“Down to the coast on a mountain bike”
Judging by last year’s entry, over 600 entries are expected for the third Pennypinchers-sponsored G2C (Grahamstown to Sea) mountain bike race over 58 kilometres in July. The date of the annual event is arranged to coincide with the final day of the National Arts Festival – this year it’s Sunday, July 12.
The G2C starts at Pennypinchers in Rautenbach Road in the industrial area to the west of Grahamstown, and ends at Rosehill Mall shopping centre outside Port Alfred. The inaugural G2C in 2013 attracted 333 entries from all over the Eastern Cape, and last year the entry topped the 500-mark. Organising club Saints & Sinners is hoping for a figure nearing the 600-mark this year, and some good weather thrown in for good measure!
The event is again being sponsored by the Grahamstown and Port Alfred branches of Pennypinchers.
The leading finishers in the various categories will be rewarded for their efforts with handsome cash prizes but they will not be the only ones on the receiving end of rewards. Medals and goody bags will be handed out at the finish, while several lucky finishers will also receive spot prizes. Last year’s winning times in the men’s and women’s categories were faster than those of the inaugural event in 2013 – Jason Meaton was timed at 1 hour 38 minutes 41 seconds in 2014 and Jenny Opperman 2 hrs 05 mins 27 secs. A new addition to the prizes table this year is a floating trophy for the first male and one for the first female.
ENTER AND FIND MORE INFO ABOUT THE G2C HERE
The closing date for entries is 8 July, and online entries cost R160 each and late entries R200. The entry fee excludes return transport to Grahamstown, G2C T-shirt and CSA licence.
The top 3 Ladies and Men are awarded prizes. Category winners of each Ladies and Men’s are also awarded prizes
- Grand Masters
From the start in the industrial area outside Grahamstown, riders encounter two kilometres of tarred road before tackling the tough and unrelenting Mountain Drive comprising gravel road, single track and a tricky downhill section through bush. For those cyclists not intent on racing all-out to the coast, the scenery is breathtaking along the first eight kilometres. They say on a good, clear day one can actually see the Indian Ocean from the highest point of Mountain Drive!
Once riders are off the ‘mountain’, they will pick up speed down Woesthill Pass, changing gears for the uphill section and a coastal-bound jaunt through diverse farming districts. This undulating road takes the two-wheelers past farmlands and game farms, with a couple of tough passes and stiff hills along the way to test riders’ stamina.
As the riders get a whiff of the ocean and begin to hear the almost non-stop traffic on the busy R72, they’ll veer off to the left and head for Rosehill Mall through a private farm.
The course may plummet from 643 metres above sea level at the highest point of Mountain Drive to just 69 metres at the finish, but riders should not be lulled into complacency.
The finish outside Rosehill SuperSpar will take on something of a festive atmosphere with plenty of lively commentary, music and colourful banners and flags. While there will be those riders attempting to reach the coast in the quickest time possible, organisers and sponsors are hoping all the riders have fun along the way, enjoying the ride!