There is a special cateGORY of ride in the cycling calendar. The SR 600 (Super Randonnee). The time limit for this wee beastie is 60 hours as a Randonneur, or unlimited as a Tourist.
Now, Why is there an open ended limit on this particular ride, you may ask. Well, because the organisers have to fit in 10,000 metres of climbing. If you didn't get that the first time, Ten thousand metres of climbing, in 600kms of distance
Hence, the Whanganui - Sea to Sea SR600
Because there is a preapproval process for the course to occur before the ride can be done, there are two options this year. One is as an official standard 600km course, complete with medal, to be completed in 40 hours.
OR, as a test ride of 600kms in 60 hours, following the rules for a Super Randonnee. As this option is a test ride, there is no medal. This is a "Why not" option.
The layout is slightly different to allow for the possible sleep points.
Both options start and end at the intersection of SH4 and Whanganui River Road. The course needs to start and finish here as moving it further to the city, causes the course to lose 1,000m of climbing. Beats me, but it is the way the route mapper works.
OPTION 1: 600kms - 40 hours
Option 1 heads up Whanganui River Road to Pipiriki. Head over to Rateihi, and then on to Ohakune. Ride up to the top of the Turoa Skifield, and back down into Ohakune. Head East to Waiouru. Waiouru is your last civilisation stop before Hastings, so, make sure you top up in Waiouru. Then head South towards Taihape. Before getting to Taihape, turn left onto Spooners Hill Road, and then onto Te Moehau Road. Te Moehau merges into the Taihape Napier Road. On the other side of the ranges, you will come to Hastings. The first townlet is Omahu. Turn right onto SH50, and then left onto Omahu Road. Follow the course through Hastings and then onto Havelock North. Ride to the top of Te Mata Peak. From here it is all homeward bound. Return back the way you came. On the way back, instead of turning right into Spooner Hill Road, turn left onto Spooners Hill Road, and ride down to Taihape. From Taihape it is a gentler ride back to Waiouru. Waiouru is your last food stop before Whanganui. Just after Tangiwai, turn left onto Wangaehu Valley Road. This leads down to SH4, for the final run to the finish point.
0kms: Intersection of SH4 & Whanganui River Road.
137kms: Ohakune (After Return from Turoa)
317kms: Hastings (BP Station - Intersection Pakowai Rd and Omahu Road)
486kms: Taihape (Mobile Service Station)
606 kms: Whanganui. Sign off at Riverboat Bar & Cafe 448 State Highway 4, Whanganui (if before 9pm).
Ride with GPS course:
Option 2: 600kms - 60 hours
This option is over the same roads but follows the course in reverse, sort of. If that is possible, for an out and back course...
Start at the intersection of SH and Whanganui River Road. Head up SH4 to Kakatahi, and turn right onto Fields Track. This leads onto Whangaehu Valley Road. Turn right onto SH49, towards Waiouru. Waiouru is your first stop, and last stop for food before Hastings.
Head South on SH1, and turn left Spooners Hill Road, at the 110km mark. Follow this road to Hastings. In Hastings, turn left onto Ormond Road (243km). This is just a scenic trip through Oak trees. Follow the back roads to end up behind Splash Planet. Either stop for the nithat the Hastings Holiday park, or conitune on and complete the top of MTe Mata Peak. Follow a straight run through Hastings to get back onto the Taihape-Napier road. Again, turn right, onto Spooner Hill Road, into Taihape. From Taihape head north on SH1, to go through Waiouru, and onto Ohakune. Ride to the Turoa Skifield, and back down to Ohakune. From here, head to Raetihi, and down to Pipiriki. Follow the Whanganui River Road to the SH4 intersection to finish.
Ride with GPS Course:
Notes to this ride:
This ride is a self supporting event. Support crews are not allowed. Checkpoints will not be manned. Checkpoints will be a combination of stamps at specified locations, or photos. Photos must include yourself and the bike, to be accepted for accreditation. Accommodation will also be self arranged. There are no time limits for checkpoints.
Current List of Checkpoints:
Intersection SH4 Whanganui River Road: 0kms
Tangiwai memorial: 83kms
Waiouru 92km: National Army Museum
Springvale Suspension Bridge: 145kms
Ormond Road Oak Trees: 243kms
Te Mata Peak: 262kms
Taihape Gumboot Statue: 418kms
Turoa Skifield: 492kms
Kawana Flour Mill: 569kms
Intersection SH4 Whanganui River Road: 610kms
Ride organiser: Kelvin Spicer 027-368-7266