The 11th edition and a fresh new take on South Africa’s most diverse stage race.
For the past 11 years, the M&G Investments PE PLETT has been a 4-day linear journey. One that has, since inception, taken over 4000 riders across the Garden Route of South Africa and had riders traverse the properties of SAN Parks, multiple private landowners, and MTO between Port Elizabeth and Plettenberg Bay.
Riders crossing over the Kareedouw escarpment are treated to some of the best-kept single track in South Africa.
The 2024 M&G Investments PE PLETT will now feature 2 events with the introduction of The Tour that has been added alongside The Ride. The Ride is the original event which features everything that riders have come to love from this event. The Tour simply put, is a relaxed version of The Ride. With no pressure to race as there is no timing in place, as well as an open start chute, which means you can start at your own pace.
Watching the M&G Exxaro Ladies of Omphile and Refilwe cross the finish line, only to be handed their medals by Mike, was a delightful cherry on top. Their smiles say it all!
The Glover legacy welcomes some more.
“It was a magnificent day in June 2011 for flying as I navigated the Red Cherry RV7 along the coastline from PE to PLETT. The idea of a 4-day stage race was born at 1000 ft and in 2013 we staged the inaugural PE PLETT. It was tough, the September rains caused havoc and just to finish was a massive achievement… it was a journey and an adventure that the 400 riders will never forget… Although some might wish they could have!” says Mike Glover, Race Director, and Founder.
A family portrait with a unique twist featuring Sandy, Mike, and Shaun (from left to right). While Jacques Steenkamp (Route Director) was gearing up to tackle his 8th M&G PE PLETT.
11 years later and the event is now a real family affair. All the Glovers have been roped in as Sandy heads up the water points and puts her years of peanut butter sandwich making to good use. Older Sister Michelle handles the rooming list as she has always delegated who sleeps where on family trips. While Shaun Glover handles the media and always pretends to be really busy when Mike is marching around.
As the event grows from a passion project to more of a business, with over 300 riders per year and now 2 events for 2024, the team has had to grow, and with that, we welcome the inclusion of Jacques Steenkamp and now his family. Jacques, a farmer in the J-Bay area, has been one of the many landowners since the race’s inception back in 2013.
One of the numerous “Shakas” riders flashed to the camera crews upon encountering them at the 2023 event. The joy is evident when riding in such incredible locations!
The Tour: And why we added this!
When riding in an area that so few get the chance to, the pressure of a mass start and results at the end can often do more harm than good. Sure, the pros like to know where they stack up against each other. But most social riders know that we won’t beat Matt Beers, we don’t need everyone to know that! This was our thinking when building a brand namely, “The Tour.”
The Tour follows the exact route of The Ride and offers the same amenities. However, it provides a more relaxed experience with open chutes, opportunities to enjoy cappuccinos and lunch breaks along the way, and no timed starts. This means you can make it an all-day affair without feeling pressured. The Tour doesn’t have winners or podiums; instead, it allows you to fully immerse yourself in the paradise of mountain biking. Although both analog and E-bikes are welcome, we anticipate that the majority of participants will be E-bikers.
Podiums infused with a hint of relaxation. A group of friends claimed all available trophies, leapt onto the podium, and seized their bragging rights. While they might not have won, no one wanted to slow down their celebrations.
What has changed over the years?
Well, apart from the class of 2013 riders racing over 110kms per day and unfortunately being fed a small batch of raw chicken on year 1, quite a lot actually!
The latest edition in 2023 saw another sold-out field, just short of an average of 75kms days and very well-cooked chicken! The route has also taken a major facelift with “Farmer Jacques” stepping in to take on the task of getting every inch of track accounted for and ensuring that riders feel less “Glovered” at the end of each day.
Rivers, flowers, and bridges (or lack there of) marked the inaugural M&G PE PLETT, offering abundant scenic beauty and kilometers per day. While we’ve scaled back on the kilometers, we’ve amplified the beauty!
The Village Experience
The village vibe is what gets the same people coming back each and every year. The M&G PE PLETT is a real social affair with Live music, Free Heineken, Great Grub, Nicoles’ stretch class and Janey’s Coffee station, just to name a few. Since 2020 we moved away from Standard Tents and now all riders receive Luxury Tents as part of their entry fee. With our focus being on each rider, we never want to jam pack these villages. We want there to be enough room for everyone to either find a bean bag, have a lounge chair by the pool or dishup a second helping of food. With that, the race will always be limited to 250 – 300 riders, ensuring that everyone has enough space to enjoy their experience on the M&G PE PLETT.
Your four-day experience includes 10 meals, as well as all beers, wines, and cold drinks. Once you’re in, you can set your wallet aside!
The Hippo Riders : Will you join the club?
The Hippo is an animal that is unpredictable, and so is the event. Our regulars return to a different M&G PE PLETT every year with new routes, new village experiences, and new faces. Once you have completed 5 M&G PE PLETTs, you are rewarded with an exclusive Hippo jacket and riding shirt. A very sought after and highly noticeable piece of clothing that gets handed out on the first evening at the event.
Meet the hippos from “Are We There Yet” team: Filipe and Johan. This dedicated duo returns year after year, proudly sporting shirts and jackets as members of the Hippo Club!
All in, the 2024 event will set off from Kurland Polo Field on the 21st of February for The Ride and 24th February for The Tour. At the time of writing, we were already 65% sold out for the events collectively. Be sure to secure your spot now and make use of one of the many payment plans we have available.
Tsitsikamma Lodge and Spa, our home for two nights in 2024, remains one of the Garden Route’s best-kept secrets. To secure your spot in South Africa’s most diverse stage race for 2024, visit https://peplett.co.za/ and make your booking.
Visit www.peplett.co.za to learn more about South Africa’s most diverse stage race.
Until then #KeepTheCadence