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Found 24 results

  1. In February 2021 I got to be part of small four-person team, led by race director Chris Fisher, that did a reconnaissance of the race route for the inaugural edition of the Freedom Circuit scheduled for April. This is that story. Words: Carlo Gonzaga Good photos: Llewellyn Loyd/Reblex Photography Bad photos: Riders “Kuphi isipaza? Kuphi isipaza!?” Warm greetings aside this will be the most often asked question of locals during the inaugural Freedom Circuit bike packing race scheduled for April 2021. This begs the question, ‘why do I need to know the whereabout of a shop for a bike race?’ The last 20 years has seen South African main-stream mountain biking culture grow up on a diet of multi-day stage races. These are world class events where a riders’ every need is catered for. I’ve seen inflatable swimming pools and pizza ovens in locations so remote I could barely get my bicycle there. Riding ranged from damn hard to easy, and almost always on well-maintained routes and tracks. Stage race fatigue birthed gravel riding events and its favourite tool, the gravel bike. These events are similarly well organised: manned waterpoints; 100% ridable routes and large fields. Great camaraderie and a real test of pure lower limb horsepower. Given the relatively fast riding speeds and numerous support stations, 100mile (160km) and 150mile (240km) events are within reach of average riders. The Freedom Circuit is none of these events. The Call I got the call from Chris Fisher in January asking me if I wanted to do a reconnaissance ride of the race route in February. My reply was simple – “count me in… for whatever”. I assumed this recce would be done at a leisurely pace and was a little surprised when I got a text message with the ride plan. Chris wanted to mimic the average riders experience and complete the longer 700km route in 100hours, 20 hours quicker than the five-day cut-off. He also wanted us to ride our bikes in race trim, with all our gear on board – clothing, power, bivvie, and food. When February rolled around the recce team had grown to include accomplished adventure racer Julia Fisher and veteran ultra-endurance cyclist, Mike Woolnough. My leisurely-pace ride had morphed into “I’ll be hanging-on-by-my-toe-nails-to-keep-up ride”. The objective was to lay down a perfect bicycle GPS route for use in the actual event in April; to explore some alternate routes; and to establish potential re-supply points for competitors in the actual race. If this picture doesn’t stir your soul, then you’re probably being shown this photo at your funeral. The Format At its core the Freedom Circuit is a self-supported event. There are two courses: a long course of 430miles (700km) and a shorter, 250mile (400km) course. Both have the same cut-off of five days (120hours). Riders will get a GPS route and have to stay on the route. So far so good. At this point the format diverges from the norm: while there are checkpoints where riders sign in, these points are not support stations as you may have come to know them. They will offer basic meals and rustic lodgings, but riders will need to pay for these just as if they were using commercial hotels or restaurants. Riders have to carry everything on them from the start. Clothing, water, food, and power. There is a list of mandatory gear designed mainly around safety and catering for the range of weather you’re sure to encounter. ‘GPS route’ you say? Don’t be fooled into thinking that you cannot get lost. I’ve seen many people utilise the wrong settings on their GPS and get woefully lost. I’ve also had a GPS fail on me 600km into a 1000km race. Bring a spare. The route traverses properly rural South Africa and you will only pass through two small towns – Underberg and Matatiele. You can choose to camp or use commercially available lodgings. The golden rule is that you may only use support that is available to all other riders. i.e., no outside or personalised support. Riders will be allowed to ride in pairs or small groups. Save for this localised concession the race is classified as self-supported. For the rest you’ll be left to fend for yourself using community taps to refill water; spaza shops to find coke and snacks; and the checkpoints for a more filling meal. “Kuphi isipaza?” You will thank me. Heart and soul For the purist bike-packer accustomed to Tour Divide-type rules, the localised differences may sound like anathema. I disagree - bike packing and self-supported style riding is about the spirit of adventure. It is about self-discovery. It is about putting oneself ‘out there’, opening yourself up to an experience that is potentially life changing. It is about reducing, for a few days, your life to the basic nomadic needs of eating, sleeping, and moving forward. There is an inner kid in you yearning to get muddy again. There is an inner 30-something wondering how to get out the office again. There is a wiser 45-year-old wanting to connect with herself again. That is what these types of events are about. The rules merely facilitate these journeys. On a 100 hour plan we got into CP2 at around 10:30 at night having ridden in the rain for four hours. A sense of humour is part of the mandatory equipment list. The terrain There’s an old phrase I enjoy repeating: “just as the spreadsheet is not the business, the map is not the terrain.” This rings true for the Freedom Circuit. It cannot be ridden on google earth. Trust me on this. You absolutely will push your bike. Sometimes for an hour at a time. When you see 14% on your GPS it’s likely the gradient and not your battery power. If you’re new to a GPS this is generally bad news. You will cross so may rivers you will need to start counting on your toes. Your belly button may even get wet. Mine did. When you finish the long course, you will have climbed the equivalent of Kilimanjaro two-and-a half- times (13’000m or 43000ft). Just under twice for the short course. Race director, Chris Fisher walking the talk. He wanted to ensure that he experienced the route as riders would and he rode every single (and then some) mile. The route covers iconic sections of the region. Names that when uttered at a local bar are sure to get you a free drink and a front seat on which to tell your stories. When your children hear these stories they will be reminded how you were their first hero. And still are. Traversing “The Vuvu Valley” you will track the Tina river on the valley floor for some 9km. Like the road of bones in eastern