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Race start 00:00am on Sunday, 29 October 2023

You can race it or just go along for the ride but the question everyone is asking …

“Why is it called Midnight Express?”

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The Poort

The magnificent Groot Rivier Poort, which leads into the Antoniesberg Pass, is 94km into the journey.

This means that you exit the Karoo as the sun is rising and enter the extension to the Baviaanskloof in the early morning. With only 37km left of the journey (the last 20km being mostly a downhill run to Patensie), arrival for breakfast/brunch is perfectly timed.

The times


Saturday 28 October, from 9pm

Race start 00:00 am , 29 October. Click here for directions to the start venue

The Karoo

Starting at Midnight and riding through the Karoo is a star studded experience. The Karoo at night takes on a whole new dimension:  shooting stars, moonlit roads, animal calls – a thrilling new experience on your bike.  Arrive before 11pm on Friday night, in the quaint Karoo town of Steytlerville, enjoy the strong coffee and vibe on the start line, jump on your bike at midnight and 129km later, breakfast will be served in Patensie .… No accommodation needed.    The race is open to all riders, entry fee is R1,650 for Team of 2.   If you’re not CSA registered, a day license is required, at R50 per person.
  • No Hassle Car Transport – we’ll get your car from Steytlerville to Patensie at R1,800 per vehicle.  Please ensure your vehicle has enough fuel for the journey.
The Midnight Express package includes a great goodie bag, entertainment and drinks at Steytlerville, and breakfast/brunch in Patensie.  The reputation of event specialists, Red Cherry Events, guarantees you a most incredible 129km MTB adventure. This is one great MTB event – so add it to your BikeIt List and don’t miss out. Entries are limited to 300 riders so ENTER NOW!! Click here to enter.

View the Highlights from our previous event

Nov 2019 Results

Nov 2019 – Podium Results Nov 2019 – Overall Results

Jan 2019 Results

2019 Podium Results Jan 2019 Overall Results

2018 Results

2017 Results

2018 Teams 2017 Teams 2018 Solo 2017 Solo

The Route

Steytlerville to Bucklands WH1 – 45km / 150 m Elevation. Departing Steytlerville on a gravel road with a gradual descent to our first Waterhole at Bucklands Farm. Slowest riders should do this section in 2.5 hrs max. Bucklands to Grootrivier District Road – 20 km / 415 m Elevation. Leaving Bucklands farm the riders head into some awesome Jeep Track that forms part of the Freedom Challenge route. Very rideable with some gentle climbs. Watch out for Kudu! District Road to Grootrivier WH2 – 30km / 372 m elevation. This gravel road hugs the northern side of the Baviaanskloof. It is a roller-coaster of ups and downs all the way to the Poort waterhole. This waterhole will prepare you for the climb out the Poort.

Poort to Tower – 20km / 866m elevation.   This is the toughest piece with the route taking you up and over the Antoniesberg Pass. The main pass is only 5.4km and the vistas over the Cockscomb and Baviaanskloof are truly amazing. Once you have conquered the tough climb out, you can fixate on the Tower in the distance. It’s a gradual uphill with some nice places for a little walk if you wish. There is a water table at the top and you are truly on top of the world and 99% of your day is done.

Tower to Patensie – 14km / 170 m elevation.   It is mostly a descent of 943m but there are a few sharp climbs that tend to take you by surprise so be aware of it. It is also a rough road so you could let tyre pressures down slightly to make a smoother ride.  The town of Patensie and the orange orchards await.

route map midnight express Click here to enter.

Race Info


All entries must be done online and NO entries on the day will be allowed. Once payment is made, you’ll assure yourself and your partner a spot on the start line. On arrival in Steytlerville, go straight to Registration.  There will be a ‘Tuck Shop’ running should you require some last minute snacks.    You will also hand your keys in at Registration if you’ve opted for the Car Transport package.

The times


Saturday 28 October, from 9pm

Race start 00:00 am, 29 October. Click here for directions to the start venue

F A Q ‘s

  • When does the race actually start?      At 00:00 am – Sunday morning, 29 October 2023 so you need to be in Steyterville on Saturday Afternoon. Registration closes at 11:00pm and the race starts on the stroke of Midnight.
  • Can I race on an E-Bike? Most certainly, E-Bikes will start with the main field and you are allowed one battery swop at Water Hole 2.
  • Is the route marked or do we need GPS?     The route will be well marked with reflective arrows.  
  • Can I have a supporter follow me on route?    Unfortunately not, there are 3 great waterholes – at 44km, 98km and 120km – so you will be well looked after.  The climb out of Grootrivier is narrow and only a 4×4 could make it through through.
  • Do I need my own lights?   Most certainly. The Karoo nights are star-studded and visibility should be good . Ensure you are fully charged before you start and keep the lights on powering save mode during the fast openong stages. 
  • Is there a time limit and how fit do I need to be?    You have 12 hours to complete, that’s an average of 11km/h.  The first 100kms is relatively flat with mostly Karoo regional roads.  Then a 18km climb with the remaining 15km mostly downhill into Patensie.

Refund Policy

The event organisers, namely Red Cherry Events, reserve the right to cancel the race at any time and the race can be cancelled due to any circumstances. Serious considerations will be taken before this happens and the decision will not be taken lightly. If the event is cancelled, an alternative date will be offered. No refunds. If you, for any reason, wish to cancel your entry, request must be made in writing via email and the following cut off dates are applicable. The amount refunded will be based on the date we receive your written request for refund. This will determine the percentage of refund you will be eligible for. No credit towards another event will be given.
  • 100% Refund – 3 months prior to the event
  • 50% refund – 2 months prior to the event
  • 0% refund – Within 2 months of the event
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Thanks for reaching out to us, to avoid multiple tickets we limit responses to just one per person. If you left something out, please email us on team@redcherryevents.co.za and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.

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About Us

Red Cherry Events core expertise lies within the creation of unique adventure events. Fat Attack, PE Plett, Inner City Enduro, Rallye Raid, Weekend Warrior and Enduro Africa (which saw the Princes William and Harry participate)  are just some of the events that the Red Cherry team tackle year in and year out. Click here to enter.