The Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is a 100km off road race from UNIONDALE to KNYSNA via the Prince Alfred's Pass. The route is scenic, challenging and riders are encouraged to train sufficiently for this event in order to maximise the enjoyment of the experience.
Entry Cost is R630. This includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday the 21st of September. All proceeds go to the Lions of Knysna and Uniondale. Only 4500 entries will be made available in 2019. Entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
The Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Race has been selected as an Official Premier Seeding Event of the 2020 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The entry fee includes dinner in Uniondale on Saturday 21 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.
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.
The Garden Route’s most spectacular stage race rolls once again in late September 2018, and, as in the past, will act as something of a precursor to the extremely popular Lion’s Karoo to Coast. This year, event owners and organizers - Zandile Meneses and Leon ‘Dr Evil’ Evans, are set to introduce a few new innovations which promise to up the race experience even further.
Of course, carrying the moniker ‘Dr Evil’ might scare most riders off. The reality is that the man who garnered that name after designing leg-murdering routes for the Absa Cape Epic way back in the day is actually a big softy and the event is aimed at weekend warriors and racing snakes alike. The idea is to create routes that are interesting, scenic and will test those who set out with the intention of racing the event but not be too difficult or long for those wanting to enjoy the ride at lesser pace.
Each stage of the three-day event will be unique with day one being 72km (1350m elevation), Day two around 75km (980m of elevation) and about 50km (850m of elevation) on day three. The routes will cater for average and elite riders alike. The routes will be made up of a combination of singletrack, scenic district roads and forest trails. The event prides itself in the fact that nowhere in the country can you ride indigenous forests as you can here on the Garden Route.
This year sees Registration and Day One are at the Plett Game Reserve. Day Two is at Kurland Hotel and Polo Estate. While Day Three remains at the ever popular Cairnbrogie Dairy Farm with its now-famous network of singletrack. “Apart from the amazing routes, riders are in for two brilliant new venues,” explains Leon Evans. “The Plett Game Reserve (speaks for itself), where supporters will also be able to go on game drives while waiting for the riders to return and Kurland which is the country’s premier venue for equestrian events. It also so happens that the venue will be hosting a major equestrian event at the same time as day two of Dr Evil, enabling supporters to watch while the riders are out on course.”
Entries for the Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge often sell out fast but entering the the Dr Evil Classic will receive a preferential start in the Karoo to Coast. The final stage of Dr Evil classic is also shorter (about about 50km with 850m of elevation) so there is time for all transfers and the like the Saturday before Karoo to Coast Sunday.
The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year and the Knysna Rotary organising committee will mark the occasion with the introduction of a number of new routes and races.
The Knysna Cycle Tour has grown enormously since its inception in 1987 and now comprises four popular events which will take place on 8 and 9 July, the first weekend of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival: MTB events, road races, the SPUR Children’s Tour, and the Forest Family Dam Ride.
The MTB event on 8 July is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna forest. Traditionally the events consisted of four different MTB routes for varying technical abilities - 80 km, 50 km, 30 km and 15 km. This year, the organising committee is changing the 15 km route to an easier, fun ride for all ages, and introducing a 30 km e-bike route.
“We understand that this will be the first electric bike race in the country,” says Race Director Elwin Thompson, “and we are hoping to attract e-bikers from all over South Africa.”
The MTB routes are rated amongst the most scenic in the world and include access to privately owned sections of property that are usually closed to the public. Set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil, they test the skills of competitors to the maximum.
The challenging 109 km road race on Sunday 9 July will follow the route introduced three years ago, which was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies. It takes cyclists from Knysna to Sedgefield, Karatara and Barrington, and back to Knysna.
The 50 km road race route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
This year, for the first time, both these races will include a category for mountain bikes. “We are doing this in response to many requests that we’ve received over the years from cyclists who want to enter both a MTB event on the first day of the tour and a road race the next day, but can only transport one bike to Knysna,” says Thompson. “We are confident that this is going to grow cyclist numbers in both events.”
The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour on Sunday 9 July is a fun, safe event for children aged 2 to 10. There are three events for different age groups, all starting and finishing at the Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds in Waterfront Drive.
