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Neil and Steve rode 2394 km’s from Cape Reinga to Bluff

Neil and Steve rode 2394 km’s across New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff in 16 Days, a total of 85 hours and 30 minutes. Here are a few questions we just had to ask Neil, Queenstown Store manager at Outside Sports about his epic adventure:

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports


1)      What inspired you to do this amazing journey?

As per most adventures - by one too many beers in Atlas one night! – it has been on Steve and my bucket lists for many years now – we both kind of expected the other one to back down but neither did - next thing you knew we were at Cape Reinga with a hell of a long way to go.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Day 1: Cape Reinga, North Island, NZ.

2)      How long did it take you?

We were riding for 16 days. We didn’t schedule a rest day but unfortunately on day 3, riding into Auckland we hit a diesel covered roundabout and we both came off our bikes. It didn’t feel as if we had done any major damage to either ourselves or our bikes but when we started riding the next day, Steve realised that he had torn a muscle in his knee and was struggling to put any pressure on his right leg. We made it thorough to Hamilton but had to stop for a day so that he could get some physio – he got it taped and some acupuncture done and we set off a day later – not sure how his knee would cope, but it seemed to be a bit better and after a couple of days of easier riding it came good again - which was a pretty huge relief to the both of us.

3)      What was your longest day (kms?)

It was from Whangarei to Auckland. 184km’s and also our biggest days climbing with 2198m climbing. We were doing between 150 and 170km’s on most days. Interestingly the north island was hillier and longer than the south island. We climbed 10,000m in the North Island and only 8,000m in the south island. I always thought that the south island was going to be way hillier than the north.

4)      What did you pack for your trip?

Very little – just one set of riding gear and a change of clothes off the bike plus a few bike spares and a toothbrush. All of the gear that we carried on the bikes and the bike bags themselves weighed less than 5kg.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

5)      Where did you stay during your trip?

A mixture of friends houses, classic old kiwi hotels and backpackers

6)      What was the most useful bit of kit that you took with you?

Either the actual packs that we used – meant that we were able to do the ride super lightweight or ‘Butt Butter’ chamois cream!

7)      If you could have taken something else with you what would it be?

Would possibly have changed out he bike seat for a slightly more comfortable one – it took about 1000km’s before the seat became anything like comfortable!

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

8)      What was the highlight of the trip?

Riding wise it was the west coast of the south island – amazing terrain, hardly and traffic and absolutely perfect weather. But for me it was also seeing the far north of the north island – amazing part of the country and incredible just how friendly everyone was to us along the way – it makes you realise why people love NZ so much!

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

9)      What were the biggest challenges along the way?

There were a few – mainly getting back on the bike each morning! Also surviving the logging trucks on SH1 heading into Auckland – was definitely glad to get that behind me. Probably the biggest physical challenge was riding up Bluff hill right at the end of the trip – 24% gradient in the last few km of the whole trip – we were both nearly puking at the end of that one

10)   What bike did you do this epic journey on?

I did it on a Specialized Tarmac Pro and Steve did it on a Trek Madone

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Specialized Tarmac Pro

 Our total distance that we rode was 2394 km’s and we climbed 18,377 vertical metres and were riding our bikes for a total of 85hours and 30 minutes.

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Road bike Cape Reinga to Bluff NZ Outside Sports

Day 16: Bluff, South Island NZ.

Check out Bikes and apparel at Outside Sports.

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New Store Opening Soon

For the past 10 years Outside Sports has been trading from its 3 floor building on Shotover Street. The success story that is Outside Sports today began in 1995 when John and Judy Knight moved to Queenstown and opened their first outdoor sports shop and called it Outside Sports. Their vision was to create a unique outdoor sports shop that was dramatically different from any other store in Queenstown, and to have a product range devoted exclusively to outdoor sports. They wanted Queenstowners to enjoy and be as passionate about the outdoors as they were.

The formula certainly worked and in 1996 the company moved to the top of the Queenstown Mall and they never looked back. The store operated seven days a week, running a retail shop, rentals and a workshop. In 1998 the Outside Sports store further expanded and introduced the ever popular range of Icebreaker Clothing. In 2009 Outside Sports merged with two other well established companies to form the enlarged Outside Sports group which now has shops in Queenstown, Wanaka and Te Anau.

