The family-friendly Backsberg Dis-Chem Rotary Mountain Bike Race takes place at the Backsberg Wine Estate on Sunday 19 August. This annual race aims to provide a scenic route to enthusiastic cyclists in one of the most picturesque parts of South Africa, and features a wine stop 5 km before the finish.
Organised and managed by members of the Paarl Rotary Club under the auspices of the Pedal Power Association (PPA), the proceeds from this event go towards sustaining Paarl Rotary’s many charitable projects. It is a family-friendly event with up to two children riding free in the 5 km race if accompanied by a paying adult. There will be food stalls and a kids’ zone at the finish.
The route includes single track on private land which has been opened up exclusively for the event. The 45 km (1050m ascent), 30 km (500m ascent) and 15 km (325m ascent) routes contain some of the best scenery in the area, with great views of the winelands.
The roads are 90% jeep track with some single track and open roads in between. There are some solid climbs, from meandering S-bend climbs to vicious little bumps with fast-forward downhills to recover.
The 45 km, in particular, includes major climbs: a long 201m steep climb, and a second 110m short climb and is only for fit and experience riders. It requires more technical riding skills, including a fast descent near the end, than the average PPA fun ride and should be seen as a challenge for the fit rider, definitely not for the inexperienced.
The 30 km is geared for fit, experienced riders and includes one long 130m climb. The 15k is just right for novices and beginners.
The 45 km route starts at 07:30, the 30 km medium route starts at 08:00, the 15 km short route starts at 08:30, and the 5 km children’s race starts at 09:00.
The cut-off time and lucky draw will be at 11:30. On-line entries (varying between R50 and R210) are accepted until 09:00 on Friday 17 August and are limited to 1 000. Late entries will be accepted on the day of the race (R210, R190, R170 and R80) if the limit of 1 000 has not been reached.
For entries and further information, visit http://www.paarlrotary.co.za/mtb.html