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  1. Less than an hours drive north of Cape Town, Ganzekraal campsite was our home for the weekend. While the bulk of the riding took place over Saturday and Sunday, Friday evening provided us with an opportunity to test out our Fat Bike legs on a short beach ride and a perfect excuse for some sundowners. All above photos: Wayne Reiche After sunset and a beer or two we switched on the lights and meandered back to camp inland along some dirt roads. Before long dinner was served and we were treated to some serious West Coast hospitality with an abundance of perfectly prepared braai meat courtesy of Monty's Spit Braai. Highlights video Ready for day two. Bikes were loaded on trailers and riders in busses, although many of us huddled into the back of the Samil20, because why not. The trusty Samil20 was our supply ship for the weekend. Photos: Wayne Reiche Day two: Silverstroom to GanzekraalOur route for day two would see us riding approximately 30km from Silverstroom at Ganzekraal. After some bacon and egg rolls (and/or muesli) for breakfast, riders and bikes were shuttled south to the starting point where we'd ride in a northerly direction back to the campsite. Our first taste of soft sand came early and was a rude awakening for sleepy legs. Even with 4 inches of rubber it can be tough going. We were soon beyond the sandy dunes though, where a steep drop delivered us down to sea level and onto the firmer stuff. Thankfully I'd had some tips from Nick who rode last year's event and had passed on his learnings. 1) Learn to look for the sweet spot of firm sand 2) Fat bike drafting - no aerodynamics here, but pre-compacted sand in the form of other rider's tracks is game changing and 3) Tyre pressure is critical, when you think it's too soft let a little more air out. I can only thank Nick because these three simple tricks flattened my learning curve and my first real fat biking experience far easier from the get-go. Dune surfing on your bike. It's a thing and it's great fun. Photos: Wayne Reiche Beware: Sand cliff ahead. Photo: Wayne Reiche A view from the top. It is a long way down. Photo: Troy Davies The route took us on and off beaches as we dodged rocky outcrops and traded beach sand for rocks or occasional gravel roads. The final few kilometers took us off the sand onto firmer hard packed ground where we were greeted by a stern headwind. Despite the short distance on paper it felt like a closer double that on the day. A relaxed sit down at our second water stop (a beer stop for most) had us gazing out over the beauty of the West Coast. Photos: Wayne ReicheWinding our way alongside the coast towards the finish we had a few farm fences to negotiate and here the camaraderie of the event shone through. Riders happily reached over to grab bikes and lent a hand ensure others made it over or through at the marked areas. Before long the familiar flags of our campsite signaled the end of our ride. Photos: Wayne Reiche The Steed - Titan Whopper Sport Since many riders may not own a fat bike, Titan, a title sponsor of the event, offer a rental service for the weekend. I opted for one of these and the fleet of Titan Whopper Sport fat bikes served many of us well on our adventures. It features a light weight aluminium frame with a rigid fork and is kitted with entry level Shimano components, Shimano M315 Hydraulic brakes and a 3x9 drivetrain. Titan's own brand "Big Daddy" 26" x 4.0" tyres keep you in contact with the sand (or snow).For my typical riding tastes the 3x9 is a bit of an overkill although I have to admit it saved me on occasion when sand had jammed up the rear derailleur. Thankfully on arrival back at camp the bikes were all treated to a wash thanks to Namgear and good to go for the next day. Photos: Craig Kolesky Photo: Troy Davies Another evening of great food and great company with a lamb spit braai from Monty's. The intimate nature of the event meant most riders connected with one another at some point over the weekend. Swopping stories, sharing laughs and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. Staying warm, West Coast style.Photo: Craig Kolesky My accommodation for the weekend. Photo: Troy Davies Day three: Yzerfontein to GanzekraalFollowing Saturday's headwinds the organising team made the call to reverse the route for Sunday. Instead of riding north from our campsite towards Yzerfontein we would shuttle through to the "finish line" and ride back to camp with a predominantly tail wind. Much to the delight of all the riders. After a festive evening around the fire some coffee was needed to get the "gees" going. Photo: Wayne Reiche Given the gloomy, blustery West Coast conditions we were all smiles to know that we at least had the wind on our backs for the day. With all riders layered up, many having depleted the ION team's jacket supplies, we set off on another adventure along the coast. Photos: Troy Davies Photo: Gareth Wright The seemingly endless stretches of coastline offered up an array of testing conditions. A pushing high tide often left little room to ride and fewer options to avoid the softest of soft sand. As I found my rhythm and that Goldilocks like spot of tyre pressure I recalled Nick's earlier advice and scrambled across the beach seeking out fat biking nirvana in the sand. With mixed success I soon shifted focus to the surroundings, spotting all sorts of unique birdlife dotted along the coast and even a lonely seal avoiding the rough swells who, much like us fat bikers, lumbered across the soft sand as it snuck back into the water. Photos: Gareth Wright A Red Bull down the hatch I was ready to press on, all kitted out thanks to the team from ION. Photo: Gareth Wright A bright idea? Along with the bird life, seals and ship wreckage we encountered an extraordinary array of lightbulbs washed up along the beaches. Photo: Gareth Wright Despite the wet and windy conditions it was a unique treat to experience all sides of the West Coast. After around 20km of beach riding we again headed slightly inland and wound our way through the low shrubs over a mix of sand dune, hard packed dirt and a brief stretch of tar which delivered us back to Ganzekraal. What a unique experience and an awesome adventure. Fat tracks in the sand. All that we left behind. Photo: Wayne Reiche Thanks to the Weskus Fatbike Adventure team for an incredible weekend. Great riding, delicious food and all round good vibes. To find out more about the event visit the website here: www.weskusfatbike.co.za