Another new innovation this year will see the popular Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday 9 July split into two events: a 20 km and a 30 km ride. Both rides are scenic MTB routes through the Knysna forest and past some of the town’s dams. The 30 km event is for more experienced riders, while the 20 km ride is for MTB riders of all ages and competency, including children aged 12 years and older. They are guided fun rides and will not be timed.
Says Thompson: “We would like to see as many cyclists as possible participating in events on both days of the cycle tour, and our new events and categories will make this much more feasible. There will also be overall prizes for cyclists who enter events on both days.”
The Knysna Cycle Tour is a one of the biggest and most popular events on the national cycling calendar and a highlight of the annual Knysna Oyster Festival.
Online entries open on 4 March 2017. For more information visit www.knysnacycle.co.za.
Follow the Knysna Cycle Tour on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about all the events.
Join us for adventure at Knysna Cycle Works . Hire a bike from us , take one of our cycling clinics or join us for outrides . We will cycle with you and service your bikes with a smile
The Cross Cape cycle route - which will eventually join Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay - is finally on a roll.
The Western Cape Government’s Project Khulisa* (isiXhosa: ‘Project Grow’) focuses on creating jobs in three sectors - agri-processing, oil and gas, and tourism - and while the Province knew from the start that one of its aims for tourism was to attract 100,000 cyclists within ten years, it hadn’t yet identified the details of how this would be achieved.
By coincidence, we at Knysna & Partners had commenced with our Cycle Knysna campaign (#TrailTownSA) in 2014 - and when Project Khulisa was launched, we realised immediately that Cycle Knysna was a perfect fit for the Province’s vision.
This made creating a partnership with the Province an easy task - and, since we’d collected the information and made the initial connections (including negotiating international marketing opportunities through Squirt Lube, which was developed here in Knysna), Cycle Knysna effectively became the starting point for the development of the Cross Cape.
For the Cross Cape to succeed, it has to embrace multiple landowners, various government departments (including DEDAT and Wesgro), as well as many business in the region - and, by putting our vision for Cycle Knysna into practice, our office has lead the way in developing the kind of private-public partnerships that will deliver the results.
We’re proud to report that Minister Winde acknowledged this at the launch of the Cross Cape (which took place on 29 June at the Garden Route Trail Park) - and that he went further by announcing that he will be taking our formula through to the other regions along the route. (A real a feather in our cap!)
We’re now into the next phase of development. This requires working closely with neighbouring towns, the Eden District, and regions further afield - as well as with local businesses who are, or want to become, part of the cycling economy.
We’ve established technical groups that will define the route itself, and that will work with the landowners to open the trail - and we will shortly begin engaging with supporting business (such as accommodation providers) to develop the eco-system that will surround the route, and that will help to make the Cross Cape the iconic attraction we know it will become.
Please join us in positioning Knysna as #TrailTownSA.
*Project Khulisa: www.westerncape.gov.za/projectkhulisa
Nearly 4,000 riders competed in the first major sporting event of the 2016 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival this morning - the MTB events of the Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour.
Marketing Director for the race, Andrew Finn said that conditions for the race were perfect for mountain bikers. “It was slippery and muddy because of all the rain we had yesterday, and I think that is why times were not as fast as last year.”
Riders set off in clear but chilly conditions from 08:00 this morning when the gun was fired by Knysna Executive Mayor, Georlene Wolmarans, but the sun shone through a cloudy sky and there was no rain.
First over the line in the main event of the day, the 80 km MTB, was HB Kruger in 03:01:50. A sprint over the line saw Waylon Woolcock finish second (03:01:51) and Matthew Beers third in a split second time difference. (Last year’s winner, Matthys Beukes finished in a course record of 02:52:12.)
Speaking after the race, Kruger said that conditions were quite technical. “It was very muddy, and I had actually deflated my tyres too much and had to stop to bomb them to get the pressure up again. But it was a nice route and a good challenge.”
Kruger, who races professionally for Team Telkom, established a lead from the start in a group with five other riders. “I was with my team member Johann Rabie, and Matt Beers, Waylon Woolcock, Renay Groustra (King of the Mountain) and James Tennant for the first 30 km. Then James and Renay dropped back a little and coming into the finish it was myself, Waylon and Matt. I knew I had a bit of a kick and with my road background I was able to get a good sprint to the finish.”
