Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Matt Lombardi'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • General
    • The Bike Room
    • Sponsored
  • New to Cycling
    • Ask Anything
    • What Bike to Buy
  • Gear & Bikes
    • Technical Q&A
    • New Gear
    • Buyer’s Advice
    • Post Your Bike & Projects
    • Bike Shops & Services
    • Retro / Vintage Bikes
  • Events & Training
    • Events
    • Pro Cycling
    • Training, Health & Nutrition
  • Riding
    • Group Rides
    • Routes & Trails
    • Share Your Ride & Travels
  • Discipline-Specific
    • Gravity
    • Fixie & Singlespeed
    • Commuter
    • Multisport
  • Safety & Awareness
    • Stolen Bikes
    • Cycling Safety
    • Fraud Alert
    • Lost & Found
    • Good Causes
  • Help Desk
    • Site Announcements
    • Help & Support
  • Off Topic
    • Chit chat


  • Adventure and Travel
  • Tips and Advice
  • Event and Industry News
  • Tech
  • Promotions
    • Custom Content Partnership

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start



Website URL


Full Name

Found 14 results

  1. Based out of Sedgefield, we were pretty centrally located with easy access to a list of trails - all within a 30-40 minute drive. We were however only interested in two of these, one of which is dubbed Witfontein. Forming part of the 38 000 hectare Outeniqua Nature Reserve, the Witfontein trail network is a relatively small geographical area, packed with multiple ultra flowy lines, short climbs and some eye-popping green ferns, and has such an incredible atmosphere to it that it became and an instant favourite. Which way shall we go. Turn right for dust, or left for ferns. Well, I guess the popcorn's out the bag - it's movie snacks that make him fast.... The necessary evil. Even though it totally disrupts the beautiful rolling landscape, it's rather clean and tidy compared to most industrial setups. A quick beer and pizza stop at Pili Pili in Sedgefield to wrap up the four hour drive before we head to base for an early morning rise. Sunrise over Sedgefield and you know it's gonna be a good day out. Wilderness at dawn has got to be up there with the most scenic in the world. Definitely worth the 5am alarm. In many ways, the story of South Africa. Such amazing beauty, ruined by a$$holes. This part of the country is hops central, with massive productions on both sides of the Outeniqua Pass. #getyourbeeron. With no real rain in forever, and the Southeaster sucking the last bit of moisture out of Cape Town, the contrast in environments are stark. Lush blankets of ferns and other luminous green flora, covered with droplets, line this whole network from top to bottom. Next level trail building. Constructed in the 1940's, the 14km long Outeniqua Pass connects the Garden Route to the Little Karoo. It's hard to imagine something of such scale, constructed of sandstone, was done by the hands of Italian prisoners of war and later (after the war) by local labourers. The top of the trail network is indicated by a railway line. This is the highest point of the Witfontein trails, and from here you drop down along the exposed downhill line, before entering the pine plantations that host the rest of the trails. If you looked at a map of the trails around Witfontein, you'd probably give it a miss and go and ride elsewhere. You would certainly be making a mistake in doing so! They only cover a small area but every trail is an absolute gem. Multiple lined rock gardens, punchy corners, poppy roots, and beautifully shaped jumps will mean you'll want to ride all day long in this little patch of paradise. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Strava = Hospital? Challenge accepted. Logging and fire roads connect the various segments of trail, and with a very mild gradient, you'll find yourself pedalling up 'one more time', a few times. Witfontein trails are somewhat of a hidden gem in the forests of George. They offered some incredibly fun riding with poppy berms and steep rock shoots among the rooty trails. There are so many trail options to choose from, each with multiple lines. I haven't had such a good day riding my bike in South Africa for a long time, as I did at the Witfontein trails. The locals really have turned the forest into a trail riders dream. Matt Lombardi *Pine Ring mushrooms add another splash of colour to the already technicolour surroundings on offer at Witfontein. Apparently they're edible - but don't quote me on that. With all but one trail segment under full canopy, this is the perfect place to ride during summer months as the trees keep the scorching African sun off your back. Keep an eye out for part two of the Garden Route Trail Daze trip... This project is made possible by: Outeniqua Nature Reserve parking GPS: 33°56'06.6"S 22°25'38.5"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: Apparently it's free All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  2. Following last year's example in a desperate attempt to find greener pastures, a Southeaster-less, damp riding environment and even some loam, we headed about four hours up the N2 towards the Garden Route. Click here to view the article
