SUMMER ISSUE DECEMBER 2016
BERG & BUSH Descending the great Drakensberg drop
WHY WE RIDE TECH TALK & HEALTH ZONE
STYLE YOU RIDE Ride styles explained
GIRLS ON THE GO
These chicks are rocking the adventure sport scene.
heart GIRLS ON BIKES
3DAYMT BST AGERACE 18-20MAY2017 FROM GAUTENG TO DULLSTROOM
T HI SR A C EWI L LT A K EY OUT OT HEBE A UT I F ULHI GHL A NDSME A NDE RF ORA NUNF OR GE T T A BL E T HR E EDA Y SOFMOUNT A I NBI K I NGBL I S SA NDAJ OUR NE YT HA T Y OUWI L LNE V E RF OR GE T .
AJo u r n e yt ot h e Hi g h l a n d s Whenever yt hi ngi squi etandf r ee,t her ei sonl yper f ect i ont of i l lt heai r .
F UL LI NF ORMA T I ONA NDONL I NEE NT RI E SA TWWW. T RA I L T ROUT . CO. Z A
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Editor's note Ride your style, style your ride Industry powerhouse Woo yoo? 3 Points of contact Race face
26 28 32 35 38 49
Girls' gift guide Tech talk Health zone Strong is the new sexy Getaway with your bike Final berm
EDITORS NOTE So we have arrived . Boy are we excited . This dream is coming to light and we cannot wait to share it with you all . We know some people may say a women â€™ s magazine is controversial or sexist . That it excludes others or fills pages with slurs and jeers at the opposite sex . But let me assure you we want nothing of the sort . What we do want is a safe , relaxed place for all female riders or those interested in female riding to come , to learn , to share , to dream and to be inspired . Dirty heart is exactly that . A love of the trail and sharing that passion with others . We chose to make it female specific for one reason . That reason is we are researchers , learners , readers . We love information and knowledge and we continually want to know more . Throughout our information gathering we found very little information around women and mountain biking in South Africa . We had to actively seek it out and look deeper to find it . It got us thinking , girls do things differently . We ride differently . We look different . We dress differently . We want different things from the ride . And that â€™ s how we are here today . We are ready to open the door and to let us girls have our space and create a movement . Who run the world ???? We hope you enjoy the journey xx
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Published by Dirty Heart Publishing . All Rights Reserved .
Freedom Knowing you are enough to break your own barriers... #dirtyheart
RIDE YOUR STYLE
STYLE YOUR RIDE
Well, maybe you are really into it and you have been doing it for years and spend your weekends riding up and down trails. But if mountain biking is something new to you that you want to get into then you might want to think about the exact type of bike and the exact type of riding you want to do.
Mountain biking is an ever-growing sport which has made tremendous progress over the years and sees increasing media coverage on major annual competitions held worldwide. The sport has over the years diversified into many riding styles or disciplines, with each discipline requiring a unique mountain bike design, kit and trail type.
XC trails can range from open fire roads to winding narrow single-tracks that will test the riderâ€™s endurance and technical handling skills. This is a type of off road riding that favours long climbs and descents. XC riding and racing requires a high level of endurance fitness and bike handling skills. the front suspension usully site around 100mm.
Cross Country racing is the most popular mountain biking discipline and also the least extreme amongst the other forms. XC racing is also an Olympic discipline which involves competitors racing from point-to-point through defined trail sections in the fastest time possible.
Marathon is a longer version but covers the same or similar terrain as XC.
If you are looking for a more adventurous type of mountain bike riding, Enduro (also known as all-mountain) is the way to go. Enduro tracks are more technical than XC which involves bigger drops and jump sections to fuel your adrenaline thirst. Enduro competitions are staged races completed over a few days and involve steep climbs and timed descents. A rider climbs and makes his/her way to the top of a downhill section. This is not timed. The rider is only timed for the downhill sections Aofhalf the marathon ride. race is 13.1 Wearing the right running shoes If you're running 30 minutes or miles. Other races are also is the key to comfort and injury less, you don't need to drink For enduro, named the bicycles by theirhave distances. a longer front suspension prevention, travel that get fitted. typically ranges from 140mm water during to 170mm. a run. These bikes are burlier than XC bikes which will take larger drops more efficiently and basically anything that the rugged mountain throws at them. Full-face enduro helmets (similar to that of a motorcycle helmet) and body armor such as knee and chest protectors are a common fixture for Enduro riders.
