The Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge is one of the longest running mountain bike events in Joburg. Starting out all those years ago with relatively small numbers, two routes were on offer, a 20km or a 40km lap starting and finishing at Kyalami Race track.
How the event has grown since then, as has mountain biking as a sport! Now in it’s 16th year, with over 6 000 riders across three distances, there are many reasons Joburgers keep coming back for more:
In your backyard
Mountain Biking by its very nature is often in far off places, where you’ve had to drive for miles to take your bike off the car and hit the trails. Approximately 15km north of Sandon CBD, through partnerships with very kind land owners, the Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge is able to offer some incredible urban trails that make you feel like you’re far out, while you’re actually fairly close.
A large part of being able to find great tracks in greater Joburg is through the kindness of land owners in the area. Most of the three routes traverse privately owned land that’s not usually accessible, so why not come and enjoy these trails once a year!
A Family Affair
With three distances on offer, the whole family can participate. With the shorter novice and family-friendly 8km on Saturday, Sunday offers longer routes for the more experienced riders in the family. The 25km route offers a great mix of single tracks, district roads and jeep tracks to allow novices the chance to taste what it’s all about. The 55km route offers the stronger riders in the family the chance to really stretch their legs, and you can enjoy the festivities at the Riversands Farm Village finish area once you’ve completed your chosen route.
It’s all in the trail
The trails are maintained, and originally designed and cut, by ex-pro mountain biker Richard Beswick and his team. Most of what has been cut is used by the land owners throughout the year, which helps keep them ridable. Starting about 8 weeks out, the team goes out and starts final preparations in the lead up to the event, to make sure everything is ready for the big day.