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Ride the Rakaia

Event details
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Take the opportunity while you can. Normally, cyclists are unable to ride across the Rakaia River Bridge. The bridge is New Zealand's longest road bridge over ones of the most stunning braided rivers. Cyclists of all levels can participate in this opportunity with distance options of 22k and 100k.

How to enter the Ride the Rakaia

  1. 100k

    Bike 100km
    NZD $69–NZD $109
    Event passed
  2. 22k

    Bike 22km
    NZD $49
    Event passed

Ride the Rakaia routes


You will ride across the Rakaia River Bridge with up to 1,000 other cyclists all at once, the peloton will be approximately 1 kilometre long and will be in a controlled start until you have crossed the Rakaia River Bridge and the Rakaia Overhead Bridge on State Highway One.

You will then travel west another 50 kilometres until you reach the Rakaia Gorge. You will then cross the two river bridges and climb out of the Gorge to Mt Hutt Station then return to the township of Rakaia.

What a day out, you'll start outside Salmon Tales beside the massive Salmon, then experience the 1.8km River crossing with hundreds of other riders.

Then experience the scenic Rakaia Gorge and the climb out of it too Mt Hutt Station. Then the fast ride back to Rakaia.

This is a great scenic 100 km ride starting at 8.00am just 55 km's from Christchurch, if you're from Christchurch you don't have to worry about accommodation or getting transport from point A to B, the start finish is in the same location "Rakaia".


Recreation ride approximately 22k's starting at Salmon Tales crossing the amazing Rakaia Bridge and riding up the River Terrace Road to the Finish at Te Pirita. Great ride and having the experience of the bridge crossing "truly amazing". Please note, you will need to arrange your own transport back from the Recreational Ride finish.

Event Details

What’s Included

You will receive a voucher for a beverage at the end of the event to be redeemed at the Hotel. The beverage is part of your Race Registration.

We have some fantastic spot prizes plus first, second, and third in each category. All prize winners have to be present to receive both category and spot prizes.

Raceday Logistics

Race Packs

Race pack pick up will be at Salmon Tales on race day between 6.30am and 7.30am.

Race Briefing 7:45am

The Start

You must be at the race assembly on Railway Terrace outside Salmon Tales at 7:40am and situated at your estimated finish time. Recreational Riders will be at the back of the Peleton. Race briefing will commence at 7:45am with race start 8:00am sharp.

While the event takes place on public roads these are all open to traffic and normal road rules apply. While the traffic management plan and/or restrictions are in force throughout the course, competitors must at all times assume that all roads are open to traffic in all directions. You must obey all road rules, marshals are on the course to direct you but not stop traffic for you.

The Finish

The finish line will be just above the Rakaia Domain, the Rakaia Methven Barhill Road will be closed from Bakers Road to the Rakaia Domain. This will be a fast and exciting finish for everyone.

Prize Giving

Prize giving will be held at the South Rakaia Hotel.

You will receive a voucher for a beverage at the end of the event to be redeemed at the Hotel. The beverage is part of your Race Registration.

We have some fantastic spot prizes plus first, second, and third in each category. All prize winners have to be present to receive both category and spot prizes.

Kit List


Competitors are responsible for the equipment they use in the cycle ride and for arranging any insurance to cover loss or damage to equipment.

They must ensure that equipment is in good condition, safe and serviceable. It is strongly recommended that all entrants have their bike serviced and helmet checked out by a bicycle retailer prior to the cycle ride.


All spectators are welcome.




Men's Race

    School Boy (13-17
    Open Men (18-39)
    Veteran Man (40-49)
    Classic Men (50-59)
    Vintage Men (60-69)
    Seasoned Man (70+)

Women's Race

    School Girl (13-17)
    Open Women (18-39)
    Veteran Women (40-49)
    Classic Women (50-59)
    Vintage Women (60-69)
    Seasoned Women (70+)

Prize Money

    First overall male and female - $500
    Second overall male and female - $200
    Third overall male and female - $100
    King and Queen of the Gorge - $100

Clydesdale and Clydesdalesses

One for the big guys and girls, males over 100kg and females over 75kg (without the bike) and will be weighed after the race so you have to be a solid 100kg or 75kgs. If we need to weigh you we will. When entering just enter the Clydesdale section, no Team Section for Clydesdale and Clydesdalesses.

Ride the Bridge - Recreational Ride

Experience the Rakaia River and Overhead Bridge Crossings with hundreds of other cyclists. Ride the Bridge starts at Salmon Tales at the same time as the Ride the Rakaia riders. You will travel across the Mighty Rakaia River and then travel up to the Te Pirita Hall. You will then continue up the Rakaia River Terrace Road to the finish.

There are no age group categories just Male and Female, entry fee for the Ride the Rakaia Recreational Ride is $49.00

Further details on the bus back to Rakaia will be updated here.


Rules and Safety

These are important points. Further rules will be described in the entry form, emails, newsletters, confirmation letter, race pack information, pre-race safety briefing and course signage. Such rules form part of the event rules.

All road rules, event signage, directions of event personnel and police must be obeyed at all times. In the absence of police control all road rules must be obeyed. You will be cycling on public roads and must share the road with other users. No crossing the white centre line.

Cycles must have either standard drop style or flat mountain bike style handle bars. No aero bars or handlebar bar fittings that could cause injury to other riders are permitted in Ride the Rakaia Cycle Ride and Ride the Bridge Rides.

Where marked on roadways, cyclists must use cycle lanes.

Cycle helmets must be of a standard recognised by Land Transport NZ and must remain on your head, securely fastened at all times while the cycle is in motion.

While cycle support will be provided, repair of punctures and mechanical issues are the competitor’s responsibility.

The Race Organisers reserve the right to disqualify any competitor for cheating or breaking the event rules. The decision of the Race Organisers or his/her representative is final.

Timing Transponders, Helmet Stickers and Race Numbers

Timing transponders, helmet stickers must not be removed until competitors have passed through the finish timing chute.

Helmet stickers must be worn with the number clearly visible at all times by the competitor actually taking part in each stage.

Stickers must not be altered in any way.

Failure to return a timing transponder on race day will result in a charge of $50.

Support Crews - Assistants

Support crew vehicles must not follow or lead their participant during the cycle ride. Unauthorised support vehicles cause an unacceptable and significant hazard to cyclists.

Police will strictly enforce all event and road rules. Support crews must be at the finish line to take their competitors cycle away from the area immediately – we have limited space.


In the event that you sustain an injury or illness whilst participating in the cycle ride, you authorise the appointed medical personnel to perform and administer such emergency medical attention as they think is necessary. They have the right to remove competitors from the course based on medical grounds. We appreciate the assistance that riders may give to injured participants. See us at the finish line and we'll adjust your time.

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