ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

joBerg2c 2011 Stage 9: Jolivet to Scottburgh

Updated on May 28, 2011
Early morning sugar cane.
Early morning sugar cane. | Source

I can’t believe that the race is almost at an end! Starting out 8 days previously I was fully of nervous excitement; excited because of the legendary route that lay ahead, full of promise and adventure, and nervous because of the sheer scale of the undertaking. And today it is all over. Damn!

Life's All Downhill

There was a lot of rain in the evening, and on into the early morning. Fortunately the rain has stopped and, according to Farmer Glen, the conditions are all the better for the wash. I am dubious, but hey! Nothing’s gonna stop us now!

Today’s stage is mostly fast roads through the cane fields that are such a landmark of the coastal regions of Natal. (Though they seem to be fast disappearing to make way for housing developments, unfortunately). This is definitely not a day for the technical junkies, although there is a lone, technical climb that will challenge most riders. But more of that later.

Highways & Byways

We start the race with quite some pace and head quickly into the cane fields. It is tricky riding because the cane has done its damndest to grow across the path. And encountering the serrated edges of the long leaves at pace is sore and unpleasant. I try and stay in the middle of the path, dodging the swaying, grasping fingers of the fields. I am not always successful at the dodging…

The nasty 'Work to be Done' hill
The nasty 'Work to be Done' hill | Source

Vernon Crooke's

A highlight of the day is the Vernon Crooke's Nature Reserve, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the reserve is magical. There is always the chance of running into wildlife around the next bend, and this really adds to the excitement. Legend has it that there is a roaming herd of zebra who like to, on occasion, escort riders through the reserve in their own special way.

Secondly, there are three challenging hills to climb, with one being an exquisitely tough challenge! Get that line right everyone!

Then thirdly, it is the first time that you catch a glimpse of the sea. Oh! That is such a sight. It really brings home the fact that this journey is almost at an end.

The day's challenge: Big Heart Rate Hill
The day's challenge: Big Heart Rate Hill | Source

Climb, Baby! Climb

We leave the reserve through some unspoiled, natural KwaZulu-Natal bush. Its rare beauty leaves me full of regret for the day that they chopped so much of this bush out to make way for the cane. We then make our way back into the cane and towards the last 2 significant climbs for the day, being Baby Heart Rate Hill, and then Big Heart Rate Hill. Baby Heart Rate is not too much trouble and is over quickly. Big Heart Rate Hill is a different matter entirely and seems to go on forever. I dig deep and chase as quickly as I can to the top, as I know that once done it really is all downhill to the finish.

A cloudy finish in Scottburgh
A cloudy finish in Scottburgh | Source


The day finishes with a trek on some single track that culminates in a beach crossing on old conveyor belt. The organisers have added some excitement by building a scaffold bridge across the small estuary that enters the sea here.

And all of a sudden we are done. We have travelled around 930 kilometres, making friends along the way and being spoiled by splendid scenes of the countryside that few will ever get to enjoy. I can’t believe that it is all over. I am both elated and terribly sad. My immediate thoughts revolve around how I can get back next year to undertake the adventure that is the joBerg2c all over again. I will be more prepared I am sure, but I am also certain that the adventure will be just as special a second time around. And a third. And; well lets just take this one at a time.

Goodbye, mascot. Farewell 'til next year
Goodbye, mascot. Farewell 'til next year | Source

All I can say is that the organisers have done a brilliant job of creating an unforgettable race. I wish them all the best for the years to come and, who knows, maybe they will invent a new adventure sometime in the future that will both test and nourish the spirits of city-bound mountain bikers like myself.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)