The Milk & Honey Course
The Milk (road bike section)
Starting from Takaka, riders will head south along SH 60 for the first 22km up the Takaka Valley to Upper Takaka where the hill climb starts in earnest. Don't underestimate this part of the ride. The valley rises 100 metres over the course of 22km and southerly head winds can make it a serious uphill challenge in itself. Be aware of two single lane bridges at 10km and 13km, leading to the sprint at Upper Takaka. From Upper Takaka you will have a climb of 10km gaining another 690 metres, making this side of Takaka Hill the biggest raced road climb in New Zealand. First to the summit of the Takaka hill wins KOM!! A short, fast descent takes you to the Canaan Transition.
The Honey (mountain bike section)
At the 36km mark at the Canaan Road junction is the transition from road to mountain bike. You still have a 28km to negotiate back to Takaka by way of Canaan Downs, and the Rameka Track, the original route into Golden Bay as travelled by the early settlers and one of the longest single track downhills in the country
With the transition at 670 metres, you'll climb 200 metres to the Canaan Saddle. You may have time to take in the scenery, or you may be starting to hurt here. You turn off the Canaan road at 45km and take in 2 km of the Grade 3 Rollercoaster before exiting in the car park for Harwoods Hole. A short climb on rough 4WD track takes you to the start of the Rameka Track, signposted left before the top of the climb.
From here you are in for a treat with 17km of prime technical singletrack awaiting you. First off the Rameka Track traverses pristine forest of Abel Tasman National Park before plunging down to Golden Bay Mountain Bike Club's "Pack Track". The track eventually crosses the road and after 400 metres crosses back again, where it continues through Project Rameka , taking in the Grade 2 Great Expectations. More singletrack awaits you after a river crossing. By following the The Klicks signs you will ride two more Grade 3+ sections of track that run beside the road.
Once out the bottom of the gorge and on the road follow Rameka Creek Road to Glenview Road. A left turn, a single lane bridge and a right turn take you to Central Takaka and SH 60. After a quick check for traffic cross the highway into Dodsons Road. The final section is the same as 2014, through the paddocks beside the Takaka River onto Reilly St, then back to the start in Takaka!