ENTRYEntries close: 31 March 2018

PRE RACE BRIEFING 2016 – Must Knows

Date: April 14th, 2016

Bike_web182 (1024x685) 

Welcome to Lake Hawea and the 9th annual Contact Epic. The LMS Events team congratulates you on getting this far, next is the easy bit, just hop on your bike on Saturday morning and keep pedaling until we say stop. We’ll even give you a medal for your efforts.



  • The race starts at 7.00am. It’s a case of first up best dressed for start line positions. If you wish to be near the front you need to get there early. However, for everyone’s safety if you are not a serious contender please do not stack up at the front or ride in the middle of a bunch. For Epic riders, if you are not in the starting chute by 6.55am you will be held up on the dam itself and have to join the back of the pack as it leaves the start chute.
  • Toilets are located at the Hawea Hotel or the portaloo near the start line for Epic riders. The Hawea Hotel will be open for coffee and breakfast from 5.00am. For parking in the morning follow the signs to the rear of the Hawea Hotel where on the top level there is a large paddock for parking. No parking please on the roads leading to the dam. Drivers, be aware of cyclists riding down-hill from the hotel to the start line in the dark. Bike lights are required during the hours of darkness.
  • For the Classic, toilets are located in the Kidds Bush camping area or via the portaloo next to the start line. The start line is on the grass on the eastern end of the reserve. A reminder to supporters that dogs are not allowed at Kidds Bush. Also remember to leave straight after the start or stay (for 1.5 hrs) until the Epic riders have come past as this will reduce vehicles V cyclists on Mead Rd heading back to SH6.
  • Parking, follow the marshals’ directions to parking areas. It will take approximately 45-55 mins from Wanaka to get to Kidds Bush. For those getting the shuttle bus to Kidds Bush, the pick up is from the front of the Hawea Hotel at 5.30 am and is independently organised through Alpine Coachlines 03 443 4665. There is no return trip to Kidds Bush after the race.
  • The track is dry and boney in parts so picking a smooth line will pay dividends in terms of flats and broken running gear. The river crossing should be about knee high unless you pick the wrong line or we get unexpected rain in the head waters.
  • If you are crossing the river, don’t just follow the herd. Our guys will mark the ideal entry and exit points. Spot your exit point down river before you start. Head off on a 45 degree angle as opposed to going straight across. Keep your bike above the water if possible, if not, keep it on the down river side of you. If you are not sure, ask for help. Remember the 1st Aid Station is just 2 km from the river crossing.
  • Apart from the existing track hazards of: loose and exposed rock, narrow tracks, fast descents, steep exposure at the tracks edge at times and wandering stock etc there is a significant hazard about 6km north of the high point on the Hunter Valley side.  There is a short, steep track of loose gravel leading into a right hand bend over a wooden bridge with no side rails and a 2 meter drop to the creek below. It’s easily negotiated in the normal course of riding but we will have a marshal on the road just prior to the descent to the bridge to remind you of this hazard as you approach.


  • The Traverse 7:30am start is the same as the Epic start only you will be heading in the other direction. Come early to cheer on the Epic riders as they leave.
  • For the Traverse riders, your biggest hazard will be crossing Camp Hill Rd at the 5km and again at the 30km mark. Marshals will manage that crossing point so please slow down and be prepared to stop if asked or if vehicles are on the road. On Course, there are black printed arrows on signs to indicate any track / course deviation from the one you are on. See the COURSE page of the website for a detailed description and map.
  • For the Traverse riders, the Hawea River Track remains open to the public so please show the appropriate courtesy and share the space if you see other track users.


