Reflecting on the Great Zuurberg Trek
Despite failing to secure a position in the top 10 at the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek, three days of mountain biking meant professional cyclist Chris Wolhuter had no trouble finding a number of positives to make up for the lack of a result.
I’m back at home in Cape Town reflecting on my third PwC Great Zuurberg Trek and what was once again another superb weekend at the Zuurberg Mountain Inn.
The Zuurberg Trek has got it right in so many ways.
On the one hand I almost don’t want to tell too many people about how awesome this event is, but on the other hand I’m sure the 200 other riders are going to tell all their friends and family so I guess I might as well do the same.
Whilst growing the event over the past four years the Mountain Events team, sponsors and partners have worked hard to ensure the personal touch has not been lost.
I would even go so far as to say it has got better each year.
This is apparent from the moment you land at the Port Elizabeth airport (if you chose to fly in) where you are met by the Unity in Africa team and escorted to the shuttle that takes you to the race village.
There is no hassle of renting cars, which comes with the stress of fitting two bike bags and gear into a Class A rental, or getting lost trying to find your way to the Inn.
The race goodie bags were even better this year, something I didn’t think possible.
We were given awesome Thule backpacks that were filled with an assortment of even better goodies from the sponsors.
We hadn’t even started riding yet and all our expectations had already been surpassed.
As nice of all of this was, the real reason we come to do these races is for the riding.
Each year Rob and Trevor have listened to rider feedback and they have tweaked the routes to get them as near to perfect as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, this race is not a walk in the park. It’s tough but you are rewarded with some exceptional riding.
The Seven Dwarves Drop, Gowars Gauntlet and the Hayterdale trails are just some of the pristine mountain biking on offer each day.
Once you’ve finished each stage you have an opportunity to kick back and relax with some great food, compliments of the Zuurberg Inn.
You can also enjoy a Striped Horse beer or glass of Leopard’s Leap wine from the event partners or even a coffee from the Sumatran Coffee team.
The rider experience in camp is luxurious, no matter which package you have chosen, and the camaraderie and vibe in the village is fantastic.
The Zuurberg Trek has managed to get the formula right as the mountain biking is tough, as I’ve mentioned, but rewarding.
At the risk of sounding like an advertorial, I can truly say that this event is the real deal.
Pencil it into your diary for next year and make sure that your wheels are on the start line, it’s an event to not miss out on.
CAPTION: Chris Wolhuter climbing above the Zuurberg Mountain Inn on the third day of the PwC Great Zuurberg Trek. Photo: Shayne Minott