Russia the tracks on this valley floor are filled with a small piece of every rider that has ever come through here. I can barely type the words without getting a lump in my throat. Food at Mrs Kibi’s house. The most delicious potatoes I’ve had in some time. Once you’ve refuelled at Mrs Kibi’s house, you will wet your feet in the “Tinana” river. Thirty minutes later you will have carried your bike through what appears to be the eye of a rock needle. You will need to take photos as no-one will believe you. At “Black Fountain” you will follow the scars of cattle tracks that descend for 13km before you, once again, hoist your bike on your shoulders to scale the nasty ascent of “Koebung”. At this point you will curse the race director. If you don’t, you should. You will pass “Mariazell Mission” and negotiate the spectacular uphill single track of “Stations of the Cross” that draws you up as if on a ski lift. Julia Fisher crossing the Tinana. In case you’re wondering, Julia is not especially short. It’s the water that is deep. Yes, they are related. The blue skies, green hills and red wattle drag strips of the “Mpharane Ridge” will fill the reservoir of your soul. You will silently apologise for having said such nasty things about the race director earlier. You will follow ancient paths that join the “Three Villages of Queen Mercy”. Route directions pre-GPS included gems like “turn left at the outdoor bathtub after the blue house”. Tubs break and houses get painted. You’ll tip you helmet to Mr Rattray as you traverse Pleasantview Farm on the access road to the magnificent section through “Politique Kraal.” Here, your odometer will click through 600km and your altimeter will reflect over 10’000 metres ascent. If you pass here in the dead of night you should take a moment, turn off your light, gaze upwards, and reflect in wonderment on your journey. Not just this one. You will meet Mr Dalu Ncgobo who “sleeps with one eye open” at “Ntsikeni Lodge” waiting for riders to arrive. You simply being there keeps him and the lodge alive for yet another season. You will have stories. Stories that can only be earned, never bought. Some advice Having done this route in 100 hours I can tell you: It. Is. Hard. You will be broken at some point. You will wonder “why?”. If you want to avoid riding at night and get a good night’s sleep, do the 250-mile (400km) course. Doing the 430-mile route (700km) will force you into forgoing sleep, riding at night and having to, in Mike’s words, get a “wiggle on”. Community water taps will be your friend. This one is at the top of Black Fountain. Please don’t use a gravel bike. Even if you’re a masochist. Lower your expectations when it comes to amenities. Don’t be a ‘tjop’ (colloquial for idiot) just because you’re paying for something. After all, this is rural South Africa where every person you see likely lives off less than $1 a day. You won’t even have electricity at some of the re-supply points. One of them is a fully functioning school. Others are the actual houses of rural South African folk. Be nice and people will return the smile and be helpful. The trail and its people that eke out a living are sensitised to riders and ensure our safety. Don’t ruin that for future adventurers. A typical spaza shop. This one had frozen ice lollies which we jammed into camelbaks to cool the water! You’ll find cokes, crisps and perhaps some peanuts & bread. They don’t typically adhere to nutritional guidelines. Be focussed, but don’t miss the important stuff on the side of the track. Carry spares. There is definitely nothing resembling a bike shop on this route. Be self- sufficient. Spaza shops may not be open. Cokes may be warm. Taps may be dry. Rain may ruin a previously ridable road. You may not have cell signal. TIA (this is Africa). Early morning departures will be required whether you are doing the short or long course. Why Larry, why? When I recount stories like this I am, at some point, inevitably met with silence, followed by a hushed “but why do that?”. The question is fair, the answer complicated and highly personalised. I imagine my life as a canvas and each experience a dot on it. Some dots are larger, representing a greater influence on my life. Having children. Finding a soul mate. When I was younger these dots appeared disconnected. As I’ve got older, I understand that the dots are in fact joined. It is my job to ensure I place new dots on my life’s canvas. I want dots that are both large and spaced further apart from the existing dots. This broadens the canvas of my life and ensures I influence my future with positive, large dots. I ‘hit the wall’, on the base of the climb through Pleasantview farm. I could pedal no more. I had to stop, take a few minutes, and renegotiate a new deal with myself. I needed to remind myself about the ‘why’. Having completed a few of these events in the last two years I am reminded that my happiness no longer comes from things, but from doing things. I am reminded how much more, less, is. I am reminded that my happiness doesn’t exist somewhere in the future but comes from my past. Last, I am reminded that I am solely the author of my happiness. This, is freedom. [PS: Mike and I paid our own way. We have entered the 700km race in April. If we said anything nice about Chris or his race its not because he paid us. Onward!] There are only two formal grocery stores on route - Matat and Underberg. The latter is 34km into the race so not too usefull. Matat has a Steers. I ordered a few hamburgers there on Tuesday at 9am. I ate the last of those hamburgers on Wednesday at 4pm. Mike Woolnough posting his ascerbic updates on one of the whatsapp groups during our ride. A great travelling companion that rarely gets his feathers ruffled. Mrs Kibi's house is at Tinana. This is one of the CP's in the race. Mike Julia and Chris keeping the wall up. Food in these parts of the world is always seems to be just what your body wanted. There are no service points or "technical zones" on this route. You had better make sure you have lube for 700km and that you carry enough spares. We didn't have one puncture between us but had a couple of shoe issues. Bring cable ties and duct tape. Some of the rocky descents will shake your teeth loose. Change your brake pads before hand. You will use your stoppers regulalry. Have a camera handy. Stop and take photos. You will want to show folks sitting in their armchairs what you've accomplished. Make sure you smile. If you're not feeling it, fake it. Grumpy is on the 'leave-at-home' list.
