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Tt2000 2016

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.
So for those who donít already know the rules are simple. Thereís various checkpoints, worth between 1000 and 5000 points, dotted around the South Island. They give you a t-shirt at the start and when you get to one of the checkpoints you have to take a photo of the bike, the landmark and the t-shirt to prove you were there. The target is a minimum 2000km (1243 miles) and 50,000 points by the time you get to the finish point 48 hours later.

The TT2000 is very much about setting your own targets through, in my case I had just two:
  • Pick a route that involved roadís Iíd never ridden before or really enjoyed riding (i.e. bendy)
  • Points are less important but want to score more than 72,000 points (my previous yearís results).

Thereís two start points, one in Dunedin and the other in Picton; this year Iíd plumbed for Picton. Thereís about 50 of us at the start point, Iím the only Spyder rider and so I field the usual questions (and insults) about what itís like to ride, shouldnít you be a car rally instead, etc.

The first Ďeasyí 5000 pointer from here is Hakahaka Bay. However, when Iíd checked it out the day before Iíd met three logging trucks on the narrow twisting road. Chatting with Dave (Triumph Tiger) I made a last minute decision to skip this one as it was too risky for the other riders having a Spyder in the mix on that road.

Finally itís midday and rally starts, and straight away the bikes start heading off in different directions as each person has their own Ďoptimumí route planned. This is the strange part of this rally, sometimes you hardly see another rider on the road but when you get to a checkpoint (or petrol station) itís rare not to bump into someone and exchange a words before heading off in different directions again.

Just coming up to the second checkpoint at Rainbow and the ram mounted old phone I rigged up as a GPS falls off and breaks. A few choice words but itís ok as this was just a backup for my written instructions.

A number of checkpoints are quickly dispatched until I hit Takaka Hill about 4pm. Turns out to be just the right time as the traffic was very light and the few cars I catch up with are locals so quickly pulled over to let me pass. Pushing the Spyder to the limits on this bit as itís too good an opportunity to miss.

Once over the hill another 3 checkpoints are photoíd, the last one being after 2km of gravel as the road has run out. Then it was back the way Iíd come, and another go at Takaka hill, before heading towards the West Coast.

Thereís a good reason why there are rain forests on the West Coast - but evening I spent rubbing dubbin and polish into my old jacket seems to have done the trick. A few more checkpoints ticked off before arriving in Westport with an empty tank only to find the Ďafterhoursí petrol station is out of action and will not be open again until 6am. A security guard appears and sayís theyíll phone to get it fixed but I donít hold out much hope. After some cursing I work out that thereís enough petrol in my spare canís to get to one more checkpoint and back. When I return to Westport at midnight the petrol stations still out of action so call it a night and head for the motel.

5:30am packing up the Spyder and I canít find my written instructions for the second day, must have left them in the motel in Picton. Iím going to have to rely on my memory for the route and location of the checkpoints...ermmm

6am Iím topping up with petrol before heading up to the Mokihinui and Fenian checkpoints. This means travelling the Karamea Road which twists its way through rainforest covered hills, the corners are so tight and twisting you feel you're inside an Escher drawing Ė great way to start the day.

After that itís back down the West Coast until the Roa checkpoint. At this point I decide to skip the 2000 pointer at Kaniere as Iím not a fan of the road between Greymouth and Hokitika. Instead I head eastwards via Arthurs pass to pick up three more 1000 pointers. The ride up to Arthurs Pass township is great but after that itís painful with two lots of roadworks that create long tailbacks of slow vehicles. Of course as soon as youíre past them you have top for a checkpoint - at which point they all get in front of you again.

Turning south on the inland route itís one more checkpoint at Pudding Hill before stopping at Geraldine for a bit of unscheduled indulgence, a coffee and a mutton pie. Then the long ride to Mount Cook for the 5000 pointer before heading onto the checkpoints on Lake Aviemore and Elephant Rock.

Finally start heading north again ticking off Pleasant Point, my first Mystery checkpoint and Clandeboye Ė not forgetting the unscheduled stop at a Police checkpoint in Timaru (why me out of a line of ten vehicles?)
Itís back onto the inland route to avoid SH1 and then ticking my last checkpoint of the day near Oxford. Finally, after 18 hours riding arrive home just after midnight so I can sleep in my own bed. So far 2200kms and 63,000 points.

4:30am and its time to be on the road again, wondering why I think this is fun. Itís a sprint northwards up the coast road past Kaikoura to the second mystery checkpoint at Clarence before and back on the inland route to clean up the last three checkpoints. Fall in with Mark (Africa Twin) for the last couple and shake hands at the final one before heading for the finish.

Get there at 10:30am after 2,857km and notching up 74,000 points. After 2 days of virtually no coffee my hands shaking from caffeine withdrawal which means my score sheet looks like itís been filled in by a spider on a trampoline in an earthquake.
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  1. whatastoner's Avatar
    Great write up there. Next year you'll have to do the lot and carry a spare GPS.
    See you at the start.
  2. PistonBlown's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by whatastoner
    Great write up there. Next year you'll have to do the lot and carry a spare GPS.
    See you at the start.
    I am tempted to go for points next year, only problem is having a belt drive I can't do the off-road stuff so will have to see what the checkpoints are. I 've decided not to bother with GPS but print two copies of my notes:-)
    Yep see you at the start.
  3. bigdogpurplechop's Avatar
    I haven't heard of the TT2000 but I would be interested in doing it next year. How do I find out more about it. Is there a website?
  4. PistonBlown's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by bigdogpurplechop
    I haven't heard of the TT2000 but I would be interested in doing it next year. How do I find out more about it. Is there a website?
    The web site is here:

    I'll warn you now that once you start you'll get totally hooked:-)

    The checkpoints for next years rally will probably be published on the site around Aug/Sept.