  3. Matt getting to grips with the European mountside in Val d'Allos, France. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie. How did you get into riding mountain bikes? I started when my parents introduced me to it. They were into the downhill and cross-country scene at the time. I picked up the cross-country pretty quickly and focused on that. My mom was always for the hardtails and did not really want me riding downhill or motocross.I got big into cross-country, came up through the school ranks and national series, and I got some really good results. I always loved the technical side of cross-country. My dad and I agreed one day that I'd get a dual suspension and keep it away from my mom so that she'd only know once it was too late. Then I started getting into the enduro racing. I started with a few Dirtopia races and noticed that I was doing really well. I thought maybe let's give this a bash. I grew up on Helderberg mountain, so the trails were easily accessible to me. Having come through the schools riding structures, what do you think of the current set up? The Spur Schools League is awesome. There are so many participants of all ages, at all levels. I always had competition in the Spurs League which was great.The format of the racing is not too technical allowing everyone to get a taste for lap racing. Then there are the provincial and national XCO events with more difficult tracks and longer laps. Starting in Grade 8 at Paul Roos, which at the time was the best MTB school in the country. For a good 3 to 4 years, we were winning all the time. I had a good group of older guys that really helped me out. I was always this young kid that came on the group rides. Coming from the cross-country background, how much endurance riding do you still do and how does it relate to enduro racing? I still really like it. I am enjoying the marathon and stage racing events at the moment. I've done Tankwa Trek and Wines2Whales and I am doing them again. It is good motivation to keep fit for enduro because it so demanding. Enduro is long days with 6 to 8 hours a day.The enduro training is not as structured. When I am on my cross-country bike, I just ride. I try to do any intervals that I do on my enduro bike to get a good feel for it. Enduro race stages can be 6 to 20 minutes with climbs that can be up to one minute long, so you have to be ready to sprint them hard as you are being timed. Can you compare Enduro World Series to marathon riding? It's different. You never consistently ride hard like in a marathon race. You are riding long liaisons. There is more gym work and preparation for a high intensity over a short time. It is similar to a downhill regime but probably with a bit more base miles. Does the local enduro scene prepare you for racing overseas? No. There is still a long way to go to match the overseas levels. I don't think people really have a great understanding of what is out there and what the guys going overseas have to face.We have awesome trails that are fun to ride but they don't have the gradient or technicality that the overseas trails do. You can see it immediately, the local riders feel completely comfortable riding stuff that I look at not even knowing how I am going to ride it, let alone race it. There are some really nice local trails but the race organisers do not seem to put them all together. There was an enduro in Jonkershoek that did not use the black line which is a must for an enduro race, otherwise it's just a cross-country race where you are not timed up the hills. Local races cater for everybody, and it is understandable, but hopefully, in the next few years, there will be more support for the race organisers to pull it off. All focus racing a stage at the Enduro World Series round in Millau, France. