Three weeks from now cyclists all over New Zealand will be riding from sunrise to sunset as part of the annual “Longest Day Ride”. In a few years the Longest Day Ride has gathered an underground cult following from trail riders to road cyclists to downhillers.
For added karma riders can raise money for Arthritis New Zealand. Some of the Longest Day Riders live with arthritis and are living proof that arthritis doesn’t need to stop you from smashing out a day ride on your bike. You can donate here.
We thought you might be interested by some of the Longest Day Ride plans we’ve heard about. For a bit of context there’s literally a second between Friday the 21st of December and Saturday the 22nd of December - so both are been counted as the longest days
- James is embarking on an anti clockwise cyclic cross journey around and between the Waitemata, Kaipara, and Manakau Harbours.
- David is taking on both days in a massive road mission around Auckland.
- Nicola is doing a one day circumnavigation of the Manukau Harbour with jaffas as sustenance.
- A group from Hamilton are doing a café-hopping tour of the Waikato, taking in about 200kms of road, three dozen pastries and six litres of coffee.
- Southstar Shuttles are running their buses from sunrise to sunset in Whakarewarewa Forest - putting full day shuttling square on the menu.
- A group from Rotorua are riding every trail in Whakarewarewa Forest, and checking out the Rainbow Mountain Trail.
- Dave is riding from Rotorua to the start of the Waikato River Trails and doing all of them and finishing on the Rotorua leg of the national cycleway - approximately 256km.
- Stephen is riding both days on his singlespeed in the Volcanic Plateau, covering Whakahoro, Kaiwhakauka, Bridge to Nowhere, Old Coach, Ohakune Mountain Road, Desert Rd, Tukino Mountain Rd, Tree Trunk Gorge, Kaimanawa Rd, Rotoaira Canal, 42 Traverse and 350-400km in the process...
- Colin is sampling a smorgasbord of Wellington’s fine singletrack and cafes, plus the tedium of connecting road sections.
- Agnes is doing circuits of Wainuiomata, the Eastern Hutt Hills, and the Hutt River Trail - to round it all off with a sunset BBQ.
- Paul is connecting up an impressive list of A to Z locations around Wellington, with a photo at each stop.
- Simon and John are riding from Picton to the West Coast - on a tandem - with Dave riding support.
- Two over 50 blokes are riding from Blenheim up the Awatere Valley, through Molesworth Station to Hanmer Springs. 200km of metal roads, with 3700 metres of ascent.
- Mike, Ros and Paul are mixing it up in Nelson with road bikes, town bikes, mountain bikes, and pub bikes.
- David, Paul and Tama are smashing out the entire 175+km Great Taste Trail in day, with lots of beverage/ food stops.
- Ground Effect will be sampling the cyclic delights of Christchurch in a tag team effort involving the entire staff.
- Dom and Slim will be doing something stupid - that involves a 2 hour hike - in Canterbury.
- Shailer, Pete, Daryl, Scott and Andy are circumnavigating Banks Peninsula on 200+km of mainly gravel roads.
- Geoff is doing a loop in Central Otago involving the Central Otago Rail Trail, and the Dunstan Trail.
- Jono, Ben, and some other riders are hitting Queenstown for the day, with lots of gondola runs and the idea to be somewhere with epic altitude for sunrise and/or sunset.
- Scotty will be stringing together bits of random singletrack around Dunedin until his private parts go numb.
This is by no means a definitive list. Longest Day Riders tend to be a secretive bunch, hatching their plans in darkened rooms over crumpled topomaps, and often we don’t know what people got up to until they mention their 250km cyclocross mission.
Whatever happens there’s going to be some damn interest ride reports, photos and GPS maps coming out of the Longest Day Ride - we’re looking forward to it.
Of course there’s plenty of time for you to join in the Longest Day Ride, even if you’re feeling totally unfit it’s amazing what a bit of pacing can do to get you through the day.