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joBerg2c 2011 Day 7: Underberg to MacKenzie Club
The day ahead sees riders tackling the first day of the sani2c route. However, it must be stressed, this is not the sani2c. This is the joBerg2c. This is race is a totally different kettle of fish, especially since this stage is reached after 6 days of tough riding.
That being said, the day ahead is expected to be easy. There is not a lot of climbing to be done and the route has plentiful sections of single track to look forward to.
Oaks in the Mist
Once again our Massey Ferguson mascot leads riders out onto a 15km district road section to kick things off. It is another misty morning and as the usual bunches form the riders spread out and disappear into the mist. The mist suppresses the usual noises of nature and this first section has an eerie feel to it. The sun starts to break through just as we reach the first section of single track that runs through a long line of old oak trees, appropriately named the Oak Dual Track. The initial part of this track tracks slightly uphill and really gets the blood flowing. Coming down the far side we have the left/right option. It is better to keep left as this keeps you in the oaks and there are some fun bridges to cross on the way down. Staying right moves riders out onto a very rough section of farmland that is a real test at speed. We pop out onto a short section of district road that undulates along to View Climb, a hill that takes us to the highest point on the sani2c route.
A Bridge Too Far (Not!)
We pick up the single track again through a section known as The Ferns, a fast, flowing and generally fantastic bit of riding through the Sappi pine forests. We exit this and continue on to the now very famous floating bridge obstacle that snakes across one of the dams in the area. It is great fun riding across this bridge and the experience always seems altogether too short.
Single Track Mind
The rest of the route is all about the single track. It is always fast and flowing and wanting you to concentrate fully in order to carve the perfect line through the forests. The riding is absolutely brilliant, and the scenery that accompanies it superb. We have it all, from forestry road to farmland to pine forests. There is even the chance to glimpse the Cape Parrot in the natural bush sections. Unfortunately, as a result, it seems to be over in a flash and we pop out onto the district road that leads us in to Mackenzie Country Club, with only the last short and damn tough climb to the finish to look forward to.
The Dusk Settles
This day is one to really look forward to. It is also quite easy by comparison and so can really be considered a bit of a ‘rest day’. Hats off to the organisers for inventing such a fantastic route.
We ended the day with a really beautiful sunset that lit up the sky with orange hues that matched the leaves of the oak avenues earlier in the day. Quite lovely!
For more information on this wonderful ride check out the joBerg2c organisers website.