Now in its seventh year, the three-day event – which this year runs from 7 to 9 September – is a firmly established favourite on the South African stage-racing calendar. Why? Because it’s fun, friendly, foody, family-centric and festive.
“There is a really cool atmosphere at the race,” says Erik Kleinhans, who won last year’s team category with Robert Hobson, “It is very social and the vibe (and wine) is very good.”
The event takes place in the charming town of McGregor in the Western Cape. The 2018 edition will once again feature various options across the three days, with a short (40km) and long (60km) route per day as well as solo and team categories for mixed, women and men’s teams. The short routes are open to riders older than 16, which sets the event apart from most other stage races.
However, that is not the only thing that makes it unique.
The Ride2Nowhere provides a unique opportunity to explore this remote region of the cape on a mountain bike, by getting access to routes and trails you wouldn’t on any other day. The riding is typically ‘Karoo’ – more rugged and technical than many of the other more groomed trails that see countless wheels per year.
“The idea is for riders to experience pure mountain biking,” says Race Organiser Eulogy van Dyk, with a large portion of the trails are not open to the public, having been created exclusively for the Ride2Nowhere. The routes allow you to just enjoy the ride, winding through some very remote areas creating that feeling of riding in the middle of nowhere.
That though, it not the real reason behind the name. (Bear with us through the brief history lesson.) The event takes its name from the road that runs from Robertson to McGregor. This ‘road to nowhere’ was originally planned to run through the mountains all the way to Greyton, and from there on to Cape Town. However, when the town of McGregor (formally known as Lady Grey) was established, work on the road to Greyton was stopped, and never completed. And that’s how it became known as the ‘road to nowhere’. So now you know.
Although the riding is epic (as in the route on day one was part of this year’s Absa Cape Epic stage 1), the vibe is probably the reason most riders return. Hassle free event logistics, relaxed atmosphere on route and at the race village, with no cut off times – there’s even a daily prize for the last rider in.
The event also caters for spectators and family by offering spectator points on route, supporter meal packages, kids days care services and a fun 6 or 12km trail run.
Entries for the 2017 event sold out fast, 2018 is limited to 400 so don’t delay, head over to www.ride2nowhere.co.za for more details.