Entries are rolling in quickly for what has become one of the most anticipated events on the Cape West Coast and on the Western Cape mountain biking calendar.
The Darling Brew Extreme (DBX) is taking place on Saturday 28 May for the third year running, and so far the response has been exceptionally positive – as it has been every year since the launch of the event – with entries exceeding expectations.
According to Kevin and Philippa Wood, the owners of Darling Brew, which is the main sponsor for the Darling Brew Extreme, the first year that the event took place they had hoped for 250 entries but the numbers exceeded this by nearly 200%. The second year of the event saw 1400 entries and now for 2016 the event has been capped at 1500 entrants.
“The success of the Darling Brew Extreme is something of which we are very proud,” says Kevin Wood. “We have a great team who pull this exciting race together and much thought, effort and planning goes into this annual mountain biking – it is very rewarding to see it being received so well by Western Cape mountain biking enthusiasts.”
Start and Finish at the Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery
This year’s event sees a few developments taking place – amongst these are the introduction of some cash prizes, the involvement of several pro-riders, and excitingly, the venue for both the start and finish of the event has been moved to the newly opened, custom-built Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery, situated at 48 Caledon Street in Darling.
An award winning microbrewery, the must-visit Darling Brew Tasteroom & Brewery provides an all in one Darling Brew experience. In addition to a new state of the art brewery with increased capacity, the premises offers an interactive and fascinating beer tasting experience in the tasting room and bar which overlooks the working brewery, a restaurant that serves delicious meals made from fresh, organic, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, and beautiful gardens with a play area for the kids – perfect for young families. There is also plenty of parking available.
As per previous years DBX 2016 offers three different routes. These are the 68km Bone Crusher which departs at 7am and costs R275 per entry; the 45km Long Claw which departs at 8am and cost R250 per entry; and the 25km Slow Beer route which departs at 9am and costs R150 per entry.
“Every year the exact routes differ slightly depending on the rotation of the crops currently under cultivation on the farmlands through which DBX traverses,” explains Wood. “The routes also follow the natural paths made the resident wildlife and lucky cyclists may be fortunate enough to have a close encounter with one of the areas indigenous fauna.”
Bringing visitors to Darling
In addition to the well-designed DBX routes which suite all fitness levels and the beautiful scenery that the routes wind their way through, other drawcards to the event is that Darling is within an hour’s drive of Cape Town and the town is well equipped for an influx of visitors with ample accommodation and entertainment on offer.
The Woods explain that in addition to showcasing Darling Brew itself, one of the primary reasons that they conceptualised and launched the Darling Brew Extreme event in 2014 was to bring visitors to the town of Darling so that the community could showcase everything that this wonderful town has to offer. “Events such as DBX effectively promote tourism and bring much needed revenue into small outlying towns.”
Darling is only 76km’s away from Cape Town and an easy drive on the R27 or N7 highways. In addition to mountain biking, there are a myriad of attractions available in the area – ranging from flowers and bird watching in the surrounding nature reserves, to hiking, art, a treasure hunt departing from Darling Museum, shows at Evita se Perron, or tasting the world class wines available in the area. Darling is a perfect venue for a day-trip, weekend break-away or holiday from the city and there is plenty of great accommodation to choose from.
Darling Brew part of the West Coast Way Culture Route
Whilst in the area for the Darling Brew Extreme, the Woods urge visitor to take some additional time to experience the area and its attractions.
A good way to do this is by following the West Coast Way Culture Route which is a self-drive circular route that has been conceptualised and developed by West Coast Way, who are working hand in hand with community members to welcome visitors to the Cape West Coast and surrounds. For more information visit www.westcoastway.co.za.
“The success of Darling Brew Extreme would not be possible without the buy-in and support of the community in which we operate, the farmers whose land the event traverses, the participants who enter and take part, all the people behind the scenes involved in the logistics and the tourism organisation that support us, such as the local Darling Tourism and West Coast Way – and we wish to thank them all for their support,” concludes the Woods.
For more information on Darling Brew Extreme 2016 or to book visit http://www.darlingbrew.co.za/mtb/mtb2016.html.