The Route

2018 edition will be held on 17th and 18th of Nov on the back roads and tracks of the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

Conditions could not have been more perfect for the third running of Le Petit Brevet. Dry, calm and for Saturday anyway, a glorious cloud cover that prevented riders getting burnt to a crisp.

Thirty six riders faced the daunting task of a 300 km route pock marked with incessantly steep climbs on some of the Peninsulas Roads (8000 m in all) and some rough, at times un-rideable single track and 4-wheel drive tracks thrown in for good measure.

Why? A question I’m sure many of us asked many times over the course of the event, but in reality, for the comradeship, the beautiful surroundings and the mere challenge of completing such a daunting task.

Mood was chippa at the traditional meeting point – Hansen Park, and with time keeping that would see most Olympic officials completely horrified, we set off at 8 am ‘around the dot’! It was great too see both Rod and Geof lining up for their third successive Le Petit Brevet. No single speeders or cyclocrosses this year, obviously both fads that have seen their time; however, for the second year in a row, a tandem was in the field with Jon and Mel looking eager and ready to get on with it.

The pace seemed less furious up Rapaki than in previous years as the bunch slowly made their way up. There was no chance for coffee at Dyers Pass either, the café earmarked as another earthquake victim.

The first ‘real’ climb of the day came from Purau as riders weaved their way up to Purau Saddle before veering right and beginning the long off-road section traversing the Monument and Double Fence Line tracks. The distance and altitude gain are daunting enough in themselves, however it’s the rough off-road sections, with multiple dismounts and very slow progress that really define the Brevet to me.

Most would have been relieved to make it to Little River, happy that the worse was behind them, and make use of the two excellent cafes on offer before the relentless climbs of Reynolds Valley and Pipers Valley Roads. Incidentally, Joe was caught talking on his mobile twice (while riding) on the Monument Track and Piper Valley Climb. He told me he was a geologist of some sorts however I’m sure he moonlights as an international money trader.

Mean while Jon and Mel on their tandem melted their brake pads on the descent down Harmans and Jubilee, but showing true grit (and perhaps a little stupidness) pushed on via a wee detour to descend Purple Peak in the dark with a front brake only. They are still alive and still together you will be pleased to know.

The water at Little Akaloa had its usual warning that it wasn’t fit for consumption, but it’s definitely gone down hill from previous years. The meagre trickle, despite being treated with iodine and isotonic solutions still tasted like it had come directly from the rear end of a bovine, as it probably did. It tasted so foul I stopped a bit later on and added more of everything.

Double Dutch Backpackers had the vacancy sign out and I wondered how long that would last as Big Hill Road loomed. As always, it didn’t disappoint and the reward was a cool breeze on the summit road which saw participants diving into their bags for warm clothes. Once the rocky unridable section was over with, Purple Peak was a breeze and Akaroa with its shops and restaurants a welcome site after a very long day of riding – although due to the distance from the start, the shops and restaurants were of dubious use to most due to the late hour of arrival.

Phil Brownie highly recommends the tussocks next to the public toilets in Akaroa for a good cheap night’s accommodation; if he had of looked harder he would have found the remnants of Jurgen’s and my cold pie.

The short Old French Road section was disappointingly closed and controlled by cows, but it gave me a chance to catch up to Joe and Jurgen. However Joe then saw the next hill (Okains Rd.) and chomping at the bit, left me trailing an ever decreasingly small red light, something Jurgen did to me on Port Levy Saddle a bit later in the night. Incidentally, Hamish and Richard can point out a good road side sleeping spot near the top of Port Levy Rd. if you ever feel like a weekend away with the family.

To some the Rail Trail and the Canterbury Plans was a blessing in disguise, to others it just seemed to prolong the agony. Neil probably hated it the most and after 4 punctures (his tools had rubbed through all of his spare tubes), and a broken pump, he hitched a ride back to the start… with only the flat bit and one wee bump to go. Good enough for a finish in my books.

Special mention must also go to Alastair McDowell. Previous longest ride…wait for it… 90 km! I’m not too sure what Alastair was thinking but he managed to ride the entire course in 34 hours and 45 minutes!

All up we raised $800 for Hinewai Reserve… a fantastic result. I know Hugh (an avid cyclist himself and caretaker of the reserve) will be stoked. If you get the chance and feel like a slightly more relaxed day or weekend away on the Peninsula, the walking trails of Hinewai are definitely worth a visit.

