“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best.” – Ernest Hemingway
The 2017 edition of the 7 Passes MTB will start on the edge of the beautiful town of George, from Glenwood House School on 17 June 2017. Riders staying over in Knysna and joining the Garden Route Events team for the supported social cruise back to George the following day and can safely leave their cars at the start venue.
The Glenwood House start will give riders official bragging rights for actually doing 8 passes at this year’s event, including the not so challenging Swartrivier Pass – near the view of Garden Route Dam wall.
It was the legendary Thomas Bain who designed the road between George and Knysna in 1883. He experienced many challenges in the dense forest surrounds and also bumped heads with his brother-in-law, Adam de Smidt with whom he shared the contract. On completion of the road the two never spoke again.
7 Passes MTB also offers a shorter route for the younger or not so fit riders who still want to be part of the action at the Knysna Waterfront finish. The Leeuwenbosch Dairies sponsored 39km route starts on Saturday morning from the humble little village of Karatara. The start time for the shorter route leave approximately 10 minutes after the longer 79km leaders pass the second water point, located at the Highlands Cash Store and service station, halfway between George and Knysna.
The route will challenge participants by crossing 10 rivers and 7 gorges between these two towns and pass through the quaint settlement of Rheenendal, home to the brief gold rush in the 1880’s. The final stretch into Knysna will lead riders along the N2 Knysna lagoon-side cycle-way to the finish at the Knysna Waterfront.
The supported social ride back to George the following day is an ideal opportunity to spin the legs after the previous days racing, to get to know each other and simply have a good time. Leaving the Knysna Waterfront participants will head up Phantom Pass through Rheenendal and back along the route ridden the previous day. Riders will be followed by a sweep vehicle and two water points will be set up for the occasional ‘tea break’. Included in the entry fee is a complimentary Garden Route Events shuttle which will transport rider kit bags back to George for those who overnighted in Knysna.
For more information visit www.7passesmtb.co.za