BMX A sprint-type of race, BMX racing takes place on a manmade off-road race track that incorporates jumps, rollers and banked corners. Up to eight racers line up at a starting gate and compete at the same time on BMX-specific bikes, which are made for quick handling. The format of BMX was derived from motocross racing. BMX bicycle races are sprint races on purpose-built off-road single-lap race tracks. The track usually consists of a starting gate for up to eight racers, a groomed, serpentine, dirt race course made of various jumps and rollers and a finish line. The course is usually flat, about 4.6 m wide and has large banked corners that help the riders maintain speed.
BMX racing became a medal sport at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing under the UCI sanctioning body.
Downhill riders will need a good sense of balance to navigate through the toughest terrains under high speeds. Downhill bikes usually have a slacker geometry, longer rear and front travels (and bigger rotors in the disc brakes for the added stability and control which the discipline demands. The front travel for downhill bikes is typically 200mm.
Fast, Downhill racing over rough terrain and obstacles.
This discipline is designed for the advanced and extreme riders whose love for speed brings them blazing down the roughest single-track descents through rock gardens, massive drops and gnarly root sections. Downhill races are very intense and exciting to watch, with one rider racing down a defined downhill section, at any one time, in the fastest time possible.
Longer distances with a variety of terrain. Point to point racing. Includes stage racing over many days.
The fastest growing type of mountain biking. Combines the best of all riding types.
Industry Powerhouse GIRLS ON THE GO Charnelle & Lynn Munitich
Female driven businesses are staking their claim and becoming a force to be reckoned with ; not only in the mountain biking arena, but also the wider sports events scene. DirtyHeart wanted to learn more about what makes them successful and current in a male dominated industry . We recently got to chat to two energetic entrepreneurs who are shaking up the ladies sporting arena and giving women a safe and comfortable place to grow and enjoy the sport they love. Charnelle and Lynn from Two The Core Events sat down with us and told us their story...
Two the core events is an
innovative Marketing and Events Company focused on your smaller, intimate events. We began our journey in 2003 focusing on the golf arena before making the shift across to Cycling and Trail Running events in 2012. Whilst in the golf industry we founded the Mercedes Benz Ladies Classic as well as the Grand Central Motorsâ€™ Ladies Challenge focusing our efforts on Womenâ€™s Golf, which is where our passion for women in sport was born. The obvious next step was to create a brand, which focused solely on lady specific events, which was when Girls On The Go came to be.
We believe that every women is a Goddess within her own right and is appreciated as an equal amoungst other women alike” “
The Girls Two extraordinary “girls” both having worked in the event and hospitality industry for over 26 collective years who understand “what women want." Charnelle Munitich – has been in the event industry for the past fourteen years. She was entirely dedicated to “Plus Fore Golf’ up until three years ago when she began her second company, namely “Two The Core Events”, which focuses on branding and event management. Charnelle has a passion for people and enjoys the thrill that each event brings. Her motto is “Have faith in yourself, live life to the full and never give up”. Lynn Munitich – has been in the Marketing and Advertising industry for over twelve years which lead her into the event business. Lynn is an outgoing people’s person who has passion for her career as well as her events. She welcomes the challenge of making every project a success and likes to live by the motto “ Rather regret the things you have done than the things you have not“.
We started as a sporting events company all those years ago and made the transition from golf into cycling / trail events at the opportune time. The market has taken off in South Africa and mountain biking and trail events are flying high. This was a very exciting shift for us especially as we took on the management of a mountain bike park, which is the “home” of Two The Core Events. Girls on the Go centres around the female side of the sport and we promote and drive women participation in and around events. PAGE 7
What has been the most surprising thing about Girls on the Go? The most surprising element of Girls On The Go would definitely be to witness how from business women to housewives to sporting personalities and even young juniors would all come together on an even playing field to do what they love. The camaraderie amongst the women is what makes this brand so aweinspiring. The ladies thrive on lifting each other up and that is really something amazing to see from us ladies. As Women, we have been welcomed with open arms by the cycling industry. We pride ourselves on attention to detail and in giving value to our riders, which has been well received by women and men alike.