  2. This Friday we have a one day only sale that really is beyond value for money. Book today for the 2-8 Sept 2021 Hessequa/Overberg Cruise, and pay only R4375pp (Normal Price R8750.00), and we will include the 9-11 Sept Stanford Cheese and Wine Ride for free, as well as 1 nights accomodation in Stanford on the 8th to link the two trips together. That works out at R480pp/pn, for a full service, fully catered luxury MTBing holiday. This offer is limited to the first 6 persons to book, thereafter normal pricing applies. You absolutely wouldnt be able to find a better value for money MTB holiday. The Hessequa/Overberg Cruise starts in Stillbay, and over the next 6 days you wind your way along the coastal region, into the Overberg, stopping off at highlights like Arniston and Cape Aghulus, before finally coming to an end in the quiant overberg village of Stanford. The Cheese and Wine Ride, is a weekend riding trip, based out of Stanford, and shows you around to some of the best riding in the region, while sampling wines and cheese, that the area is famous for. This ride allows you access to private property normally not afforded to the public, and even the chance to preview some of the tracks for the 2022 edition of the Cape Epic. If you book this combo package, you get a full ten day MTBing adventure of note, including 9 nights of luxury accomodation on a dbb basis, snacks and refreshements on the ride, support vehicle with mehanical backup, transfer from goerge Airport or from Cape Town on the the first day, and Transfer to Cape Town Airport on the last. We can assist you with assembling your bikes on arrival, as well as boxing for the return flight if needed. This offer is limited to no more than 6 persons - book now to avoid dissapointment - non riding partners are welcome to join @ the same rate as riders. To book now, click here *all our other trips are currently marked down with 35% too, until 31 October 2020
  3. Hi Guys, Since 2020 has all around made for a bit of a disaster, and I have currently got nothing but time on my hands for most of the rest of the year, I thought it might be a good idea to use that time to do something constructive, instead of wallow in the sorrows, moaning about what 2020 should have been, and while at it, why not try raise some funds for a charity that supports people who really know what suffering is, and who have also lost most of their sources of funding during this time. So, take a look here for all the details: https://adventurelogistics.co.za/echo/ and visit the backabuddy page here if you feel like you can afford to donate a few bucks: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/enduring-4-echo-youth The ride: You can get a much more detailed description on the webpage in the link above, but the ride is essentially a 1000km ride, starting at the Seal Point Lighthouse in St Francis on the 6th of December, going through the Baviaanskloof, then on towards Uniondale, dropping down the Montagu Pass to George, then making its way through to Stillbaai, following the route of our Hessequa/Overberg MTB Adventure to Stanford, from where it heads to the mountains again, via Franshoek to stellenbosch, and then finally into cape town to finish at Cape point, somewhere between 10 and 14 days later. The Cause: The ride will be done to raise funds for Echo Youth Development, a registerd NPO and PBO that runs a number of homes for vulnerable youth across the country, as well as facilitates numerous programs to give these kids a fighting chance in life. Lockdown has seen many of their traditional funding sources dry up, and every little bit will help keep the homes running. My aim is to try and raise a minimum of R10 000.00 through this initiative - or R10.00/Km ridden. If you would like to support the cause, please make a donation via the backabuddy page. Updates regardin the planning, as well as daily updates from the road, will be posted to our website at https://adventurelogistics.co.za/echo/, as well as via Facebook and this thread. Adventure Cycles will also donate R250.00 to the cause, for every booking made with us, between now, and the 19th of December 2020.
