The race extends over 99.5% off-road, passing through 220 private farms with more than 280km of single track trails. It starts 70km south of Johannesburg and finishes 9 days later on the beach in Scottburgh a small town 50km south of Durban.
This is us – Thomas Oberli & Daniel Oberli. Two brothers and passionate bikers who along their journey have more than just sporting goals in mind: challenge themselves on the JOBERG2C route as well as engaging to support charities and organisations in the health and medical field.
The Cape Epic is one of the biggest , but also most beautiful challenge for any avid mountain biker and leads the team through spectacular scenery and encounters with foreign animals of the Western Cape.
Day 1 – Karan Beef to Frankfort
Day 1 is our warm up day! It is a chance to calibrate your bike, your mind, body and soul for what lies ahead.
Karan Beef farm provides the perfect venue for our chilly autumn morning start. Once the kick off whistle blows its 900k’s to go. Karan Kopie is a testy little climb to spread the field out and from there it is in to farms and more farms. The pace down to the Vaal Dam on rural farm roads will be quick even though not a racing day.
You will cross over the Vaal Dam, from Gauteng to the Free State on a variety of different boats supported by boat clubs, local farmers and on the newly built Jo-Joberg2c Eurosteel barge. You will Leave your busy world behind as you get into the spirit of joberg2c as you experience your first taste of Free State hospitality at Frankfort. It is not an easy day but there is no pressure, as it is a neutral day where everyone will get the same time… a great time.
Day 2 – Frankfort to ReitzDay 2 is when things start to hot up among the racing snakes and where the peaceful journey through the heart of the North Eastern Free State continues for those not in a hurry. Compared to other days it is relatively shorter at 93km. One of the highlights of the day will include the new trails leading up to water point 1 on Johan du Plessis’s land and the festive water point 1 hosted by the Skurwekop Farmers Association (local farmers). It’s so good you might end up staying there too long! The single trails through Aubrey and Muller Starck are a welcome relief from long stretches of farm road and the famous Boerbull Descent into Reitz is a special section of happiness.
Day 3 – Reitz to Sterkfontein Dam
Day 3 heads towards the Drakensberg mountains. This is one of the big days that defines the trained versus the undertrained.
A combination of remote farms, some fast farm roads and insanely fun single track awaits. Look out for one of our favourites a remote farm trail called Flow Job after water point 1.
As you work your way through Hansie’s farm, and other special lands, as you negotiate some necessary k munching sections of farm roads. Jabulani single track is another highlight of day 3. This river trail is what riding is about. Then more and more farms until you get to the pinnacle of day 3 – Mt Paul.
Mt Paul, which is one of our Isuzu low-range climbs, will test weary legs but the descent makes all the pain worth it.
The trail off the mountain is one of the joberg2c top 10 and you will understand why. Harriston School travel 50km to set this village up at the Sterkfontein Dam resort. They will make you feel like kings and queens of Africa.
Day 4 – Sterkfontein Dam to Emseni Camp
Day 4 is where riders fully understand the meaning of mountain biking. Firstly there are mountains and secondly there are breath-taking trails – arguably the two defining ingredients of this great sport – the massive drop from Free State to Kwa-Zulu Natal is what your bikes are designed for.
The trails are on the edge of the world and you should, if you truly love mountain biking, remember this day as one your favourite riding experiences. When you get to water point 1 you will be suitably shattered from a mixture of adrenalin and just pure pleasure.
There are some big trail names on this day but it is also the unnamed bush trails that keep you on your edge of your saddle with anticipation.
You also ride through some remote rural areas where locals wave you on with bemusement at your possible stupidity in riding 900km on a bicycle.
The new trail to Long Drop Pass and the grand finale from the top rounds off the perfect day.
