Hoyer, who used to ride Cross-country races, explained his transition to the ‘dark side’: “I’ve been riding Downhill for close to eight years now. I used to be a keen cross country rider, and felt the need to better my technical skills on a bike. It was at this time that Nigel Hicks (who was dating my daughter Joanne) managed to organise me a second-hand downhill bike. I began to enjoy it more and more, and as my skills improved I bought myself a bike, and began to enter series events.”

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Men's Masters Downhill enthusiast, Peter Hoyer, is looking forward to the KZNMTB Provincial Enduro and DHI Championships presented by Greg Minnaar, which take place on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July. Photo: Paul Botma

When asked about the major difference between Cross-country and Downhill racing environments, Hoyer said: “In Downhill, every single person is there to have fun – there’s much less competitiveness and much more of a sense of community.”

Hoyer felt that the need to share and help out fellow riders with lines and skills was more prominent in Downhill racing. “If you see a great line, you share it with your friends, and its more a case of helping others better their own technical skills and personal bests. In Cross-country, this isn’t always the case, and is often much more competitive,” he said.

“In Cross-country, it often comes down to strength and fitness on the day. Downhill is adrenaline, its excitement, and its specific. The adrenaline factor is also one of the reasons why Downhill is so exciting” said Hoyer.

Hoyer mentioned that he enjoys friendly competition, but is truly out there to have a great time, and to better his own riding performance. “I’m not particularly concerned about where I come in a race, I’m more interested in whether or not I can challenge myself and be better and quicker each time,” he said.

Hoyer, who also enjoys Enduro racing, embraced the concept by saying: “It’s a great transition from Cross-country to Downhill. For those Cross-country riders interested in a more gravity-driven race, its definitely safer, friendly, non-threaten type of ride where you can go at your own pace. If there’s a section that scares you, go around it, you’re really only racing against yourself," he said.

The once-off 2016 KZNMTB Provincial ENDURO and DOWNHILL Championships – presented by Greg Minnaar Cycles, is taking place at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July respectively. More information and entry details can be found here: http://www.roag.co.za/eventinfo.aspx?EventID=1730