....you WON'T have to camp in a tent! Yes that's right, during this 6 day event you will be put up in backpacker style accommodation, with a nice clean, warm, dry bed to come back to at the end of each hard day of riding. We will provide 7 nights of accommodation - the night before the race starts and then every day of the event.
The first 2 nights:
Riders will be at Craigieburn (1hr 15mins from Christchurch) where you stay in a mixture of accommodation based on your package -
Alistair Lodge which is backpacker/bunk style accommodation and for those on the Pamper Twin Share package, you will be in private houses at Castle Hill Village
The remaining 5 nights:
Everyone will be at Pinewood Lodge in Queenstown in backpacker/bunk style accommodation and private twin and double shared rooms
Cooked breakfast and full dinners will be provided everyday along with on-course snacks and sandwiches for lunches each day.
TRANSPORT / SHUTTLES:
We provide Christchurch Airport Pickups on arrival day to be taken 1hr 15mins into the mountains for the start locations. We then provide return shuttles from Queenstown (event finish location), back to Christchurch Airport on departure day (but recommend you fly out of Queenstown to save you the 7hr shuttle back to Christchurch. We don't provide Queenstown Airport shuttles at the completion of the event as all our vans head back to Christchurch, but its only $20 to book the airport shuttle in town. All the riders will be emailed all the details they need to know in regards to this in the lead up to the event.
We will be using the sportident timing system. Its highly accurate with instant results!
Do I need to wear a full face helmet?
No you don't. The choice is up to you. A helmet must be worn at all times. Knee pads are highly recommended. You will be out there for 3-5hrs each day so up to you if you want to take a full face along with you. Trails are intermediate with some advanced sections. I more details breakdown of what to expect will be included in the full info guide that will be sent out to you early February.
Where do I fly into and by what time?
You would fly into Christchurch airport (CHC). We can pick you up from the Airport if needed on arrival day. You will be taken on a 1hr 15min drive to Flock Hill Lodge. Dinner will be at 7pm and the mandatory race briefing after dinner. So flight arrivals need to be no later then 4pm. You will need to arrive the day before if you can't find a flight that arrives before this time.
What if I arrive earlier?
If you fly in a day or 2 earlier, then I am going to recommend staying at YMCA hostel or a hotel close to there in downtown. We will then do transport pick ups from this location on arrival day around late morning to take you to Flock Hill (the start location).
You have the option to stay in Queenstown after the event or get a ride back to Christchurch with the returning buses on departure day. You will need to book flights out from 5pm afterwards, any earlier and you won't make your flight. You can also check flights from Queenstown to Christchurch as you can get those pretty cheap if you prefer not to get the bus back. The bus is 6+hrs so the best option is to stay in Queenstown and fly out of Queenstown!
Bike Box's - where do they go?
Once you arrive, you get taken to Flock Hill. You will put your bikes together and then your bike box/bag will get loaded on to a truck. They get stored in Christchurch until you return so you won't see them again for the 5 days. If you are staying in QT after the event and not returning to Christchurch then we make sure we bring those down there with us for you so you have at the end of the event.
Where will we be staying?
Nights 1 and 2 you will be in the Craigieburn area. You will be in Air Bnb Style holiday homes which is a combination of bunk bed dorm rooms and twin share rooms.
Nights 3, 4, 5 and 6 will all be at Pinewood Lodge in Queenstown which is a combo of backpacker/bunkbed style buildings to twin and triple share rooms. Its a 2 min pedal to town and 500m to the base of QT Gondola. A sweet location that has it all and keeps you all together.
How much luggage can I bring?
Your bike bag (that will be stored during the event). Your riding/day pack and 1 x large luggage/duffle bag for your clothes, sleeping bag, etc. Please be mindful of the volunteers that will be helping transport your luggage bags and do not make them over 40pds/20kgs.
What tools should I bring?
To keep things simple and light, just bring tools that you would essentially need out on trail. Eg allen keys, shock pump, spare tubes, hanger for your bike. Other major tools like pedal wrenches can be brought to put your bikes together but can be left in your bike bag for the week. Hub tools, cassette tools, bb tools, floor pumps etc don't need to be bought as we will have those on hand for you to use
What mechanical support is there during the 6 days?
There are no bike shops for the first 2 days of the event while in the mountains. There will be basic tools for you to use to fix any of your own mechanicals, so be safe out there. Once we get to Queenstown end of day 2, then we have partnered with Vertigo Bike Shop for you to drop bikes that need repairs in there and they will fix overnight if possible. There are also ample other bike shops within Queenstown for any supplies needed
How fit or how good of a technical rider do I need to be?
Be prepared to be on the bike for 3-5hrs each day at a casual/average pace (with timed stages obviously being at a hard pace if you choose to!). The terrain is going to vary a great deal over the 5 days to provide you with a bit of every type of riding. If you have solid technical skills on a bike you will be fine. Some days will be fast and flowier, some a steeper, rootier and more technical and others dryer and looser. For the most part the trails are just super fun with enough challenge in them to keep all level of riders challenged. If you are concerned on your tech level then just email me, but any steeper sections of trail you can just choose to get off and walk down and then continue on your fun journey!
What medical / first aid will be on course?
There will be first aid marshals on course on their bikes with minimal supplies to be first on call to any scene. There will then be backup first aid in a truck with extra supplies that will be called if needed and based on the position of the injured will determain how fast they can repsond and get there. Note that day 1 and 2 is about 1.5hrs to any hospital (after you get extracted from a trail). It is more remote it will be a heli out if there is any major injury - so please keep this mind with your riding/racing speed and decision making out on the trail!
Power Supplies - what if I need to charge my mobile phone or gopro etc?
You will have power outlets in your rooms each night. Please not that those riders at Allistair Lodge on the first 2 nights will have limited power access as its run off a generater! The last 4 nights you will all have power access in your rooms.