Crater Cruise: Behind the Ride-off

The MTN Ride Crater Cruise is one of South Africa’s most prestigious mountain bike events of the year. This event happens on the second weekend of October every year. Mountain bikers from all over Africa flock to Parys in the Free State to compete for the Mountain Bike Marathon title of “King and Queen of the Crater.”

This off-road mountain bike race happens inside the world’s largest meteorite impact zone. This area was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2005.

The event takes place within the beautiful Vredefort Dome that is along the Vaal River where riders and spectators alike are given the pleasure of enjoying South Africa’s Petit Paris. The Petit Paris venue is the home of the event and is located only 100 km from Johannesburg.

The Junk Mail team recently attended the launch of the Crater Cruise and was entertained by the local Parys community and the 2011 MTN Ride Crater Cruise MTB Mascot, Meteor Man. He may not be superman but he sure knows how to motor up a mountain.

Meteor Man

Meteor Man

Meteor Man

The MTN Ride Crater Cruise will be held for the 8th time this year. Junk Mail has been a sponsor since the event started and provides all riders with a full itinerary as well as a helmet cover.

This years race even sees Junk Mail’s CEO, Gerald Coniel and Managing Director, Felix Erken saddling up and competing against the other thousand pro and amateur mountain bikers. We will catch-up with them after the race to give you the full scoop of what really happens in the crater.

The 2011 MTN Ride Crater Cruise will be comprised of 6 different mountain biking events:

  • Master Blaster of Parys: A one of a kind 84 km road event for 50+’ers only. To be held on Friday the 7th of October. This is an ideal opportunity for Grandma and Grandpa to win cash prizes
  • 108km MTN Ride Crater Cruise: To be held on Saturday the 8th of October 2011. This is a Elite Pro / Amateur Delay relay race.
  • 56km Nissan Ride Crater Cruise: To behold on Sunday 9 October 2011. No riders younger 15 years will be allowed for this race.
  • Dirt Flirts: There will be a Nissan 28km version and USN 17km version of this event. This will be held on the 8th and the 9th of October 2011.
  • The Ride Kêtathelon: Will be held on the 8th of October. Participants are only allowed on an invitation only basis.
  • The Spur Petit Cruise: This event will take place on the 8th of October 2011. All participants will receive a medal & a Spur goodie bag!

For the full event programme of the Crater Cruise and information on late entries please click on this link.

The most anticipated event of the festival is the, “Ride Kêtáthelon”.  The Ride Kêtáthelon is an invitation only event that consists of a maximum of 32 mountain-bike riders. These riders battle it out to see who is the best kettie shot. All bikers are measured by hitting various targets along an off-road course using a Y-shaped, hand-held catapult from which stones are shot.

Even if you are not an off-road mountain biker there are many other activities to get involved in and there is something for the whole family. There are many festivities for the kiddies, including “The Spur Petit Cruise” aimed at children of the age of 10 years and younger. If you are on the lookout for a new bike this festival also hosts the largest exhibition of mountain bikes in South-Africa at “The Ride MTB Expo” that forms the hub of the event. The hall also has a coffee bar, a SAB beer garden and this will be the arena where the prize giving ceremonies will take place.

For more information about these races, please visit Online Registration deadline for most of the races ends on the 30th of September. The Petit Cruise is open to registration on the Saturday though, at no extra charge.

If you are looking to attend an upcoming event, you might also want to check out the Event Tickets category on the Junk Mail website.

Also feel free to check out the following interesting posts on the Junk Mail blog:

Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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