TT2000 2024 – Riding the Beat!

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1st of October and the details of the 2024 TT2000 were up on the web site. Grabbed the gpx file the photos and the instructions. This year is all about emergency services featuring Police, Fire, and Ambulance. Also looking at some of the mystery photos, Coast Guard.

Also this year there was a route included that would give you the distance and 1,000 points and followed Police stations. After looking at options I took the pussy option and decided on the pre-planned route. Started looking for extras to add the other 1,000 points and also started looking for the mystery check points. Then I discovered that the pre-planned route included a bonus of 1,000 points but only if you did the pre-planned route and in the exact order. This meant no extra checkpoints and could not use the mystery check points so I stopped looking.

Decided first stop-off would be Greymouth and found a motel there for the night. Starting to get expensive now as well. 1st day would cover about 600km. 2nd day would cover a further 1,000km and end up in Invercargill so booked a motel I stayed at 2 years ago. Final day would be about another 500km, and finish having completed the TT2000.

Booked the ferry from Wellington to Picton with a sleeper for Friday. Now the issue was the Sunday and finishing in Milton meant about a 9-hour ride back to Picton. 2 years ago, I stayed the night in Kaikoura but this time I decided on the ferry at 2:30am Monday morning giving me plenty of time to ride up to Picton and catch it. Booked a sleeper for $40 (cheaper than a motel) and left it all at that.

Got all my route planned in Basecamp and sat back and waited. Then a storm came through on February the 2nd and the council tree outside that I had asked to be trimmed several times caused my pole fuse to go or a wire ripped out and I lost the neutral to the house. Luckily I was sitting inside when it happened and minimised the damage, but my PC power supply went up in a rather large ball of white smoke. Ordered a new power supply straight away but delivery date was April 2024 which was no good to me. Managed to find another one and that arrived with 9 days to spare. Put in in and crossed my fingers and my PC came to life. I quickly transferred the data over to my GPS. Now just need to get everything else fixed and paid for which included a dish washer, garage door opener, a UPS for my servers, power supply for my Surface Pro 6, multiple USB power supplies. Bloody insurance companies are pathetic.

Thursday morning and packed up everything on the bike which had been ready to go. Have been riding very little lately saving the rubber for the TT. This time packed my own Black Russian premix seeing as the South Island only seems to have them in 12 packs now which is a bit much for one night. Just need the Vanilla coke to complete. Headed of for my 2am ferry early for a nice slow ride down. Did 80kph all the way and the bike averaged 3.9 litres per 100km. It can be frugal if not pushed but can be thirsty if you do.

GoPro camera. Will put this in here. Once I got to the start, I installed the GoPro and started it as I left. Thought it was running the whole day but when I went to turn it off, I did not hear the usual beep. Next day was to plan to turn it back on during daylight. After I stopped and had breakfast, I went to turn it on, but it would not start. Checked everything and it appears my power pack was dead flat. No matter what I did I could not get it to work so that was that for another ride. Got part of day 1. Once home I did further check and water must have got into the plug. It has an adapter cable which plugs into a cigarette plug. It was all rusty inside and electricity does not like crossing over rust. It did capture the low light of my ride though. Check out the video of that.

The Start – Day 1, Friday

Arrived at the start point of the TT2000 which was Headingly Centre in Nelson. Arrived early as usual and there were about four others already there. Wasn’t long before more turned up and the centre was opened up and rider card and tee shirt were gained. Now to sit back in the comfortable couch and wait for the start. Nodded off a few times after only had three hours of not good sleep on the ferry. Start time arrived and the briefing started at 11:30am.

And we were off at about 11:50am and I turned my GoPro on, activated my Friday route in the GPS and followed the GPS out. I set my cruise control for 108kph as a safe speed which should see me right and keep to my timetable. How wrong I was. First stop was Motueka which was only 33km away on mainly 80kph roads. Was a nice day and Motueka was soon in sight and first checkpoint photo taken. One down, nineteen to go.

Checkpoint #1 – Motueka Police

Next up was Takaka Police station and the reports had the hill as stop/go with 15-minute delays due to tree felling. The ride over the hill was nice with minimal traffic and those that I caught were very nice and most moved over. No tree felling either so no delay. Once over the hill it always seems a long ride to get anywhere but soon the police station arrived and I soon had my second photo.

Checkpoint #2 – Takaka Police

Next stop off was Murchison 97km away. A ride back over the hill and into trouble. The first low point of the ride. I was cruising along on cruise control most of the time and only taking it off when catching vehicles and such. Then around the corner came a white blotch easily recognised as a revenue gatherer. Instantly his lights came on and I started to slow. I could have easily left him for good at this point as I saw him attempt a U-turn which must have turned into a five point turn the time it took him to do it, but I stopped around the corner and waited. He pinged me for 108 which quite frankly pissed me off. During the 5 days of riding, I passed three other cops with one flashing his lights at me and two others completely ignoring me. This was still in the Tasman area though and I am sure they must have been told to book every bike they could. Bit of the transcript.

