Jan Braai, renowned for his National Braai Day initiative, will tick off another item on his cycling bucket list when he tackles the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter next month.
The 614km Western Cape race from Knysna to Franschhoek, hosted by ASG events in partnership with STANLIB and Volvo, starts on February 4 and is one of the races the avid cyclist has not yet done.
With 25 Cape Town Cycle Tours under his belt, Jan said he was delighted to have an opportunity to ride in one of the biggest races missing from his CV.
“It’s always been on my radar but the deal was sealed over a bottle of wine when I was on a cycling holiday in the Klein Karoo and met the founder of the event, Lenore Collett,” Jan said this week.
Jan has made his name as the head of the National Braai Day initiative, which began more than a decade ago.
“Since 2005, our aim has been to encourage all South Africans to unite around a fire, share our heritage and wave our flag on September 24,” he said.
“In short, we want to get 50 million people around braai fires one day per year.”
He said he was looking forward to the social aspect of the TransCape, but did not think he could add much to the excellent culinary aspects of the event.
“The food definitely excites me,” he said, “but the catering and braai team are very capable and, frankly, I don’t think they need my help.
“But I will gladly eat a few testers while filling the chef’s wine glass.”
Not surprisingly, as a braai aficionado, Jan has some ideas on South Africa’s favourite tradition.
“In my view, the ingredients for the perfect braai are the view, a massive wood fire and good company.
“Also, if you’re in any doubt as to whether your fire is big enough, your fire is too small.
“And if you think the meat is ready, it is, because 99% of meat is over-braaied.”