This mountain bike race is driving hope for rural communities in South Africa
joberg2c is not for the faint of heart. As the longest mountain biking stage race in South Africa, it covers 900 kilometres of mostly dirt road and can take approximately nine days to complete. Yet while this race takes a lot to finish, it gives even more to the communities it passes through.
joberg2c started 10 years ago when farmers and race organisers Glen Haw and Gary Green decided to create the ultimate ride from the bustling city of Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast. Calling in their city-slicker friend Craig Wapnick, the trio began carving out a gruelling route in the heart of South Africa, passing through 220 private farms and covering 280 kilometres of single track trails. Along the way, they experienced South Africa’s renowned hospitality with locals from the rural villages rushing to lend a hand. Inspired by their generosity, they invited the surrounding communities to host the riders, creating a unique event that benefited everyone.
Today, the race attracts adrenaline junkies from around the globe, giving them the opportunity to not only experience the beauty of the country but make a difference in the communities that call it home. “We are a community-inspired event which means that we pay all of our nine race villages a set fee and they are able to fundraise over and above what we pay them,” says race organiser Lara Greef. “More often than not, this is the biggest fundraiser that they have in the year.” Committed to giving back, the team also utilises the race to raise support and funds for local charities, Surgeons for Little Lives and the Nelson Mandela Library Project.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation in 2020, the race came to a grinding halt. “We haven’t been able to have an event for two years and last year we had to cancel a month before,” Lara says. The unexpected change of events meant that the team had just 30 days to find a secure self storage facility to store all their race supplies and equipment. Fortunately, Stor-Age Craighall was there to help. With a wide range of unit sizes and flexible contracts, Lara and her crew could safely store all their gear and supplies for as long as they needed to.
Although the path in the last two years has been paved with hurdles, it’s nothing the extreme mountain bikers can’t handle. With a tenacious spirit and a passion to better their communities, the crew continue to drive hope for the country – no matter the weather. To find out more about joberg2c and how you can join their next race, visit their website or check out their tips for running a mountain biking stage race over on our blog.
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