Gatherer: “Going a bit fast there sir”
Me: “About 102 I think”
Gatherer: “Actually 108 I locked you at. Are you on a group ride?”
Me: “No sir not at all. Just a holiday ride going to Greymouth”
Gatherer: “There are lots of bikes on the rode with different group rides”
Me: “Yeah I noticed a lot of bikes”. Just then two others went by
Gatherer: “You not riding with them?”
Me: “No sir, all by myself”.

Gatherer: Leaves back to his car with my license and comes back. “Expect an offence notice in the mail in 5 days. It will be 10 demerits and $30. Have a nice day”!

Soon after this my GoPro expired due to lack of power as explained above. Murchison soon turned up and I was now pretty much on my timetable with what I had planned. Refuelled here as well.

Checkpoint #3 – Murchison Police

Next stop was Westport just 97km away. Uneventful ride but was starting to warm up with the sun out and not many clouds. Arrived at Westport Police station and took the photo.

Checkpoint #4 – Westport Police

Last photo for the day was going to be Greymouth another 100km down the road south along the coast. Nice ride but was definitely starting to sweat a bit in the heat. Arrived and filled up the bike for the overnight stay and then went to the Police station and took the photo.

Checkpoint #5 – Greymouth Police

After that it was to the Greymouth Top 10 for my overnight stay in a cabin. It had a fridge/freezer but no ice cube tray so shot down to the closest petrol station and brought a bag of ice for the drinks, a 1.25 litre bottle of coke and went the fish and chip shop and got my dinner. The homemade Black Russians which I made with my premix and the ice went down a treat with fish and chips. After a few more drinks it was time to catch up on my sleep.

Day 2 – Saturday

My plan had me on the road at 3:30am and in Invercargill at 16:07. Plan did not have a breakfast break in it though. Woke up at 3am and decided to get on my way. Forecast had it raining this morning but once outside it was nothing but stars. Nice!

First stop of the day was going to be Darfield Police station 202kms away. This meant a drive through Arthurs Pass and I will have to say it was rather windy. Probably caused by the temperatures as they varied from 8 degrees to 24 degrees in a matter of 20 kilometres. Not much traffic on the road and cause of the dark, very little to look at. Darfield finally came up and I took the photo with the help of the bike lights.

Checkpoint #6 – Darfield Police

Next stop 58km away at Methven Police. It started spitting a bit but nothing to worry about so far, so I just continued on my way and took the picture. I refuelled here as well.

Checkpoint #7 – Methven Police

Next stop on the trip was Geraldine which was 78km away. It was starting to lighten up in the sky a bit from the rising sun. Arrived and took the photo and just across the road was an open bakery so decided to have breakfast here.

Checkpoint #8 – Geraldine Police

Was going to restart the GoPro here as it was light enough now, and this was when I discovered that the battery wasn’t charging. Gave it a few goes before retiring the camera. Next stop was Fairlie Police station just 46km away. No issues and took the photo. Next stop was a fuel stop at Makiki which was 76 km further on.

Checkpoint #9 – Fairlie Police

Waimate Police was a further 15kms from Makiki and I grabbed the photo being still on my original time schedule now after my breakfast stop. It was definitely raining now and I had my rain suit on but not properly it turns out.

Checkpoint #10 – Waimate Police

Wanaka Police was next on the list and only 227km away. It seemed to take a long time to get there.

Checkpoint #11 – Wanaka Police

Next stop was Frankton for a refuel stop and a nice ride over the Crown range. Had been over it in a car when it was unsealed but it is awesome now. While at Frankton I removed my rain suit as I had not done the zipper all the way up and my top was wet so thought the wind would dry it out and it was only spitting every now and then.

Te Anau Police was my next stop off and I was just starting to dry out having done 173km with the wind blowing into my jacket. This was where my GPS started to get mixed up. It realised that the road was closed into Te Anau and it even picked the right detour road but was saying that vehicles were not allowed. I hit ignore and it took me into town. I the realised that the Police station was nowhere near me. I hit the goto button and got it to take me direct to the Police station which it did nicely. Then got it to go back to the trip. Took the required photo and carried on.

Checkpoint #12 – Te Anau Police

Two more stops to go for the day and the next was Otautau another 114kms away. Was looking forward to stopping as I had not been doing much riding lately and it was beginning to take its toll. Photo taken quickly and away.

