Sunday, August 4, 2013

Die Burger MTB


Saturday 3 August 2013 is time for the Burger Mountain Bike Challenge in Stellenbosch. The weather was awesome, the scenecry was out of this world and the challenge was great!


The starting time for our group was 08:15. A reasonable hour considering we had to drive through from Bloubergstrand. We arrived at the start at 07:30 and had some time to enjoy a cup of coffee before we got going. The weather was excellent with the sun out, no clouds, and no wind and not too cold. The temperature at the start was 8 degrees Celsius.

The first part of this race is a struggle. During the first 2 hours 16 minutes (136 minutes) we climbed 1,260 meters. That is nearly 10 meters of climbing for every kilometer travelled. It took me 2 hours to do the first 30 kilometers. We first scaled the “koppies” behind Coetzenburg and then had to go up Bothmaskop to the top of Helshoogte. We then had a bit of a downhill along the Old Helshoogte Pass, crossing below a reservoir above Idas Valley and onto Rustenburg. There we headed up again, but also traversed some nice single tracks, which took us past Delheim and onto Kanonkop. By this time I had been in the saddle for 2 hours 32 minutes and covered 39 kilometers. The route took us through vineyards, blue gum trees and more vineyards. The view was exquisite and from the highest point we had a beautiful view of False Bay. Unfortunately we were not here for the view and the legs had to do the work. We crossed the R44 by going underneath by way of a culvert. At this stage the majority of the climbing was behind us as we started heading back home. A couple of minor bumps until we got to Kayamandi and Papagaaiberg. These climbs were much easier than the ones we encountered during the first half of the race. Then past the Stellenbosch Cemetry and the historic Oude Libertas and onto the finish at the Stellenbosch Primary School.

Total distance was 59.54 km; total riding time, excluding stops was 3:33, with 4 minutes added for stops. We climbed 1,540 meters in total. A really pleasant day with a well organised event. It was good training for the up coming Trans Baviaans on 17 August!

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