Share with us your vision for Girls on the Go and your company for the future. The GIRLS ON THE GO brand is all about getting like minded ladies together in a relaxed environment where they can socialise, network and build a strong GOTG community and database with various benefits and opportunities that we will present to them. Itâ€™s about having fun, being comfortable, empowering themselves and generally being a lady and making a difference. GIRLS ON THE GO will continue to inspire health, motivate physical as well as mental fitness whilst encouraging ladies to live life to the fullest. Our aim is to continue to host World-class events that are experience driven not only for our participants but also for our sponsors and partners who continue to give back.
If you could go back and tell yourself one thing you have learnt about this industry what would you tell your young eager self? If I could go back and tell my young eager self anything about this industry it would be to understand that everything happens for a reason. Without mistakes and failure, you would never have learned. Without pain, you would never have grown. Once you understand this - really understand this - you will know that everything comes in to serve a purpose. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TWO THE CORE EVENTS & GIRLS ON THE GO FOLLOW THEM ON FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/twothecoreevents
World class events by Two the Core. They really know how to put on a good show." "
It's awesome to see a company run by women that gives women a safe place to do what they love" "
I had such fun at the Girls on the Go MTB race. I met some amazing like-minded people - a great day out!" "
GOTG is allowing women to be exposed to a variety of experiences" "
TAMARYN KIETZMANN Cycling in the colours of Complete Cyclist, Tamaryn is competing on the South African Marathon Circuit as an elite rider. Tamaryn has a host of wins and top 5 spots to her name and we had the pleasure of getting to know this elite South African rider a little better.
Cycling helps me clear the head and keep the passion alive for everything - sport and work"
Tell us how you got into mountain biking and a little about your history. Growing up I was always involved in sport and knew my career would follow this path. After leaving school I studied B.Comm Sports Management and went onto doing my Honours in it. While studying, I began taking part in triathlons. I soon fell in love with the sport and began training to be able to compete competitively in my age group. After finishing my studies, I began working in the bike shops where my love of cycling grew further (making it difficult to run and swim). Since then I have found that cycling helps me clear the head and keep the passion alive for everything sport and work. I am not sure what the future holds but will keep aiming to achieve the best in everything that I can do. I started mountain biking after working at Sani2c, I was still very much a triathlete then so had no idea about mountain biking. All the riders looked like they had such fun and enjoyed the camaraderie and I wanted to give it a try. It took me a while to get the hang of it before I finally started to really enjoy it. And now after 2 years, I can’t get enough of it.
It’s great to see all the growth in women’s cycling. It brings a whole new dynamic to the racing and increases competition. The camaraderie amongst all the women in mountain biking is fantastic. Everyone is friends and friendly but also respect that a race is a race and someone has to win. The future looks bright with all the juniors and hope they continue..
Role models? Inspirational people? Exciting ventures? Give us the details of who and what shaped your love of the bike. An international role model will be Lizzy Deignan. She is a phenomenal rider and values her team and the sport as a whole. I like that she is self-coached and motivates herself through the love of sport to achieve what she has. Closer to home would be my boyfriend. He always supports and encourages me with my riding that helps a lot.
If your cycling buddies could describe you, what would they say? What has been your greatest s a tough one probably that I need to be a achievement in your cycling career soThat bit more dedicated When the alarm goes off the snooze button is my best friend which often far. means sleep ins and cancelled rides 0 ’
My greatest achievement would have to be the recent podium finish at the Trailseeker and USN Cup series. However, every time I get on my bike and manage to ride something technical or go a little faster in the single track, these are all achievements for me too.
If you could tell a young girl who has fallen in love with cycling one thing, what would it be?
Always remember to have fun and enjoy your riding Women's mountain biking and becomes so easy to get caught up in all the cycling in general has exploded Ittraining and racing you lose sight of why you ride so sleep in and take days off go for a chilled ride with worldwide. What are your thoughts your mates and don t worry about distance and on that and how has it impacted time these are the moments which make it all worth while you and your career? .
