PODCAST - How we design a world-class mountain bike route

Three fantastic route options are on offer for this year's Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge . They cover a range of skill and fitness and while the 25km and the 55km routes are kept separate to avoid congestion - both have variety of track and stunning scenery in common.

The route starts at Riversands and immediately leads into open farmland and small holdings. Expect a lot of jostling for position before riders hit the single-track...

Route Designer Richard Beswick is quick to point out that none of this would be possible without great relationships and the vision of local landowners. Beswick's team is hard at work weeks in advance of the ride cutting back vegetation, preparing the track and assessing obstacles - improvements that are left for others to enjoy afterwards.

We've always made a point of making sure we restore whatever we break down.

Jenni Green, Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge Race Director

One thing with the 55 is that it is definitely not a walk in the park, it is a tough route. Quite a serious amount of climbing and technically challenging. Nothing that's going to scare you to jump off your bike, but definitely things to keep it interesting.

Richard Beswick, Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge Route Designer

Along the 55km route there are 3 water points featuring special mechanical stops, courtesy of Liqui-Moly.

Late entries are still open for Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge.

Read: Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge - now's the time to commit!

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If you’ve tackled the Mountain Bike Challenge before, why don’t you consider bringing a friend or family member who is new to the sport of mountain biking, and ride along with them on the shorter 8km or 25km routes.

Access to the trails in Steyn City, Heron Bridge College and Northern Farm presents a super once-a-year opportunity to experience Joburg in a new way, with some unique track and trails. A special mention must be made to local care facility Cluny Farm who open their property to host a popular (catered!) water point on the 25km route.

The 25km is the perfect mix for the beginner to intermediate rider. It's got a nice mix of everything. Nothing too challenging: A little single track to keep things interesting but mostly on dirt roads and jeep track which is what the 25km rider wants.

Richard Beswick, Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge Route Designer

Click below to listen to Jenni Green in conversation with Richard Beswick about the MTB routes...


See the video of Richard and Jenni's ride of the Steyn City section of the Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge route...


Remember, with mountain biking, fitness does _not _necessarily mean that you have skill. Just because you can go the distance, doesn’t mean you’re able to navigate the technical sections with ease. If this is the case, make sure you get out to some bike parks and brush up on some skills.

Jenni Green, Telkom 947 Mountain Bike Challenge Race Director

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