Enduro


The Enduro event starts and finishes at the Karkloof Farmers Market, 2km outside of Howick, on the Karkloof Road.

“We often like to refer to our trails as ‘raw and unplugged’,” says Howick MTB Club Trail Steward, Gavin Ryan.

ccs-62657-0-17399600-1462457032.jpgPopular with all mountain biking disciplines, the trails of the Howick MTB Club will play host to the third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro Series on Saturday 21 May. Pictured: Jedson Tooms. Photo: Gavin Ryan/Quickpix

Ryan says that this is because the trails are rough and rugged. “There are going to be rocks, there are going to be sticks, these trails aren’t maintained to pavement perfection,” he added.

Because the tracks are maintained on a voluntary basis by members of the local club, Ryan says that the trails are often rougher than a normal bike park trail. “I think it’s one of the reasons many of the Enduro riders like these trails – the terrain suits their style a lot more than it does some of the cross-country riders,” he said.

This is the second major Enduro event being held at Howick. With ‘gnarly’ names such as ‘Suicide Slide’ and ‘The Face’ – a really rocky piece, the Howick Enduro event hints at anything far from just fun and games.

Just over 30 years old, the Howick MTB Park has grown with the local riders, and undoubtedly become a heritage within the biking community.

“In terms of the trails and design of the course, and the ever-growing popularity of the enduro discipline, we are leaning more towards enduro trails and tracks in the future of the Howick venue,” said Ryan.

The facilities include ablutions and showers for the riders who would like to make use of the facilities after their race. “It would be great for the riders and spectators to arrive a while earlier so that they can enjoy the fresh produce and wonderful goodies for sale at the farmers market,” he concluded.

With having over 100 entries for the two previous provincial enduros, Ryan hopes to break the entry record at the third round. Downhill event organiser, Nigel Hicks, added that the Endruo is only three stages, but is going to be ‘rowdy.'

Downhill


“Course Designer and Trail Builder, Hylton Turvey, puts everything into his job, and that is why Karkloof is always so popular,” says keen downhill enthusiast, Mark Millar.

According to Millar, the course isn’t too different or drastically altered in any way. “There are very minor changes that we have had to make in order to accommodate some of the animals who have chosen to reside in a few of the sections of the course,” says the Karkloof MTB Committee member.

ccs-62657-0-64423600-1462457031.jpgThe ever-popular Karkloof valley will host the third round of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial DHI Series in Karkloof on Sunday 22 May. Pictured: Cyril Spence. Photo: Craig Scott

“I’ve just heard for Hylton now that the course should be roaring and ready to go by next Thursday, or Friday the 13th,” he added.

Millar spoke briefly of the track, and said: “The top section is super fast, and then there are a couple of jumps. It’s a short and fast course. There’s a bridge section which goes over a pond, and then soon down into a sustained rock garden – which seemed to have done a few people in last year,” he laughed.

When asked about the popularity of Karkloof, Millar replied: It’s always been known as more of a trail-riding venue so you have the trail riders in and out all the time. The truth is, the reason that Karkloof is so great, is because it so well run by the club involved. Hylton’s passion is to ride his bike and to build trails that he likes to ride. It seems that those riding also love to ride the trails that he builds. You can see the pride and care he puts into his work, and its obvious in the enjoyment of the riders. He dedicates everything to it, it’s his full-time job.”

The third rounds of the 2016 KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Series – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, takes place in Howick on Saturday 21 May and Karkloof on Sunday 22 May respectively. Click here to enter: https://www.roag.co.za/online-entries.aspx?EventID=1729

For more information, contact Rebecca van der Linde info@kznmtb.co.za.