  4. For the full report with images click here, Text copied from the website below: If ever Murphy decided to show up uninvited and try his utmost to ruin what should be a fun weekend outing, this was the one he chose. The plan was to depart Pretoria around 09:30 on Friday morning, to be sure we arrive at Verlorenkloof well ahead of the rest of the group and make sure everything was ready for check-in. Fortunately, the team at Verlorenkloof, Lockdown restrictions and all, we’re on the ball, and a quick phone call to sort out the finer details was all it took, to ensure that our guests would find their way to their homes, and check-in would run smoothly, as it became obvious, we would be arriving very far behind schedule. The first issue became apparent as I arrived at the rental car company to collect the Van that we would be using for the weekend. We specifically requested one with a tow bar, but none of the available choices was fitted with one. Initiate plan B. I went back to the office to collect my car, to tow the trailer, and on the way called a shuttle company from Nelspruit to arrange a transfer to get the group from Verlorenkloof to Dullstroom on Saturday Morning. Finally, it would seem things were heading in the right direction. Trailer attached, bikes loaded and finally ready to hit the road, only an hour or so behind schedule. But then, a faint hissing sound, coming from one of the tires of the trailer, stopped us dead in our tracks again. The valve had completely failed, and a “quick” stop at a tire shop, set us back another hour. But, by just afternoon, we were finally on the road, just in time to catch all the weekend traffic, but at least we were moving in the right direction. With the trailer catching all the wind, and the traffic at the tollgates doing its best to hold us up, we eventually arrived at the resort just before 17:00. It had been a rough day, but at least we had made it, and it could only get better from this point on. Those that arrived on time, had the chance to explore some of the great riding on the property already, and after a drink and a round of greetings, we could all settle in for a delicious dinner prepared for us by the Food space team at Verlorenkloof. Spirits were high, and everyone was excited, albeit a little apprehensive for the ride that lay ahead tomorrow. By 22:00, everyone had called it a night. The early morning started with some Coffee and Rusks, delicious fresh farm yoghurt and muesli. By 07:30, all 12 bikes were loaded into the trailer and ready to go, but Murphy had reared his head again, he wasn’t quite done with us yet. The shuttle was nowhere to be seen yet……a quick call to the driver revealed they were not far out but had underestimated the road conditions, causing a slight delay. All in, by 08:00 we were all loaded up, and on route to Dullstroom to start the days riding by 09:30. Without going into too much detail (there is a fair bit), After running into potholes the large enough to swallow a truck, headwinds, tire blowouts and fuel shortages, all in the space of 80 odd KM, by 11:00, we had all the bikes, and all the riders at the start of an epic 60km ride, that would end back at Verlorenkloof. Luckily, the weather was playing along, and a relatively cool day lay ahead, which made the late start less of an issue. The group got going, and as some of the faster riders charged ahead, so much so, that they were not seen again until the finish, the bulk of the group carried on a respectable pace, and by the time they reached the top of the first of two big climbs, around the 12km mark, spirits were still high. Water bottles were topped up, and some snacks handed out. From this point, the group started splitting up into batches based on pace, and by the time the mid-paced riders reached 40km mark, and just before the second major climb, the first two speed demons had already arrived back at the lodge and were kicking their feet up. We refilled bottles and handed out some fruit and nuts, and a few energy jellies, before seeing to it that everyone made it up the second big climb. From here, there was about 15km to go, starting with a magical high speed, white knuckle descent, where one of the riders in the group managed to rank 3rd overall on Strava, followed by a leisurely ride across beautiful sunkissed fields of corn and maize, before taking a gentle climb back up along the Crocodile River, and then returning to the lodge. The fastest riders in the group managed to cover the 60km ride in just under 3 hours, whilst the last batch made it in just over 4 and a half. All in all, we are very proud of all the riders, many of whom had not ever done a ride over 40km before this. All in, even with Murphy trying his utmost to ruin the day, everyone was in high spirits, sore butts and all. After some well-deserved showers, a few cold ones, and some general banter, the whole group got together around the boma and enjoyed a lekker chicken braai. After dinner, some opted for an early night, while others stoked the coals and kept the fire going till just after midnight. Sunday morning was a morning at leisure. For those that wanted to, there were some optional rides to do around the resort, ranging between 10 and 20 km, while others choose to rather sleep in. Those that decided their butts were just a little too sore from the previous day’s ride, rather opted for an easy morning hike up to the waterfalls. Around 10:00 we served a big brunch, with home-baked trout pies, roast veggies, frittata and more, to fill the bellies, before packing up and checking out around midday for the drive back home. All in all, no matter how hard Murphy tried, he simply couldn’t ruin the weekend, and a great time was had by all. For some, it was just a relaxed riding weekend, for some an opportunity to push their limits and improve their riding. Most importantly, for all involved, it was some good healthy fun in the sun. There are still places available on the November Escarpment Escape tour, the last one for this year, to book your spot now for November (Max of 8 riders for this trip) click here Editors Note: Since this weekend, we have been in touch with other landowners in the valley, and now offer a similar ride on Saturday morning, without needing to shuttle to Dullstroom first. The ride now starts and ends at Verlorenkloof, and traverses some beautiful areas along the upper reaches of the crocodile river, all of which is generally off-limits of the public.