A great article from 360 photography about Outside Sports, Queenstown's New Store- Opening February 2nd 2015:

Posted on 28/01/2015 by 360 photography

The new Outside Sports flagship store in Queenstown will officially open its doors on Monday February 2nd, offering the highest levels of expertise and equipment. Managing Director John Knight said he and the staff “couldn’t wait” to get into the new store, which has two separate entrances on Shotover Street and Memorial Avenue.

 The purpose-built 700sqm store is all on one level, and designed to be easily interchangeable between summer and winter stock and services.

Managing Team, Outside Sports, Queenstown NZ

Managing team at Outside Sports, From Left to Right: John, Judy, Neil and Eric.

 “It’s a beautiful landmark building with fantastic attention to detail inside and out, a combination of schist, glass, steel and wood,” said Mr Knight.

 “Internally at its highest point it’s 12.2m high, almost like a cathedral and a magnificent space.”

  “Whereas in our previous store our staff were spread over three floors, here they can all interact with customers which is fantastic.”

   “It makes it easier for us when our key points of difference are our service levels, our technically-knowledgeable staff and the high-quality equipment we sell.”

   “When people come in to buy or rent one of our Specialized bikes, our guys and girls will make sure they fit properly to your requirements – from the recreational biker to the avid downhill fan.”

   “Similarly for Winter sports, whether you’re a beginner snow bunny, a back country snowboarder or a ski racer our staff can help you with boot, ski or snowboard fitting and servicing your gear.”

   “Every time our skis or bikes go out they’re fully maintained, tuned and repaired. We have a huge range of rental bikes, including bikes worth up to $9,000. They’re ‘fit for purpose’ bikes so you don’t have to bring your own kit here, and it’s the same if visitors are here over winter.”

The Outside Sports store also incorporates new Marmot and Icebreaker concept stores.The final touches are now being put into the building by Naylor Love Construction. Mr Knight said the new store would raise the benchmark for outdoor retail in Queenstown, and boasts customer parking at the rear of the building.

 The current shop will shut its doors for the final time this Friday 30 January.

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Red Bull Defiance Multisport Race

Redbull Defiance Multisport race is happening this Friday and Saturday in Wanaka, New Zealand

If there is any multisport race to do this season, Redbull Defiance it is.

The 2014 Redbull Defiance adventure and mulitpsport race will see Floortje Draisma, a multisport enthusiast from the Outside Sports Wanaka store, competing in a women's team in this exciting and challenging event. Floortje will be representing Outside Sports / Marmot in the Redbull Definace 2014. Floortje is pictured below. 

Outside Sports Floortje Draisma Mutlisport Athlete Redbull Defiance Competitor

The Redbull Defiance course is designed to test competitors over two challenging days along side the world's best multisport endurance athletes. The course itself has been designed by Braden Currie, a well known top New Zealand adventure and multisport racer. 

Redbull Defiance Stages - Outside Sports Marmot Team

Both mentally and physically challenging, the course of the Redbull Defiance will see athletes competing over 8 high country stations in the Wanaka region in the South Island of New Zealand. The field of local and international competitors will cover multiple disciplines combined with time credit special stages taking this opportunity to defy the odds in the Redbull Defiance 2014. 

Outside Sports wishes all Redbull Defiance competitors the best of luck this weekend. 

Whether you are an athlete, support crewe, a Wanaka local or just visiting Wanaka stop by Outside Sports Wanaka and check out the great products we have in-store including Ultimate Direction packs, sports nutrition supplements, energy supplements, running shoes and great outdoor clothing. Have a look at the sale rack for 30% off end of season Icebreaker and check out the winter clearance deals in-store. 

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Skyline Queenstown MTB Early Opening

We are excited to share the news that the Queenstown Skyline Mountain Bike track will be opening early. This recent stretch of amazing weather in Queenstown, New Zealand, has allowed them to prepare the tracks ahead of schedule. Skyline NZ will be opening the doors for Mountain Biking on Thursday the 18th of September. 

Please note that between the dates of 18th September to the 24th of September, Skyline Gondola access for all Mountain Bikers will be between the hours of 1pm and 5pm. The afternoon half-day session will also be between these hours.

From the 25th of September, Skyline will resume the AM and PM, 4 hour sessions for the 2014/2015 season. 

Check out the new ThunderGoat trail, Skylines new mountain trail that opened earlier this year

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