And inspiration is easy to find - just imagine yourself as one of the few hundred adventurous riders experiencing the once-a-year privilege of freewheeling through the untamed wilds of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Four days of pure adrenalin through the World Heritage Site - St Lucia Estuary, Eastern Shores, Western Shores and False Bay sections of iSimangaliso, Hluhluwe River Lodge, Amarello Lodge, Phinda Private Game Reserve, uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso and the Lebombo Mountains and surrounding communities. There is single track, off-road and game trails - deep in the Big 5 bush - skidding down hills, negotiating rock gardens and cruising through the sand forests of the Eastern Shores.
After riding last year's event, seasoned rider/ writer/ action-man Jacques Marais described it as "mountain biking nirvanha", saying that, "We rode from dawn till dusk, navigating dusty tracks through Big 5 game reserves, slept in safari-style tents and bush lodges, protein-binged around the night time braai fires, got our beers on, and drifted off to dreamland while night-jars trilled and hyaenas howled. And along the way, we soaked up every nuance of this incredible iSimangaliso route as we traversed six distinct and incredibly diverse eco-systems."
Riders will spend the first two nights at Sugarloaf Campsite right on the banks of the Lake St Lucia Estuary - which means plenty of free time to enjoy an Estuary boat cruise, beach or game park horse riding, bird watching, self-guided trails, guided kayaking or game drives into the Eastern and Western Shores.
The big bucket bonus is that in signing up for the iSimangaliso MTB 4 Day, you'll be contributing to the iSimangaliso Rare and Endangered Species Fund - a fund that brings enormous benefits to the management of these species in the Park.