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24 May, 2017

The Hollard JUMA 2017 – What to Expect

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Highlights from the recce ride

All of those taking part in the 2017 edition of the Hollard JUMA, Modern Athlete attended the recent route recce so we can give you a look at what awaits you on race day, this Sunday, 28th May!

Those riding the race for the second or third time, you can expect all the elements that make the JUMA a highlight on the calendar, a mix of natural terrain, some man-made features and of course the trade-mark scaffolding ramps on the route. Those who have never ridden – read on for more detail on what you can expect!

The route starts off at Marks Park with some fun single track leading into the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, after a few twists and turns, riders will exit onto the Braamfontein Spruit - a popular route for any mountain bike rider in Joburg. The next 13km sees riders descending down into a mix of mostly gravel single track, scaffolding bridges and some man-made jumps. Expect this to be fast section with loads of fun elements in the mix. The highlight for this section in our opinion – the fast-flowing piece of single track at Hurlingham.

After this riders will enter Bryanston and after taking a sharp turn right, will enter into another smaller river, which is usually closed off to the public but is opened up by City Parks specifically for the race – and we are glad that they do. Riders will experience some unspoiled trails, along with a few man-made concrete culverts. Race organisers are keeping things interesting for riders with a massive scaffold bridge over Rivonia road, just to make sure they are still awake! The route continues through Rivonia, eventually coming out at Melrose Arch next to the M1 highway. Watch out for little hidden waterfalls here – it’s not something you see every day in Joburg!

Next up is a mix of trials that go through some leafy suburbs and golf courses. Riders will really get to experience the abundance of trees in Johannesburg here. Added to the route here are an element that makes the JUMA so popular – the storm water drains, which will test riders skills levels! If riding at mock ten riders might not notice, but when reaching the Johannesburg Zoo, looking to the right they will have a quick glance of a rather imposing War Memorial. When hitting this marker, prepare for some fun as this leads to a quick descent, leading into another massive scaffold bridge which leads riders into the route around Zoo Lake! A mix of single track and paved pathways leading to the famous Anatomic tunnel!

Remember to turn those lights on as you descend into total pitch-black darkness, riders must remember to keep to either side of the tunnel as the middle is full of fast flowing water. The 700m tunnel can be very slippery so it is encouraged that riders take it easy, and ride carefully- also remember to watch your head!

The storm water drain fun continues with another drain leading riders through Parkview Golf Course, with a wonderful little piece of single track trail in a small forest. Be aware though, there's another steep scaffold ramp, which riders will ride down into a storm water tunnel followed by scaffold stairs at the exit. If you have the time look to the left here and you'll see a majestic rocky waterfall that's usually hidden from view.

After a short but very steep climb, riders will come out onto a section of tar road, this is the start of the climb into Melville, the road takes riders to West Park cemetery and after crossing Beyers Naude Drive riders will begin the climb to the top of Melville Koppies, arguably the most scenic viewpoint on the JUMA. Next some fun for those riders who enjoy some technical riding with a mix of rocky descents, sandy single track and tunnels going underneath roads.

After the roller coaster of fun riders come into Emmerentia and head for a big highlight – the floating bridge over the dam, but beware one wrong move and you'll end up having a chilly swim! Phones in ziplock bags.

It’s here that some breathe a sigh of relief as they know the finish is close and other a sad sigh as they realise the fun is almost over. Wither way the finish line at Marks Park will soon come into view – where riders can celebrate their achievement of having accepted the challenge and conquered it!

For more information visit the Hollard JUMA Website www.juma.co.za

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