Five weeks to go and counting – 15 March

Mountain bike fever has hit South Africa – with the World Cup and the other big stage race, there is huge excitement brewing. If you are riding in the cold of Europe or the sunshine of Africa you must be chomping at the bit to get going now. Five weeks to go and counting.

We have done many events and we mostly only read their newsletters the day before. We always kick ourselves as we could have been so much better prepared – so be kind to yourselves – read this with a nice cup of proper coffee – preferably Seattle Coffee in your hand.

We have decided to put the reminders and detail stuff upfront in this issue – you will find the report from our dry run and other nice stuff to look forward to at the end. If you have ADHD read a bit and come back to it later but make sure you refer to it.

Book your supporters onto the N3TC drOp’ngo2c supporter tour

The N3TC drOp’ngo2c supporter tour is the only way to see riders on parts of the route. Naturally we cannot have cars and supporters on our route in general and supporters who try follow the route will get their riders disqualified. We know supporters want to see their riders and experience the vibe of the route so thanks to N3TC we have the drOp’ngo2c supporter tour which has been a massive hit for the past three years.

N3TC hosts this incredible tour that includes awesome stops along the route with eats, treats and drinks as well as N3TC chill zones in selected race villages.

To make your booking contact lara@joberg2c.co.za.

New Finish and after party

Day 9 is our “Old Mutual Wealth Champagne stage” – it is a celebration of 9 days of riding across this magnificent country. It is also our Green Day – so make sure you pack green funky kit for this day!

For the first time in 9 years we will ride onto the beach for a few pics and then you will make your way to our new finish at Scottburgh Primary School. This new venue will lend itself to a proper joBerg2c ending with craft beer from Old Mutual Wealth and a Karan Beef Prego to end off in style. There will be proper showers there and we will be able to say goodbye properly.

The after party

But wait… there is more… if you are travelling from overseas or you just don’t want to go home and you are staying overnight in Scottburgh you must join us at the Scottburgh Golf Club (around the corner from school) for an informal but lekker after party. We will recap the week’s highlights and we will have some friendly banter as usual about life and mountain biking.

To book, log into your entry here and select the Products tab. The fee will include a proper Durban curry (veggie and lamb) and an ice cold draught beer.

Pyga and support on route

We are chuffed to have Pyga back as our bike back up. If something goes badly wrong with your bike while you are out on the route Pyga will try to get a bike to you to complete the stage. Naturally this does not apply to those racing for prize money or podiums.

Sprocket and Jack with Grant Usher will be at Water Point 1 each day to provide mechanical support. You can also get in touch with Sprocket and Jack or any of the other accredited mechanics about booking a mechanic package for the 9 days if you feel like taking away the worry of looking after your own bike. Mechanics like Sprocket and Jack do take walk-ins but their booked riders will take preference.

In addition to Pyga and Sprocket Jack, Subaru will be at Water Point 1 with a Strip Zone for all your layers of clothing that are needed to combat the sometimes freezing mornings.

We have 14 ORRU (Off Road Rescue Unit) vehicles on the route along with ambo’s and emergency crew from ER24 – so you are in safe hands and basically our route crew could go to war with their military like plans.

GPS reminder

We have tried and tested GPS navigation and it is awesome – if you have not used it before and you are a little nervous or you need technical advice please consult with Matt Walsh sales@easybike.co.za – Matt is our GPS guru – he knows everything about this technology and can help you get a device and he will help you master your device.

We will send the final routes to you mid-April. Naturally this is private event covering 135 private landowners. Don’t make the routes public as riders who go on to the lands of our farmers uninvited will most likely be target practice.

Charging your phone and GPS  

As part of your goodie bag – or rather great bag – you will get an Amped charging unit from the event. This charging unit (power bank) is perfect for charging your mobile phones and GPS unit. Amped will be with us for the 9 days to ensure your power bank is charged when needed. You will only hand in the power bank.

World Of Endurance Training Programs

The World Of Endurance MTB training programs, developed by the Sports Science Institute of SA and brought to you by Old Mutual, are designed to help people with varying ability and fitness levels achieve their best times and personal goals. The daily programs are designed to lead endurance enthusiasts to peak performance on race day. Simply select your discipline, distance and skill level and get your free training program now. Find out more.

Racing categories including World Mixed Team Championships

We know for most the Old Mutual joBerg2c is a tough rewarding ride but for some it is also an awesome dice across South Africa.

The USA calls their baseball the world series, so we have decided to call our Mixed Team Category the World Mixed Team 9 day Championships – so the team who wins this category will be the World Mixed Team 9 day MTB championships. It is remarkable that this category is so popular and yet does not get the recognition it deserves – so we have changed that. We have many more female riders in this section and it makes sense to get more ladies riding through the mixed category if that is the trend.

For a full breakdown of how our racing and categories work, please visit our website.

The Bielie Mielie – 17 March (Gauteng, Free State KZN riders)

This event is promoted by joBerg2c because it uses part of our route, Reitz High school run the event to raise funds for their hostel and it is just a great great training ride to experience the hospitality of the Eastern Free State.

