Route Details

Please read the route descriptions below, there are important rider information updates!

AS AT November 13 2018

Day 1 – Solo Challenge

Summary:

This stage starts at Floreat Riverside Lodge. (Calibrate your GPS to 1007m above sea level)

After warming up through the Sabie CBD, the participants race “hell for leather” for initial position on the fast tar downhill at 65km/hour before turning left into Sabie Star Chalets. The trail passes through Sabie Star Chalets to cross over the Spitskop Spruit, before the lung-busting technical climb past the beautiful waterfall. From there a jeep track takes them on to cross the R537 White River road over the railway line bridge at Spitskop Sawmills, and up to join the Team Lite and Extra Lite routes along the old railway line service road.

A drop down a great single track into the valley below, before a steepish climb towards Spitskop mountain, then down a steep single track, and another slippery flowing trail to the wet and dark culvert, to cross under the R537 White River Road and on to the first refreshment station at 24km. The route climbs a bit more and changes here compared to complete a loop of “Fig Tree Plateau” before dropping down on a fast, open road into the Bervliet Plantation before a new extended main road climb of 4km up to the Land Rover King/Queen of the Mountains at 38km and 1576m above sea level.

The route flattens out to take in some spectacular “On the Edge” grassland single track along the Escarpment rim to the second refreshment station at 40km before entering  the new “Stonehenge” trail which weaves amongst some huge boulders before a series of plantation jeep tracks and single tracks again pops out at the Land Rover Quarry Dam (with a view!) refreshment station at 50km and 1382m above sea level.

The Solo Challenge riders will feed into the Team Lite participants at this stage, for the ride down jeep track and smooth open road to the Spitskop Sawmill to climb over the tar road using the railway bridge. From here, subject to approval by the landowners the route will take an exciting new direction down one of the famous York Enduro trail (“Brake Me, Shake Me”) to spit the riders out at the XCO route where it will use some of these single tracks before passing under the Long Tom Pass entrance road to Sabie, then behind the Golf Course to pop out at the Floreat Riverside finish.

NO MORE SCORPION CLIMB TO STING RIDERS IN THE LAST 7KM TO THE FINISH!

Quick Releases:

Start: Floreat Riverside Lodge:  S 25 5.492’/ E 30 46.298′

Total Distance:  65km

Accumulated ascent: 1600m

Tar road: 5km

Forestry Road:  19km

Single Tracks:  15km

Jeep Track: 30km

Railway Line: 300m

Three Refreshment Stations:

  • At approximately 24km after crossing under the White River Main Road at Quarry Dam. Energy drink, Cola, ice and cold water, fruit and snacks.
  • At approximately 40km at “Natures Bathtub”. Cola, ice and cold water, fruit and snacks. Make sure you stop here.
  • At approximately 50km before the exhilarating ride down into the Sabie Valley via the combination of jeep track and single track enduro trails

 Estimated Fastest Rider Time:  2 hours 50 minutes

 

Day 1 – Team Lite

Summary:

This stage starts at Floreat Riverside Lodge. (Calibrate your GPS to 1007m above sea level)

After warming up through the Sabie CBD, the participants turn right up through Engelhard Park to immediately entre the forests and climb for initial position on the road towards the old railway line above Spitskop Sawmill, where the route joins up with riders on the Solo Challenge route.

After splitting off the Solo Challenge route with a welcome drop down into the valley below and climb via the powerline to rejoin the Solo route, and another flowing trail to the wet and dark culvert, to cross under the R537 White River Road where the first refreshment station awaits riders before a challenging jeep and single track.

A split from the Solo Challenge route takes riders up a main road climb to the “King/Queen of the mountain” at 1576m along some stunning single tracks along the edge of the escarpment to the second refreshment station at “Natures Bathtub” where the view will mesmerize you for a few minutes, through “Stone Henge”, and more single track down to the Land Rover Quarry Dam (with another great view!) with the last refreshment station at 1382m above sea level.

Team Lite participants continue along jeep track and smooth open road to the Spitskop Sawmill, to climb over the tar road using the railway bridge. From here, subject to approval by the landowners the route will take an exciting new direction down one of the famous York Enduro trail aptly named (“Brake Me, Shake Me”) to spit the riders out at the XCO trails where it will use some of these single tracks before passing under the Long Tom Pass entrance road to Sabie, and then behind the Sabie Golf Course to pop out at the Floreat Riverside finish.

 NO MORE SCORPION CLIMB TO STING RIDERS IN THE LAST 7KM TO THE FINISH!

Quick Releases:

Start: Floreat Riverside Lodge:  S 25 5.492’/ E 30 46.298′ @ 07h30

Total Distance:  50km

Accumulated ascent: 1200m

Tar road: 4km

Forestry Road:  20m

Single Tracks:  8km

Jeep Track: 18km

Three Refreshment Stations: 

  • At approximately 16km, at the Quarry Dam, just before the final climbs up towards the Escarpment.
  • At approximately 26km at “Natures Bathtub” just after the culvert under the White River Road. Energy drink, Cola, ice and cold water, fruit and snacks.
  • At approximately 36km at the Quarry Dam. Energy drink, Cola, ice and cold water, fruit and snacks. Make sure you stop here to refill for your ride to the finish line.

 Estimated Fastest Rider Time:  2 hours 5 minutes

 

Day 2 – Solo Challenge

Summary:

The start and finish will, as usual, be at the Floreat Riverside Lodge. (S 25 5.492’/E 30 46.298’)

The direction is again the same as 2018. After reaching “The Oaks” after a fast 12km warm-up along the Sabie Valley floor, the tough Solo riders will now be leading the way on a new “Mbabala” (Bushbuck) Loop under the pines, and challenged to climb an initial 150m in ascent over 3,5km before they reach the base of the 4km HKK climb up to the King/Queen of the Mountains at 1588m, and the Misty Mountain Refreshment Station at 20km.

