If you can’t ride it – walk it, enjoy it and embrace it.
Bruce Campbell, an ambassador for the Rare Disease Society in South Africa, recently completed the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek. From the tents to fireside talks, he explains why the event is one he can’t wait to return to.
This was a rugged, unspoiled mountain bike race. The organisers worked hard to make the event as rough and natural as possible.
They truly took us back to the true essence of what mountain biking is all about.
It was true mountain biking – steep climbs, rough terrain, technical ascents and descents and single track that blew your mind.
All of this is what makes me come back to this race every year.
At the race village there was no special treatment for the pro riders, everyone was treated like royalty with enough food and drink to keep the bellies full and fuelled for the tough days that lay ahead.
With a buffet every night it was perfect for me because, as a sufferer of a rare disease called Pompe, I cannot eat any carbohydrates whatsoever.
The Zuurberg Mountain Inn catered for me in that I could have a selection of meats and salads for dinner.
The spread they put out allowed me to eat as I would normally, if I were preparing a meal for myself at home.
This helped me a great deal because I have found that at most of these stage races the meals usually include big pasta dishes and other foods that are very high in carbohydrates.
In addition to the great food, the cappuccino’s made by specialist Sumatran Coffee barristers, the wine from Leopard’s Leap and craft beer from Striped Horse all made it hard to decide whether we should race or have a jol.
The atmosphere was just so relaxed that you always felt comfortable enough to go and sit and chat with anyone and everyone at the event.
If you got the impression that you received royal treatment wining and dining, the accommodation got even better. The tents we stayed in made us feel like rock stars as there were real beds and down duvets.
The tent was so high that you could stand up inside and look out to the spectacular views of the Zuurberg Mountains.
There was a chill tent as well that was filled with bean bags to lie in, a charging station for any devices and some snacks if one felt peckish.
The race was an amazing mix of single track, jeep track and a minimal amount of gravel road, which we needed to catch our breath before hitting the single track again.
The scenery was absolutely incredible. You have to take it all in; to just put your head down and race would mean you miss the best parts.
We passed through breathtaking scenery and one really should appreciate the beautiful parts of our country that this race shows off.
If there are any new comers to mountain biking, don’t let the technicality of this race put you off. If you can’t ride it walk it, enjoy it and embrace it.
This race with help you take that step to a new level of mountain biking that you will never regret.
CAPTION: Bruce Campbell (right) and teammate Tim Ellerbeck were all smiles after completing the first day of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek. Photo: Full Stop Communications