The joBerg2C was a truly amazing experience! I teamed up with Jako van Heerden (from Kantey & Templer) from Kloof to ride in the vet men’s category of the Old Mutual joBerg2c mountain bike race. We set out on the nine-day mountain bike adventure with the aim of getting onto the vets podium.
Stage 1 started on Friday 21 April at Karan Beef, just outside Heidelberg. It was a relatively uneventful, neutral stage of 113km cycled to Frankfort. During stages 2 and 3, from Frankfort to Reitz (89km) and Reitz to Sterkfontein Dam (125km), we experienced a few mechanical issues which unfortunately cost us some time. We found ourselves placed seventh in the vets category, but after finishing 13th overall, and as the first vet team in stage 4, which took us from Sterkfontein Dam to Em’seni, our hopes were up! Stage 5 was a long, tough ride from Em'seni to Nottingham Road and we covered the gruelling 120km in 5 hours and 11 minutes.
After placing 14th overall and finishing as first vets team in stage 6 we were feeling strong and motivated going into the last two racing stages. Fifty kilometre into stage 7 and, while leading the vets, Jako had a bad fall. After spending some time with the medics we finished 40 minutes behind the first vet team. Jako was determined to push through the pain and we finished stage 8 in a rather slow 5 hours 44 minutes.
Jako’s broken left hand was operated on, on the Saturday that followed the race. Fortunately his knee was not as bad as we first thought. After all of this drama, the two of us still placed as 8th vet team and 31st overall. Over the nine days of the race we had spent 40 hours and 7 minutes in the saddle covering approximately 900km. It was an incredible race, and something I would highly recommend for every passionate mountain biker!
Sadly, it’s all over now, and I am not sure how I am going to settle back into 'normal' life again?