  5. Its Wacky Wednesday again, and today we are excited to offer you 2 for the price of 1 on all our currenty available tours and expereinces. Thats right, EVERY SINGLE available expereinces is avaiable on the two for one special if you book it before midnight tonight. However, in terms of value for money, we would suggest you consider one of the following options: Legendary Lesotho Ride- 5-9 November 2020 - A high altitude MTB experiences vistiting world heritage sites, amazing views, killer climbs and epic descents.... Makgadigadi MTB Experience - Either in October or for something a little different, join the new years trip, and enter 2021, under the stars on the grand expanse of the Makgadigadi Pans Tuli Wild Ride - 7-10 Jan 2020 - This has been a popular seller, and all our 2020 departures are already fully booked, jump in early, and secure your spot on the first ride of 2021. How it works: 1. Visit the website (https://adventurelogistics.co.za/), and pick the expereince you would like to book 2. Complete the online booking and payment process 3. Once the booking is complete, and payment has been made, you will be contacted by someone frome our sales team, who will confirm your booking, and get the details for your riding partner. (If you dont know who your partner will be at this stage, its not a problem, we will make a note, and contact you closer to the time to confirm their details) 4. You only need to book for 1 to qualify, do not select 2 persons when indicating your quantity on checkout, as your will then be booking for 4 pax. There is however no limit to the number of spots you want to book. The special applies to any quantity. ie: if you want to book for 6, select 3 pax on checkout. ] 5. Only valid for bookings completed by 11:59 on Wednesday 22 Jul 2020 Payments made via EFT will qualify you for a free buff and water bottle on arrival for your trip
  6. It is finally all systems go for domestic travel within South Africa, and that means we can go ahead with our remain local MTB adventures for the year without any restrictions. To celebrate this, we have two amazing offers for hubbers today. Book one of the last 4 spots on our Ride the Richtersveld Trip today for only R6000 (Normally R9350.00) and you will get a free entry into the Lesotho Legends Ride for January 2021 as well - To book click here: https://adventurelogistics.co.za/product/ride-the-richtersveld/ Or - Book one of the last 8 places left on the Tonteldoos and Beyond Ride for only R2350 (normally R3950.00), and you will receive a R1500.00 voucher to spend on any other Adventure Solutions Experience. To book this now, click here: https://adventurelogistics.co.za/product/tonteldoos-beyond-13-17-nov-2020/ Offer only valid till midnight tonight (19/082020). We look forward to exploring with you. For any questions or queries feel free to call/whatsapp me on 0632202895, or call the office on 012 682 0185
  7. Hi Everyone, My partner has run into circumstances precluding him from doing the race. I am now solo and looking for a new partner to do the Adventure or Race with. Since the organisers explicitly mandate team entries, I think this could be a good platform for other solo riders to connect and find partners to do the race with. If you are interested, please inbox me and we can have a phone call to see if we could train and race well together. My skill level is intermediate to advanced (especially in technical descents). Fitness is good to great, with a lot of work planned for the lead up to the race. Strava profile: https://www.strava.com/athletes/946755
  8. Spice Route Destination and Fairview Estate is one of the most visited attractions in the Winelands area . located lease than 30 min from Durbanville and 40 min from Strand and the City Bowl , it is the ideal venue to take the family or mates for a awesome day out. Spice Route has no less than 5 restaurants , a host of different artisans that include craft beer , gin , chocolate , cheese and 2 new kids play areas that include pump tracks . Developing a Hero Adventure Trail park was a no brainer and together with the land owners we have spent the better part of 18 months developing a network of trails to suit everyone . The Western Cape is blessed with many trails and trail parks .The variety and quality is probably right up there with the best in the world . But when designing and planning the trails at Spice Route our key focus was developing trails for the families and weekend warriors . With Hero - Rhebokskloof , Paarl Adventure Trails and Wild boar trails , the area is packed with great trails for the intermediate -experienced cyclist/runner . We felt there was a gap for trails for the less experienced , juniors and fun trails for tourists . Spice Route and Fairview is a venue where people visit to enjoy the views , wine , food and just have a great time . We have taken that foundation of fun and tried to put it into the trails we have developed . We wanted to develop trails that are not difficult , packed with features and provide a place where newbies - intermediate cyclists/runners can enjoy lots of fun single-track . The majority of trails on offer have very little elevation ,giving weekend warriors ,families and tourists the opportunity to get in some proper distance and experience all the great features on the farm . We have however added in a number of pockets where the more adventrous and experienced get their moneys worth . The 1st few months were not much fun . having to deal with difficult terrain and finding a happy medium between having set trails on a working farm . but as we move into the coming season we are really excited at how the park is developing . TRAILS: * 2 kids areas with obstacles and pump tracks * 3km Yellow Trail : A fun short trail through the vineyards close to the main buildings * 5km Pink Trail : A fun but pretty challenging trail that traverses down to the lower part of the farm and back up. it includes a 2km flow trail and forest , so packed with fun * 10km Green Trail : This Trail in our opinion is perfect for weekend warriors just getting started , families and tourists looking for a fun easy adventure . lots of single-tack , vineyards , olives and and .. * 20km Blue Trail : The popular trail for mates, tourists and families that want some proper distance but not technical . the blue showcases many different parts of the farm and terrain , packed with features and a great experience *35km Red Trail : The Red Trail was built for a great day out for the intermediate cyclist/runner .With all the fun and adventure of the blue but topped off with a few challenges and technical sections to get the adrenalin going . The Red trail also includes sections of the new XCO Trail we developed for provincial xco champs at Diamant Estate next door * XCO Trail : We have a dedicated 5km xco trail on the property next Door ( Diamant Estate ) where you get to experience some proper xco love , also included on the red trail * Link trails : There are also 2 link trails that go up Paarl Mountain and to Hero Adventure - Rhebokskloof . Hero Adventure - Spice Route also forms part of the Paarl Adventure Trail Network and has direct access to over 200km of other trails within the project VENUE: Spice Route is a great venue to enjoy a fun day out after your ride , run or walk . grab a shower at the venue and spend the day with family and friends enjoying all the artisans and experiences . for more info visit : http://www.hero-adventure.co.za
  9. There's something magical about riding your bike with a planned route and everything you'll need with you. Its simplicity is rich fodder for the soul. Over the last couple of months I've been drawn in more and more to this simplicity, and I've developed an ever growing hunger for biking adventures. I've found myself gravitating to ultra-long distances, and where the riding pushes me hard, not just physically, but mentally too. Maybe it's my age - searching for that personal next level - or the immensely satisfying feeling I get each time I reach my goal totally spent. I just love it! I was looking for a home where I could share my ultra-distance passion so I hope you don't mind me sharing it here? From time to time I'd like to share stories about my goals and races, bike and equipment, training and some general thoughts on my experiences. I want to make it interesting, and perhaps useful for someone enjoying the same sort of riding. First up, my race plans for 2019: (I'll talk more about each race in time) 27 April - Swartberg100 (170km) 15–23 June - The 1000 Miler (1600km) 10 August - TransBaviaans (230km) ... and the big one... 17 August - The Silk Road Mountain Race (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan ~1670 km) If you're interested in what I'm getting up you can follow me at Twitter (@trailtrax) Instagram (@trailtrax) Cheers for now... -- Rob Check out my latest post on choosing my bike and components.
