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Monday, 30 September 2019 11:35

Save the date for the 2020 Karoo to Coast

The 2020 date is set for South Africa’s favourite single day mountain bike event: 20 September. Heading into the 22nd edition the Karoo to Coast promises to be as challenging, rewarding and fun as ever – when 4 500 riders take on the route from Uniondale to Knysna.

The 96 kilometre long course, which crosses the old wagon trail out of Uniondale before joining the famous Prince Alfred’s Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna, features 1 560 meters of climbing – but more importantly 2 300 meters of descending from the Karoo to the coast. The route snakes through four distinct biomes and offers stunning mountain vistas of a region seldom traversed by anyone but locals and adventure motorcyclists.

Entries to the 2020 race are open. For more information on the Karoo to Coast please visit www.karootocoast.com.

Fast Facts: 2020 Karoo to Coast


20 September 2020


Uniondale Sports Grounds


Knysna High School Sport Fields




1 560m of climbing

Entry Fee:





Karoo to Coast






For more information about the Karoo to Coast please visit www.karootocoast.com or contact Zandile Meneses on 082 851 3622 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Festivals & events

Two incredible mountain bike races, a Big 5 game reserve and an exciting equestrian event with outdoor market - these are just a few of the adventures that are in store on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend, and it’s not too late to make your plans - it’s a few weeks away!

The Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race starts on Thursday 20 September from a new venue in the Plett Game Reserve, with flowing trails through beautiful indigenous forest. Day 2 then traverses the 700-hectare private estate Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate, with day three starting at Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its renowned network of singletrack and along a coastline with spectacular views, which forms part of the Robberg Coastal Corridor.

Whether you are riding the Dr Evil Classic or coming up to the Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area for a relaxing getaway, here is a list of things to do on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend:

Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

Guided safaris at cost R490 per person and will take you on a two-hour game drive on the 2,200 hectare reserve at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Their knowledgeable game rangers will hopefully track all of the Big 5 for you, and you could also encounter many species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodiles. The historical country house on the reserve, the Baroness Safari Lodge, has beautiful views over the gorge and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, a wonderful option for an indulgent stay.

Equestrian and outdoor market fun

Kurland is the country’s premier venue for equestrian events, and the SA 2018 Adult Eventing Champs is on from 21 - 23 September. This is a Three Phase Event made up of dressage, show-jumping and cross-country and will be great fun for spectators, with a stunning outdoor market with lamb on the spit, Thai food, and a jumping castle for family fun! You can stay at the Hotel or at Kurland Villa, or visit the estate on one of the days to see the show.

Rest at the river

Stay at a room on the Bitou river at the Plett River Lodge, and enjoy dinner at the on-site restaurant, Down to Earth. They will have a special on the Saturday night of the Heritage Day weekend that will include a meal for two and a bottle of red or white wine for R 250, and the restaurant is open to the public.

Cairnbrogie Mountain Pump Tracks and Cafe

Whether you are supporting riders who start their day 3 of the Dr Evil Classic on the Saturday 22nd, or you bring the bikes and the family to enjoy the pump tracks and cafe on Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm, this will be a great place for an active outing - the bike park has become extremely popular with riders of all ilks, and the vibe of the race village on the Saturday will make for a fun day out.

And.. another mountain bike race

We won’t make a lot of noise about this one as the event is sold out -  the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is worth putting in your calendar for next year. The popular 100km one day race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred’s Pass is on Sunday 23 September this year, and if you are a really fit rider keen for a busy weekend, the organisers have reserved a few entries for those who are still to sign up for the remaining few Dr Evil Classic entries.  The combination of the Dr Evil Classic and the Karoo to Coast offers four days of mountain biking bliss for the seriously adventurous.

Need we expand further on the merits of a long weekend in Knysna or Plettenberg Bay? Forest walks, lagoon cruises and scenic beaches, a tranquil spot or one of the buzzing events -  make sure you make the most of your Heritage Day weekend - and be sure to have a braai!

Distributed by Maryann Shaw Communications on behalf of the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge and the Buco Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 083 419 4235

Published in Festivals & events
Wednesday, 25 April 2018 11:02

Ride a piece of history

The 100km off-road route of the Buco Lion’s Karoo to Coast from Uniondale to Knysna takes in the R339 which features the iconic Prince Alfred's Pass.

