Every year we hum and hah about changing this route so its not so difficult. Last year we did end up changing it, but the feedback was, by and large, that people missed the big challenge of previous years.
So its back – with interest – the 50km Extreme with the 7km climb up the concrete strips, the knock out Nook Road along the base of the sandstone cliffs, and that phenomenal 5km downhill that screams past Montusi, down Secret Pass to the Puterills Stream.
The second part of the route takes riders along the famous Grotto Trail (check out the awesome review in Tread http://www.treadmtb.co.za/trails-grotto-trail/ – renowned for the mountain single track and breath taking views.
Definitely a route for the intrepid. We look forward to seeing you on the starting line!
The 30km route stays in the valley, avoiding the really hairy climbs, but still providing enough of a challenge to make you feel like you have had a really worthwhile day out. The route loosely follows the blue Montusi Gorge route so its almost all single track and the views are amazing. There is a bit of everything – flowing track, fast downhills, tricky switchbacks, and a tiny bit of tar to make the biggest climb really doable. It’s the ideal route for intermediate riders who like to stretch themselves a little bit
10km Family Fun Ride / Run
This is actually our favourite event – seeing all the little people line up at the start and then riding like the wind along the single track is actually quite inspiring. The route follows the quad bike track around the forest and out of the centre, and then meanders through the rolling fields on flowing single track. Its not an easy beginner route, but the wide track and the gentle gradients make it achievable AND has you finish with a real sense of achievement. Runners are welcome in this event, so parents can run alongside their kids– till they leave you in the dust. The Family Fun Ride / Run follows the same route as the 10km trail run that takes place earlier in the morning, so those runners who prefer a later start and a more chilled vibe can opt to run this event rather than the 10km race.
20km Trail Run
The 20km trail run run leaves the Centre and follows a beautiful, smooth and wide quad bike trail on an easy gradient allowing the pack to naturally sort into pace groups. The trail skirts the pecan tree grove following the Putrill’s Stream up towards the Acacia Meander. Here the trail hugs the river bank where runners are easily distracted by the beauty of this Berg stream and the gradient gently increases. The trail crosses the road onto the Ledges trail which dissects a shady wattle woodlot. The ramp over the fence and large wooden bridge are fun featres of this stretch of trail. Now the gradient begins to get interesting…after an nice, free-flowing downhill to the bushy Leopard’s Loop trail below the Cavern, we start a mean incline for ???km up through the Cavern Hotel to Cowslip Falls Dam where a well-deserved dip is a must. From the Dam, the contour begins again, along the top of the spectacular Grotto on the edge of the First Ridge. After the tough Cavern Climb, this flat stretch is a great breather for the quads to get the legs spinning once more. The trail ends with the most delightful switchback descent called Down Time where you can release your breaks and fly down to the Centre for your hard-earned egg & bacon roll!
10km Trail Run
The 10km trail run follows an easy gradient along smooth track allowing our trail-runners to put the hammer down and fly over the open fields. The route follows the start of the 20km trail, passing the pecan tree grove and following the Putrill’s Stream. The runners cross the Putrill’s at the disused cattle crush and then, instead of heading to the Acacia Meander, they find their way to the old road drift for another river crossing. From that point its a gentle down hill gallop back to the tar road and then a slow slog up the hill to the Centre.
It is not impossible for a trail-running gazelle to finish his or her run in time to start one of the mountain bike rides! An active and exciting day awaits the whole family.