On the 19th of October a group of co-workers from Filmatic Packaging Systems lined up for the 2keep-a-breast MTB Challenge, Seamus Allardice tagged along to check out the racing in Bottelary Hills.
Organised by law ﬁ rm Smith, Tabata, Buchanan, Boyes and hosted by Overgaauw Wine Estate, outside Stellenbosch, the 2keep-a-breast MTB Challenge is now in its third year of fund raising for CANSA and Cancervive. It has grown into a pretty big event, from only 200 odd entrants in 2011, with what can only be described as a massive turn out in 2013 – almost all bedecked with bright pink compression socks.
The race offered 5, 15, 35 and 45km options with the two longer distances sharing the same route, bar a ten km loop. The Filmatic guys had entered the 35km ride, so I joined them on it and I must say the route was good, with enough climbing to keep the ﬁtter rider interested but not too much to dissuade the less ﬁt. There was a shortage of single track, but with the sheer numbers even the bit that there was got clogged up by screeching brake pads as the pace grown down to zero. To be honest we let ourselves down by not getting into the start shoot earlier. We were content to dawdle to the line, but suffered the consequences when the early pedestrian pace split our group as some managed to navigate the traffic jams with greater success than others.
I had a particularly bad start, losing my chain on the ﬁrst little climb in the press of bodies that resembled the disgruntled Newlands unfaithful leaving the Currie Cup ﬁnal early. Fighting through the pack from there on out was frustrating at times, but the views over the vineyards and the odd sight of the sea in the distance kept me going. Rather than put off it actually inspired me to return to Bottelary Hills – as there are some magic sections which I’d like to ride at my own pace in the near future.
The 2keep-a-breast MTB Challenge is a fun ride and should be treated as such, if you’d an avid MTBer rather enter the 45km version, if you’re keen on getting more serious the 35km is a great place to start. Otherwise take the family and do one of the shorter rides. It was a great day out and it’s for a good cause, so keep an eye out for in on the 2014 ride calendar.