Entries are almost open for the 2017 edition of the Grindrod Bank Berg & Berg. Last year’s participants will be able to enter from the 1st until the 15th of February, thereafter all mountain bikers who know what’s good for them will be able to enter the most innovative MTB event on the local calendar. Once again, riders will have the option of the Descent (6-8 October), the Great Trek (10-12 October) and the 2 Day (14-15 October).
Famed for its unique, free-flowing bushveld trails, the Berg & Bush offers something for everyone; from the serious racer to the weekend warrior, every day is a treat. Stunning singletrack – including the famed Solly’s Folly – boisterous and well-stocked water tables, and a beer garden like no other, make the Berg & Bush a must-do event (even if it is just to sit on the deck over the Tugela River to watch the sun set while sipping a cold beer).
“Last year we really tried to create the best possible racing and post-race environment,” says founder Gary Green. “Based on all the positive feedback we’ve had, I’d say that the route and the Centriq Chill Zone were both great successes. Our aim is to build on that to make the Berg & Bush an exceptional mountain biking experience, and also a great social occasion for riders of all types.”
In an event packed with highlights, the Berg & Bush is worth doing simply to enjoy the mind-boggling 13km descent that closes out each of the final days. From the top of Spioenkop, riders fly to the finish line on the ultimate singletrack send-off, ending the race with wide grins and whoops of delight. It’s a fitting finale that will leave you wishing for a fourth day of riding.
“Last year was my first year taking part in the Berg & Bush,” says cross-country guru and 2016 Berg & Bush champion, Erik Kleinhans, “and even though it is a little off the beaten track and might make logistics a little bit harder, I did find missioning into the bush gave the event some extra character.”
Kleinhans was a huge fan of the trails, and not just because he and partner Matt Beers were winners on debut. “I really enjoyed the terrain and trails. They were natural, technical and flowy. I also enjoyed the landscape of an area I don’t often get the chance to visit. The organisers do a great job to give the event a lovely laid back feeling, where not much is rushed and it’s as if you are chilling at a Sunday market after a bike ride!”
Beers summed up the event succinctly after his three days in KwaZulu-Natal, stating simply, “What a rad three days.”
As usual, the Berg & Bush team is hard at work cutting new trails to keep the event fresh, while this year there’s also focus on upgrading tents. “We want riders to have the most comfortable sleeping experience at the event, so we have invested in large canvas tents and beds for the riders to upgrade if they’d like, and have an even more comfortable experience should they wish.” says Green.
“We are now offering these tents within our ‘Kudu Camp’ area, as well as the ‘Kingfisher Camp’.”
To enter and for more event information, please visit bergandbush.co.za