Mountain bikers and runners are promised a weekend fuelled with top shelf events with the fourth event in the ROAG Series, The Lizzard Howick MTB Classic presented by Sappi and an all-time favourite family event, the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge.

The 2012 edition of the Lizzard Howick MTB Classic presented by Sappi, is in its 26th year, rolling out the tradition of challenging mountain biking routes and as the club phrases it, “Raw and Unplugged Mountain Biking!”

The Howick Mountain Bike Club, an affiliate of Amarider, has delivered two longer race routes, primarily traversing Sappi’s plantations for those who thrive on challenging mountain biking with plenty of single track.

The 20km route, though much shorter, will still give you the full experience of Howick’s renowned single track.

The 40km race, part of the new ROAG Series, is truly single track nirvana, with course designer Ken Pascoe, throwing as much of Howick’s central single track into the route as possible. Having set out with this intention, jeep track sections allow for flow of cyclists and will reduce “single track congestion”. Two large “Chicken Runs” later on route allow the weary bodies to make choices, which will be decisive in respect to who finishes ahead of whom. Older sections like Harry’s, Fast Track and New Track will delight those familiar with the area, whilst new section like, Sheep’s Pass, PuffAdder Pass and Dragon’s Back will ensure no regular riders are too comfortable!

For the younger set, the10km River route provides a challenging race, along the Umgeni river conservancy area. The event starts at Howick High School on June, 3.

Currently in line to win the R 20 000 ROAG Series Prize money is Carl Calverley in the overall men’s category and Natalie Bergstrom in the women’s category.

Falling over Saturday and Sunday, the Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge offers mountain bikers of all ages an opportunity to participate in their MTB Gymkhana and Skills Challenge, Family Fun Ride, Family Fun Walk, Night Ride and Dinner and Night Ride only on Saturday, with a 15km Trail Run, 6km Fun Run, 45km Classic, 19km Intermediate and 10km Beginner races taking place on Sunday.

Sunday’s 15km Trail Run follows a spectacular route in the foothills of the Drakensberg, offering boulder-hopping, river crossings and hill scrambles.

A motorbike escort will get you out of the forest in the The Alpine Heath 45km Classic, after which riders will take the quad trail and head down to Lizelle’s Drifts. The category two 7km climb through Alpine Heath to Drifters Camp follows, however, riders will quickly be rewarded by the Nook Road Down Hill. The race promises riding down a waterfall, steep downhills, and 5km of rolling 4X4 track tucked beneath sandstone cliffs.

For more information or to enter online for both events, visit www.roag.co.za. Online entries close on May 31 for both events; however, both events allow you to enter on the day.