Bike race traverses Dusi route

2013-06-11 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG — A brand-new two-stage mountain bike race that will offer riders the chance to traverse the valleys that host the Dusi canoe marathon will be staged on June 22 and June 23 by the team that has taken the famous Nedbank sani2c race to its present iconic status.

The race is being driven by Glen Haw, who has done around 30 Dusi Canoe Marathons. He has established a collaboration with the local communities, the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) and the Durban Green Corridor initiative that is committed to developing opportunities in the uMngeni valley.

“Currently, the Durban Green Corridor under the guidance of Devlin Fogg and his teams have over 75 people trained, employed and now working on a daily basis,” said Haw. “They, together with Duct, are creating a great mountain bike route along the many river paths.”

The race will overnight at the landmark Mfula Store, making the two stages almost equal in length. A team of workers from the local community has been working hard to get the facility ready, preparing ground for the tent village and installing 20 000 heaters to provide hot showers for the riders.

“Ultimately, this partnership aims to complement the tourism opportunity for the local rural people of the uMngeni valley. The idea is to follow the valleys all the way to Durban and create employment opportunities along the race route,” said Haw.

The entry will be strictly capped at 300 pairs and is almost fully subscribed.

The race will also break new ground as it will rely entirely on riders to navigate by pre-programmed GPS co-ordinates, and the trails will not be marked.

“Our aim is to provide a journey where the destination is as important as the experience along the way,” Haw said. “We will engage with the communities along the route and offer them opportunities to better their lives, and create another great event that will ultimately benefit all involved.”

The 75 km first stage will start at Camps Drift where the Dusi Canoe Marathon starts, and will follow the Msunduzi River to the confluence with the uMngeni River down to the Mfula Store overnight stop, climbing 650 metres in the process. The 68 km second stage to Blue Lagoon in Durban climbs 688 metres.

The dusi2c mountain bike race takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban on June 22 and June 23.

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