Officially the first day of September is the beginning of spring.

It is the time of the year when Nature revives itself. Trees begin to form new leaves and flowers bloom everywhere and the dull brown winter colours will soon change into a variety of bright greens.

In short, it is all about optimism and the beginning of new life.

In these circumstances there can be no excuse for anybody who owns a mountain bike not to be on it and ride or, better still, race.

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The organizers of the Nissan TrailSeeker series are well aware that, at the moment, many mountain bikers are battling to even spell the word ‘fitness’.

This is why the next race in the Nissan series, the ‘Down and Dirty’, that will take place in Centurion on 1 September, is a must-do for riders who want to get into the groove of riding again.

According to Tim Fair, the man in charge of planning the routes for the Nissan series, the ‘Down and Dirty’ is the one event that enables families (dad, mom and kids) to simply enjoy themselves while ‘playing’ on their mountain bikes outdoors through a bit of dust, rocks and water.

“When we were planning the route, we went out of our way to ensure that the word ‘difficult’ never becomes relevant.

“I bet most of the riders who enter will ride their best times in the 70km, 40km and 20km races. The routes are technical with some short, sharp little climbs, but nothing is undoable. In this event the emphasis is on having fun.”

The ‘wow’ moments of the race will in all probability be the various river crossings and the fast flowing single-track sections.

Another highlight will be to ride around the Jan Smuts Museum in Irene.

The start and finish of the Nissan Down and Dirty is at Cornwall Hill College.

With the ‘Down and Dirty’ being the third race in the series, it is to be expected that things will start to ‘heat up’ among the pro-elite riders as they battle it out to try and win the series overall.

After the Nissan Down and Dirty there will be only two races left in the Nissan Trailseeker series.

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The main contenders so far are Gawie Combrink (Westvaal Columbia), who won at Nissan Tyger Valley and was fifth in the Nissan Diamond Rush, and Philip Buys (USN) who won in Cullinan and finished second in Tyger Valley.

Waylon Woolcock (RE:CM), last year’s overall winner, is also a contender because of his consistent riding. Thus far he has been third in Cullinan and fifth in Tyger Valley.

At this stage it is not clear whether Buys will race in Centurion who just finished the Olympics, since the UCI Cross-Country Championships will take place a week later in Austria.

For more information about the upcoming races please visit www.advendurance.com