Event ambassador Neill Kemp believes the inaugural Rubicon Great Zuurberg Trek E-edition will showcase one of cycling’s fastest growing sectors.
The three-day e-bike event – which forms part of the Great Zuurberg Collection – will take place from the Zuurberg Mountain Village near Addo, about 70km from Port Elizabeth.
It starts on September 10, two weeks after the seventh PwC Great Zuurberg Trek, its hugely successful sister event for traditional mountain bikes.
Kemp is closely connected to the e-bike industry and the demand saw him set up E-Bike Adventures Technical, a Cape Town-based company with a satellite office in PE that offers guided tours, sales and technical assistance.
“From my experience, e-biking offers another option; it introduces the sport of mountain biking to a new and bigger market.”
In the three years they had been involved in sales and servicing, Kemp had witnessed a spike in demand and therefore believed the Rubicon GZT E-edition was a “great concept”.
“Because of e-biking’s nature, it opens up mountain biking to so many more people.
“For example, you may get experienced riders who have done some of the classics in South Africa, but now they want to ride with their spouses and e-biking allows that option.
“It is becoming a big thing and it puts everyone on the same playing field.”
Kemp explained that e-bikes had changed the game because riders did not suffer as much on long climbs or technical terrain and were much more inclined to enjoy the ride and views.
“That’s what e-biking does – it can make the whole experience so much more fun.”
He felt there would still be some hardcore competitors who wanted to test themselves on traditional bikes and praised the organisers for allowing them to enter.
Event co-owner Trevor Hayter said they were looking forward to transferring their experience from hosting the boutique GZT race to the E-edition.
“As Neill said, this is one of the fastest growing disciplines in cycling and we are delighted to be hosting an event where we can showcase our brand of great outdoors, great indoors and great impact.
“We want people to enjoy the weekend and although there are sections which could create some serious challenges, our goal is to provide a memorable experience by sticking to the basics of the GZT routes.”
Teams of two will tackle some of the most scenic tracks in the Eastern Cape at Hayterdale Trails and in the Zuurberg mountains. Distances of 63km, 55km and 50km are on the menu.
As with its sister event, entry packages are designed for a memorable off-the-bike experience. The Platinum offering provides hotel accommodation while the Gold features luxury tent living quarters.