  10. G-man

    3Mountain 2018

    Join us for the Free State’s biggest multi stage event. Date: 22-25 March 2018 Venue: Clocolan Show grounds Choose between the Adventure and Lite distance options to suite your fitness level. We even have different sporting codes, MTB, Trail run and Combo events to choose from. Awesome routes awaits participants as we have put together the best of all the routes over the previous years. All stages will start and finish from the race village in town. Same great water points on route, and of course a super race pack with loads of merchandise and extras to make you feel part of the family. Loads of camping spots open for booking, with a brand new parking area to accommodate everyone! We are looking forward to welcoming you the the Free State’s Biggest multi- stage event. Http://www.3mountains.co.za #MTB #TrailRun #MultiSport #FeelTheFreedom
  11. This episode of Trail Daze is dedicated to the people of Knysna and surrounding areas, who were affected by the devastating wild fires during June 2017. Our sincere condolences go out to those who lost so much, in particular, the tragedy of losing loved ones. For the making of this episode, we were lucky enough to visit the Garden Route in all its splendour, and I’m glad to be able to showcase that beauty here. Nature always bounces back stronger than before, and we're certain that the people of Knysna will persevere to rebuild and strengthen their towns and community once again. Ewald Sadie Following part 1 of our Fatbike adventure, we leave the quaint seaside town of Sedgefield en route to Buffalo Bay for our second and final overnight spot. More unscathed, pristine coastline, lined with jagged coral formations greeted us as we enjoyed another perfect South African autumn morning. Seemingly endless banks of black mussels lined the shore with luminous green seaweed breaking the different shades of black and grey. On our left, the tall cliffs that have dominated the skyline for most of our trip started to shrink and we stopped off at one of the caves for a mid-ride snack. Approaching the Goukamma river/lagoon mouth, the perfect Autumn temperatures gave way to an angry African sun, and we were forced to take a dip and refresh before doing the final stretch along the tar road to The River Deck. Three options of accommodation are available in Buffalo Bay, two of which requires you to bring your own camping gear, and the other (River Deck) offers a permanent canvas tent setup, good ablution facilities and bedding/towels - perfect for not carrying around too much luggage as in our case. With the sun now on maximum, we pulled into our final destination for the day and proceeded with our lunch-time tradition of ice cold beer and fresh fish & chips. Up again at the crack of dawn, we started prepping for the next leg of our journey which would include some fibreglass and paddles. We weren’t yet 100% sure if this would work but proceeded to dismantle our bikes and loaded all our luggage in our very flexible yet seemingly waterproof kayaks. A few nervous paddle strokes later and we were all set and heading off, snaking along the farmlands en route to the Goukamma mouth where we would abandon our water crafts (to be collected again by the friendly people at The River Deck). Cattle and Egyptian Geese kept a watchful eye over us as the first rays of the day popped over the hills and created some amazing reflections. But even the most amazing natural scenes couldn’t hide the fact that we weren’t ‘paddling-fit’ and we soon started to realise this rowing thing might take longer than anticipated. The banter died down, body language changed as the river bent again in the wrong direction. Arriving at the mouth, we were glad to have done this part of the mission, but also relieved to get back to using leg power to continue the rest of our trip. Day 3 was absolutely epic, it started off with a fully laden dawn kayak up the Goukama river leading to a perfectly smooth cruise past Buffelsbaai. Things got a bit tougher when we climbed out at Brenton-on-Sea and then crossed the boggy marshlands across to the old railway. A scenic ride across the railway bridge lead us into Knysna where we enjoyed some ice cold beer at Mitchell's Brewery. Dayle Holmes The short stint along Buffalo Bay beach towards Brenton-on-Sea flew by and soon we were heading up the tar climb into town. A part of this day that I was not particularly looking forward to as the gradient is not very fat bike-friendly. Let alone loaded up with luggage and under another angry African sun. Rolling over the crest however into Brenton-on-lake, we could see our final destination across the Knysna River lagoon, with only a swamp and a bridge to navigate. We followed the ribbons of ’singletrack’ revealed only during low tide, and made our way along the edge of the lagoon onto and across the decommissioned Knysna Lagoon railway bridge. As we rolled through the harbour and straight into Mitchell’s brewery, our mini fat bike adventure had come to an end and there was only one more thing to do… The timing of day 2 ended up bang on with it hitting low tide for the duration of our ride gracing us with hard untouched sand which we named the "fat bike super highway". Dayle Holmes On our last bit of trekking towards Knysna we had to climb over the neck of Brenton-on-sea. It was tough as hell after 3 days of riding with the sun baking down on us at 35 degrees. Ewald was keeping his watts high, I cursed the heavens as Dayle was flatboxing up the hill training for Sani (not really). All worth it though, when we reached Brenton-on-lake we were treated to some boggy-marsh single track goodness! Danie du Toit This project is made possible by: RiverDeck