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie. How much riding did you do overseas before heading to the Enduro World Series? I did a few junior world cup cross-country races overseas. Once I decided that I wanted to do the Enduro World Series, I went to New Zealand to participate in two qualification races. It was an eye-opener. The Kiwis are so fast, they have such awesome trails there. Each time I rode there it was the best place I had ever ridden. Which EWS races did you take part in this year? I did all the EWS rounds. Rotorua, Tasmania, Madeira, Ireland, France, Aspen, Whistler. Unfortunately, I decided to give Finale Ligure in Italy a miss. It clashes with exams and it's a big cost for just one event.Rotorua and Tasmania were the first two and both were completely rained out and a mud-fest. Actually, the first five races this year were muddy really. This was a big challenge coming from South African summer, dusty, rocky, and loose to riding in rain forests. The international riders are at home racing in the muck. I was second-guessing my grip on every root. Speaking of mud. What kind of support did you have? None. I think the toughest part of the whole year is that privateering is not luxurious at all. You spend most of your time cleaning your bike and making sure that everything is working for the next day.I enjoyed it. The whole year was spent solving problems. Even just making it to race day was hard enough. Especially in some countries with language barriers, like France. They're not too interested in trying to help you out. In Tasmania, we were too young to rent a car, so we had to find a company that would rent us one. This meant three of us in one car with three bikes, three bags, a bunsen burner and a pan. That was us for the week. As a privateer, it is important to keep an open mind and not stress about the small things or else it will overwhelm you. Who did you travel with? Two friends, I met in New Zealand. We planned to race each event together and meet up in airports. We were all newbies and figuring things out at the same rate and learning from each other.We'd sneak around the pits and look at what the pros were doing and learned new things. How do the one day races compare to the longer two day events? I preferred the one-day races. Yes, they are very long days of riding but the preparation for the two-day races is tough. You prepare your bike for the first day and during racing you do not have time to be careful so it gets damaged and at the end of the day you have to get it all fresh and ready for another day of racing.The single day races are also better suited for me as they are longer. I am definitely on the upper levels of fitness where the other guys start to struggle after 5 hours. Most of the riders come from downhill. The downhill guys are fit now so it is not impossible for them to get fit for these races. There are only a handful of riders who come from cross-country but they are doing well. I don't think it matters too much. But while I am pushing my boundaries on the gnarly trails, they are totally comfortable coming from downhill. Are you satisfied with your results? I am happy. I got really good results for a first timer. I am currently sitting 10th overall. [interview was conducted pre-Finale Ligure. Matt ended up the season in 12th overall after not competing in the final race].I got a couple of top 3 and top 5 stage results but I struggled to consistently go fast. I'd have a few good stage results and then crash or lose a bit of time, which damages your overall. It's good to know that I can ride fast but I need to work on getting it consistent over the whole race which seems to be a challenge. What have you been racing this year? I was racing a Giant Trance. It was a decision between a Trance (150mm/140mm) or a Reign (160mm). I looked at the race calendar and did a bit of research and saw that five of the eight events would probably be fine on the more efficient Trance. I just dealt with the big technical features as well as I could. At the end of the day, I think I made a good call. How did the Trance handle the Whistler trails? Whistler is amazing. It is better than they say it is.My bike choice was not suited to Aspen and Whistler though. They were two completely different races. Aspen was fast and flat out at 80 kmph trying to tuck to go faster through seriously rough terrain while Whistler was slow, almost trials riding stuff, in deep roots. Most people know Whistler for all the bike park features but we didn't really race any of that stuff in the EWS. We raced the natural tracks outside of the park which are exceptional. Whistler had the craziest stage that I have ever ridden and probably will ever ride. It was 20-minutes long, including Top Of The World that goes into a track called Ride Don't Slide, which is known to be one of the most gnarly tracks that Whistler has to offer. I passed four people on that stage who had