This was Kruger’s first Knysna Cycle Tour race and he will be racing again tomorrow in the 115 km road race with Telkom Team members Nolan Hoffman and Reynard Butler, who were first and second in last year’s race.
Ladies Elite winner Yolande de Villiers agrees that the route was “slippery, and very wet. I’m usually sick at Oyster Festival time so I’m very glad I was able to ride this year. It’s a challenging course, starting with the steep climbs up the Simola and Gouna hills and this year there was a new section near the end with lots of single track. It was awesome. I really enjoyed the race.”
De Villiers beat Samantha Sanders by two seconds in a time of 03:24:26. Third lady over the line was Carmen Buchacher with a time of 03:31:06.
Carel Bosman, Sponsorships Manager for Momentum, one of the two naming sponsors of the cycle tour, said that he was delighted with the event. “I was particularly pleased to see so many moms and dads riding with their children today. Momentum is very much about families and it’s great to see them enjoying and participating in the events together. I was also delighted that the numbers of young development cyclists have increased this year to about 100, with 50 percent of these coming from Knysna. The Oyster Festival is about giving back to the local community and assisting development cyclists is a great way to do this.”
All provisional MTB race results are available on the website, oyster.events.
Tomorrow the Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Rotary road races take place with the first start at 08:00 am.
Barry de Kock and George Fitzpatrick are just about halfway to their goal of cycling from Beitbridge to Knysna. The pair – who have been friends since they both worked for SAA many years ago – have undertaken the journey to raise funds for cataract operations, sponsoring a guide dog, and cornea transplants, through the Knysna Lion’s Club.
The original idea was the 62-year-old De Kock’s. He wanted to do a mountain bike ride from Beitbridge (on the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe), to Cape Point via Sedgefield and Cape Agulhas, the most southern tip of Africa.
After some persuasion, Fitzpatrick (69 – who has been managing the finish of the Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast since 2005 – decided to join him. According to Fitzpatrick’s wife Sue – who is chairperson of Lions Knysna – he has seen the response and delight of someone that has had a cataract removed. “Also, he is so involved with the Lions and Karoo to Coast, that they decided to raise money for the Lions sight projects - hence the title ‘Cycling for Sight’,” she says.
The ride will be some 2 060km long with around 20 110m of climbing, and should take them just over a month to complete. They are riding mountain bikes and plan to stick to dirt roads as far possible, although certain sections necessitate some tar miles.
To follow their journey and to donate to the cause, check out their official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Cycling-For-Sight-Border-to-Coast-1184494934916848/).
Lion’s Pennypinchers Karoo to Coast
Entries are now closed. Substitutions are open but riders need to find someone who wants to sell their entry through social media platforms. There are LIMITED reserved Karoo to Coast entries for those who are still entering the Pennypinchers Dr Evil Classic. This three-day stage event (72.4km day one, 50.2km day two, 37.8km day three) is the ideal warm up event for Karoo to Coast.
The RECM Knysna 200 is now less than a month away and the chances to join the Garden Route Events crew and the RECM Asset Management team for a weekend of mountain biking bliss in Trail Town South Africa are slipping through your fingers.
Hosted in the idyllic Garden Route town of Knysna the RECM Knysna 200 boasts a lagoon side race village; a singletrack packed route, which is both challenging but manageable; and a vacation-like vibe. The relaxed atmosphere is of course aided by the Youth Day Public Holiday which falls the day before the race, allowing you to get to Knysna in your own time rather than rushing after work.
Patric Mosterd of Garden Route Events has gone to great lengths to put together a route which cuts out most of Knysna’s toughest climbs but includes most of the area’s best trails. For those familiar with the mountain biking in the town which is quickly becoming known as Trail Town South Africa will know that the routes around Knysna feature a climb or two – so cutting out the most strenuous of them is no mean feat. Stage 1 of the 2016 RECM Knysna 200 in particular has benefited from Mosterd’s extensive knowledge of the forest trails as he’s cut two mean climbs from the day’s route to ensure you finish the stage with a massive grin on your face.
The daily start times of 09:00, barring Stage 3 of course which starts at 08:30, adds to the relaxed vibe and allows the milky winter sun to rise a little higher in the sky – hopefully ensuring the starts aren’t too chilly. If you’re of the racing frame of mind don’t think it’s all about chilling at the RECM Knysna 200 there are team and solo race categories with great prizes up for grabs too.
