Meet the brains behind Berg & Bush
Runner, rider, paddler, cow wrangler… Berg & Bush founder Gary Green does it all. But it’s his passion for mountain biking that makes Berg & Bush the special event riders have come to love.
Gary Green’s passion for the beauty of South Africa and his enthusiasm for creating fun, yet challenging trails is what makes the Berg & Bush unique amongst mountain bike stage races. That he’s out there in the mountains himself, digging new trails and plotting new routes for riders is an added bonus for all participants.
What was the first mountain bike event you participated in?
It was a three-day stage race from Underberg to Hlalanathi called The Dragon. I fell off my bike, needed stitches… It’s the only medical incident I’ve ever had while participating at an event.
How have MTB events changed between then and now?
We all got lost because of bad route marking. The caterers got lost. The bag truck was lost for ages. Eventually we swam in the river to get back on the route.
What gave you the idea for starting Berg & Bush?
On this same event we cycled on a lot of back routes and sections of tar. I was thinking people would prefer to ride where I train than ride on this stuff – and so Berg & Bush was born.
What gives you the most joy during the Berg & Bush?
There are a few things. I get great enjoyment from seeing people having fun on a bike – especially riding down Spioenkop on the last day of each event. The community involvement at water points and creating employment. I love seeing people challenging themselves. Oh – and building new sections of trails. That’s probably my favourite part of the entire event.
How can mountain bike stage races keep improving to make riders feel special?
It’s all about the overall experience, not just the riding. We brainstorm weekly to come up with new ideas, trying all the time to improve. Events can keep riders happy by building trails to challenge people and to show off our beautiful country, to take rides to the unknown places.
What are the three key ingredients for a successful MTB event?
- Passion to host.
- Making sure you are a mountain biker yourself.
- Like-minded people running the event. You need passionate people in your team.
What is your favourite go-to ride when time is tight?
Challenging myself to the top of Spioenkop and then the fast and exhilarating ride down.