What would you do diffently to Give us a training secret which has grow the sport for women in SA? helped you to become one of the top female mountain bikers in SA I m not sure I would do anything too differently ’
There are some awesome ladies, the Women’s Commission, who are constantly working and striving to grow women’s cycling. There is still a long way to go but they are definitely getting there.
Riding Engen2Engen!! I don’t have a coach or any specific training program, I just ride with the guys in the mornings which definitely makes you stronger and faster. I ride when, where and how I want to which I think is one of the reasons I enjoy my riding so much and always strive to do to better.
Plans for the future?? Top 5 gear or equipment choices? Going into next year I would like to try and do a few Riding 1x on the MTB My Oakley shades Shoes – carbon sole all the way Gloves Garmin – it doesn’t count unless its on Strava
more stage races and maybe try an XCO or two. I am not a cross country rider as I’m such a chicken but it will be good for the skills if I survive … haha . Otherwise it will be the same as this year.
We finish this interview and you step outside and find a lottery Any experiences of ticket that ends up winning R10 discrimination or unfair practice million. What would you do? in the sport? WOW that would be amazing I m not really a big !!! ’
I can’t say I have really. I don’t think I am involved enough, from a pro level, to experience any issues as such.
spender so would probably invest most of it (boring I know). Some of it will definitely go to helping animals and some of it will be used for a much needed holiday in someplace exotic �
3 POINTS OF CONTACT During every ride, no matter the level of rider you are, there are 3 points of contact while on the bike. Your hands, your feet and your bum. Make sure you have the correct equipment and feel comfortable at these 3 points.
PAGE 14 DIRTY HEART
You require properly sized handlebars and reach to make sure the bike fits on a very basic level. Make sure your brake angles, shifters and grips are adjusted correctly to ensure that you can not only reach the brake levers when you need to but also feel comfortable over the course of a long ride. Each of these adjustments combines to form a seamless connection to the bike, which minimizes muscle strain while relieving soft tissue pressure and improving blood flow. Make sure your gloves fit correctly to ensure a comfortable ride.
SADDLE Saddles come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and styles. Each saddle is designed for a specific posture and pedalling style. You need to determine the size of your sit bones for the right width saddle. Adjust the height and position. Don’t stress too much about men’s/women’s specific as long as it’s correct for you. When sized properly and combined with a pair of padded cycling shorts, you'll be comfortable spending hours in the saddle with no pain or discomfort. Proper fitting cycling shorts will ensure a great ride, every ride!
Having your feet properly aligned on the pedals eliminates stress on your knees and hips as well as any strain on your leg muscles. When correctly aligned, proper cycling shoes and pedals encourage a pain-free, smooth and efficient pedal stroke. The proper shoe and pedal combo will make things comfortable on long rides. Select shoes which feel comfortable and lightweight. MTB often needs the rider to dismount so you will walk in those shoes.
Pearl Izumi Women Select Glove R375.00
Giro LTZ II SF Glove R450.00
OUR TOP 3 Grip Grab Shark Full Finger Gloves R299.00
Shimano SH-XC31L XC MTB Shoe R 1,595.00
Shimano Shoe MTB Women SH-WM64 R1,299.00
Giro Empire VR90 Black/Red (MTB Shoes) R4,499.99
PRO Saddle Falcon Lady 152mm R 1,295.00 Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow Black R 1,995.00
Specialized Power Comp Saddle R 1320.00
GRINROD AND DIRTY HEART
BERG BUSH PAGE 16
Dropping off the berg and exploring the bush These days the South African mountain biking stage race calendar is literally bursting at the seams. We are one of the luckiest countries in the world to have such a variety of races to choose from. Our beautiful country plays host to various events ranging in distance, difficulty, and format. I was lucky enough to get an entry into the 2016 Grinrod Berg and Bush Great Trek. This is one of the longest running and most popular events on the racing calendar. It is held in October each year and due to popularity, they host three events. The Berg and Bush Decent, which hosts the racing snakes, the Berg and Bush Great Trek which is held in the middle of the week and usually hosts the more informal â€œsocialâ€? crowd. Then the 2 day event happens the following weekend. The Decent and Great Trek follow the exact same route and format. A 3 day event with distances ranging from 97km on day one to 50km on day 3. A true highlight has to be the location and if you want to ride some the most diverse and varied trails, then this race is for you. The race begins on the Free-state border with Kwa- Zulu Natal at the top of the infamous Drakensberg escarpment, which you drop down. The following two days are spent exploring the bushveld of KZN on cattle paths and hand cut single track. To try and explain my excitement for this race is near impossible.
