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‘A special mountain biking event’ by Tim Whitfield

MOUNTAIN BIKERS looking for a unique race with something extra special need look no further than the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal, an exciting fully-supported three-day stage race on the Wild Coast that was described in 2017 by two cycling experts as the best race in the country.

The ride includes a combination of untouched animal paths and carefully-crafted single track, joined by district roads that are sometimes more suited to a bicycle than a car, all of which creates a route that perfectly captures the reasons why cyclists ride mountain bikes.

The event is based around the award-winning Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa and takes place on 13-17 June 2018. The entry fee includes four nights’ accommodation at the luxury resort and all meals, as well as three days of riding, goodie bags that include a top quality race garment, a complimentary bike wash each day and basic bike service by the race mechanic, as well as a donation to Umngazi’s local community upliftment projects.

The three stages are deceptively short – all around 40 kilometres – but what the route may lack for in distance it more than compensates with kilometre-packed enjoyment.

Respected cycling journalist Dave Moseley described the 2017 event as “… a three-day mountain-bike ride through unspoilt Wild Coast terrain, featuring goat tracks, dramatic ocean vistas, mangrove swamps and weed-smoking locals. The Pondo Pedal is the most unique MTB race on the local calendar.”

He added that “… the route includes goat track with actual goats on it, district roads, hand-built single track, and jaw-dropping ocean views that pop out of nowhere.

“I have to claim this as my ride of the year.”

Cycling author Chris Whitfield claims the Pondo Pedal is “one of his all-time favourite races”.

Race director, B-Active’s Damian Bradley has created a race that is designed to combine the legendary hospitality of Umngazi with some sublime riding.

“The focus of this event is to enjoy the luxurious hospitality of Umngazi while cycling in one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. As an added spinoff we are also able to assist in making a difference to the local community’s neediest learners via the local community upliftment projects.”

Situated in the lush, indigenous surroundings of the breathtaking Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, the first Umngazi Pondo Pedal took place in 2012 and continues to be an important annual event with funds raised going toward helping schools in the area.

Molly Staats, Marketing Manager for Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, said the Pondo Pedal was an event of contrasts.

“Every year I love watching the riders heading off on a challenge that includes conquering some tough challenges. Using nothing but human power they tackle the trails, but all riders return muddied and dusty, and yet they almost always arrive at the finish each day with huge grins on their faces – and then spend the rest of the day enjoying all the luxury facilities we have to offer at the spa.”

For further information and entries go to www.pondopedal.com.

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

 

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event

Riders will enjoy some beach riding at the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal.  

 

 

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event

One of the features of the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal is the river crossings on local ferries.

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event   

Purpose-built floating bridges get riders across some rivers at the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal.

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event

Riders are treated to some spectacular sea views at the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal.

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event

The race organisers have built kilometres of single track for the Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal.

The Pondo Pedal - A special mountain biking event

www.pondopedal.com

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