The uBhejane Xtreme Mountain Bike Challenge will divert from it’s usual route from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp, Hluhluwe this year and finish at Bonamanzi, just outside the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
The ride takes place in the height of KwaZulu-Natal’s summer and with a 16 hour cut-off time makes it arguably the toughest one-day MTB rides in South Africa!
This year the expedition once again includes a three-day option (Thursday 10 to Saturday 12 December 2020) while the famous one-day Long Horn (390km) and Short Horn (270km) options and the 130km Baby Horn and 60km Orphan rides will be ridden on Saturday 12 December 2020.
Starting at 02h00, the 390km Long Horn remains the ultimate endurance test while the ‘easier’ 270km Short Horn event offers a more fun ride that takes place at a more manageable pace but still remains a tough challenge not to be sniffed at.
It is essential to understand that this is not a race! It is a ride to be completed and as such each ride will have a Ride Captain who is authorised to set an appropriate pace for the ride and to ensure that ALL the riders stay together at that pace.
It is also weather dependent, and should any extremes of weather be encountered we will adapt the ride accordingly.
The uBhejane Xtreme is a self-funded ride that does not have an entry but does require participants to cover their own expenses as well as raise a minimum of R5000 to be donated to rhino conservation in the province.
Over the last six years the event has raised over R2.5 million for conservation.
All funds raised donated to the event’s official beneficiary, Project Rhino KZN to be used for their various rhino protection programmes such as maintaining the aerial support of the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP-Wing) to 26 game reserves in northern KZN, providing urgently needed anti-poaching training and other resources to field rangers and game reserves, and community-based education and awareness initiatives targeting primarily youth.
Support vehicles, courtesy of CMH Nissan, will be on hand to provide assistance to riders throughout both the Long and Short Horn events however in order to ensure the group makes camp by daylight – and limit the risk of being eaten by a wild animal – stops are limited.
Upon completion of the uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge, all participants spend the night at the magnificent Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe Game Reserve where they will enjoy a delicious dinner and a rare opportunity to listen to the renowned Kingsley Holgate before experiencing the uniqueness of waking up and enjoying breakfast in the spectacular African bushveld.
All in all this is a difficult yet hugely rewarding cycling challenge, for a fantastic cause and that you will struggle to forget any time soon!