The Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge is a 100km off-road race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred’s Pass. Participants have to reach the Knysna finish of this scenic and challenging 100km race before 4.30pm.
The event is hosted by the Lions Clubs of Uniondale and Knysna and all proceeds from the event go to Sightfirst, the South African Guide Dog Association and other urgent needs in the community. Only 4,600 riders are permitted to start the race and this year only 3,196 riders completed it.
Held in near perfect conditions which saw the first section of gravel road known as the ‘Ou Wapad’ smoother than it has been for years and in presently mild temperatures the 2018 Buco Karoo to Coast was one for the history books. The some 4,600 riders made the 20th edition the largest ever field and only a light headwind provided a hint of natural difficulty. It was anything but an easy day on the bike, however as the accumulation of metres of elevation gained stacked up and the constant vibrations of racing across gravel roads at high speeds increased the fatigue rate.
Not even race winner Boyes was immune from the effects of the gruelling race. With 45 kilometres to go, on a long and grinding climb which is followed by a descent, fatigue and cramps began to set in and one feels that your preparation and training was inadequate preparation for the race. The perfect weather and epic route made the outing highly memorable and the Bluff duo appreciated the camaraderie between the riders.