The inaugural Crater Cruise promises to be the largest mountain bike race in the country, and is well on its way to becoming the biggest in the world! We would like the first Crater Cruise to be a success but we realise that there might be problems and criticisms. If we missed something, please let us know. If you have recommendations, please let us have them. If you are impressed, please tell us, but also be sure to tell everyone else!
Entry, registration and collecting your number:
Please note that no entries will be accepted on race day. Only facilities for registration (collecting your number) will be available on Saturday morning up to 08:30. If you have not entered by 21h00 on Friday evening, and you arrive at the start on Saturday, you will unfortunately have to be a spectator. Of-course spectators are most welcome and there is plenty for them to do. The Crater Cruise is the main sporting discipline, but it is only one of several sports events on offer during the weekend in Parys. Pre entries for the Crater Cruise close on 8 October. Cyclists who still wish to enter after the pre entries have closed may do so, but they will have to pay a R30 fine. These late entries will be accepted at CycleLab on Thursday 14 October and at the Afridome in Parys on Friday.
Participants in the short distance must please collect their numbers at the Afridome. No numbers will be handed out at either of the starts.
Please study these important points before you start your ride:
The routes: (95km and 47km)
The long distance ride starts in the North West Province, just beyond the bridge on the Kopjeskraal road. The first 7km is on tar. Mountain bike purists are welcome to ride in the dirt on the shoulder of the road. At the T-junction where the tar ends, you turn left on the road to Koedoeslaagte. At the next T-junction (at 17km) you will find the Fritz Pienaar Cycles water point. Here you turn left towards Venterskroon. Ride past Venterskroon and Ronnie se winkel, over Suikerbossie to the next road junction where you turn left at the Cyclone Sportswear water point at the 34km mark. Turn left again at the next crossing and continue to Schoemansdrif. The speed prime will be contested just after the drift, at 46.8km. The Powerade water point and the halfway mark is just beyond at 47km beyond the Free State border. This is where you will be able to clock out to rest, fill your water bottles, eat something, visit the toilets or whatever you wish to do. This is also the start point for the shorter route. If you wait here until 11h00 it will be possible to complete the ride in the company of your darling wife (husband) and perhaps your older children. For the rest of the route you keep turning left as indicated up to the Hakuna Matata water point at 72km. This water point is sponsored by Future Forward, and the facilities on offer include flush toilets and a swim spot. Please feel free to enquire about the altruistic aims of Future Forwards long distance men and women at www.futureforward.org.za. After this you turn left twice more and then you reach the first right turn on the course. Dont worry, the road will be blocked off, so you wont get lost! You then follow a farm road and under the bridge to the Anatomic Winner Wear water point at the Outlaws Saloon Bar as you reach 87km. The last 8km is farmroad to the temporary bridge and on to the Afridome at 95km. At the finish line you will receive your Powerade and your medal. Please proceed immediately to the secure bike park outside, where there will be someone to look after your bike. Please join us afterwards at the show in the Afridome, the second largest indoor horse arena in the world.
No support vehicles will be permitted on the route! You would not like your family to ride in the vehicle dust, mud and fumes, so please dont do it to anyone else. There are 3 support points along the route, which can be reached by vehicles. The first water point (Fritz Pienaar Cycles) at the Venterskroon T-junction is accessible by car from the North West Province. Cross the mountain and then turn left on the dirt road to Venterskroon up to the water point. The second point that can be reached by motor vehicle is the Powerade water point at the Schoemansdrif halfway mark. This is also the start of the 47km route. This water point can only be reached from the Free State side via the Vredefort road on the way to Viljoenskroon. Please follow the directions on the Vredefort-Viljoenskroon road. This is the quickest and best way for motor vehicles to reach Schoemansdrif (40km). The third point accessible by car is the last water point at Outlaws Saloon Bar. Follow the road to Vredefort. The water point will be on your left, about 6km outside Parys. This will probably be the best vantage point from which to see the struggles of the tired men and women, and this is where they will really need support to keep going. Braai facilities and drinks will be available.
Any other form of assistance, whether technical or nutritional, outside the designated support areas at the water points will lead to the immediate disqualification of the participant. Self-sufficiency is highly valued in mountain biking and the rules determine that assistance may only be obtained from other participants. We are however expecting many first-timers and we would like everyone to successfully complete the ride within the cutoff time. Two official support motor bikes, sponsored by Dingos Cycles will roam the course. They will have the necessary tools and know-how to assist cyclists. Aid from the Dingos Cycles bikes will not result in disqualification, but will exclude you from the prizes. You will still get your medal and your time will still be valid. There will also be a foot pump at each water point, and spare water bottles will be available for those who have lost theirs on the route.
Please do not litter along the route, and that includes the wrappers from energy bars and gels. Dustbins will be available at each water point and we would really appreciate it if you could keep your litter in your pocket until you can dispose of it in a considerate manner. Please dont leave punctured tubes along the route. If you dont want that tube any more, there will be people at the next water point to take care of it for you.
We have encouraged the farmers to allow the labourers and their children to support the riders along the route, but begging for sweets and water bottles is not encouraged. The Crater Cruise is becoming an annual event and we do not want to foster a culture of begging. It is unpleasant and also dangerous for the beggar as well as the donour. Please do not give hand outs to the people along the route. We know the children would like some treats, and the organisers have arranged for the last sweep vehicle to hand out sweets. If you feel strongly about contributing, you are welcome to assist the organisers in paying for this measure.