From there, a recovery ride through the “Awesome Indigenous Forest”,  another 2km climb up to 1800m, will bring the riders onto the “ Sally and Michelle Highway” which undulates over a the next 10km on a main road contour to reach the next Refreshment Station at 36km, at the start of the Hartebeesvlakte jeep track, before they once again climb past Mount Anderson to reach the “Top of the World” at an altitude of 2160m above sea level. The view on a clear day is endless, if you can see past the sweat in your eyes.

The next section is fast, but perilous for the unwary and reckless, with technical sections coming up fast, past “Leopard Run” descent to the lower flat sections of Hartebeesvlakte. A visit to the Eland Trail is required on the way down to Stables Hut Refreshment Station at 58km, at an elevation of 1782m above sea level.

From here it is “Home James!” but be careful of the “Cobble Stone Hell” (slippery in the wet) before turning into the Hiking Trail and out onto a 2km contour jeep track, before a steep 200m descent through the new 2km “Flint’s Single Track”.

The next fast forestry road section spits the riders out onto “Sunlight Liquid” a 300m single track, (very slippery if wet) before reaching the valley floor where a visit to the Lake Olaf Floating Bridge (in reverse) and a few narrow bridges back along the Riverside Single Tracks, and final kilo through Merry Pebbles will bring them out at the finish line at Floreat Riverside Lodge.

Quick Releases:

Total Distance:  80km

Accumulated ascent: 1900m

Tar road: 5km

Forest Road:  28km

Jeep Track:  29km

Single Track: 16km

Three Refreshment Stations:

  • At approximately 20km just above the 4km climb to the top of Long Tom waterfall, Misty Mountain.
  • At approximately 43km, as the riders reach the base of Lone Creek Falls.
  • At approximately 53km, on the main logging road up to Stables Hiking Trail Hut.

Estimated Fastest Rider Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

 

Day 2 – Team Lite

Summary:

The start and finish will, as usual, be at the Floreat Riverside Lodge. (S 25 5.492’/E 30 46.298’)

The direction is again the same as 2018. After reaching “The Oaks” after a fast 12km warm-up along the Sabie Valley floor, the Team Lite riders will now be following the Solo riders on the “Mbabala” (Bushbuck) Loop under the pines, and be challenged to climb an extra 150m in ascent over 3,5km before they reach the base of the 4km HKK climb up to the King/Queen of the Mountains at 1588m, and the Misty Mountain Refreshment Station at 20km. This climb will be different, the big pine trees have been felled and the views of the indigenous forest and waterfalls will be spectacular in the early morning sun.

From there, after a recovery section through the “Awesome Indigenous Forest” the route tips downwards for 3,5km in a “Fast and Furious” descent back down into the valley, where the route rejoins the Mbabala Loop before a few interesting single tracks through the Liquid Amber Forests.

The next flat section back is fast and furious. Be careful of vehicles using the road until a turn to the left joins into the Fun Ride route where slower riders may be encountered. Pass the newbies with care. The next Refreshment Station will be at 36km, at an elevation of 1079m above sea level.

From here it is all fun, fun, fun along a series of single tracks, bridges, over the Lake Olaf Floating Bridge and the Riverside Single Tracks, though Merry Pebbles and to the finish at Floreat Riverside Lodge. But be aware and careful of slower Fun Riders ahead and possibility of very fast riders from behind in the last few kilos to the finish line.

 Quick Releases:

Total Distance:  50km

Accumulated ascent: 1000m

Tar road: 5km

Forest Road:  19km

Jeep Track:  16km

Single Track: 10km

Two Refreshment Stations:

  • At approximately 20km, above Long Tom Falls
  • At approximately 36km, at the split to Lone Creek Falls.

 Estimated Fastest Rider Time: 1 hours 50 minutes

 

Day 3 – Time Trial – Both

This is a relatively short, but challenging route over REAL Mountain Bike Terrain and Trails.

Summary:

The route basically follows that of 2018, which starts at The Floreat Riverside Lodge complex, and utilizes a balanced combination of the surrounding purpose – built single tracks, jeep tracks and challenging climbs situated within a 12km km radius of the start. This will also provide the spectators and supporters with an opportunity to follow the progress of their riders at numerous, accessible points along the route, whether this be at the Lake Olaf, on the Lone Creek and Bridal Veil Falls access roads, near Okkie’s Dam at Ceylon Forestry Station.

The riders will find the valley bottom with many flowing single tracks great fun, while the climbs and single tracks will be more technical, and challenging, dependent on the weather! This year we have a few of contingency sections and open road climbs to allow for a change in the weather to avoid the sticky mud sections, permit the faster riders to pass slower participants more easily.

To prevent congestion, frayed tempers, ugly words and intimidation of slower riders, this year the Team Lite Riders will split off just before the technical downhill Black Route section,  and follow the less technical Red Route to meet up just before the Floreat Riverside Finish!

Quick Releases:

Total Distance:  40 km – Solo Challenge/ 40km – Team Lite

Accumulated ascent:  900/950m

Single Track: 15km

Jeep Track: 10 km

Forestry Gravel Roads: approx. 12km

Tar Road: 1km

Floating Bridge: 120m long

Refreshment Stations:

  • Refreshment Station 1 at Maritzbos Hut:   At 17km, with energy drink, Cola, cold water, bananas and goodies. Bring your own energy bars and gels of choice.
  • Refreshment Station 2 under the powerline: At 28km, at the base of the final climb to the Ceylon/Tweefontein Ridge. with energy drink, Cola, bananas, cold water and snacks.

 Estimated Fastest Rider Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.

Anything time below 2 hours 15 minutes will be a good result on this terrain.