to pull over to rest their arms. Matt's Trance was stolen recently which means you'll spot him riding this Reign. Photo supplied. Is it tough competing with locals/ experienced that know the trails? On each round, there were definitely riders that benefited from knowing the trails, especially Whistler. France was very unfair. The stages were signposted. You can go ride the stages any time of the year. The French dominated that round. Tasmania the tracks were all brand new and Madeira no one really goes there.Madeira was the coolest stop. A tiny little island off the coast of Africa with so many trails. What was the biggest challenges as a privateer? Getting around the races is really tough. You've come from the airport in a Uber or shuttle and don't have any way of getting around other than riding. The pros pretty much get uplifts from their team managers in practice, allowing them to fit in multiple runs where privateers can do just one.The first two were the fairest because it was only riding, there were no shuttles allowed. So it was up to the riders. But in Madeira, it was a free for all. There were shuttles, but you had to queue and pay while the pros had their own private shuttles. Affording spares was also a big problem. Without support, you have to nurse your equipment all the time. Tyres are a big one. You can ruin them in one day. You quickly learn to change your equipment to handle your needs as you go along. I also did not take a minimalist approach. I rode Eagle for most of the year but as soon as I broke one thing, I changed it all back to 11-speed. It is much cheaper and in European and America, they haven't taken to it that broadly and it was hard to find parts in many shops. How do riders get into a good position racing enduro? Many of the names in the top 30 come from downhill and there are not so many young guys. It is still new, so if you've made a name for yourself already, it is going to stay that way, but there is not too much space for new guys coming in.It is difficult to break into the top 30 in the elites. Of the juniors that went to elites from last year, only one of them is getting good results. Even in downhill, it is getting harder and that is why Stefan Garlicki's race in Val di Sole was really amazing. Are you going to race the EWS again next year? I am not. I'm going to focus on longer enduro events, 5 to 6 days races in more remote areas. I'm looking at doing Trans Costa Rica and Trans New Zealand. I think it will suit me better as it will be blind racing with greater fitness demands.I think the EWS has almost become glorified downhill. I think going into elite is just going to be a step too far for me, especially being unsupported. One or two juniors will get a pro contract next year and I am not one of them. It will be very hard to go into elites unsupported and I do not think it is worth it for me. Unless you're a pro rider, I do not think it is possible. What are your local racing plans? I've got the Ezelenduro which is a highlight for me. That's the best South Africa can offer at the moment. I have to give Dan credit. He has created an awesome race that can compare to some of the international events.I'll also be doing SA Enduro Champs at Hakahana. I have never ridden there which could be a problem. And then some fun at Wines2Whales with Tim Wilkins. Matt was the winner of the inaugural EzelEnduro. Last year, he placed third. Photo credit: Ewald Sadie. What are you currently up to other than riding? I'm in my second year doing a BCom in Business Management. I am doing it over 5 years to accommodate my riding. Do you have ambitions to become a full supported pro rider? Realistically, I do not think so. I have had a taste of it this year. It is definitely not glamorous at all. I really enjoy racing bikes and always will. I am happy with how this year went but I want to try something new next year. But who knows, maybe something will come with that. Next year, I will do less overseas racing and maybe focus on building something locally for myself. But of course, if the opportunity arises I will certainly take it.Maybe two years ago when I was younger, it was certainly a major goal. Now I have realised that there are a lot of fast guys and it takes a lot to get there. Unfortunately, I am geographically limited. Just not having the infrastructure, like a ski lift to pump out as many runs as you can. If I were planning on going pro, I would definitely need to spend at least half the year overseas training. For marathon riders though, we have that dialled. There is no reason you can't be a marathon World Champion based in South Africa.
