Time to pedal the plateau

Published: Fri 13 Mar 2015 09:37 PM
Time to pedal the plateau
The countdown is on and organisers are putting the final plans in place to welcome a field of international and national riders at the inaugural Pedal the Plateau event.
This new multi-day recreational ride starts in Taupō on Sunday 22nd March and will see riders travel 365km over seven days, traversing the central plateau area and taking in stunning alpine landscapes, heritage and historical sites, indigenous Maori culture, ANZAC military history and the very best of kiwi cuisine.
“There’s nothing else like this on offer,” says event manager, Anna Winn. “We’ve been working for the past eighteen months to create a unique and rewarding week long ride that we know our cyclists will absolutely love.”
“A key focus of Pedal the Plateau is showcasing the Central Plateau’s accommodation facilities to our guests from around the world,” says Anna. “This region boasts an array of quality accommodation and for the eight nights of Pedal the Plateau our cyclists stay in a variety of places, including the famous Chateau Tongariro Hotel, located at the gateway to the Tongariro National Park World Heritage area.”
Two of the many riders travelling from Australia especially for Pedal the Plateau are Peter and Susan Kemp, recidivist multi-day tour cyclists from New South Wales.
It’s been 30 years ago since the Kemp’s visited New Zealand, and that was for their honeymoon.
“As newlyweds, we drove around both the North and South Islands including a couple of days in the Taupo area and a night at the Chateau Tongariro,” says Peter. “We thought it would be special to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary there so the Pedal the Plateau itinerary was perfect!”
The Kemp’s have enjoyed ten multi-day cycle tours in both Australia and Finland, and are looking forward to what Pedal the Plateau offers.
“We enjoy the chance to explore a region from a cyclist’s perspective,” says Peter. “Our pace whilst biking enables us to observe the surroundings and experience the environment far more than when in a vehicle. And we have the bonus of the security and safety of organised back-up support.”
“We are also looking forward to learning more about the places we are visiting,” adds Peter. “Plus our son has recently moved to Dunedin so we’re making the most of our trip to New Zealand by visiting him once we’ve completed Pedal the Plateau.”
When the Kemp’s were last in the region thirty years ago, they tried to summit Mount Ruapehu to view the crater lake.
“Unfortunately we didn’t make it as I thought the direct route up the scree slope would be quicker,” says Peter. “It proved a mistake… frighteningly steep and we ran out of daylight so we never made it! Maybe we’ll get up there this time, although the option to do the Tongariro Crossing on our rest day may take precedence.”

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