The Great Kei Trek Overview
Welcome to what was once mountain biking’s best kept secret. The Great Kei Trek.
After an unbelievable 2019 event, and judging from the unbelievable feedback we received, 2020 promises to be even better.
The scheduled dates for 2020 are 30 April to 2 May.
In keeping with the tradition of creating top class and high-quality events, The Leverage Corporation is proud to announce the 2020 staging of The Great Kei Trek.
The Great Kei Trek, is a 3-day, 240km race/ ride. A race that isn’t a race. Each day we have various Strava Sections and we had a number of these on each day – some were won by the racing snakes and some by the non-snakes, and some were won by people who didn’t even ride a particular Strava Section.
The emphasis is on pushing yourself as best you can, but without the pressure of a typical MTB race.
This will definitely appeal to those who traditionally use the months of April or May for their “away-game”. But do not be fooled. This is not a “Walk in the Park”. There are some tough and honest kilometres out there to be cycled.
A 2-rider team race, fully catered for, with different entry options, ranging from 1st Class packages to Business Class, Premier Class, Economy Class and Standard packages. (Check out the Enter Here section at the top of this web page)
Plus we have some new and exciting tracks, as well as some of the tracks that have been a bit more “manicured” for 2020.
Add to this some stunning Eastern Cape Hospitality – something that will get you wanting to do this ride. (Warning – the Eastern Cape okes, especially the farmers, know how to look after you – just ask those who did the 2019 edition)
The race will start in Tylden, a small village just outside, Queenstown. Queenstown will host rider registration and pre-party.
Day 1, is 70km from Tylden to the quaint historical village of the Old Thomas River situated between Cathcart and Stutterheim. In true Eastern Cape fashion, this is where the Eastern Cape hospitality starts to kick in, with the farming community and the businesses all getting involved to make sure you have an awesome experience.
Day 1 does have a few new challenges, with one or two climbs, but nothing that a fit rider like yourself can’t overcome.
Old Thomas River Historical Village is owned by Jeff and Anne Samson, Jeff is the consummate collector and historian and will entertain you until late at night with tales of what has happened over the years.
Jeff does the entertaining while Anne and her team will ensure that you are well fed. She’s a brilliant chef.
The village is named after a British deserter, Thomas Bently who was killed by a poisonous bushman arrow.
The old town train station sits between old forts and dates back to the late 1870’s. The station was remodeled in 1926 and was last used in 1948. The village is brimming with history and was restored to its former glory in 2003.
Day 2 is 91km and stretches from The Old Thomas River to Komga.
Once having left Old Thomas River, riders will push on through the beautiful forests of Stutterheim before the final push of the day to Komga.
Stutterheim is the home of many picturesque hiking trails, as well as mountain streams that are well-stocked with trout – not that you will have time for fishing, but we thought you might like to know. The iconic Amatola Hiking Trail goes past Stutterheim, and at one stage, it was hailed as the best 7-day hike in the country.
Before reaching Komga, you will have one or two big challenges for the day.
We have the F.U.R. 1 Hill just before water point 1, and the F.U.R. 2 Hill, The Kubusi Valley, just before water point 3. This day will definitely be remembered for the scenery and infamous F.U.R. climbs.
Komga, your home for night 2, is a town situated 45mins north of East London. It was founded as a farming centre in 1877 on the site of a military camp established in 1854.
Prepare to be spoilt here. The Komga Ladies know how to cook and the Farmers know how to braai, so prepare yourselves for a feast – Komga Style.
And then the final push, Day 3 a 78km stage…. From Komga to Morgan Bay.
Riders will travel through the Chaba Wind Farm, boasting seven massive Vestas wind turbines, then through the quaint seaside village of Haga Haga.
Haga Haga will afford you some more beautiful views of the ocean. Haga as it is affectionately known is a popular holiday destination and has been just that for the organizer for the past 20 years. Table 58 Brewery will be in attendance whilst you have your compulsory stop at the Haga Haga Hotel. Take some time to look around. It’s a stunning seaside hideaway.
From Haga, with one or two climbs to go, you will then push on to the beautiful and stunning and peaceful seaside holiday village of Morgan Bay which will be the finish of a rewarding three days of an unbelievable experience.
Here you will finish on the cliffs of Morgan Bay with absolutely stunning views. And Chris, the brewer from the local brewery called Emerald Vale, will be there to assist you “rehydrate” yourself.
Once you have fully hydrated yourself, you can then ride at your leisure on to the Morgan Bay Caravan Park, a short pedal away.
All post-race logistics such as your complimentary burger, your race medal, vehicle collection, box collection and bike drop off will take place at the Caravan Park.
And then don’t forget the after party and this will take place at the Morgan Bay Hotel on the night of the 2nd of May – don’t worry – it’s a Saturday night, so book your flight home carefully and you can have a lie-in on Sunday.
All water tables are manned by the farmers from various farmer’s associations and they do their utmost to make sure you are well looked after at each point.
And finally…If the route is not to your liking you can shoot down the Course Director, Deanbean, on The Bikehub.co.za’s Great Kei Trek thread. Deanbean needed his fireproof suit and bullet proof vest for the week after the GKT. But he survived and will be bringing you another awesome ride in 2020.
Just double check when he tells you to turn left… or is it right…