GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Entries are now open for a new 3-day stage race from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay that will get under way on the 9th of September.
The Honey Trail - named for the Khoi-san word for the mountains that it’ll traverse (‘Outeniqua,’ which means ‘men laden with honey’) - is the brain child of local rider Sam Nienaber, who designed the event to take best advantage of the tourism potential of the region.
“What will set this race apart is both the fact that participants will be staying in hotels and guest houses rather than in tented race villages, and the fact that we’re encouraging the riders’ families to book places in the same accommodation establishments.
“So after riding until lunchtime, there’ll still be time to meet up with your supporters and, for example, head off to the beach in the afternoon,” said Mr. Nienaber.
Averaging about 85 kilometres a day, the teams will overnight in George and Knysna, but many are expected to spend the nights before and after the race in Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay.
The entry fee of R 5,750.00 per team will include accommodation, breakfast and lunch on all three days of the race, and special packages have been created for supporters and friends. Supper is not included in the race cost - which will leave riders free to enjoy the dining rooms in their hotels, or to go out to any of the excellent restaurants along the route.
The race will begin on the edge of the sea at Mossel Bay’s de Bakke Resort, with the first day’s riding ending at Fancourt in George, the second day at Portland Manor outside Knysna, and the final day at Plettenberg Bay’s Crescent Country Hotel.
“The aim is to make this race an exciting cycling holiday,” said Mr. Nienaber.
While the race is not a charitable event as such, the organisers have pledged that any surplus funds will benefit the Southern Cape’s transformation and development riders. “At present, no other events support this important cause,” said Mr. Nienaber.
Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm said she was excited about the Honey Trail because it will bring the entire Garden Route into focus.
“It’s a fantastic way of showing exactly why this is a premier cycling destination,” she said.
She pointed out that Mossel Bay has a wide variety of accommodation at very reasonable rates for riders who want to overnight in the town on the night or nights leading up to the race. “And we’ve also recently published a map of the local cycling routes, so you’ll be able to practice and warm up in safety.” (The map - ‘Cycling in Mossel Bay’ - is available from local bike shops, or from the tourism information office on the corner of Church and Market Streets. It can also be downloaded in pdf format from www.visitmosselbay.co.za/cycling).