Happy cycling, and hope to see you back next year,


Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 - The Day After

Congrats to all who completed and/or partially completed this weekends Le Petit Brevet. This year was a hard nut to crack - they always are, but personally I felt that this may have been the hardest... or maybe that's because my confidence levels become more inversely proportional to my training levels every year!

I got home and into a hot bath at about 7 am on Sunday morning and consequently fell asleep. I was tempted to call in sick today (I've called in sick for feeling a lot better) but couldn't bring myself to doing it - it was self inflicted after all. I was determined never ever to do another Brevet while I slogged my around what must be the largest selection of steep / gnarly hills in New Zealand, and the third Le Petit Brevet was definitely going to be the last. However, time does amazing things and even now, typing on my computer on my couch feeling terrible, I can reminisce about the 'fun' that I had in the weekend. Remember.... it doesn't have to be 'fun' to be fun!

I hope I got everyone's times right, let me know if there are any corrections. Also if you have any words, blogs, photos etc. to share, fire me an email and I'll make sure that they are available for all. I'll be posting some sort of wrap up in the coming days. And thank you for all your donations to Hinewai Reserve... I know Hugh (an avid cyclist himself and caretaker at Hinewai) is always grateful of the size-able donation we give. I can't actually tell you how much we raised yet.... as it is sitting in a friends house along with the start list. The thought of riding over there to get it just isn't appetizing at the moment. And if you still want to donate, I can let you know my bank details and I will make sure that it is included in the total.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2012 Photos

If you have any pics from this years event, fire them through and I'll throw them up on the blog.

Photos: Tim Mulliner, Hamish Southcott, Any Beale

2012 Results

Final Results - Not too sure if the riders with a blank started...but will figure that out soon when I am reunited with the start list. Congrats to all!

  Time (Hours:mins)  
Scott Shaw Abandoned  
Brad Flavall Abandoned  
Hank Van Til Abandoned  
Geof Blance 00:33:08  
Jon Jarrett & Mel Jarrett (Tandem) 00:26:00 185km
Brian Kearns 00:34:57 260km
Trent Williams Abandoned  
John Lube 00:30:54  
Josh Harris 00:16:43 200km
Naomi Whitehead 00:16:43 200km
Sam Manson 00:16:43 200km
Rob Lord 00:16:43 200km
James Block 00:14:00 170km
Richard Scott 00:26:47  
Tim Mulliner 00:21:54  
Peter Maindonald 00:29:10  
Jurgen Muller 00:21:12  
Hamish Southcott 00:26:03  
Rod Vardy 00:26:47  
sandra appleby 00:34:04 270km
Phil Pickering 00:34:04 270km
Nathan Mawkes Abandoned  
Michi Speck 00:23:59  
Richard Duncan Abandoned  
Lee Maddox 00:33:50  
David Cooper 00:26:17  
Alastair McDowell 00:34:45  
Phil Brownie 00:37:30 231km
Ken Scott 00:33:08  
Andy Beale 00:24:32  
Carl Bevins 00:24:32  
Jason Flood Abandoned  
Milan Brodina 00:20:37  
Daniel Jessop 00:30:54  
Joe Jagusch 00:27:25  
Neil Charters 00:32:00  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

3 days and counting

Not long to go now. Bike serviced and cleaned (and dirty again), body ready for a break from the office, weather looking bearable, roll on Saturday. Everyone should have received two course updates by now (Monument track and Sabys Rd. bridge). Apologies for omitting some of you from the original mail out of course notes, but hopefully that's all sorted now.

See you at Hanson Park for the 8am kick off. Don't forget to bring some dosh for the Hinewa   Reserve collection, a bucket will be passed around before kick off.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Route Notes Emailed

I have just emailed out the course notes to all who have signed up. If you haven't received them and wish to ride, please flick me an email. For those that have registered their intent to ride, let me know if that intent changes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monument Track Sunday 4th Nov

James and I checked out the Monument track this morning - pretty cold after lasts night snow. The descent to the Western Valley Rd. is pretty rough and we had a bit of difficulty finding the route down initially. Some pics below.
Monument track from the Purau Port Levy Rd.
High up on the Monument Track.

Will be emailing out the course notes later this week. Tim