The spectacular mountain bike trails of the Garden Route will once again be the backdrop to one of the country’s most popular cycling events next month – the Glacier Storms River Traverse.
From 9-11 August 2019 the trails around the Tsitsikamma Village will host this three-day stage race that has fast become a favourite amongst South African mountain bike fans. The daily distances of the event vary between a highly manageable 40-65 kilometres – just enough to allow cyclists to soak in the scenery and abandon the tiresome slog that often comes with racing.
Chief executive of Glacier by Sanlam, Khanyi Nzukuma points out, “this world-class event in the calendars of hundreds of riders, is one which we are proud to put our brand behind as the family focus of this event ties in with the ethos of our business which looks after the investments of families over a lifetime.”
As every adventure-seeker’s utopia, the Storms River area is home to lush forests, deep mountain gorges that have been carved out by rivers, and kilometres of protected coastline. Besides the scenery, major drawcards of the event include day care for children, homemade buffet meals at the race village, and famous water points that offer everything from ostrich fillets to craft beer.
With its relaxed atmosphere, the Glacier Storms River Traverse attracts both competitive riders and those looking for a fun, riding-filled weekend. It provides the perfect opportunity for pro riders to enjoy a ‘racing’ weekend away with their families, but also the ideal introduction to stage racing for novice riders.
Francois Joubert, a rider who has ticked off most events on every racing enthusiast’s bucket list, explained: “I usually travelled to races with my friends and would just send my wife a quick message at night to let her know how the race went. This event is different though – my wife signed up to ride with me last year and we even brought our little girl along. It’s really amazing to be able to share experiences like this with them.”
Dryland Event Management’s director Henco Rademeyer revealed that there will be some exciting changes to the route in 2019. In addition to more scenic tracks through the forest, he mentioned replacing older trails that have been used for the last four years with brand new routes.
While the contingent of men is usually higher than that of women in mountain bike races, this is certainly not true for the Glacier Storms River Traverse. Each year the event boasts an impressive field of female athletes and quite fittingly falls over the Women’s Day long week-end.