There is a 60km and a 100km – and it’s a great GPS practise (although marked a bit too) ride too.

To enter go to here.

Dry run report (some bed time reading)

Ok now for some of the fun stuff here is a little report from 5 days of our dry run

The Old Mutual joBerg2c Dry Run Part 1

Due to farming, family and organising commitments we decided to split the dry run into two parts this year. Farmer Glen, Farmer Gary and I (Wappo) are the founding partners of the Old Mutual joBerg2c. We are also known as the three Stooges – you will find why out at the event.

We try ride the route every year. We rode days 2 to 6 from Frankfort to Glencairn. We will do days 1, 7, 8 and 9 in early April.

So why do we do the dry run? Mainly because we love riding and mostly because it is where we connect with our landowners, our schools and it’s where we are free to debate, argue and agree on new sections of riding to make the route better.

We laugh, we banter, we plan and we feel what a day is like for our riders on the saddle. We know some route planners like to drive the route in a 4×4 but our philosophy is we need to ride so that we can then relate to what our riders will go through.

Our average day on a dry run is two to four hours longer than a normal day in the event. For example, we climbed over 32 gates and fences on day 2 and that’s one of our shortest days. Each gate crossing takes around 2 to 4 minutes depending on the size of the group. You will just fly through.

Here are some of my brief take outs …

  1. Contrary to what Farmer Glen and Farmer Gary might tell you, I am not doping. They were just flabbergasted that after 9 years I finally managed to stay with them and drop them from time to time. It’s my new Pyga Stage Max bike and lots of coke (coca cola) and water
  2. The Old Mutual joBerg2c goes through the land of 135 private owners and an estimated 220 different farms. We counted every one of them when riding on a long gravel road section to kill time. These landowners allow us to ride through their backyards
  3. We have 5 major climbs over the 9 days; Mt Paul – day 3, Spionkop – day 4, The Rise – day 5, Gumtree – day 6 and Iconic – day 8. Looks like Gumtree might take the award for the toughest, but we must judge after Iconic day 8. If you ride Gumtree you know you can climb. It is 2.8km with 400m elevation but the end bit is probably the steepest stuff you will see on any event
  4. Harrison Pass on day 6 has 32 switchbacks and it is riding superbly at the moment even after the all the rain. To fully enjoy this incredible drop you need to practise switchbacks – so get practising
  5. We are building a new drop off the escarpment on day 4 which will have breath taking views while using the descent wisely so you get to fully appreciate the massive drop. This will replace Bezuidenhout’s pass. More on this coming soon
  6. Next to our riders, our communities are the most important part of joBerg2c; without them we would never have the same gees, the same five star villages and magnificent water points that they put on. They go the extra mile. They do it to raise funds but they also do it because they love hosting you
  7. The Old Mutual joBerg2c has played down the toughness aspect in earning your medal at the sea. This is probably due to the hype of other events that say they are the toughest, biggest, meanest, hardest. We are not part of the Old Mutual Mutual World of Endurance for nothing. However we do not try to break you – our aim is to uplift you over a very special 9 days. As a rider you need to be nicely fit to enjoy the experience otherwise it will hurt
  8. With the help of our awesome sponsors and our riders who enter, we have put over R20 million back into the communities who work on the event over the past 9 years. Long may this community relationship last!
  9. The bike is important. I finally rode the perfect bike for joBerg2c. There are many great bikes and naturally I am biased towards our home-grown designed Pyga bikes, but if you want my opinion anyway, the Pyga Stage, which Gary rode, can win you the joBerg2c, and the Stage Max which I rode, will be the most fun, and still fast, all-round bike you could wish to ride. This is a little sales pitch as you can tell. Your tyre choice is also crucial. Tubeless, fast rolling tyres are essential with tough sidewalls. Don’t skimp on tyre weight. This is Africa. We have rocks and thorns – watch this awesome clip from Mt Paul filmed by the Pyga guys. Pyga Lines of joBerg2c Mt Paul day 3 – the camera lies, our tummies are much bigger than what you will see!
  10. Last but not least we talk lots and lots on the dry run. Gary and Glen talk farming almost all day while I talk ideas which they don’t listen to. I hear about the quality of Soya beans, the Mielies (corn), the type of cattle from Limousine, to Bonsmara, to Jersey…..you name it. But we also talk about joBerg2c and what ‘Ride the Beloved Country’ stands for. We talk about other events and we learn from them and we discuss them. One thing we always come back to, is that in the Old Mutual joBerg2c every rider is a VIP. We have one big chill zone for everyone where a SA rugby captain might mix with a world champion Paediatric Surgeon or a world champion mom and dad. No one is more special and everyone is extra special.

That’s it for now – part 2 coming soon.

Please try check out www.joberg2c.co.za for all the info you probably need and also we do get last minute cancellations so if you have any jealous riding buddies who want to ride tell them to contact us.

The Old Mutual joBerg2c Team