The Race to Rhodes takes place in early winter each year. It is a 475 km, non-stop, self-navigated mountain bike race starting in Pietermaritzburg, KZN and ending in Rhodes, Eastern Cape. Riders are allowed a maximum of 7 days to complete the ride.
It is a non-stop event, so riders are not required to stop every day/night as in other stage races. Riders are required to be self-sufficient and carry all their own personal belongings with them.
Further support along the way is provided by:
- 6 support stations which also serve as compulsory check points. These support stations occur every 80-100km along the route and provide food and accommodation to all riders during the race. Riders are required to sign in and out of each designated support station. It is however within an individual participant's discretion to decide whether they wish to utilise the accommodation provided at each support station.
- Riders may send a pre-packed 2 litre container of their own to each support station, to be collected during the race. These typically contain the maps for the next section, bike spares, snacks etc which will be needed along the way.
- 4 emergency stops where food and emergency accommodation can be arranged for riders – this is done by the race office.
- pre-ride dinner in Pietermaritzburg
- all meals during the ride
- end of ride dinner in Rhodes
- accommodation for 7 nights including Pietermaritzburg and Rhodes
- official ride garment
- finisher’s prize: a handmade herdsman’s whip
Please note: no individual seconding is permitted during the event – this means that no friends, family or other supporters may meet you along the route and offer assistance during the ride.
The route follows the first part of the Freedom Trail along a wide variety of off-road terrain, traversing dirt roads and tracks with extensive sections of single track and cattle track. Apart from the riding, there are numerous portage sections where riders will have to hike, push and even carry their bikes. It passes interesting countryside that is rich in history and culture.
Since the route is not marked, riders need to navigate by means of maps, compass and narrative directions – the use of GPS devices for navigation during the race is not allowed and will lead to disqualification.
The entrance fee for the 2018 Race to Rhodes is R9200-00.
The entrance fee covers the following: