The Noon 2 Moon MTB took place at Merry Pebbles in Sabie on December 2nd. This well-know and much loved 10 hour endurance relay race, hosted by the Lowveld Chaingang, is reported to be “a fantastically brilliant race for teams of 3 or 4 if it includes one or more tough chicks.”
“A lot has changed in the world over the last 2 decades, but the concept behind the Noon to Moon has not: get a bunch of mountain bikers together, put them in teams and race a relay around a single track course with almost no climbs. For Ten Hours! There are no other sporting events where novices can race alongside professionals, where mates and families get to feel the camaraderie of team sport and the thrill of close competition.
Added to this you get to experience adding lights to your bike and pedalling out into the pitch dark, the same familiar tracks of the day’s racing become glowing silver trails more like a video game on fast forward than bike racing! And then the weather, over the years the Noon to Moon has become synonymous with rain, in 17 editions its rained at some stage in probably three quarters of races, sometimes it’s been a light drizzle but others have reduced the trails to a slippery muddy hell leaving riders dragging bikes on all fours and more than a few sliding off into the raging waters of the Sabie River.
Noon to Monsoon is its official nickname. All of this adds to the atmosphere, riders set up tented camps next to the start transition like bicycle refugees, braai smoke pervades the air and music and commentary keep spirits high. Many companies see the value as team building and cheer their colleagues as they shrug off the stress of the daily grind at the end of the year. For everyone, this is the last race, the last hurrah of with the holidays ahead and a new year to look forward to.
The Noon to Moon is a legend, it’s been copied, the elements have attempted to derail it, but like its riders, regardless of how thick the mud may get, the wheels just keep on rolling!” Brett Coates, a veteran cyclist with 17 years of Noon 2 Moon experience and consultant, said.