  4. Established way back in 2004 already, the Dirtopia Trail Centre has undergone plenty of upgrades over the years, and hosted countless cycling events ranging from Cross Country to Dual Slalom to Enduro. Currently offering a complete bicycle shop, full service centre, fully licensed restaurant as well as accommodation, it checks all the boxes for an MTB destination. But none of that would matter without great trails, and the countless hours of labour put in by Meurant and his team. Trails that feature rewarding singletrack and, if you make your way up to the top of the 18km black route, some spectacular views from Paarl to False Bay and all the way across the Cape Peninsula. Other trail options at Delvera include shorter, less technical sections with more mild climbs to cater for those less experienced riders, but for those wanting more, a quick pedal across the R44 gives you access to an extended ride at Muratie and Uitkyk - all forming part of the greater Simonsberg concervancy trail network. Leaving the trail centre, the trail ascends gradually along gravel roads through vineyards until you eventually reach singletrack. The rocky climb along the singletrack gains elevation quickly without being to strenuous thanks to a series of (very tight) switchbacks and traversing trail, snaking its way to the top. A brief break in the thick layer of storm clouds lit our way as we reached the top of the black route, exposing spectacular views all the way from Paarl to False Bay. Simonsberg dominating the skyline towards the right. Darkness. Alarm. Irritation. Snooze. Alarm. Confusion. Get up. Denial. Caffeine. Thunder and lightning! Acceptance. Spectacular sunrise. Bargaining. Pedal up. Shred down. Happiness. The 5 stages of dawn patrols - difficult but always worth it! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Once you hit the summit, it's downhill all the way along flowing, tight and very rocky ribbons of singletrack, leading you all the way back down to the trail centre for a good ol' eggs benedict and cup of coffee. Delvera holds a lot of my early mountain biking memories. My first national title win, 8hr relay race, and my first Enduro! The terrain is hard pack and rocky, with so many twisty trails to choose from. I really love the sections when you're traversing and look straight into the Simonsberg mountain in all its glory. The trail network has something for the whole family, with its pump track and coffee shop at the trail head. Meaurant takes pride in his trail building, and you can see it reflected in Delvera Matt Lombardi Delvera/Dirtopia Trail Centre GPS: 33°50'56.5"S 18°51'27.9"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R50 Website: http://www.dirtopia.co.za/ All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  5. Nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua Mountains and the Karatara River Gorge, lies one of South Africa's top mountain biking destinations. Proper trails cutting through lush indigenous forest with an incredible ambiance of bird sounds and other wild life, and a majestic mountainous backdrop is what defines this place. Add to that accommodation in the form of the Trail Park House, or a 20 person dorm room setup hand crafted by the land owner and trail builder Rob Dormehl, and you have the perfect place to rally together some friends and shred the 40km trail network from dawn till dusk. And with 4 trail options varying in difficulty and distance, and a pump track/dirt jump line, it really caters for all riders of all abilities. The ever-expanding network of trails and accommodation at Garden Route Trail Park is something to admire. Well built jumps in every size you could ever want, means it's the perfect place to get airtime and it's one of the few places in SA that you can ride proper singletrack under an indigenous tree canopy. Phone your friends now and plan a weekend getaway now! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica The Garden Route Trail Park is definitely a must if you're going anywhere up the coast. I'm lucky enough to visit the park frequently and it's definitely on the favourites list. The trails vary from deep, dark, and dense forests with big bomb holes and tight branches, to open grasslands with amazingly flowy trails. I love riding here because of the natural forest that just makes you forget about the world for a few hours. And it's always nice to finish with a few pump track laps and a good coffee. Matt Lombardi This project is made possible by: Garden Route Trail Park GPS: 33°55'01.3"S 22°51'47.7"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R100 Website: https://www.gardenroutetrailpark.com/ All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  6. About an hour's drive further up the coast from last month's Trail Daze destination, we re-visited the now world-famous Garden Route Trail Park, to round off our trip up the N2. Click here to view the article