GPS: 34°02'02.6"S 22°56'22.6"E Riders : Dayle Holmes | Danie du Toit Accommodation: RiverDeck Accommodation Restaurant: RiverDeck Restaurant All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  12. Discussing this mission over a few beers - mostly what equipment we didn't have and still need to get - the plan manifested into a three-day ride along arguably some of the most scenic stretches of beach in South Africa. Being novices at this, we decided to keep it simple and ride from Wilderness to Knysna, averaging about 30km a day stopping at backpackers along the way. That may sound like a short daily stint, and it is, but with so many unknowns of fatbikability, heavy luggage and never intending to pedal all day to begin with, we agreed that this would fit in better with our beer drinking schedule. Fatbikability (I’m claiming the term if it hasn’t yet been) is limited among other things, by reef or otherwise long sections of jagged rock that won’t be kind to the very exposed and vulnerable fat tyres. Reaching a section of coastline that is simply impassable, could force us to double back and find a way around - typically along the N2 or a quieter alternative if available. This would make the pedal considerably longer, and needless to say road riding was something we wanted to avoid at all cost. Google Maps gave us the green light in terms of impassable sections, however Murphy has a knack for showing up in situations like these. Opting to stay in backpackers instead of camping, meant we saved a bit on overall weight, however the combined additional weight of racks, panniers and camera/video equipment still affected the average speed as to be expected. Our luggage consisted of fresh clothes for three days, basic toiletries, water/snacks and some plastic, as meals and beers were to be bought in the towns we were staying at. A great way to spend three days. We were blessed with amazing weather and got to see some epic scenery along with lots of childish banter and post ride beer drinking. It was a real eye opener to see how easy it is to trek along our coastline taking only the bare necessities and a bank card. Dayle Holmes Starting our journey in Wilderness immediately had me planning my opening shot of us crossing the Kaaimans River bridge from Victoria Bay’s side, however multiple cautionary tales of muggings and close calls with scum had us deviate from this plan. It’s unfortunate that such beauty has to be tainted by evil, but such is the story of South Africa I guess. Leentjiesklip was to be our new starting point from where we would pedal to Sedgefield, timing our ride with low tide to access the hard sand closer to water. Inevitably, the shape of the coastline forced us up and away from the hard stuff from time to time, meaning energy-sapping, slow progress as the sun baked down from above. Having grown up in the Garden Route region, I thought I knew most of the gems scattered along the coast. I didn't. The fat trek trip allowed us to see the most scenic less-touristy places. The best thing for me about the whole vibe was getting around via no means of combustion. Just three fetties. Danie du Toit Starfish, blobs of jelly, low tide reef formations, colorful coral, lone fishermen, and a cool breeze from the ocean escorted us to our mid ride stop at Gericke’s Point. We passed long stretches of unscathed beach only accessible during low tide, with not a soul in sight. Flocks of Cape cormorant huddled together further ahead or performed low level formation flying millimeters above the water. It really is a very special landscape to be passing through, only leaving temporary tracks to be erased by nature in minutes. Arriving at Sedgefield, we pulled in to Afro Cafe where we would be stationed for the night, and headed straight for the downstairs restaurant, Pili Pili. The next two hours would consist of consuming fresh hake & chips and as many ice cold beers as seemed appropriate. Bikes washed, we lounged about and killed time as the midday sun scorched the earth, before heading downtown to sample the local pub life. It was such a treat having lunch and beers at our first accommodation stop, klapping a hard afternoon nap to then leave the bibs at home and head to town for some golden hour pub hopping. Bliss. Danie du Toit Up at the crack of dawn, we headed downtown once again to stock up on snacks and fresh water for the next leg of our journey, but Murphy had other plans. The freehub body on Dayle’s bike disintegrated and had to be rebuilt roadside, as we were in the wee hours of the morning and the local bike shop not open yet. Luckily, having racked up years of first hand technical experience in the bike industry, Dayle literally MacGyver’d his wheel back to (almost) new by using a bottle cap, leatherman, some dental floss and some patience. The South African coast is scattered with small interesting towns which are often missed when using a car, I can see this being one of many fat trekking trips to come in the future. Dayle Holmes Stay tuned for the next part of this trip as we head out to our next stop, Buffelsbaai... This project is made possible by: Leentjies Klip GPS: 33°59'42.8"S 22°33'55.8"E Riders : Dayle Holmes | Danie du Toit Accommodation: Afrovibe Restaurant: PiliPili All images by Ewald Sadie www.esphotography.co.za instagram: @ewaldsadie
