Scene_1.jpg

"Our aim is to provide a journey where the destination is as important as the experience along the way," said Glen Haw, director of the new dusi2c mountain bike race that will follow the route of the Dusi Canoe Marathon.

Photo credit: Tamika Haw/ Gameplan Media

The race is being driven by Glen Haw, or "Farmer Glen" as he is affectionately known by followers of his sani2c races, who was introduced to cycling the paths through the uMsundusi and uMngeni valleys in rides with the late Dusi legend Graeme Pope-Ellis.

Haw, who has also done around 30 Dusi Canoe Marathons, is driven by a two-fold passion for the race. Over decades of mountain bike riding in the valleys he believes the unique river paths and cattle tracks make for superb MTB riding. But more importantly he is equally passionate about fully involving the local community with a view to creating a long-term sustainable MTB riding destination.

To achieve this he has established a collaboration with the local communities, the Dusi uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) and the Durban Green Corridor initiative that is committed to developing opportunities in the uMngeni valley.

"Currently Durban Green Corridor under the guidance of Devlin Fogg and his teams have over seventy five people trained, employed and now working on a daily basis," said Haw. "They, together with DUCT are creating a great mountain bike route along the many river paths and will construct close on 100km of trail between Pietermaritzburg and Durban."

The race will overnight at the landmark Mfula Store, making the two stages almost equal in length. A team of workers from the local community has been working hard to get the facility ready, preparing ground for the tent village and installing 20 000 heaters to provide hot showers for the riders.

"Ultimately, this partnership aims to compliment the tourism opportunity for the local rural people of the uMngeni valley. The idea is to follow the valleys all the way to Durban and create employment opportunities along the race route," said Haw.

"So far over 1200 man-days have been utilized, with 98% coming from the local rural communities," said Haw.

The entry will be strictly capped at 300 pairs, and is almost fully subscribed.

The race will also break new ground as it will rely entirely on riders to navigate by pre-programmed GPS co-ordinates, and the trails will not be marked.

"Our aim is to provide a journey where the destination is as important as the experience along the way," he added. "We will engage with the communities along the route and offer them opportunities to better their lives and create another great event which will ultimately benefit all involved."

The 75km first stage will start at Camps Drift where the Dusi Canoe Marathon starts, and will follow the uMsindusi River to the confluence with the uMngeni River down to the Mfula Store overnight stop, climbing 650m in the process. The 68km second stage to Blue Lagoon in Durban climbs 688 metres.

The dusi2c mountain bike race takes place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban onSaturday 22 and Sunday 23 June 2013.

More information can be found at www.dusi2c.co.za

Dusi2CLogo.jpg