  7. Kicking off 2017, the Trail Daze crew re-visited Cape Town to bring you the second of this two-part (part one) mother-city mountain biking showcase. We were joined by local pinner, industry influencer and all-round nice guy, Mark Hopkins. Click here to view the article
  8. We met up at the Kloof Nek parking lot, just off Tafelberg Road, and headed for the rubber-destroying slab of granite just a short pedal away. Only a few hundred meters long, with Table Mountain towering above you, this fun section of trail is deceptively technical at high speed and will certainly leave its mark if you come off the bike. The elevated starting point serves up some great views across Cape Town CBD, Table Bay, and as far as Wellington on a clear day. The trails surrounding Table Mountain and Lions Head really surprised me with the technicality and gradient. I've never ridden any of the Cape Town trails so it was an awesome day out railing rugged trails in big dust clouds. It's a trail for the locals and Mark and Dan certainly know the scoop, and I'll hopefully be making my way back there soon. Matt Lombardi Rolling slabs of granite merging together under the patch of pine trees requires above average bike handling skills at high speeds. *knee pads highly recommended Crossing the top of Camps Bay drive, the unassuming entrance to The Glen leads you down a fast and flowing yet technical stretch of trail with the fun factor locked at maximum. Skinny, hard-packed singletrack cutting through dense greenery keeps you on your toes all the way to the bottom as you pick your line through sharp rocks and exposed roots. It’s absolutely amazing that these trails have been opened up recently. Being able to shoot out for a quick shred around Lions Head and the Glen to ride and test new product is a dream for us as a mountain bike company! Throw in some of the sharpest rocks in the region, rad turns in the Glen, a top-class sunset as well as your choice of restaurants/bars at the bottom of the hill, and you've got yourself a great place to ride. Mark Hopkins Matt Lombardi blending in and getting lost in the green-room, descending down The Glen towards the Atlantic ocean on another horrible day in Africa. Exiting The Glen, it's a short but punchy climb up Kloof Road toward the start of the Lions Head trail, from where you're confronted with more breathtaking views of Camps Bay, 12 Apostles, and Table Mountain. This section of trail is just one piece of the newly legalised MTB trails around Table Mountain, but is still shared with hikers, runners and everything else in between - so please be lekker and respect others also looking to enjoy the outdoors. A rare glimpse at a green, unburnt and unscathed landscape around Cape Town, while wildfires relentlessly ravage the greater Western Cape area day in and night out, for months now. Be grateful for the opportunities you have to ride your bike today, because it could be gone tomorrow. The city bowl has a huge network of short, steep and ridiculously rad trails that you'll need a local to make the most of. Of course, there are also the network of easily navigable dirt roads spread across the slopes of the mountain to make use of if you're after less technical riding. Views of the icy Atlantic constantly entice you to descend to the white beaches below, but at the same time, the magnetism of the colossal chunk of sandstone that is Table Mountain, keeps you climbing and searching for more views. Cape Town is a really special place to ride your bike! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica 3 tiny riders traverse the final stretch of singletrack with Lions Head towering in the late afternoon blaze. Seeing out the last golden rays of the day. Cheers Cape Town trail network - you've been very kind. Beer time! Few things in life compare to the magic of an ice cold draft after a sweaty summers ride. This project is made possible by: Kloof Nek parking GPS: 33°56'31.7"S 18°23'42.4"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi | Mark Hopkins Permit: Purchased from the TMNP offices Read more about the Constantia greenbelt trails here. All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  9. Having hosted countless mountain biking events, ranging from XC to Enduro to DH (some of them at National level), the Helderberg Trail Network certainly does not need any formal introduction. Click here to view the article
