Karoo food fest, cycling & 4x4 action

2016-04-14 06:00
Organisers of the Swaershoek MTB Challenge have decided to offer different distance options to cater for differing levels of fitness, including 85km, 45km, 16km and a short kiddies’ race. PHoto: SUPPLIED

Organisers of the Swaershoek MTB Challenge have decided to offer different distance options to cater for differing levels of fitness, including 85km, 45km, 16km and a short kiddies’ race. PHoto: SUPPLIED

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The Swaershoek Pass, linking Cradock with Somerset East and Pearston over the Bankberg mountains, has long been a favourite of local mountain bikers.

These same mountain bikers had the desire to race this monster of a mountain pass and the inaugural Swaershoek MTB Challenge was held last year.

On Sunday, May 1st mountain bikers will be heading to Cradock, where the main race route starts, heading up and over the magnificent and scenic Swaershoek Pass – a dirt road that demands stamina and strength. The ascent is 1 045 metres over the first 21km, and the sometimes bumpy road has some sharp hairpin bends and switchbacks. In parts, the ascent is 1:9, but it averages 1:12. Thereafter the route drops down to needle through Karoo veld and irrigation lands, then back over the pass to end in Cradock.

Racing options

The organisers have decided to offer different distance options to cater for differing levels of fitness, including 85km, 45km, 16km and a short kiddies’ race.

Proceeds from the Swaershoek MTB Challenge go to a different welfare institution in Cradock every year.

Hospitality and food

Cradock people are famous for their hospitality, and the mountain bike event is part of the Karoo Food Festival. This enjoyable occasion starts on Friday, April 29th at 18:00 with a Karoo Karnaval & The Meeting Ground.

On Saturday and Sunday (10:00-17:00) it will be all about food, friends and family with a deli market, demonstrations, edible gardens, foodie movies, Big Braai and 4x4 adventure.

  • The meeting ground is at Cradock High School. For entry forms and deadlines, see the Swaershoek MTB Challenge Facebook Page. For more information contact Olivia Moolman on 082 827 3354 or email karoomtb@hotmail.com or Robyn 079 980 8455 or karoofoodfestival@gmail.com

4x4 Adventure

When it comes to the 4x4 action, organisers cater for “Hardebaard, Sagtebaard en Doringdraad” meaning from dare devils to those enjoying easy routes. The adventure is hosted at De Doorns some 12km from Cradock. Camping accommodation is available.

The Cradock 4x4 Club Open Day will be held on April 30th, whilst camping is from the 29th until May 1st. Entries to participate in the Open Day close on Friday, April 22nd.

  • For more information contact André Bezuidenhout 082 651 8958 or visit cradock4x4@r63.co.za

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