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  1. On Saturday, 26th September @ 8:00, forty four riders from all over the country congregated at Ground Zero Bike & Trail Park, the start & finish for the Witfontein Funduro 2020. All praise to God for holding back the rain, and sending the chilly winds to keep the riders cool. This was a free event for all Hillbillies Members, and non-members were only required to pay a day pass for the use of the trails. Some big names, such as Johann Potgieter (5x National Downhill Champ), made the journey to take part in the enduro. Even local Cross Country racer Tristan Nortje took part on his XC race bike. The trails around George (aka Witfontein) are perfectly suited. Just begging to host an enduro race. The Hillbillies Mountain Bike Club, local riders as well as the trail running clubs pour hundreds of hours of work into building and maintaining the beautiful trails. The damage caused after the strong winds several weeks ago was excessive, but everyone pulled together to re-open most of the trails. Scoping the new lines on race day didn't slow down Johann Potgieter on his way to victory. Riders entering the Full Funduro raced five stages, covered a total distance of 32km with elevation gain of 1200m. The Lite Funduro consisted of three stages, 23km. The route was just difficult enough to not overwhelm the younger and less experienced riders, but still give the hardcore gravity junkies a good challenge. The trails chosen incorporated all of the goodness that Witfontein has to offer while testing a riders full range of skills and fitness. From old-school fast and flat-out sections over loamy goodness, to slippery rooty trails with tight turns, and then finally big double jumps mixed with steep rocky chutes, the Witfontein trails have something for every rider. A Community Effort Various members of the George mountain biking community came together to make the inaugural Witfontein Funduro happen.Braam Pretorius, Hillbillies Chairman, generously availed himself as a timing marshal on the day, as did Marthinus & Shauna Esmeyer of Paradise Adventures and Kendon Sharp. The Hillbillies also sponsored a water table, which was over and above what could be expected at a free event. Skysha Barrett, Ella Barrett & Elsa Sharp braved the cold to make sure that riders didn't bonk on the tough course. Ride Life Bicycle Shop also helped out significantly with the course marking and making sure that the trails were not obstructed on the morning of the race. Jacques Lourens of Frontier Medix was on site, but thankfully no one had to leave the mountain in an ambulance. A last thank you to everyone who has not been mentioned, but who contributed behind the scenes to make the whole event possible. It was a huge team effort with weeks of planning that could not have happened without the support family and friends. Witfontein Funduro Top 10 FinishersJohan Potgeiter Andrew Savage Nico Bester Chris Barrett Julian Bunge Tristan Nortje Jean-Pierre Malherbe Danie van Tonder Joshua Langenhoven Sean van Niekerk Full results: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i_EL228mwK-hUuvvaB9W9e0Ve7gLqntG/view?usp=sharing
  2. With the Enduro Western Cape series being disrupted this year due to COVID, local trail rider, architectural professional, husband and father, Chris Barrett decided to take things into his own hands. Click here to view the article
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. I just read the following news article in the George Herald website. Things are getting a bit out of hand there in my old hometown. http://www.georgeherald.com/news/News/General/129262/Cyclists-attacked-at-Witfontein
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