And what a pass it is. Many have called this Thomas Bain’s greatest work. A big call for someone as pioneering and prolific as that. Bain was responsible for the planning and construction of more than 900 km of roadways in South Africa.

So first, a bit of history then (bare with us, it will be worthwhile)... Thomas and his father, Andrew Geddes Bain, (from who he learned most of his road-engineering techniques) were commissioned to build the Pass and work started in 1860.

Bain tackled the forested valleys and steep slopes and – with his crew of convict labourers – cut and dry-walled for four years to link the Klein Karoo with the coast. According to the Knysna Historic Society, the pass was opened to light traffic during 1866. When Prince Alfred (the second son of Queen Victoria) visited in September 1867 it was re-named and then the pass was officially opened on 29 September 1868.

Most of the original pass that ox wagons used to cross the mountains is where you now roll your knobbly tyres. When you’re suffering up some of the climbs and bombing the tight switch-backed descents, take a minute or three to appreciate that. Here are a few more things to be mindful of:

1. The pass goes traverses four different biomes on its route from Klein Karoo plains to the coast. A section of the pass also bisects the Middle Keurbooms Conservancy - a 30 000 hectare conservation and eco-tourism hot spot.
2. At 68,5 km it is officially the second longest mountain pass in South Africa (behind the 73,3km Baviaans-Kouga 4x4 route). However that pass is not accessible to sedan vehicles, making it technically the longest pass in South Africa. It also holds the distinction as the second oldest unaltered pass still in use.
3. It is the only pass in South Africa where people live along side the road and trade in the pass. This thanks to the town of De Vlugt. Spot of tea?
4. This pass is one of the finest examples of Bain’s unique (and self-taught) dry-walling method to support roads on mountain faces. He had his crew break large rocks up by means of fire and cold water. Then stacked the triangular pieces at an inward tilting angle of 15 degrees and then backfilled from the top.

Keen to experience this iconic piece of history from your bike without any other cars on the pass? Enter the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge today at www.karootocoast.com.

Remember, the K2C entries often sell out fast, but entering the Dr Evil Classic 3 Day Stage Race – the warm up event (20th to 22nd September with daily distances of between 70 and 50km) will receive a preferential start in the Karoo to Coast. The final stage of Dr Evil Classic is also shorter (about 50km) so there is time for all transfers and the like on the Saturday before Karoo to Coast on Sunday 23rd September.

Enter now!
The events pride themselves in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here on the Garden Route. The 2018 route maps, profiles and detailed information are available at karootocoast.com or drevilclassic.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Published in Festivals & events

Entries for the iconic event limited to 4200 in 2016

The 17th Pennypinchers Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge will take place on 18 September 2016 over 96 kilometres from Uniondale to Knysna. Once again the race will be a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour (2017) and entries are bound to sell out fast.

“It is the ‘Argus’ of mountain biking,” commented 2015 winner Matt Beers (RED-E Cannondale). “Riders are always going to come back to improve their time,” he said. “It’s such an amazing route with such a vast contrast of scenery and terrain. Also, it sets a great challenge for any rider – its not too technical, so people who want to accomplish a goal of riding 100km on a MTB, can do so.”

Beers, who originally hails from Knysna, won’t be enjoying too much of the scenery up the sharp end of the race however, as he looks to defend his title in 2016. “The racing is super fast all the time,” he commented. “Everyone is checking who has legs on the day. There's a lot of attacking in the early stages of the race, especially if there are some big teams with riders looking after the strongest rider the team. In that respect its very similar to a road race – extremely tactical.”

“The fast, flowing district roads make for super fast racing,” agreed defending women’s champ Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health). De Groot will be hunting a hat trick, having claimed the title in both 2014 and 2015. “It does remind me somewhat of road racing, where bunches are vital,” she said. “There are some nice punchy climbs which allow for some good racing!”

In the interest of maintaining the quality of the iconic event (and to ease the registration process) the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna has decided that only 4200 entries will be made available in 2016. These entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

No substitutions will be allowed after 15 August. The entry fee is R450.00 and includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday 17th September. The event is owned by the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna and all proceeds from the event go to Sightfirst, the South African Guide Dog Association and other urgent needs in the community.

For more information and to enter, visit www.karootocoast.com

Published in News snippets