"Some amazing trails in our beloved country"
My partner and I had a proper preparation for the event. We covered the distances and trained diligently to ensure we would enjoy the race as much as possible. Stage racing is a different kind of racing. You have to consider all the different factors which come into play. Riding your bike for three consecutive days, the weather, recovery, hydration and nutrition strategies all play a part and you need to be very clear and have a plan in place to cover all of these. Also keep in mind you are sleeping on a mattress in a tent in the bush and people around you have very different habits to your own. We had a good build up and we were ready to tackle the race. We arrived at registration and like any well-oiled machine we were greeted by friendly and efficient worker ants who had us sorted with our paperwork and logistics for the following three days. The first night was spent at the race start, a beautiful location on the Drakensberg drop, our tents overlooking the Sterkfontien dam. The evening unfolded with a delicious dinner and the race briefing where all the nitty gritty details are explained and you start feeling a lot more at ease about spending three days in the middle of nowhere.
I am not the heaviest girl in the camp and so you can imagine my vivid dreams of being blown off the drop and the event organizers finding my body and looks of “shame, poor skinny girl didn’t make it, she just couldn't keep the rubber side down.” The restless night’s sleep with tents flapping wildly in the wind was not making for a positive race energy. Up early to get organized and ready, the wind still howling, we fluttered around getting dressed, dropping off luggage and getting bikes sorted. Day 1 consists of 97km of riding, 1200m of ascent included, so not all downhill. The weather forecast showed a cracker of a day peaking at 40 degrees. This could be a long hard day in the saddle. We made our way to the start chute and the announcer explained how we would need to be re-routed away from a section on the drop called “great wall my china”, because of the high winds. The trail runs about 5-10 meters from the edge of the cliff and you ride for about 200 meters along the escarpment with magnificent views. The visions of me blowing off my bike returned and my stomach dropped.
Would I be able to stay on my bike? Oh well, too late to back out now. I suppose I would make the TV highlights should that happen... hee hee. The As we exited the dining tent we were greeted by one saving grace mentioned by the announcer was a ferocious wind. My worst fear. I knew the next that the wind would be, for the most part, behind EVERYONE can enjoy this race day we had to ride Solly's Folly and the us as we covered the 97km. I guess if it pushed me, Drakensberg Drop and from their names I knew I would want it from behind to get me home a little Every year for a couple it would involve descending on cliff trails from quicker.of years, its that good! the top of the Drakensberg escarpment into KZN. That’s a long way down… But now we had an extremely strong wind to deal with too. "The visions of me blowing off my bike
Best suited to
Do it Again? Village life
returned and my stomach dropped."
And just like that the buzzer sounded and we were off on our journey. I generally don't like the first 5km of ANY race. Everyone has a feverish energy that translates into the pace being too high. You feel slow and sluggish and yet people look like they are flying by and all you can think is you are going to be left behind so you too speed up to hold the group you are in. This race was no different. Cyclists shot out of the venue and rode the first 5kmas if the end of the world was approaching us. Soon enough everyone settled and the riding could be appreciated. The first 15km leads you towards the escarpment and it is just amazing to ride amongst some small peaks of the Drakensberg.
"Very few trails can provide an hour long super tube of descending fun like that. It truly is indescribable." .
Once you are at the bottom the route flows through farmland, bush veld, district road and single track. The wind mostly played along by blowing behind us but we did have times of cross winds which required a little more concentration. The water points are a treat. Stage racing requires you to fuel for the following day so my partner and I made it a rule to stop at every water point and sample the delights. And this stage race does not disappoint. Cakes, sandwiches, sausages, sweets, fritters, pancakes, fruit. It was a dining experience, not just a water stop.