Day 5 – Emseni Camp to Clifton PrepDay 5 is one of the tougher days on mainly rural farm roads and through some pristine dairy farms as the route climbs and climbs until the tranquil grounds of Clifton Preparatory. It is not a technical mountain bike day but rather one that gives riders a chance to look up and take in some magnificent scenery. We call it Africa day as we ride through the heart of this great country. Look out for Africa Falls at the bottom of Wagondrift dam. The farms the people, the views are spectacular. There is the small issue of Nigel Blaker’s climb before water point 3 which is another Isuzu low-Range section. The Wagondrift and Springrove Dams add to the majestic views and Derek Greene’s dairy farm is a treat for those who understand pastures. Is a long beautiful ride with the folks at Clifton waiting to pamper you.
Day 6 – Clifton Prep to Glencairn Farm
Day 6 – if there is a day that tests mountain biking skill this is it. Day 6 has sections of incredible trail riding including Harrison’s pass with 32 switch backs and the sensational Rock ‘n Roll trail. However to get there you have to climb our steepest climb of the whole tour.
Gumtree Climb is a wall that hits you hard – many walk many ride. Give it a go. After Gumtree you will be in Ivanhoe farm and Wiliam Bryant’s at around 1900m above sea level. It is as remote as you will get on joberg2c.
After flying through Harrison’s pass and Rock ‘n Roll, it is a long haul to get to the top of Sappi forest to get to another awesome trail called Sappiness. This day might just be a favourite among favourites for some and a bit of a mountain biking test for others. Either way there will be no indifference. The beers will taste especially good at Glencairn. If the weather is good the views of the Drakensberg will be spectacular.
Day 7 – Glencairn Farm to MacKenzie Club
Day 7 could be considered a bit of rest day in comparison to what you have been through. However there is just a frenzy of single track through forests, over floating bridges.
You are now in Sappi and Clover country – as you move from one forest to the next. Don’t ever under estimate this proper mountain bike day.
Look out for the wonderful lush indigenous forest called the Xumeni Forest, home of the Cape Parrot.
The folks at McKenzie club are seasoned pros at looking after riders and you should be able to get some good rest for the massive day 8 which lies ahead.
Day 8 – MacKenzie Club to Jolivet
The first 40k’s of day 8 could be the most amazing riding you will ever do as you scream out yelps of joy till the cows come home: Yankee Doodle, Murray’s Meander, Tosbiba’s, Tamika’s detour will delight
There is often an internal wish that the day could just be over when you get to water point 1. The memories of flying down Nick’s Pass and then absolutely caning it down to the Umkomaas River will linger as you feast at the water point.
But then… then you have to climb out of the Umkomaas Valley and that’s when you get to Iconic which is arguably the toughest climb of joberg2c. Naturally this is also an Isuzu low-range climb. This is where you swear at the organisers and where moods are tested. It is rideable and it is mountain biking so toughen up and ride it. Once on top of Iconic there is some great forest riding to the end.
Day 8 is the last official day of racing. You will be tested! The Karan Beef steaks and the ice cold drinks will taste particularly sweet. The journey is almost done.
Day 9 – Jolivet to Umdoni Park Golf Club, PenningtonDay 9 is Sage 9. Downhill all the way (never is but you know what we mean) – trails, forests, sugar cane farms, sea Think of our new day 9 as a loyalty reward scheme that actually pays. After 8 tough days in the saddle, you will have done the hard work, gotten the t shirt, earned your beers, now all you will need is a fast fun cruise to the sea. You got it!!!! More time to chill after more time to say goodbye to new mates. We have taken the anti out of climax and given riders what they deserve with a sweet new ending straight to the sea.
With our participation to JOBERG2C we will support Surgeons for little lives with your donation.
SURGEONS FOR LITTLE LIVES
For little people who need big operations. At Surgeons for Little Lives we currently have several projects on the go which include building a dedicated Operating Theatre for the treatment of children with severe burns, a new Paediatric Outpatient Facility, and a Mother’s Lactation Unit. An additional project is to build a play-area for children admitted to the surgical ward at the Baragwanath Hospital – play helps to stimulate children, keeping them active, which speeds up their recovery. This is a far cry from the current situation in which we find the children confined to their beds or watching television all day.