The Spring Ride to Rhodes takes place in late August/ September each year. It is a 6-day, 475 km, guided mountain bike ride, with fully catered overnight accommodation and vehicle support along the route.
It starts in Pietermaritzburg and follows the route taken by Trappist monks as they headed into the area previously known as No-man's Land and East Griqualand and then across the Maloti Drakensberg Mountains to the village of Rhodes. Travelling along dirt roads and tracks, it contains extensive sections of single track and cattle track and traverses interesting countryside that is rich in history and culture. The route is not marked, so many riders rely on the riding guardian who is familiar with the route but riders may also navigate their own way by using a set of maps and narrative description.
Apart from the start and finish venues, there are 5 fully serviced support stations where riders will get a meal to eat and a place to sleep. Between them are interim stops which also provide refreshments along the way (usually soup/coffee/tea). The support stations and interim stops are the following:
- 0 km: Pietermaritzburg (Start)
- 45 kms: Oaks Hotel Byrne Village (Interim stop))
- 58 kms: Allendale Farm (Support station 1)
- 48 kms: Centocow Mission (Interim stop)
- 49 kms: Ntsikeni Nature Reserve (Support station 2)
- 43 kms: Glen Edward (Interim stop)
- 56 kms: Masakala Guest House (Support station 3)
- 58 kms: Malekgalonyane (Support station 4)
- 36 kms: Tinana Mission (Interim stop)
- 29 kms: Vuvu Village (Support station 5)
- 53 kms: Rhodes (Finish)
The entrance fee for the 2017 Spring Ride to Rhodes is R9200-00.
The entrance fee covers the following:
- pre-ride dinner in Pietermaritzburg
- all meals during the ride
- end of ride dinner in Rhodes
- accommodation for 7 nights including Pietermaritzburg and Rhodes
- riding guardian, refreshments and daily transport of bags
- official ride momento
- official ride bag (50l kitbag)