The Cyclicsaga March 14 and 15th 2009 came and went in a flurry of dust, gorse and bling.
An awesome weekend with the weather playing the game and giving cool conditions both mornings and burning off to be hot and sunny in the afternoon. The venue at "Journeys End" was well received with the camping ground offering plenty of space as well as indoor accommodation.
The course was laid throughout the Ashley forest and out to the west in the Okuku Forest, offering two very different landscapes over a large area. So large that I confidently announced again that any team that punches every control gains a free entry to next year’s event. (My mouth just runs away)
The winning team Turning Blizzard (Hamish Seaton and Justin Freeman) scored 3270 points. Just 90 points short of clearing the course. Phew!
Second place overall and first placed vet team was the experienced duo from Wellington of "Age Concern" (Craig Starnes and Ant Bradshaw) with 3160.
1st placed mixed team and winners of the $500.00 purse were the very experienced adventure racers from Christchurch "Penny Cycles HOT teams" (Ian Edmonds and Nora Audra) with 2920 points.
New this year for me was the use of the electronic scoring and apart from a few teething problems (send your software to me if you want me to test it to destruction.)bodes well for its use again next year. Scoring for each day was able to be handed out on the spot with adjustments made there and then.
Unfortunately it just didn’t want to play the game with the final results at prize giving. Hence the delay in uploading the results. (they should be correct although they don’t show the separate days scores, sorry.)The lab is working on having it up and running for the next Saga. Cheers to http://www.rogaine.org.nz
Once again thanks to our sponsors without whom the event wouldn’t function. Ground Effect - For $2500 spot prizes and support in all aspects of the event. Avanti Plus Fleet Cycles - For the Avanti tent, the wheel set, spotties and mechanic duties on the Saturday. On ya Greg. Christchurch City House of Travel - Printing expenses, chilly bins, flags radios etc. Mucho gracias! Underground Coffee - Mmmm the coffee, and company over a couple of beers. Cheers Pete. Smith Optics - For 6 pairs of sought after shades. RimSkinz - I bet some you wish you had this in your tyres. Thanks Murray Dwyer Mapsport - Mike Wood at Mapsport for the Miry map boards O-flags etc. Ascot Canvas Ltd - Steve Deans at Ascot Canvas for volunteering as well supplying a marquee. Goldpine - The crew at Goldpine for organising their brilliant marquee.
Special thanks to all the support crew who volunteered their time to help out (Mum&Dad, Jaq Dave and kids, Mark, Jen, Macka, Steve and my partner Jo)
The Loburn North primary School would like to thank all competitors in helping them raise money for their school from their BBQ.
Finally thanks to the Christchurch Therapeutic Massage Centre and not lastly Jac Woudberg/Bill Kennedy for helping us with the electronic scoring and sorting out results to end up with something printable.
Right you should find attached the map as it should have been printed (not the one that I mistakenly sent to the printers.)On it is what I think the winner’s course was.
Results are below that.
On a final note I’d be interested in hearing back from anyone with their opinion on my shifting the event to either April or November/December? As you all know, March is jam packed with events of all kinds and they all impact in one way or another on the Cyclicsaga.
I’ll also be introducing the "Son of Saga" at the next event. To be run at the same venue but two days of three hours instead. For all those that are scared off by the big days of riding and for those who aren’t as fit as they’d like to be.
Hopefully that introduces a few more people into the sport as well. Until next time. Cheers Rob and Jo
Brilliant idea to change tha date, I for one would be keen as the whole of march and april are out for me due to grape harvest so I tend to miss out on heaps of events. Have done the saga once when it was very early march and loved it so would be keen to be able to do it more often
Late November is Round Taupo - but I guess that doesn't effect many people. Early December is the Tour de Peak - which being a rogaine style event does attract a lot of the Wellingtonians who go to the Saga.
April - the days are getting short - not so much fun at the camp (or for those that are hours late back).
Maybe mid-Nov is the best alternative (a couple of weeks before Taupo would work for me). Just need to find an area that will be fun in the wet (a lot more likely in Nov?)
The weekend closest to mid November is usually Canterbury anniversary weekend ("show weekend") - but it could be the w'end before or after. Weather is usually not too bad around that time. Simon's point about getting best possible conditions for the campout is important as that is a highlight of this excellent event - great atmosphere, almost always new country to traverse. Whilst it was nice this year to be able to camp out of the car (and not have to get up super early to breakfast, break camp and pack up), there was always something magic about heading off on day 1 not knowing just what the overnight spot would look like - another wee element of mystery in the package.
I thought this years terrain was just a bit tame - though it meant I didn't finish each day feeling absolutely shattered Also it was a loss to not be able to cross farm land, taking a punt on using sketchy tracks to cut out long round about routes. I guess we have Nanny State / OSH to thank for farmers trepidation about people crossing their land ??
Anyway - this is a brilliant and unique event on the mtbike calendar - I think offering a less intimidating option (shorter, ie; 3hr/day option) is a good initiative to attract newbies or those who are getting past being able to hack 2 big days (moi?)