Cape Epic – Reflections
Epic scenery, epic people, truly epic course and tracks. It’s a bucket list event for every biker/adventurer out there, it incapsulates a true journey through a stunning part of the world. But as with most journeys the road is never a fairy-tale, with loads of highs and lows and drama. We learnt this year that global warming is exactly that, not just isolated to your home country, South Africa not escaping the highly variable weather patterns.
There is nothing like spending 8 days doing what you love, riding with like minded people, sharing banter, sleeping under the stars (well in tents) and rinse and repeating that for 8 days. It is a really good way to leave the worries of the world behind, and become solely focussed on one job…biking. Coupled with that amateur riders like ourselves get to mingle with the sports elite, to the point of being awarded finisher medals by the world’s best, and many elite riders easily accessible for a chat!
The Cape Epic organisers have listened to feedback on previous editions and filled daily routes with loads of flowing single track. The Prologue, or the first short day is simply sublime, a breath taking ride around Meerendal Winery. Most of the time trying to limit the pace given the what lied ahead, but if you like a perfectly balanced course and enough sections to test true MTB skills this was it. From there two days of 100kms plus days in the saddle followed, again stunning courses and technical enough and stacked with enough single track to keep it really interesting. The wind did start to play a role, these stages being on the coast seeing decent winds from all directions. As anyone knows, wind usually blows in the rain and that arrived by stage 6 and 7, the words biblical come to mind. Probably the worst conditions I have ever biked in. The next day although the rain had mostly stopped the aftermath continued, with deep bike swallowing puddles remaining and tracks like streams. Those days taking a heavy toll on body and bike. But only really dampened sprits not washing them away at the tail end of the race.
- The course, the singletrack, the flowing downhill
- The team, knowing some else is suffering...and the humour
- Meeting Nino, and generally the other competitors
- Pizza and a massage everyday after the ride
- Infamous stage 6. The wettest and most challenging stage in Cape Epic history
- Flooded tent. Moving out of tent
- Stage 2, on the road home....I broke
- Giardia and dystery after the race
If you’re on the fence, do it.
Posted: Tuesday 30 May 2023