The terrain begins to change as you get closer to the drop, you can literally see where the escarpment falls away and you are cycling After a long, hot and dry day in the bush you are straight for it. The wind was howling and my partner and I decided to descend with caution as rewarded with a sweet little section called the Garden of Eden just before the finish. It is a 10km it wasn’t worth getting injured in the first 40km single track section hugging the Tugela river and is of our 210km journey. The Berg and Bush is a welcome change and breath of fresh air under infamous for this drop. In 30km you drop down the forest canopy, and just like that the finish line the escarpment via hand cut single track and rolled around on day 1. rolling trails. It is spectacular. The riding is free flowing and exciting. The trail cuts into the side The race village is well thought out and every of the mountains and you can roll all the way amenity is easily reachable. After a tough day on down with ease. Very few trails can provide an EVERYONE can enjoy this race hour long super tube of descending fun like that. the bike, the last thing you want to be doing is walking around trying to find your tent, or the It truly is indescribable. Every year for a couple ofetc. years, thaton good! bathroom The its location the banks of the Tugela river is magnificent. The Chill Zone under We made it down in one piece, often forgetting about the “caution” part and having loads of fun. the trees and your tent literally on the river was very special. This year the event offered free beer The trails are challenging but not too technical, and free chocolate milk. Ill repeat that. FREE BEER perfect for a fun descent for all levels of rider. and CHOCOLATE MILK. Now tell me why you don’t want to do this race?
Best suited to Do it Again? Village life
Photos by Desiree Lee
After a good night’s rest Day 2 arrived, a 60km circular route ending back at the race village. The day included some tough climbs but also some fun descending sections of trail. We set off at a gentler pace and soon found our rhythm. The weather was perfect. An overcast day and temps reaching 25 degrees. Perfect riding weather. The highlight of this stage has to be for every hill you climbed and swore at, a flowing, fun single track descent followed. A fun day of challenging climbs, fast descents and bush veld splendor at every turn. It must be said that this race is enjoyable for all. The advanced rider will find as much enjoyment as a novice. That’s how well built the trails are. You can ride at your own pace and leisure, be that fast or slow, be cautious or ride with careless abandon. There are overtaking opportunities and no bottle necks, a great achievement for any stage race trail builder.
Day 3 began with a certain sadness knowing this would be over very shortly. The day has some great highlights, the most popular and well known being the infamous Spioenkop climb, and then the decent off the mountain. The climb is only 1.4km long but features a 22% gradient at times. It is a true test to make it to the top and receive your “I conquered Spioenkop” sticker being handed out to the riders who made it up without getting off their bikes. The climb also comes in the last 15km of the day so it is a true challenge. The day's riding again features such amazing trails, riding dry river beds, climbing red rock hills, following natural cattle paths carved by the cattle moving across the farms and then arriving at the Spioenkop climb. I am happy to report I made it up and got my sticker. The most welcome sight was the last water point, with its delicious treats, at the top of the climb. The decent is again spectacular. 13 km of flowing single track and cliff paths taking you all the way down to the race village. Another gorgeous day of riding.
The stage is only 60km and so that leaves plenty of time afterwards to spend under the trees in the chill zone with an ice cold beer, getting a massage, or taking a nap. You feel like you are on a mini holiday and the stresses of your everyday life seem so very far away. The afternoon was spent chatting, feet up and (free) beer in hand.
There are truly unique and special features to this race. It caters for all types of riders who are fit enough to complete the distances, but the trails are truly first class. The organizers and team behind the event are passionate and you can feel the heart and soul of the event. Often women are EVERYONE can raceon stage races. Perhaps they few enjoy and farthis between The food in the camp is excellent. Being in a don't believe they could complete a race like this Every being year for its that farming district, and the event organizer a aorcouple the bugof hasyears, not bitten, but I good! know that all of my cattle farmer, you felt like you were being riding girlfriends would have loved doing this race served food freshly sourced and prepared. Farm and I will defiantly be back for some more Berg veggies and salads, huge steaks and fresh bread. and Bush magic! True hospitality and care was put into the menu Written by Kim Voller. Kim is mad about mountain biking. and preparation. Another plus when you are Follow her on twitter - @kimvoller away from home.
Best suited to
Do it Again?
For more on Grinrod Berg & Bush: www.bergandbush.co.za
WHY WE HOW LONG?
WHY DID YOU START? I had taken a 6 year break from cycling due to work commitments when a friend challenged me to join them for a MTB ride, one ride and I was completely hooked.