  • There are no road closures. Normal road rules apply to all roads and 4×4 tracks on all courses at all times. You may encounter a 4×4 vehicle coming towards you on the private Hunter, Dingle Burn or Hawea River 4×4 tracks. This will be in emergency cases only as they will be heading to an accident site, so always ride in control. However there are a few private vehicles on both sides of the valley as the Roar is on and they are there hunting, we cannot control their movements so keep focused and be aware.
  • Note to Self, nothing upsets our land owners more than seeing piles of rubbish left behind by riders as they go about their business after the event. If we don’t have the land owners on board all we get to do is look at the Hunter and Dingle in photos instead of being able to ride around and enjoy it. So it doesn’t matter if you are coming first or last, your rubbish is your rubbish. Own it, love it, and keep it. Hand it in at the finish and you might win a $300 Rab –bish collector clothing voucher. If you are seen dropping rubbish you will be disqualified.
  • The Contact Epic Riders 2016 Goal: Zero rubbish on course. Are you up for a challenge within a challenge? We hope so.
  • Weather:  (12:41pm 14 Apr )  Fine with thickening high cloud / Northerly developing. Over night 11° / 19°High / Sunrise 7:15am
  • Again this year we will be using transponders so please attach them securely to your LEFT ankle and under your sock (and if you remember, at the finish, transponder ankle down when you cross the timing mats by the entrance to the hotel). If you lose this transponder please tell a race official and the finish line attendants as soon as you can. It would also pay to take note of the rider who finishes just ahead and behind.
  • There are no planned route changes to the Epic, Classic or Traverse courses at the time of printing (Friday am).
  • We do not accept transferred entries. For professional and medical reasons we need to know who is on the course and what medical conditions etc they may have in case of emergencies. If you withdraw from the race, PLEASE inform a marshal ASAP and do not cross the transponder mats if you are back in the garden bar with your transponder still on. Transponders are to be handed to the staff at the finish line please.
  • Very Important Note. Keep left on all track and roads. Particularly so on the fast descents and do not change suddenly from one side of the 4×4 track to the other as faster cyclists trying to pass could end up in your spokes and both of you will, at best, end up in a heap on the ground. Be prepared for the passing cyclist to call out that they are coming through “on the right” and keep to your line. For this safety reason we do not recommend IPODs.
  • The above point is particularly important for the slower Classic riders that will be caught and passed by the faster Epic riders. So keep left on the descents, ride in control at all times and indicate your intentions early.
  • Bunch Riding can be dangerous: If you are not familiar with Bunch Riding please stay out of them. We tend to get one significant crash from the bunch riding on the road each year and we would really like none. This will mainly affect the Epic riders. Remember these rules: Be predictable with all actions, Avoid sudden braking and changes of direction or speed, Be smooth with turns at the front of the bunch, Always retire to the back of the bunch, Pedal downhill, Point out obstacles, Don’t overlap wheels, Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider, Look ahead, Obey the road rules.
  • Remember to take your gold coin (paper is lighter) donation for the tea and scones at the Dingle Burn Café (Epic/Classic only).
  • Some of our spot prizes will be handed out at registration with the major spot prizes and the new BMC hard tail MTB being given away at the prize giving itself.
  • You will receive a Contact Epic Vehicle sticker at registration, please place this on your car for two chances to be first at prize giving to pick from our top selection of spot prizes on our models. Traverse prize giving, 11 am / Epic and Classic 5.30pm approx.
  • If you want your bike cleaned after the race for $5, we have a couple of young fellas who are raising money for a school trip at the finish line who will do a good job for you. So by the time you have had your 2nd beer the bike should be looking like new again. This means you can put it straight in the garage and not think about it again for a few weeks without feeling too guilty.
  • Most importantly be safe out there. Focus on the journey, not the destination. If an opportunity arises to help someone out with a break down or at crash then take it. Karma will pay you back in spades in due course. Record your time lost and we will credit it back to you. If the weather turns nasty welcome the opportunity to test your positive mental attitude. Given your good planning and preparedness you will already know it’s coming.
  • If you are unsure about whether you will need lights, take them just in case. It will be dark just after 6.30pm. If you are not past the Dingle Bluffs by last light you will be withdrawn from the race. If you are still on the Traverse course at this time you should be calling for help!!
  • Enjoy



The Contact Epic is a way of celebrating this.



Posted in: News