If you’re looking for a special adventure on your mountain bike, then look no further than the Grindrod Bank Berg & Bush. The Descent, Great Trek and original 2 Day all take place in October this year, and once again the team has been working hard to prepare trails that increase thrills and limit spills.
With an intimate knowledge of the surrounding area, race organiser Gary Green is constantly tweaking the bushveld bliss of his three-day stage race (and the 2 Day).
This year, new developments include an upgraded Longdrop Pass down Spioenkop – built by Rob Dormehl of Garden Route Trail Park – and rejuvenated berms on the famous Bell Run. At present, there are also new single track routes being built and added to the event’s trail grail day two. This is a ride that truly is the Holy Trail of mountain biking.
“Our aim is always to leave the riders smiling, says Green. “We’ve found that over the years, if you keep improving the trails, and making them more fun, then riders will leave happy and return happy. From the moment last year’s 2 Day event ended, we have been coming up with ideas and plans to improve every aspect of the Berg & Bush.”
Some of those additions include the event partnering with the Cape Brewing Company and Fairview wines. A range of their respective products will be on offer at the Berg & Bush at the Centriq Chill Zone, which was a major highlight at the event last year.
To make riders feel at home during their stay at the Berg & Bush Em’seni race village, hammocks and bean bags were laid out in abundance, while a temporary sundowner deck was constructed over the Tugela River.
One fan of the entire package was 2016 men’s champion, Erik Kleinhans (who rode to victory alongside Matt Beers). “It was my first time at the Berg & Bush last year, and I have to say it was a really special event,” says Kleinhans.
“The trails were incredible, but what I enjoyed the most was that they didn’t feel handmade. They looked and felt like they were part of the surroundings, so the riding really felt like you were out in the bush, far away from civilisation. The entire event was great fun, but it was very cool to just lose yourself in the veld. And of course, riding up then down Spioenkop is a truly spectacular way to finish three days of riding.”
Kleinhans was also impressed with the off-bike atmosphere of the event, which he says made it feel like a home away from home. “The race village was one of the best I have been in. It’s nice that most people stay there, so there are lots of people chilling out, but there is great food, great scenery and lots of opportunity to spend time with friends and other riders.”
To make the Berg & Bush feel even more like your own bedroom, the event is now offering improved tents in the Kudu Camp. Here, riders can enjoy a large canvas safari tent with two beds and mattresses. No bending over, no rustling tent in the breeze and no jostling for position if you happen to be sharing.
To find out more, and to enter the 2016 Grindrod Bank Berg & Bush, go to https://www.bergandbush.co.za/