Mountain Bike

Cape Town Cycle Tour

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is for all levels of cyclists. It’s a celebration of cycling and its only a race for those at the front of the field who start before its properly light. The elite of the elite can be likened to dancers of the Argentinian tango; aggressive yet controlled, elegant and fluid, while the slightly slower vets and sub vets are performing a foxtrot and quickstep combo. Meanwhile, Joe Average (that’s you and me) is huffing and puffing away at the back of the field doing what can best be described as a highly creative version of the funky chicken. Back there amongst the hoi polloi, it’s all flapping elbows, whirling legs and laughter. And yes, we are laughing. Laughing at each other as much as at our collective ability to expend an awful lot of energy to travel a long distance slowly. The Cape Town Cycle Tour seems to produce an above-average number of funky chickens.

For some reason, the Cycle Tour has the ability to bring out the party animal in most people. It’s an annual excuse to celebrate the greatness in ourselves. To be a hero for a day. And to show off our beloved Cape Peninsula to the world.

People, who are normally sober office workers during the week, turn into fancy dressing, charity supporting, fun riders for the day. They may share the same route as the pro riders (who will have finished the race and had breakfast before most riders have even started), but their experience of the event will be very different, and probably all the better for it.

Half the field are decked out in fancy dress, either for their own fun and amusement or to support a favourite charity, while the other half are lycra-clad in an infinite array of corporate branded kit. It’s a colourful, noisy, action-packed and just plain old-fashioned fun day out. It is what makes the Cycle Tour such a great spectacle.

Small wonder then that the route is lined with tens of thousands of spectators who see this as an annual social event that has to be planned down to the finest detail. Spots next to the route are chosen, and jealously guarded for the best wind protection and sublime views. Portable skottle braais produce the most delicious smells that waft over the route, and most importantly, well-stocked cooler boxes are on hand to stave off the constant threat of dehydration and sobriety.

Then there is the noise. It comes at you almost non-stop, as a rider. Vuvuzelas, cowbells (seriously), whistles, people screaming and shouting support and the constant noise of tyres humming on tarmac and freewheel hubs going brrrrrrrrrrrr. Shouts of, “Keep left,” and “Hold your line,” from riders who are obviously nervous about riding in a group fill the air and further add to the confusion. Occasionally, someone will lose his rag (it’s always a he) and swear at the hundred or so other riders in his immediate vicinity, but it’s all in a day’s fun at the Cycle Tour.

For more info go to https://www.capetowncycletour.com/

AmaRider 100 Miler

The Ama Rider 100 and 50 miler individual one-day mountain bike ultra-marathon of 160km is a very special event. It has a super laid back vibe, but always boasts a couple of very competitive racers gunning for the top spot.

From its humbling beginnings in 2009 it has grown into what is now one of the must-do-events on the mountain biking calendar. The scenery is beautiful in the Swartland during Autumn and the riding is not technical.

You can download all of the images here PhotoSport.co.za

All Mountain Enduro May 2016

Based on the successful Mavic Trans Provence concept the idea is to bring riding and the results linked to it back to mountain biking and away from the current endurance-only formats. That said, it is not the idea to make the race highly technical as per downhill racing, but simply to focus the competition on the trails component of the sport. And yes, perhaps your skinny tire 29’er carbon hardtail is perhaps not the best choice of bike, although the course will certainly be rideable on it!

More info at the Dirtopia Website

All of the images are available to download at Photosport.co.za

Struisbaai MTB Classic

Here in South Africa, we are in the middle of the worst drought in living memory, (why are all droughts described like that?) so, as expected, when an MTB race is organised in one of the hottest regions of the Western Cape, it rains in biblical proportions.

Not that the weather detracted from a fantastic event. Riding for 7km on a very rideable beach, is always going to be a special part of the experience, no matter what the weather does.
Dirtopia are now looking after the logistics behind the scenes of this race, and I suspect that when word leaks out about just what a fantastic event this is, next years race is going to sell out.

Get all of the images by clicking here

 

Rockman X Triathlon

Athletes compete in the Rockman X Triathlon and Duathlon held at Heia Safari Park, Midrand, in Gauteng Province South Africa on 6 December 2015.

Delheim Adventure Weekend Enduro

Riders compete in the Delheim Adventure Weekend Enduro, held at the Delheim Wine Estate in Stellenbosch on 15th November 2015.

The concept is a lot of fun – riders get timed only on certain sections, which make a very social event, especially at the refreshment station where they re-group. The atmosphere is relaxed with no rush anywhere, except when you gun it between check points!

Spur MTB Classic

Hosting the 2015 version of the Spur Mountain Bike classic at Nooitgedacht Wine Farm was an organisational masterstroke.

The venue is more than big enough, and the grounds and gardens are just stunning. Add a really great ride into the mix, and you have a very successful race on your hands.

Piket-Bo-Berg Cycle Challenge

The Piket-Bo-Berg Cycle Challenge race and the single-track that it runs on, has to be the best kept secret in South African Mountain biking. (at least it was until today)

Based 13 km the other side of Piketberg (turn left at the circle) it is only 75 minutes drive from Cape Town. Closer even than the trails of Esselsfontein in Ceres.

The race itself is held entirely on a private farm, and the single-track is open to the public only once a year. The event is held to raise money for local charities and it is a massive community event.

I have never before shot a race where the competitors are stopping to tell me how amazing the single track and scenery is. And it really is, from hidden canyons, to water bridges and the most mind blowing, smooth and flowing trail you can dream of riding.

If you missed it this year then make a massive note in your diary to enter for next year, because the trails are closed until then.

Dirtopia All Mountain Enduro

Cyclists compete in the Dirtopia All Mountain Enduro held at Helderberg Farm, Somerset West, Western Cape South Africa.

Perdeberg MTB Fun Ride

Perdeberg MTB Funride

Cyclists compete in the Perdeberg Mountain Bike Funride. Held at The famous Perdeberg Winery in the Western Cape of South Africa, and organised by the masters of MTB organisation, Dirtopia, the inaugural Perdeberg MTB funride had both a 16 and a 32 km route. To add to the festivities, multiple world XTERRA champion Conrad Stolz pitched up on a fatbike to have some fun. Expect record numbers to enter this event next year.

All of the images are available to download on the PhotoSport Website