Alternative Akatarawa Attack 2011
Version Date: 17 Jan 11
Status: First-available version. There may be additions and changes prior to the event. Any changes will be referred to at the pre-race briefing.
NOTE: This version from two years ago is supplied as an example only. We'll of course write a brand spanking new set of hints for 2013. Stay tuned!
This document contains information "useful" for competing in the Akatarawa Attack. There is vital stuff elsewhere, but this page contains advice and hints fairly similar to last year. Read it if you're new to the Ak Attack or rogaining.
The map for the Akatarawa Attack is intermediate in detail between the Topo map and an orienteering map. To help those who are used to one or the other, here are some of the characteristics.
There are two A3 sheets per rider, provided back-to-back in a plastic mini-grip bag. They are both at a scale of 1:25,000 and there is an overlap.
All the control points on the map are marked with purple circles; the landmark will be in the dead centre of that circle.
The contours are 10m. For those used to the topo map this means twice as many contours (thank you to the city councils for these). We think we've got the best map of the road and track neetwork there is. However we don't claim to be complete, there are old overgrown trails, and people are changing things all the time! If you find yourself on a track that's getting worse and worse AND there's no warning on the map about difficult conditions, you may be on an unmarked trail. Back out to the last junction and re-evaluate.
To enable you to assess alternative routes, here's how we've shown the riding:
Roads where two cars could pass easily are shown as two black lines with brown between. These are the city streets but we don't think you'll spend much time on these. The rest are black lines as you would expect.
Thick black lines are wide enough for a vehicle, thin black lines are single-track (or sometimes quad bike tracks or old 4WD tracks where the vegetation has closed in).
Solid black lines are fast (eg hard all-weather surface), long dashes are slower especially in or after wet weather (eg
ruts, long grass), short dashes are very slow (you have to pick your way carefully to stay on), and dots are mostly un-ridable. Of course these are averages and you will get some variation. They were also assessed by different people. Note that we look at a track as if
it was FLAT, we do not presume to guess how well you can ride uphill, you have to use the contours for that:-))
Your best option is going to be roads and better quality tracks to gain your height and head downhill on skinny or lower quality tracks. That won't always be possible depending on your route choice, in that case you will find yourself pushing up some steep and gnarly tracks, but that's what Wellington is!
Junctions where the black lines don't quite join are INDISTINCT. Watch out for these even if you're only counting junctions off, you can quite easily ride past. At bridge the black line goes across the blue; at fords the black line is interrupted.
You are restricted to ride the tracks, but we have marked a few "allowable routes" where there is no visible track. These are green lines, with dashes according to ridability above. Heading off track is not advisable (and against what we have told landowners), stay on the tracks marked except for the green lines.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have marked obstacles that will cause you to dismount with a purple bar across the track. These could be gates or fallen trees, or they could be used to show that un-ridable tracks are even worse - requiring a real struggle. There are a few indistinct tracks - these go dot-dot-gap to indicate not all there, best avoided.
We may choose to show some tracks that are off-limits. These will have purple crosses or purple cross-hatching over them. For example they may be relevant in counting off the turns.
We map choose to show roads with purple arrows - this means travel in the event only in that direction - usually uphill. This applies between the junctions nearest the head and tail of the arrow.
Apart from roads and tracks, the land is shown with four colours. Green is forest. White is forest which has a lot of informal tracks - we can't map all of them and you may have difficulty telling what is mapped and what is not - so in white forest you are allowed to ride anywhere:-)) Yellow is open land. Finally grey is unknown
or unmapped or private land not available to us. There's also a combination symbol of green dots on yellow - that's in between forest and open land - eg young pine trees.
Other things on the map we hope are self-explanatory. There is a legend. Don't expect to find road names or spot heights:-))
Magnetic north is shown so there's no adding or subtracting 23 degrees. Line up the map with your compass needle.
Ideally a rogaine is designed so the top team nearly gets all the control points. We have reduced the area from our original plan but we still probably have too much area. Plan a route which has optional bits you can cut out if necessary. There are plenty of controls close to the finish for example.
Quite often early progress leads to a sense of optimism, and rogainers add in extra controls to their plan. This usually leads into hot water - falling behind schedule later on and having to cut out controls to get back in time.
If you are not an experienced navigator, stop at each junction, turn the map to match the terrain, and make a consensus decision which way to go. Don't go down a steep hill unless you are VERY sure you're on the right route. Using your compass to show which way is north will quickly show if you are heading in the right direction.
You may be passing through urban areas. There is no problem with buying food and drink from shops and dairies that you encounter. But don't drink from streams or the river. We recommend that you carry water from home. We'll have tap water at the finish.
Even though close to civilisation, parts of the area are remote. If you damage yourself or your bike, help may be a long time
coming. Ride conservatively.
Most importantly enjoy the adventure, collect as many control points as you can, and get back on time so you don't lose those points, then enjoy some good food and stories of what might have been...
Page written by Michael Wood / Ph 04 566 2645. Feel free to ask about anything.
See you at the start.