Nationwide tour an epic journey

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Hundreds of cyclists will be arriving in Bluff this month as they complete the 2018 Tour Aotearoa-3000km.

Created in 2016, the tour spans the length of New Zealand, following cycle trails, tracks, paths and lanes connected by country roads.

Tour participant Scott Hodges, of Invercargill, rode for 13 days, averaging about 200km per day, he said.

“The tour was awesome, the entire thing was a thrill and I’m so stoked to have been a part of it. It’s the best thing that I’ve ever done on a bike.”

After starting on February 14 (in 28degC weather with 100% humidity) and spending some time with his wife Yvette and children Fraser and Libby (who travelled to meet him near Queenstown), he arrived at the Stirling Point signpost in Bluff at lunchtime on February 27.

Tour Aotearoa-3000km 2018 participant Scott Hodges, of Invercargill, arrives at the walking and cycle track near the Stead Street Wharf on Wednesday, February 27, to commence the final leg of his ride from Cape Reinga, Northland, to Bluff.

Another Southlander, Simon Carroll, who completed the 2016 tour in 13 days, did it again this year in 12 days, arriving in Bluff at about 8pm on February 26 after cycling most of the way with Mr Hodges.

About 600 tour participants left Cape Reinga in six official “waves” starting from February 1.

The self-supported riders who carry their own gear take between 10-30 days to complete the journey and the last should reach Bluff by about March 30.

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