Cyclists are required to wear a cycling helmet throughout the event. Our trauma sponsor, Netcare, can be reached on 082 911. Each water point will be in radio contact with the organisers. Please bear in mind that cell phone coverage is spotty along the route, so you cannot rely on it. Camaraderie is more important to mountain bikers than a good time. Please help one another if necessary.
Please be considerate towards other road users. All traffic rules must be obeyed. The warning signs along the route were erected with great care. Please follow the instructions. We have asked the farmers along the route not to use the road, except in dire need, but total road closure is not an option. Please be careful of cars, especially in blind corners. Make it easy for vehicles to pass you. Show the driver that you are aware of his presence, even if you are on the right hand side of the road. People in the country are quite used to cyclists using the right hand side of the road, so there is no need to take fright and cross over to the left if a car approaches. Rather stay where you are, and give them plenty of room to pass.
Each water point will be stocked with Powerade, water, ice and bananas. The bananas will be sponsored by Impala Fruiterers in Northcliff. Toilet facilities are available at or near each water point. No drinks and food will be handed to cyclists while they ride. You will have to stop for assistance. Please make other participants aware of your intention to stop, and move well clear of the passing traffic before you do so.
The 95km ride will start from 08h00. Only the 140 seeded participants will be allowed to start at the front, but once they have gone, you are welcome to start whenever you are ready, provided it is before 09h00. If you clock out at the halfway mark, you can restart whenever you like, but it must be before 13h00. The 47km riders are welcome to start any time between 11h00 and 13h00, but not earlier than 11h00. We must give the 95km riders who do not wish to clock out an opportunity to pass.
Timing and results:
Timing will be done by CampionChip. If you wear your chip on the day, your result will be published on cyclingnews.co.za and also in the December/January edition of Ride mag. Only riders with ChampionChip results qualify for prizes. All participants who complete the ride within the allotted time will receive medals.
Please note: The prize money for the first five men and the first five ladies will be determined by stop watch. The first 5 riders over the line get the 5 prizes. If you wish to win one of these prizes, you need to be in the 08h00 start block, unless you chase them down from behind. The other prizes will be awarded on the strength of your ChampionChip results. Even if you are in contention for these prizes you are welcome to pull off at the Powerade halfway mark to eat, drink and rest, because the time is cumulative and you will be able to clock out and clock back in. Participants who wish to avail themselves of this facility must restart before 13h00. Please be sure to cross the ChampionChip mats on your way off the course, and again on your way back when you resume your ride.
Security and admission:
All supporters will be required to pay a R10 admission fee at the Afridome showgrounds. Cyclists who have pre-entered will not be required to pay this entrance fee, provided they are able to produce the entry ticket that would have been given to them with their racing numbers. Apart from the entertainment and facilities, and the opportunities offered by the show itself, this is also a security measure. Please co-operate with the access controllers and support the show. Security has been organised for the showgrounds, but please assist the organisers in looking after your own car keys. There will be security at the bike park at the Afridome. We appeal to the cyclists to make use of the bike park to avoid congestion in the dome. No admission fee will be charged before 08h00 on Saturday morning.
Transport to the 47km start:
The transport to the start of the 47km route at Schoemansdrif departs at 09h00 sharp. Please ensure that your bike is loaded on the Raleigh truck before 09h00. The transport will be parked just outside the entrance. Please inform Attie immediately at if you would like to make use of this facility.
The prize giving will take place at exactly 16h00. To receive your prize money, you need to be present. If there is a very compelling reason why you cant attend the prize giving, please communicate this to the organisers in good time. The decisions of the organisers with regard to the prizes are final. If you are unhappy about a result you must please bring it to the attention of the event organisers and judges. Please speak to the judges at the finish right away.
More than R100 000 worth of prizes will be awarded. These include:
5 x R 1 600 full holiday vouchers at the Hakuna Matata adventure resort, Proline computer equipment to the value of R10 000, 5 Raleigh entry-level mountain bikes, Bad Boy & Bad Girl clothes, a Yepp MP3-player, a XEN Giro helmet, a Manitou Skareb Super MTB shock, and much, much more
A lucky draw will be used to determine the winners of these prizes. You will have to be present in order to receive such prizes. Please enjoy the show and the entertainment and wait to see whether you are lucky enough to win. In the distribution of these prizes it is not only the super-fit men and women who stand a chance to win.
Enjoy every moment:
Please enjoy the challenge, the fresh air and the beautiful surroundings. Enjoy your good health.
From Ride mag.
South Africas own independent cycling magazine.
PS: On Saturday evening Anton Goosen and Piet Botha will be performing in Parys at the Silhouette factory, where Cyclone Sportswears exclusive cycling clothes are manufactured. Tickets are available at R60 per person from the registration desk at the Afridome.
We would like to thank our co-sponsors and partners, without whom this event would not have been possible.
The Municipality of Ngwathe- special thanks to the mayor Tom Letsoenyo for your vision and support
The Traffic department of Ngwathe special thanks to Bernie Mc Dermot
Cyclone Sports Wear
Mugg and Bean
Anatomic Winner Wear
Fritz Pienaar Cycles
The Dome Festival committee- special thanks to Mark Pieterse for his leadership
The SACF- special thanks to Jenny Wittstock