The Grindrod Berg & Bush is one of South Africa’s most popular mountain bike stage races. It didn’t achieve this status without constantly innovating to ensure the three events – Descent, Great Trek and Two-Day – remain attractive to newcomers and stimulating to experienced participants. And the 2017 editions of each race this October will see even more developments.
There are two priorities each year for the organisers of Berg & Bush: The first is to deliver a route that’s challenging, but not treacherous, ensuring that the sacredness of singletrack is always upheld and that ‘proper’ mountain biking prevails. The second is to ensure the riders have a great time off the bike at the event. Here’s what participants can expect this October:
Anyone that’s ridden the world-famous Garden Route Trail Park near Knysna will have experienced the trail-building talents of Rob Dormehl. Rob has been involved in helping convert Longdrop Pass into “a brand-new trail of happiness” and has also built new berms on The Bell Run. Still in the works is a brand new downhill section along Big Red on Day 2, through the game farm. See the video here: Berg and Bush Long Drop Pass, we’ll see you at the bottom.
What does this mean? It means more flow. It means more fun. It means an already great route will be even better.
By paying just R1500 extra (per tent), riders can now upgrade from the standard small dome tent camp to the more comfortable Kudu Camp, which has canvas tents that allow you to stand up and which have two beds with mattresses in each. That’s right, actual steel beds with the event mattresses on top and space beneath to store your bag and gear. Many will also appreciate the ability to stand up, in private, which makes putting on your bib-shorts the right way around every morning a lot less challenging.
“Our long-term goal is to have all riders sleeping in these larger canvas tents in the next five years, included in their entry fee. Our short-term goal is to make it possible and affordable for as many as possible to take advantage of this option this year,” said Gary Green, event founder and race director.
Also new this year is a race village at Windmill Farm at the top of the escarpment. Riders can now book a tent for the night before the start; and the Centriq Chill Zone with CBC draught beer and Fairview wines on the banks of the Tugela River. Only the riding should be tough…
Continuity is important to the Berg & Bush organisers and they’ve confirmed that Grindrod, Bell, Volvo, JoJo Tanks are all once again committed to the event. The investment from these brands all of which are leaders in their categories, allows the organisers to keep the entry fees exceptionally reasonable.
For those that aren’t sure of the format, here’s a summary:
Berg n Bush Descent
Duration: 3 days (6-8 October)
Ideal rider: Obsessed, fit and strong.
Format: Teams of two only
Cost: R11500 per team
Berg n Bush Great Trek
Duration: 3 days (10-12 October)
Ideal rider: Committed and fit; MTB couples
Format: Teams of two AND Solo
Cost: R11500 per team; R5750 per solo
Berg n Bush Two-Day
Duration: 2 days (14-15 October)
Ideal rider: Fun-loving, family-focussed, not super-fit
Format: Teams of two
Cost: R8600 per team
To find out more, or to secure your entry, visit www.bergandbush.co.za