  10. With around 40 km of marked trails, all starting from the family friendly coffee shop, the terrain caters for all skill levels from the very beginner to the very experienced. In addition to coffees, the kiosk sells light meals and drinks, and with a petting zoo and braai facilities on the premises, one can easily make a day of it. With input from professional mountain biker Andrew Neethling, land owner Jan van Schalkwyk and resident trail builder Duran van Eeden have come up with a selection of red and black route options, which can be configured and combined to suit your ride. And with views from Stellenbosch to Gordon's Bay, and across the entire False Bay towards Cape Point, it should be on any mountain biker's bucket list to shred these trails until the sun sets behind Table Mountain. Do not cycle alone. You can't form a train by yourself. 4 is better. Helderberg trails HQ. Coffees, breakfast, cakes, cold drinks, fresh produce and other mouthwatering eats. Check. Quick caffeine spike before we head up. With an elevation gain of about 600m, the climb is long and relentless, but the trails have been built to contour up gradually where possible. Granny's Forest - the only part of the trail network under tree canopy. From here things open up as you ascend the exposed Helderberg face. Countouring up with our destination in sight at the foot of the Helderberg mountain. Views for days across False Bay, and all the way to Table Mountain. As high up as we can go. Dropping in from here, it's downhill all the way to the bottom, with various line options to get you there. The steep, upper rocky sections are what make the Helderberg trails one of the top DH and Enduro destinations in the country. Proper technical, loose trails that can catch you out at any moment if you don't show the required respect. Helderberg Trails hold a special place in my heart for good reason. I grew up in Somerset West, just down the road from the mountain range. I have been riding this mountain ever since I can remember. It has been my training ground. I actually did my first Downhill race on this very hill back when I was 13. I could not pass up the opportunity to help redevelop and build Helderberg Trails with my partner Jan Van Schalkwyk. We pride ourselves on providing trails for every type or rider and skill level. Andrew Neethling Singletrack from the mountains to the ocean. #winning I might sound biased but I have seen trails centres all over the world and love the variety we have and know we have worlds class trails. The higher you climb the better the views get. You got to earn it here but its more than worth it. You get some serious panoramic views of False Bay and the Winelands. Once at the top, you have a variety of trails to choose from to get you down. We want the rider to come out and form their own loops and combinations. Andrew Neethling After growing up riding the Helderberg mountain for at least 15 years, it's amazing to have Helderberg trails 5 minutes ride from home. I've done my fair share of riding around the world and I can honestly say we have some amazing riding right on the doorstep. Not many places you can be five minutes from the beach or five minutes the trails. Jonty Neethling I would say that the Helderberg trails are the closest playground we have to a 'Euro' style bike park. Not only do they have shuttle access (Yay for multiple gravity runs!) but many of the trails are machine built through beautiful clay based soil meaning wide trails, sturdy berms, and jumps of all sizes. The builders have not shied away from trails that make use of the steep terrain and natural rocks toward the top of the mountain but cleverly, have also built some easy, flowy trails for all levels of rider at the base of the the mountain. Riding with these three super-skilled riders on their local trails was great but the highlight of the day was having a Springbok bolting alongside me as I plummeted down the 'S4P' berms as the light faded to night. Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Three's a party. Four's a train. Helderberg trails will always be a special place to me. I grew up on the neighboring farm, and as a lightie just starting to ride bikes, my dad and I would always ride the original trails. Recently the new trails have become a training ground for enduro and XC riders. The technical trails and amazing scenery overlooking the Helderberg basin just creates a world class riding atmosphere. Whether it's an after-work-burn or a long shuttle day, Helderberg trails has everything you need from big bike park style berms and jumps, to raw rocky sections. True bike riding. Matt Lombardi Another average sunset as seen from the Helderberg trails. Put this on your bucket list - you won't regret it. Helderberg Trails GPS: 34°01'56.3"S 18°50'02.5"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi | Andrew Neethling | Jonty Neethling Permit : R50 at the Helderberg Trails Kiosk All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  11. Crossing the Helshoogte Pass into the incredibly scenic Franschhoek valley, we stopped off at the more-than-300-year-old Boschendal wine farm, to see what the Boschendal team and master trail builder, Bennet Nel have put together. Click here to view the article
