Rider-friendly Paarl Rotary Backsberg MTB

Riders at last years event take to the scenic winelands route.

The rider-friendly Paarl Rotary Backsberg MTB races take place at the Backsberg wine estate on Sunday August 20, providing a scenic route to enthusiastic cyclists of all levels, and features a stop for some bubbly 5km before the finish.

Organised and managed by members of the Paarl Rotary Cub under the auspices of the Pedal Power Association (PPA), the proceeds from this event go towards early childhood development projects supported by Paarl Rotary.

There will also be a variety of food stalls and a children’s zone at the finish.

The route includes virgin single track on private land which has been opened up exclusively for the event.

The 45km, 30km and 15km routes contain some of the best scenery in the area, with great views of the winelands with Table Mountain in the background.

The children’s 4km ride is a undulating route of two circuits of 2km on the estate.

The roads are 80% jeep track with some single track and open roads in between.

There are some solid climbs, from meandering S-bend climbs to vicious little bumps with fast-forward downhills to recover.

The 45km, in particular, includes a long continuous steep climb and is only for fit and experienced riders, but is easier than last year’s gruelling course.

It requires more technical riding skills than the average PPA fun ride and should be seen as a challenge for the fit rider, definitely not for the inexperienced.

The 30km is geared for fit riders and includes one long climb. The 15km is just right for novices and beginners.

he 45km route starts at 8am, the 30km medium route starts at 8.30am, the 15km short route starts at 9am, and the 4km children’s race starts at 9.15am.

The cut-off time and prize giving will be at noon. On-line entries, varying between R50 and R210, are accepted until 10am on Friday August 18.

Late entries will be accepted on the day of the race, at R270 for all races except for the 4km races, which remains R50).

For entries and more information, visit www.paarlrotary.co.za

Among the projects which will benefit from the proceeds are the Path out of Poverty educare centre on a farm at Nuwedrif outside Paarl, and the organizations Valcare and Learn to Live, which mentors educare teachers.