Barberton is known for the Barberton daisy, but don’t let the beauty of this town fool you! The Barberton XCM Mountain Bike Challenge is not as delicate as a daisy, with the route being one of the toughest in the country. Although it is tough, it is also incredibly scenic. The route takes you up the Makhonjwa Mountains, with majestic views over the De Kaap Valley, through nature reserves, dams and very close to the Swaziland border. The Ultra Marathon cyclists will ascend to just under 1,800 m above sea level, while the 20 km Fun Ride cyclists will climb to just under 700 m above sea level.
Based on feedback received from some of the cyclists, the organisers have added an additional route, as well as amended some of the routes. Cyclists can now look forward to tackling single track, water crossings, cycling through wildlife estates and passing some 3.5 billion-year-old rocks; places where scientists believe was the first sea and origin of life.
Whether you are a pro or just looking for a fun day out with the whole family, there’s something for everyone with five different categories to choose from:
• The ‘very delicate’ 20 km Fun Ride
• The ‘delicate’ 30 km Half Marathon
• The ‘not so delicate’ 48 km Half Marathon
• The ‘not so delicate’ 77 km Full Marathon
• The ‘not so delicate’ 110 km Ultra Marathon
All races will start and end at the Barberton High School sports fields. With a festival-like atmosphere, there will be music and a few stalls to keep the fans and supporters entertained whilst waiting to welcome their heroes and heroines back from their thrilling adventure ride.
According to Nic Eksteen, President of the Barberton Rotary Club, this race is the perfect opportunity for cyclists to test their fitness and skill. Eksteen is very excited about the changes to the current routes, which are guaranteed to make the race not only more exciting but also challenging.
The Barberton Mountain Bike Challenge is definitely not as delicate as a daisy! So enter now to avoid disappointment. Pre-entries are open and you can enter at www.cycleevents.co.zaor www.barbertonxcm.co.za