  12. Still a very young trail, having only been established in 2015, it already features six different riding options, with the 33 km (1025 m elevation gain) loop being the longest of the lot. A considerable amount of work has gone into these trails in a short amount of time with a nice mix of well-maintained single track, mountainside jeep track and some farm road. With the majestic Simonsberg towering above and views across the Franschhoek valley, you would be forgiven for stopping every few kilometres, as this is truly a five star view. Remaining clouds from the downpour the night before made for cool temperatures and dramatic skies as we started climbing. A short stint of winding single-track through the olive groves. Lots of history around these trails. An old farm house ruin, property of Frans Diederik Muller, dating back to the 1750's when mining silver was on the up. The remains of the devastating fires that ravaged the area earlier in the year. But nature is more than bouncing back, with carpets of lumo green ferms all around you in some areas. I tell our foreign guests that the sun always wins over the clouds here in Cape Town. Winter rain falls from the skies, the soil greedily soaks it up and the sun comes out before long. In return, we get a beautiful flower display with grippy trails and hardly a puddle in sight. After living in the UK, with its boggy trails, our weather is something I am profoundly grateful of! While we still have a way to go before summer, don't forget to get outside to enjoy the extra grip and let 'er rip! Daniel Dobinson | iRideAfrica Glorious, fresh, grippy, tacky soil. No corners were harmed during the making of this episode. Speedway rider on track! Boschendal trails offer a variety of different terrain. From fast forest trails to open twisty flow trails. The scenery surrounding the trails is truly breathtaking with the Simonsberg mountain always in the peripheral. There has really been a lot of effort put in to making these trails in such a special place just outside of Stellenbosch. Not the most technical trails, but certainly an enjoyable day out! Matt Lombardi Spring has sprung with the oaks showing their new coats. The bottom section of Inferno consists of an incredibly lush and scenic, fast, hard-packed section following all along the creek. More ruins. This water mill dates back to the early 1800's. With Simonsberg towering above you, the Sugar Bowl drops down perfectly groomed single track, snaking its way down berm after berm towards the Trout Cottage. This project is made possible by: Boschendal GPS: 33°52'40.4"S 18°58'25.3"E Riders : Daniel Dobinson | Matt Lombardi Permit: R50 at the Boschendal Wine Farm All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  13. With 30 riders taking part in the Enduro, the vibe was very relaxed and saw only a few riders attack the 7 stages. As predicted though, Matt Lombardi took a convincing win with some exceptionally fast and aggressive riding, ahead of 2nd place Chris Nixon. Justin Novella rounded off the top 3 men's podium. Ladies top honours went to Gina Nixon, with Michelle Witteveen and Antoinette Geyer following in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Top 3 Men: Matt Lombardi - 20:09 Chris Nixon - 20:31 Justin Novella - 20:57 Top 3 Women: Gina Nixon - 23:39 Michelle Witteveen - 27:11 Antoinette Geyer - 34:35 The Rocky Mountain Forest Fest, is a festival of fun single track riding. We had a night riding experience on the Thursday evening - what an experience pinning it through the thick forest at night. Thursday and Friday gave people the opportunity to demo the 2016 Rocky Mountain bikes while experiencing single track heaven. Saturday was the first timed Enduro at the trail park, the event went of flawlessly with a total of 7 stages including a warm up pump track stage. The Enduro was a mix of trail riding from steep fast descends to tricky twitchy forest riding and one stage offering a series of massive jumps and tables followed by swooping berms. Besides the riding, the trail park cafe kept people fuelled up with great coffee, croissants, pancakes and cake. There was a great vibe and word has spread already for next years rocky mountain forest fest at the garden route trail park. Martin Prest | Hullabaloo The Rocky Mountain bike team is in town and has taken over the Garden Route Trail Park. Bikes getting setup for test riders about to take on the trails. Rob getting rider registration underway. Rob briefing the small field of racers on the 7 stage Enduro that lies ahead. Stage 1 consisted of a quick lap around the pump track, before heading out on liaison 2. Farm owner, trail builder and race organizer, Rob Dormehl, developed his own timing system specifically for Enduro events - and it seemed to work pretty well. Could this be the solution to all our timing woes? Pre-race interview with the anticipated winner, Matt Lombardi. Prizes! From handlebars, to apparel to nutrition. Ladies podium. Mens podium.
  14. The annual Rocky Mountain Rocky Forest Fest took place this past weekend at the Garden Route Trial Park, just outside Knysna. With a variety of not-so-serious events taking place during the course of the weekend, with the idea of getting riders a chance to test out some Rocky Mountain bikes, the main feature was the first ever timed Garden Route Trail Park Enduro. Click here to view the article
My Profile My Forum Content My Followed Content Forum Settings Ad Messages My Ads My Favourites My Saved Alerts My Pay Deals Settings Help Logout