Enter The Berg & Bush: Here’s 5 Reasons Why
There are many reasons to ride the Grindrod Bank Berg & Bush near Winterton in KwaZulu-Natal, but these five seal the deal. Make it your one event to do in 2019.
Attention To Detail
There is something for everyone at this family-run mountain-bike event, but its latest and greatest innovation might just be the separate “Snorers’ Camp”. It’s a fun addition to the Berg & Bush, but just highlights the little things the race organisers like to do well. As for the tents in general, gone are the days of flimsy, lightweight “stage race” tents. At the Berg & Bush everyone gets a robust canvas tent – making evenings more comfortable and, crucially, allowing you to stand up when getting dressed.
Every great ride needs a great beer, and Berg & Bush has that in abundance thanks to their partnership with the champions of craft beer at Nottingham Road Brewery. A refreshing Berg & Bush Lager is the order of the day after your ride, then we suggest moving on to the Whistling Weasel Pale Ale. To soothe the soul as the sun sets, the Pickled Pig Porter is our preferred pick.
It all happens next to the Tugela River – the chill zone, the afternoon drinks, the post-ride analysis all occur with the soft babbling of the Tugela in the background. In an absolute masterstroke, the Berg & Bush built a temporary deck over the river a few years ago, and they haven’t looked back since. Lounging on bean bags and snoozing in hammocks, nibbling on free popcorn and biltong, while the draught taps of the Notties Brewery mobile pub work overtime, is the only way to spend an afternoon after a morning of world class mountain biking.
Forget the vistas and the views – most people will tell you that mountain biking is all about the vistas. No, it’s not – mountain biking photos are about the vistas, but mountain biking itself is all about the trails, and the Berg & Bush has that in abundance. There are too many world class trail sections to mention, but you can sleep easy knowing that all three days will blow your mind. If one trail warrants special mention, then it’s the one-of-a-kind, MTB-must of the final 13km descent of day three (day 2 on the 2-DAY, or should that be, the 2-Yay!). You’ve already won the lottery by entering the Berg & Bush – the final moments of the final day are just you winning at life
It’s become something of a cliche to talk about the great food at mountain bike events in South Africa, but Berg & Bush warrants the cliche. Not only are the water points hosted by welcoming members of the local community, but they go out of their way to make sure you leave the Berg & Bush a minimum of five kilograms heavier. At this year’s event, one water point was even whipping up fresh pancakes! If you don’t put on weight over your three or two-days of riding, then the event organisers will send you food parcels for a week after the event just to ensure you break the scale at home (that’s not true – but they do really like feeding you).