The three stages each feature a unique start venue, allowing you to explore more fantastic Knysna singletracks without having to ride strenuous distances to do so. Each of the starts are within 20km from the centre of Knysna and are clearly signposted off the N2. There will be secure parking available at the start venues and Avis will be providing a complimentary shuttle to take you back to your vehicle from the race village.
For the foodies there’s a treat in store too; the race buffet lunches will be served at the Tapas Bistro while dinners will be hosted by Sirocco. The restaurants are within a two minute stroll of each other in the heart of the picturesque Thesen Island Harbour Town.
If you haven’t entered the 2016 RECM Knysna 200 yet you can do so and find out all about the race at www.recmknysna200.co.za. But be warned entries close on the 30th of May, so don’t delay. You can book accommodation for the duration of your stay in Knysna too by clicking here. In addition to three days of fantastic mountain biking, with two water points per day, scrumptious lunches and dinners and a race garment from Cape Storm if you enter the RECM Knysna 200 you’ll go into a lucky draw to win a weekend’s stay at the Endless Vineyards boutique lodge on Windekrans Wine Estate.
RECM Knysna 200
Dates: 17 – 19 June 2016
|Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3|
|Start:||Knysna Elephant Park||Quinta da Montanha||Harkerville|
|Climbing:||1 550m||1 350m||1 000m|
|Finish:||Tapas Bistro||Tapas Bistro||Tapas Bistro|
Race Village: Tapas Bistro, Thesen Island Harbour Town
Entry Fees: Team R8 600 | Solo R4 800 (Close 30 May 2016)
Facebook: Garden Route Events
Online entries for the 2016 Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour are open and if you enter online before 4 May you stand a chance of winning the Early Bird Entry prize of two nights for two people at the Simola Hotel, Country Club & Spa in Knysna.
Tour director Elwin Thompson said that the Knysna Rotary Club, which coordinates the tour every year is looking forward to the biggest and best event ever.
“The race, which celebrates its 29th year in 2016, has grown enormously since its inception and now comprises four very popular events – MTB events, road races, the SPUR Children’s Tour and the Forest Family Dam Ride. These take place on 2 and 3 July over the first weekend of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival (1-10 July 2016).”
The MTB event is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna forest. The 50 km and 80 km MTB races are official premier seeding events of the 2017 Cape Town Cycle Tour.
There are four different MTB races in total for varying technical abilities - 80 km, 50 km, 30 km and 15 km, and routes include access to privately owned sections of property that are usually closed to the public.
Says Thompson: “The routes are set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil and, while cyclists will be riding through one of the most scenic areas in the Garden Route, they will also have their skills tested to the maximum.
“The 109 km road race follows a new route introduced in 2014 which was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies and will keep you working all the way to the finish line.”
The route takes cyclists from Knysna to Sedgefield, Karatara and Barrington, and back to Knysna. The 50 km route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.
The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour is a safe, scenic race for children from 2 to 10 years of age and consists of three events which start and finish at the Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds, for 2-4 year olds, 5-7 year olds and 8-10 year olds.
The successful 25 km Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday, 3 July, is a relaxed MTB ride. It is open to a limited number of riders, 12 years and over with some experience, and takes riders past Knysna’s three dams and through scenic forest areas.
The Knysna Cycle Tour is a one of the biggest and most popular events on the cycling calendar and a highlight of the Knysna Oyster Festival.
Says Thompson: “There is an incredible vibe in Knysna over this weekend as families from all over South Africa pour into Knysna for a weekend of cycling for mom, dad and the kids. Before and after events there’s lots to do at the Festival Grounds and in the Knysna area. We are looking forward to a great event this year.”
To enter the race online go to www.knysnacycle.co.za. All the information about entry fees is available here as well as travel packages for cyclists and their families travelling from Johannesburg for the Knysna Cycle Tour.
This year, for the second time, cyclists can Pedal with Purpose and raise funds while doing the Knysna Cycle Tour with a special charity entry. Cyclists purchasing a Hospice Charity Entry will receive:
• Preferential seeding
• A Hospice 'goodie bag' filled with fantastic cycling goodies including an awesome cycle shirt
• VIP registration at the Hospice stall
Follow the Knysna Cycle Tour on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about all the events.