Its sad to be sitting here knowing that the highlight of my riding calendar has already come and gone. This past weekend saw the third running of the Ride2Nowhere, a unique 3 day mountain bike race in and around the beautiful town of McGregor. It has become an annual pilgrimage for partner Rob Gilmour and myself, an opportunity to ride 3 days together through the pristine Breede River Winelands, and see just how good (or bad) the winter break has been for us.
A new addition to this year’s event was the short route option for the less experienced riders, something that proved to be very popular. This event has always prided itself on being a family weekend away, and now more so than ever with many family members and friends taking part themselves rather than being a spectator. I managed to convince my fiancé Taryn to take part in the short route, and this is what she had to say:
“Ride2Nowhere was not only my first mountain bike race ever but also my first stage race and all I can say is what an awesome weekend away it was! The riding was tough, beautiful and rewarding at the same time and the special time spent with family and friends made up for any aches and pains.”
As a side note, we had almost thirty people spread across 3 houses for the weekended, including granny and granpa, kids, moms and dads, wives, fiancés…. It really is the event that caters for a family experience.
Riding conditions on all three days could not have been better, with temperature’s reaching 25 degrees and no wind to speak of. Day one saw the long route tackle 58km and almost 1500m of climbing. It was a tough day out in anybodies book. Long, steep and loose climbs were the order of the day, but kilometers of newly cut single track soon made up for it. Con Viljoen and his team are masters at the art of cutting new trail, something that is extremely hard and time consuming. Apparently it took a team of eight guys almost 2 weeks to cut the longest singletrack we rode that day, respect!
Day 2 was the longest of all the days, at 70km and 1500m of climbing. The terrain was a little smoother allowing for faster riding. It was another proper day of mountain biking, with beer flowing freely after the stage. After the stage, our entire crew went to the local Saggy Stone brewery for the afternoon, something that I can highly recommend. What I don’t recommend is going home to open a couple bottles of Lords finest red wine and partying till 12am, wow, waking up with a slight headache on the morning of the last day was not ideal. Luckily, day 3 was the shortest of all three days, and after 2.5hrs of great riding we were back in the race village regaling our war stories.
Up in the front its was the pairing of mountain bike legends Nic Lamond and Pieter Calitz that took the team prize with Spanish stallion Pablo ‘Pabs’ Morales winning the solo category.
A huge thanks must go out to Eulogy and Con for putting on a world class stage race. The fact that this race sold out in its third year is testament to their hard work and incredible hospitality.
Until next September.