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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tour de Timor: pre-trip preparations

Information is drawn from the Tour de Timor website and other sites. Quality of information may vary. Please use with discretion.

1. WHEN
Registration 23 Aug 2009 (Dili)
Race Dates: 24 – 28 Aug 2009

2. AIR TRAVEL
Tuesday or Saturday: Singapore to Dili. Planned arrival on 22 Aug.
Austasia Airlines. Flight schedule. Retrieved 15 Jul 09

3. VISA
On arrival, USD30 cash, no credit card, no IOU :P
Immigration Department of Timor-Leste. Tourist & Business Visa. Retrieved 15 Jul 09

4. ACCOMODATION

“Accommodation arrangements during the race will be the responsibility of the organising committee, which will include Sunday 23 Aug and Friday 28 Aug accommodation in Dili. For those competitors wishing to come earlier or stay later, a number of accomodation options are available in Dili ... The Tour de Timor will soon release accommodation partners in Dili.”
Tour de Timor. Race information. Retrieved 15 Jul 09.

Race briefing will be held at Timor Lodge. so that’s where we could be.
Tour de Timor. Program. Retrieved 15 Jul 09

Timor Lodge: from USD29, “Just a stone's throw from the airport”.
Timorleste-hotels. Accommodation in Timor Leste. Retrieved 15 Jul 09

Re other locations, it seems we would be putting up in a built=up area (in Old Bacao), mountain retreat (in Viqueque), seaside town (in Betano), guest house (in Maubisse; at 1,464m it might be a cold nite, below 20 degrees C)

On race website: “All participants will require personal gear for 7 days on the road including mosquito net, torch, hat, toiletries, sleeping bag and camping mattress, wet and warm weather gear ... Sleeping accomodation will be provided for all competitors from Sunday 23 August to Saturday 29 August 2009.”

5. MAP/ROUTE
Route: start in Dili, head east in clockwise direction back to Dili. Total distance > 400km
Route map: UNHCR. Timor-Leste Atlas Map. Retrieved 15 Jul 09
Dili map: Discover East Timor. Retrieved 21 Jul 09
From those who have been there:
Dutchpickle
Lonely Planet Thorntree

6. OTHER INFORMATION
Country profile: BBC
News: World Time Server
Travel advisory: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK). Retrieved 22 Jul 09
US Department of State Retrieved 22 Jul 09.
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia Retrieved 22 Jul 09. Crocs, crime and UXOs ...
Time: UTC +9 hours. Weather. Wind speed is 2 to 3x that in Singapore, head wind / cross wind as we head east (especially along the coast) and south, tail wind as we head west and north :O Singapore humidity 70-80%, compared to Dili 60-70%, except at river crossings :P
SingTel has coverage through Timor Telecom :)
Currency, language, availability of ATMs, use of credit card etc, there's some from Timorleste-hotels and references below.

7. QUESTIONS
Answers below are from Stone, M (email dated 23 Jul 09).

1. Food and water on the road:
a. how will we get these while on the road before we reach our destination each day;
b. will we have to carry what we need or will there be official rest stops / shops enroute?
Answer: supplied by tour organisers.
From race rules: "For stages longer than 90km a feeding station will be provided at approximately the half way mark. Water and fruit will be available at the feed station. Riders can place their own food in well marked feed bags (rider numbered please) at these points by leaving them at the rider sign-on table each morning. Riders are welcomed to buy food along the course as required and where available."

2. Emergency:
a. will there be a safety vehicle / medical crew we can call if we get in trouble?
Answer: yes,organised by tour organisers. Much of this is being supplied by local organisations such as the UN.
b. will we be issued with communication devices or
c. do we bring our own mobile phones (if so, what is phone coverage like throughout the route)?
Answer: A mobile phone will be supplied to each team. You can also use your own mobiles on Global Roaming or by purchasing a local SIM card. There is good coverage around all of the major centres but limited once in the countryside. A Satellite phone will be in use throughout the race for special requirements and emergency's.
3. Terrain:
a. this is mostly road and dirt road / gravel / sand? or muddy?
Answer: Mostly road and dirt road.
b. any areas accessible only on foot and we have to carry our bikes?
Answer: No, except between Same and Fleisa it is very steep so some riders may choose to walk sections.
c. riverbed crossing: how deep is the water, waist high or lower? how quickly does the water flow?
Answer: Most riverbeds will be dry in late August and running rivers will be shallow.
4. Race:
a. this is a cycling race or do we also have to bring running shoes?
Answer: Cycling only.
b. what time does it get dark in Timor Leste?
Answer: 6.30 pm
c. is there a cut-off time
d. is there a "sweeper" vehicle we must board if we don't pass a certain point by a certain time?
Answer: This will vary for each stage but as an example the first stage will have a time frame of approximately 6 hours to complete, plus a nominal 1 hour for those close to finishing, then any remainding (sic) will be picked up.
Extract from race rules: "If a competitor fails to finish any stage of the race ... then at the discretion of the race jury the competitor may be allowed to continue the race. The jury or race organisers may impose a time (last rider + one hour), or other penalty.

e. what kind of sign-posting will there be so that we don't stray from the route and get lost?
Answer: This is still being sorted out by the local police and District Administrators.
5. Hazards:
a. what can we expect eg dogs / wildlife?
Answer: Dogs, chickens and goats mainly.
6. Accomodation arrangements:
a. we're told to bring mosquito nets, sleeping bags etc. Does that mean that we'll be camping outdoors most of the time during the race? Or some of the time? Or none of the time?
Answer: Whilst on the race course it will be camping conditions, though some large huts are being build for competitors, and some will be in tents.
From race guestbook: "a light sleeping bag will be more than enough".

b. are there shower / washing facilities at every night stop?
Answer: Portable showers are being set up at each camp.
8. OTHER REFERENCES
Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
And this too

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agenda for discussion:
a. shopping list: who brings what?
b. what to bring on each stage of the ride:
i. each rider brings adequate food and water in case we miss supply vehicle
ii. first aid
iii. navigational eqpt: compass and map to be shared
iv. each rider brings own spares but tools and phone(s) can be shared?
c. rules of the road: ride as fast as the slowest? ride in twos or one group only? break every hour or so?
d. crisis planning and dispute resolution: what if we get lost? run out of supplies? equipment breakdown? someone can go further / goes too slowly? rule #1 is safety first?

Kee Leng said...

a couple of items to add to the agenda:
- align expectations
- understand competency level
- training plans
- R&R

Horseman said...

What kind of tent - 4 persons per tent?
How to hang up mosquito net
Feeding stations: water and fruits - will there be bananas? Distance from station should not be based on distance (midpoint of 90 km) but on riding time; midpoint on Stage 1 is not the same as midpoint on Stage 2 (and Stage 4).

Horseman said...

what time must we go up the broom wagon if it passes us.
will there be enough food and water left for latecomers
can we have the stage maps in advance - put it online