One of South Africa’s premier mountain bike events hope to bring rapid relief to desperate KwaZulu-Natal farmers this year with a welcome donation of water tanks.
Riders in last year’s Grindrod Bank Berg and Bush were shocked by the serious drought conditions affecting private farms through which they passed, said event founder Gary Green.
“Our official race initiative this year is to partner with JoJo tanks to assist farmers and their staff along the route.
“The riders have the option to pledge a donation when they enter online and together we will provide water tanks to help with the drought issue in an area which desperately needs aid.”
Green said their commitment to social initiatives was one of several factors that made Berg and Bush a favourite among the cycling community – and one of KwaZulu-Natal’s premier multistage mountain bike races.
Comprising three separate races – the Descent, Great Trek and 2-Day – that boast wide mountain and bushveld vistas, Green believed it was one of the most beautiful in the country.
He said the route (a portion of which winds through privately-owned farms) differs each year and riders could look forward to some exciting changes.
The original two-day race attracted just 56 participants, said Green, but word quickly spread and the numbers swelled.
“Today, after 10 years, we host just under 3 000 riders. We are obviously chuffed to have grown to our current size.
“To cope with the growing field, we’ve developed a significant number of overtaking sections along our descents so that riders can have a lot of free-riding,” said Green.
“We are always working on finding something special and try to stay innovative to ensure that, above all else, riders have the best ride.”
“We have a lot of requests for race accommodation on the night before the event, so some riders slept in tents at Emseni.
“However, our race village simply can’t handle the numbers, so we’re building a new registration race village at Windmill Farm on top of the Drakensberg.”
Green said riders may opt to book there on the night before the two three-day races.
Entries open on February 1 to riders who competed in 2015 and on February 15 to the public.
For more info, send an e-mail to email@example.com or visit www.bergandbush.co.za.
Alternatively, find the race on Facebook or follow @bergandbush and @roxannejgreen