Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mountain Bike Challenge for Prince Albert

- Linda Jaquet -

About 180 mountain bike riders will participate in the first Cape Pioneer Trek from 19 to 24 October. Starting in Oudtshoorn, the bikers will stop over in six towns in the Karoo and the Garden Route. Hoërskool Zwartberg will host the cyclists when they arrive in Prince Albert from Calitzdorp on the afternoon of 20 October, providing their meals and washing and storing their bikes. The school’s rugby field will be transformed into a tented camp where the riders and the support staff will spend the night.

Katot Meyer, an Oudtshoorn-based expert on pioneer routes and Henco Rademeyer of Drylands Events Organisers, who surveyed the challenging route said: “Many farmers, Cape Nature and MTO (Mountain to Ocean) Forestry worked hard on the preparations. We are now ‘rearranging nature’ slightly to make it more accessible!”

According to Jan Greyling, Liaison Manager of Klein Karoo International, which with Toyota is sponsoring the challenge, the route is designed to pose a tough physical challenge while riders enjoy the scenic beauty of the Karoo and Garden Route. Each day the cyclists will ride an average of 100kms. “There will also be time to appreciate the local cuisine, the region’s top wines and the breathtaking views from the top of the Swartberg and Outeniqua Mountains,” he said.

Mountain bikers from all over South Africa will be joined by cyclists from Australia, Switzerland and Italy, who will participate in the challenge in teams of two riders each. Registration is from 10h00 on Sunday, 18 October, at the Civic Centre in Oudtshoorn. For more information please see their website at

The Friend is sure that our community joins us in wishing all the riders courage, strength and good luck, and may the best team win!

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