  2. The Weskus Fat Bike Adventure is based at the Ganzekraal Campsite just an hour's drive from Cape Town. Ganzekraal is one of those places that as soon as you arrive, you feel relaxed. The view of the ocean and continuous supply of And Union beer set the tone for the weekend.The event kicked off on Friday with registration (with an excellent goodie bag by the way) and a very short ride through the campsite and across the closest cove. Although only 4 kilometres long, we encountered the sketchiest bit of boardwalk in the event which claimed a few victims. The first day saw us riding inland south towards Koeberg. A few kilometres out from the power station, we turned towards the coast and found ourselves staring down a halfpipe shaped dune shute. Much fun was had "carving" the dune walls. At the end of the schute was a pretty impressive sand dune and the event's only enforced portage section down a two-metre drop. The braver of the riders bombed the steep dune after the drop while many selecting the safer option of walking down. Once safely down the monstrous dune, we got out first taste of open beach. It's a wonderful feeling cruising along with riders scattered along an endless beach with nothing but sea, sand, and blossoming flowers in sight. We hopped from bay to bay, crossing over rocks and overgrown access roads. The single track getting into and out of each bay presented us with some challenging technical sections with the more confident riders egging each other on. The drinks breaks were an important part of the first day. At two scenic points, all the riders stopped to regroup and enjoy beer or chocolate milk while recounting the ride so far. After the second water stop, our legs started complaining, despite the relatively short total distance of 30 kilometres. Riding the Weskus terrain is not easy and even with fat bikes, it's no simple task. To make matters worse, the local mole population had taken it upon themselves to welcome us with an endless supply of molehills to crush as we edged closer to the campsite (and lunch). At the end of the day, we were very happy to roll into the camp, hand our bikes over to the great guys at the Namgear bike wash (after riding through salt water and sand, a wash is vital) and head over for a beer and lunch. Once the day's riding was done, the other half of Weskus Fat Bike Adventure commenced: getting to know a bunch of like-minded cyclists. Day two is the big one. You wouldn't think it looking at the route stats: 40 kilometres with 150 metres of climbing. But in fat biking, they should include other metrics, like the softness of the sand! Riding 40 kilometres of non-stop beach sand was an entirely new experience. I quickly figured out three vital skills needed for fat biking efficiency. Being able to predict the firmness of the sand ahead. Often the sweet spot was just where the last wave had seeped into the sand, which presented the danger of incoming waves (destroyers of drivetrains). Fat bike drafting. This has nothing to do with air resistance instead you need to be able to hold your line as you follow the tracks of compressed sand left behind by faster riders. Tyre pressure. Soft sand requires lower pressures than the rocky shorelines we rode on day 1. In my case, I found that almost riding on the rim proved to be the most efficient setting. Unfortunately, I only figured this out with 4 kilometres to go. The day ended with a ride up the boardwalks at Yzerfontein with the cheers of fellow riders greeting our arrival. A big thanks to Craig, Rudolf, and Chris for putting on a spectacular event.
  3. The Weskus Fat Bike Adventure is a truly unique experience. The main focus is to enjoy the ride - there is no timing and no race positioning - riders simply head off once the last rider is ready (and when the tides allow). This approach creates a very social atmosphere in the campsite and out on the bike. - Photos by Craig Kolesky. Click here to view the article
  4. The partnership is born of both parties' mutual desire to promote Family Cycling Adventures. As the event's bike partner Titan have supplied organizers with bikes for the route guides and a number of Titan Whopper Alloy Race bikes for participants to rent for the event. The Weskus Fat Bike Adventure is now in it's second year and offers participants the unique opportunity to explore sections of the West Coast that are normally inaccessible to the public. Held on 7 - 9 October and hosted, by the West Coast Municipality at the Ganzekraal Campsite the event is family friendly and at an ideal time of year to see the Spring Flowers that the West Coast is renowned for. For more info, visit www.weskusfatbike.co.za and make sure you don't miss out on a unique MTB experience. https://vimeo.com/142857435
  5. The organizers of the Weskus Fat Bike Adventure, a 3-day Adventure ride up the Cape West Coast, are pleased to announce that Titan Bikes have partnered with the event as it's official Bike Partner. Click here to view the article
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