Josh Nuttall and his riding partner Rich Simpson finished in an impressive 10th place out of 486 teams that started the 2017 Trans Baviaans mountain bike race. At 23o km over 24 hours, that some time in the saddle! Here’s Josh’s account of the race:

The idea came about last year when a good mate of mine, Rich Simpson, sent me a message, “Nuts, you would seriously dig this race… next year we’re doing it!”. And so the seed to ride the Trans Baviaans was sown!

We definitely forgot to plan properly for this race. The year ran away with us and we were scrambling to finalising the entry four weeks prior to the start date (Massive thanks to Trevor Seinen from Power Bar for helping out). Organising accommodation before the event, at such a late date, proved really tricky, for example. So, lesson learnt, plan… put it in the diary, book accommodation and get all the admin out of the way as soon as possible.

Anyway, we found ourselves on the start line of this epic 230 km single-day MTB race from Willowmore in the Karoo to Jeffreys Bay (roughly 45 minutes’ drive from Port Elizabeth). The official cut off time for the race is 24 hours – giving you from 10am on the Saturday to 10am on the Sunday.

Here is a profile of the route (what the terrain actually entailed, climbing, etc.)

One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the corrugated roads in the Baviaans Valley that we had to contend with for the first 100km. It was a massive game changer and will definitely make me consider my bike choice for next year’s edition!

Need a break from the graft at the office? Check out the cool video recaps of the weekend’s action here: Trans Baviaans Weekend 2017.

My goodness… I haven’t been tested like that on a bicycle! Lots can happen over a distance of 230 km. It’s a kak-long way. There is no getting around that! You are very fortunate if you feel 100% during the whole ride. There was a patch where I questioned if I would ever ride a bike again. It’s during those times that you are lucky to be doing it with a partner. Rich dragged me through this low spot and along with a lot of Coca-Cola (probably around four litres in total for the race), I managed to right my stomach issues and finish in much higher spirits!

This is what we looked like before the race. The photo at the top of this blog is the after-shot. Spot the difference?

All in all the Trans Baviaans is a phenomenal ride and there is no question that we will be back for more next year—just give us a bit of time to forget the pain in our legs!

A quick summary of our performance: We finished 10th overall in a time of 9 hrs 41 mins. Full result sheet here. There were 486 teams that started the race and 371 completed it within the 24-hour time limit. That’s a massive achievement. Congrats to all who took on the race this year!

A shout-out and massive thanks to Rich for putting this idea in my head! Thanks also to William Simpson (Rich’s dad), for all the behind-the-scenes work and seconding us. Next year you are on the start line with us!

Stay tuned for another crazy development in the pipeline. It has a hint of #ClimbingForQhubeka in it…