Checkpoint #13 – Otautau Police

Winton was my last stop only 35kms away. The wind was still blowing strongly from behind me, and I did not see the big rain cloud coming up fast. The heavens opened and I got drowned. There wasn’t even time to stop and put the rain suit back on. As I was wet now, I took the photo and quickly rode into Invercargill to my stop for the night at the Invercargill Holiday Park arriving at 4pm, 6 minutes ahead of my schedule.

Checkpoint #14 – Winton Police

Quickly set my stuff out to dry in front of a heater and went and got a feed of fish, oysters, and chips. This went down well with the home made black russians.

Day 3 – Sunday, The longest day

Plan was to be away by 4am, 6 check points, and then finish. Woke up about 3:45am and packed up and left for Wyndham Police station, 44km away. Was overcast but no rain so left the rain suit in the panier. Made good time to Wyndham and took the photo.

Checkpoint #15 – Wyndham Police

Next stop was Roxburgh, 125km away. It was at this point my GPS went away from the original riding the beat track, but I let it as it looked like the original road was quite twisty and I did not want to do that in the dark. In the end it turned out to be 1km longer the way I went but photo taken no problems.

Checkpoint #16 – Roxburgh Police

Next was Alexandra Police, and carried on and followed the original trail which I had picked up again. It was here I was going to refuel at what used to be a Mobil station but got changed to a Z station. Turns out it is not even a petrol station any longer. Don’t know what it was but I needed gas. I eventually found a Caltex station that was 24hr. Took the photo at the police station and carried on. It was starting to lighten up and in the sky I could see a big dark cloud and could feel a few spits s put the rain suit on just in case, doing it up properly this time.

Checkpoint #17 – Alexandra Police

Balclutha Police was the next one and I had lost my green track I was following for the original riding the neat track. Don’t know what happened but never saw it again. Maybe the track was too long for the GPS and the end got thrown away, but the GPS was still taking me on the right path as the distances matched up. 140km later Balclutha Police station arrived, a police officer was just starting work and asked if I needed anything in the station and I said no thanks, just need a photo. He offered to take it for me, but I was in hurry, so photo taken. Nothing open here for breakfast so carried on. I also took my rain suit off here again.

Checkpoint #18 – Balclutha Police

Lawrence Police station was my second to last check point and only 59km away, so it came quickly and took the photo. Around the corner I saw some bikes parked up and sure enough Prospector was open so stopped and had an early bird breakfast which went down quickly.

Checkpoint #19 – Lawrence Police

Last Police station was Milton a further 37km away and this went by quickly and I took the photo.

Checkpoint #20 – Milton Police

Just 2km to the finish and I was complete. Got my ride dot and put it on the card. Took my finishing photo and dropped my card in the box. All done but a long ride still ahead for the day.

TT2000 2024 Finish

I had booked the 2:30 Bluebridge ferry with cabin but wanted to see if I could catch the earlier one. I left straight away and man the traffic between Dunedin and Christchurch was unbelievable. I hate to think how many cars I passed trying to cruise at 108kph but there were cars in both directions thick as. Put the Auckland motorway to shame but there was only one lane each way. Was making reasonable time however and once I hit Kaikoura it started to spit a little and I could see a big rain front had just passed over the area. Stayed nice for me though but road was wet and slippy.

I pulled over into a rest area for a pit stop and rode over what looked like packed stones, but it was loose, and I came extremely close to dumping the bike then and there. Not quite though. Did my stop and carried on to Picton. Everything was hurting by this stage, but I went into the Bluebridge ferry office and asked if I could be squeezed on. Shockingly they said no. Never had that before.

So it was 6pm and my ferry did not leave until 2:30am. What to do. Went to town and had dinner then went back to the ferry terminal as my phone needed a charge. At 8pm they closed the terminal and kicked me out but not before organising for me to go to the truckies area where I could have tea/coffee and even a sleep. Spent the time in there and hopped the ferry at 1am to bunk down.

Day 4 – Home

It seemed like 10 minutes, but it was 5am and had to get out of my cabin and have breakfast. They really need to learn how to make scrambled eggs. Not enough eggs and too much milk and was cold. Soon docked in Wellington and was first off and quickly heading home. Body only took about 30 minutes before everything got sore again. Three hours later I was home and completing the TT2000 2024.

Many thanks to Shannon and Mark for organising the ride and good to see so many regular faces.

My spot track is below as one solid track which shows what I covered. There were areas where it could not get a GPS signal, so some markers are more than 5 minutes apart.

1 thought on “TT2000 2024 – Riding the Beat!

  1. Oz

    What a great idea for planning a route. Very cool. I love the night photos. I bet if people noticed you shining the headlights at the station and taking photos they wondered what you were doing.


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