  13. Planning a bike packing adventure from Pretoria to Knysna. The Missus is a little concerned about my safety so I am going to try and get a tracker but have also decided to see if I can find anyone to join me ........ for all or just parts of the route. Current thinking is to leave 04:00 from Pretoria on Sun 11 December. Route at this stage looks something like this: Day 1: Pretoria to Heilbron (182km - B&B accommodation)Day 2: Heilbron to Clocolan (211km - Camping on Ben Nevis Farm)Day 3: Clocolan to Smithfield (198km - B&B accommodation)Day 4: Smithfield to Hofmeyr (219km - B&B accommodation)Day 5: Hofmeyr to Jansenville (222km - B&B accommodation)Day 6: Jansenville to Uniondale (192km - possibly camp but means extra 30km)Day 7: Uniondale to Knysna (87km)Aiming to try cycle 10 hours a day with two hours a day allocated to eating/sight seeing/photo's etc. Not sure how realistic this is as it means most days I need to average around and even over 20km/hr. My biggest concern at this stage is having adequate water so going to take a 3L Camelback. I will only have lighter, stove, torch, food and water in the Camelback - a survival kit, if you will. If I can't find another camping spot I might just abandon the idea of camping for this trip as it is a bit silly dragging all the camping kit along for one night (the farm where I planned to camp has chalets available as well). Still need to do: Work out how to get the daily Google map tracks onto my GPS (will hopefully sort out this week);Borrow a saddle bag and handle bar roll, pack and practice a bit with it (have approached someone just need to tie it all up)Try to identify more camping options - at least one or two more nightsAnybody interested or who can offer route advice/tips, please PM me and we can then swap numbers and chat further
  14. So i am doing the Sani this year, but i just read that i need a GPS, which I don't have. Are any other peeps out there riding without a GPS?
  15. I am starting this thread to get some interest going regarding the mountain bike routes around Franschhoek. I have been facilitating a team of trail builders during the past 4 months. Work was mostly focused on clearing and repairing old forestry roads, but some new sections and links have also been built. We will launch the trails by the end of January once they are all marked and mapped, but in the mean time you are welcome to contact me to come and ride the routes as planned. This will also probably be the last chance to ride these mountains for free as a permit system will be necessary in future to ensure the sustainability of the project. Here are links to some GoPro footage taken recently: https://youtu.be/rhmVaZLK1x0 and https://youtu.be/oymc52ViYfo
  16. Welcome to Lydenburg's second MTB Race proudly sponsored by Glencore. 25 March 2017. 40 km (technical & elevated tracks, over 1000 m) , 17 km, 10 km & kiddies 2,5 km As well as a 12 km Trail Run Markets, Food & Craft Stalls Live music - Gerald Clark!! Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve Contact Charlene mtblydenburg@gmail.com 078 384 0330
  17. Looking to put together a list of amazing places to ride, please share your pictures and your experience here....
  18. With kilometres of natural trails, Lesotho is truly a trail riders paradise! The 2015 Lesotho Extreme was an action packed weekend of incredible trail riding and spectacular scenery. Check out the video here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bbwFQr-UgEs Go to our website to find out more about the 2016 Lesotho Extreme: http://www.detourtrails.co.za/lesotho-extreme-trail-festival/
  19. I would like to swop a W2W Race entry for an Adventure entry.
  20. All Looking to swap/exchange our 2015 Sani2c Race entry for an Adventure. My partner cannot ride the Trail and I desperately need to be elsewhere on the Friday night. Any help would be massively appreciated. Louis
  21. Who is doing the magalies adventure this year? 2 days 65km day 1 55km day 2
  22. Hi all, I am embarking on a personal website called MTB Events SA. There are so many MTB events across South Africa and they each have their own website. The reason why I started this website is because I want to have a centralised website/database where you can view all events across the country. I want to display event information in a neat and readable way instead of having race details all over the place. I also want to display accommodation in and around the event. I always struggle to find accommodation when travelling to far away races. I also want to display things to do in and around the venue for those that are going to sleep over and don't want to sit at the place where you stay and watch TV. I want to have detailed route information and profiles. User comments after the race which can be forwarded to the event organisers. Pics of the race, Youtube videos of the routes, directions to the race, weather etc etc. The site has been optimised to use the latest internet technologies, it won't work on Internet Explorer 8 or lower, only from 9 and above. It will work on other browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox. It is optimsed for mobile devices because most people are all day on their phones. I don't plan to make money off the site right now, for now it's just a personal project and website. There might be a similar site but like I said it's a personal project that I am doing in my spare time and for my own enjoyment. If you have any ideas it would be appreciated. What would you like to see about an event before entering? Do you guys think something like this will work? The site is very bare at the moment, I put on content as soon as when I have time. Go to www.mtbevents.co.za and click on events on the menu above. Select the race that I have loaded to see what I am trying to do. I have a Facebook page and Twitter account registered. If you want please follow on Facebook and Twitter. I will starting posting as soon as when I have some more content. I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks Brendan
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