Cyclists participating in this year’s Knysna Cycle Tour presented by Knysna Rotary were faced with windy conditions and a downpour just after the start at the first major sporting event of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival. The event kicked off with four MTB races – 80km, 50km, 30km and 15km.
The 80km event was won by Gert Heyns, his second consecutive win in two years, in a time of 3:18:16. Second was Marco Joubert in 3:20:58 followed by Robert Hobson in 3:24:27.
Gert Heyns said he was very happy to take the win again after last year’s victory.
“It was quite a good way to test my form ahead of SA MTB Marathon Champs next weekend,“ he said. “It was perfect conditions out there today, a bit windy but not too slippery. It was a very enjoyable race.
“I got away just past halfway with Marco Joubert. We rode together for quite a bit and then I managed to get away from him and just stay out in front. It was quite hard, but I was feeling good.”
Heyns said he enjoyed the new route that Knysna Rotary designed this year.
“There’s quite a few nice new sections of single track at the beginning which makes it more interesting,” he said. “It makes everyone a bit more tired early on. It’s quite a fast three hours but it’s a good route.”
First home in the Elite women’s race was defending champion Robyn de Groot in a fast 3:47:48, with Hayley Preen more than 15 minutes behind her in 4:04:04. In third place, Courteney Webb was almost 10 minutes behind Preen in 4:14:35.
Robyn de Groot said that the race was “slightly different to last year with interesting single track at the start, which was really fun. Also, coming into the finish on the field was quite different.”
De Groot took the lead early on in the race. “I think already in the school single track I was away, so it was a bit of a lonely day out but a good session none the less. The changes to the route this year were fantastic, and the vegetation was really nice. Well done to everyone who participated under tough conditions - with the rain and the wind it was quite hard.”
Race Marketing Director Andrew Finn said that the event was a great success despite the weather. “Most of the registered riders turned up for their events and we’ve had great feedback so far about our new routes. The finish on the field worked very well for spectators. Finn thanked the sponsors, particularly Elite Marquees, SPUR, Coca-Cola and Powerade, and Allsound, as well as the cyclists. “The sponsors and riders make this event possible and their support and participation is what enables Rotary to do so much good work in the Knysna area every year,” he said.
Tomorrow sees the Knysna Cycle Tour Road Races and the SPUR Children’s Tour. The start and finish of both events are on the Knysna High School sports field which makes for great spectator viewing. There are food and sports clothing stalls on the field, a beer marquee and music for the adults and lots of entertainment for kiddies at the SPUR Race Village.
There will be lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family at this year’s SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour at the SPUR Race Village where families are invited to spend time before, during and after the events.
The cycle tour takes place on Sunday 23 June at the Knysna High School Sports Field with three different routes and distances for different age groups:
2-4 years – 400 m:
A circular loop on the field. The ride is open to anything on wheels including prams, pushbikes, tricycles, small bicycles with training wheels and scooters. Helmets are recommended. All accompanying adults must be on foot.
5-7 years – 1,5 km:
From the field to Hedge Street, then Waterfront Drive, onto the old railway line, past the station to turn at the turntable, then back to Hedge Street and onto the field for the finish. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
8-10 years – 2,5 km:
As per the 1,5 km race, but riders will continue along the railway track to Long Street, turn into Waterfront Drive and then back to field. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.
Entry fees are R100 for the first rider and R50 per child for additional family members. Registration will be from 07h30 – 08h30 and the first start is at 09h00. There will be medals and goodie bags for every participant. Parents and guardians should wear flat, comfortable shoes if they want to follow their younger children on foot!
Don’t forget to dress up because there are great prizes for the best dressed participant, parent and ride! So, make sure you pimp your ride before the start!
Ongoing entertainment at the SPUR Race Village will include face painters and cheerleaders.
The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour forms part of the annual Knysna Cycle Tour. The event is all about fitness and fun and is a great way to entertain the kids and family. You can enter your children online before 14 June at www.knysnacycle.co.za.
Route Manager Andrew Finn said that there is an exciting new route for the longer road race, which is now a 104 km ride. Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.
“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon then, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay with all its beautiful views of the sea en route to what is arguably the best beach and surfing spot in the Knysna area. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs through natural forests and farmlands on the way up to Barrington.
“The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1 km gravel pass along the Seven Passes Road between Barrington and Karatara. From Karatara, it’s fast downhill all the way back to the N2.”
The tour’s MTB routes have been designed and are being maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley, Greg Penrith and David Correia who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.
Lightley explains: “I was asked to contribute to a route redesign for the 30 and 50 km MTB routes and to incorporate more single track, making the routes more fun and technically challenging. The idea with both the mountain and road events is to show off some of the areas where the Knysna locals ride.
“I’ve been riding mountain bikes and exploring the Knysna forests for almost 30 years and know the forest quite well. I enjoy the more technical type of riding, and actively help and encourage others to improve their technical skills. With this in mind, I have built tens of kilometres of single track, mostly in the Concordia Contours Trails area, to the north of Knysna, near Simola. We have selected a number of these trails for the mountain bike events.”
Says Finn: “The end result is that this year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes created by locals. After the climb up the Simola hill both routes will use single track sections designed and built by these local track designers and builders which will add a new dimension to both events.
“Our official route managers, Corne Botha and Pat October from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.”
The MTB races have all had exciting single track added to the first sections of the route, including a lap of the stunning Oakhill School purpose-designed track, the Life of Brian single track link to Narnia Village, the Knysna Montessori single track to the drop-off onto the Salt River farm track, and the iconic SANParks single-track Petrus Se Brand through to Harkerville.
Once back at the finish on the Knysna High School sports field there’ll be plenty of entertainment for the whole family and time for cyclists to relax with food from local food stalls, listen to some music and enjoy a beer or two.
Online entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour races close on 14 June. For more information and to enter go to the website: www.knysnacycle.co.za.
When was the last time you hiked through the beautiful Knysna Forests, swam in the magnificent Knysna Estuary or had Sunday Lunch at one of our great local restaurants?
The 2019 Knysna Oyster Festival is arranged and hosted by locals and we are proud to announce that it will be one of the best yet! We always say “support local”, so why not get out there and enjoy our beautiful area, with drinks at The Turbine Hotel (22 & 28 June), Burgers at the Burger Exchange (22 June), Forest Hikes with the family, Live music with friends (27 June) and a round of golf at the Pezula Golf Course (27, 28 & 29 June).
Get out your camera for the Woodcutter’s Trail (25 June) and River of Gold Forest Walk (27 June), tie your shoes laces for the FNB family hike or trail run (24, 26 & 28 June), hold your breath for the Lagoon Mile Swim (28 June) or get involved in one of the sport tournaments, many of these being hosted by the ever-friendly Hornlee community.
Not the outdoor type? Enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner (28 June), book a babysitter for the Not So Secret Something (adult only) Comedy Show (23 June) or attend the Flavours of Knysna (26 June) for some really good food!
We have something for everyone and invite, encourage and challenge you to make the most of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival!
Visit the website www.KnysnaOysterFestival.co.za for more details of our fully packed programme and regularly updated eatery and activity specials.
Visit Knysna Information & Promotion Office
40 Main Road, Knysna
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