Cycling (roadie) for 21 years, mountain biking for 3 years. FAVORITE THING? Riding Single trails as the sun rises or sets and the sounds of nature. I am also a technical junky, love the rough stuff.
STILL TO LEARN?
Very steep incline climbs on loose terrain.
LEAST FAVORITE THING?
Too many people on the trails. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? Completing any of the wonderful stage races around South Africa.
ADVICE? Just get out and ride, the more you ride the fitter you will get, the more fun it will become, the more obsessed you will become, the more you will ride. One more suggestion, do a good skills course, it will make you way faster on the bike.
Started riding beginning 2012. FAVORITE THING? The sense of accomplishment of getting better. I love also being able to do things I couldn't do before esp technically. ALSO being able to eat chocolate!
STILL TO LEARN? I want to get better at climbing - this is certainly a weakness of mine. I would also like to ride a road ride with the elite ladies... a flat race of course.
WHY DID YOU START? I started cause I got divorced and decided I needed to change my lifestyle. LEAST FAVORITE THING? Getting up very early for races and waiting around so long before I start. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? I certainly think J2C was one of my greatest achievements because it was a goal and I trained hard for it - I was the third solo lady. Next big goal is epic.!
ADVICE? Get a good bike and set-up. Start small, have fun and only start racing after a year. You should have a goal... it makes it more motivating, Join a club and ride with friends. AND it's ok to fall! :)
RIDE HOW LONG?
WHY DID YOU START?
Started doing Triathlons and opted for a mountain bike instead of a road bike , now I get to enjoy sprint distance triathlons as well as MTB trails.
Been riding mountain bikes for about 2 years now. FAVORITE THING?
LEAST FAVORITE THING?
Trying new trails , and the sense of accomplishment every time I get off my mountain bike.
Soft sand and Rocks.
STILL TO LEARN? The skills involved with riding in rocky areas and riding for longer.
GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? Every race I do feels like that to me , but If I had to choose I would say the Dullstroom Ashburton Series.
ADVICE? Start sooner than later , the sooner you get out there , the sooner you will fall in love and the more you will ride. Take a friend with and enjoy the ride.
HOW LONG? I have been mtb for approximately 4 years now and I love it! FAVORITE THING?
The thrill of overcoming obstacles and achieving better times in races...oh and the ice cold beer afterwards. STILL TO LEARN?
I still need to learn how to overcome big drop offs...there are a few at big red barn that frighten the life out of me.
WHY DID YOU START? I started riding due to a good friend nagging me to get out the house and get some fresh air, exercise and clear my mind. LEAST FAVORITE THING? Drift bridges... I elegantly road straight into the water off a bridge. Gasping for air as the icy water consumed my body and all I could think about was my bike sinking. Held on for dear life. GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT? Finishing a 60km mtb race with a swollen knee from a fall 30km into the race.
Always go at your own pace, don't try out do someone else especially if you still a novice...gain the experience and the confidence then tackle the speed...should take my own advice haha but have come short a few times to know my limitations now.
THE ATTACK POSITION The Attack Position is the basic standing riding position upon which all other standing riding positions are derived and is the first riding technique an off road cyclist needs to learn. The attack position is achieved by standing on the pedals whilst they are in a level position. Riding in the seated position gives quite a stable riding position as the bike canâ€™t move very much under you. Standing up lets you easily move about the bike for cornering and negotiating tough obstacles. Keep your knees and elbows bent but relaxed. This allows them to absorb rougher parts of the trail for your body rather than transmitting all the shock to your body which will keep the tyres stuck to the ground and maintain traction. By moving forward and backwards you are able to put different amounts of weight on the front and rear wheels. Aim to support all your weight on the pedals just using the bars for stability. Light hands while moving your body forward and back, keeping your weight safely between the front and rear wheels' points of contact with the ground. Get used to riding in this new position on descents or any section of trail where you feel you need more control of the bike. Keep using the seated position on climbs and longer flat sections. Move your whole upper body together not just your hips or shoulders on their own.
MountainSmith Bike Cube R990 www.bicyclegear.co.za
Bicycle Gear Charm Wire Bracelet R120 http://uniquecycling.co.za
Girls gi Veloride Ruby And Diamond Safety LED Lights R199 www.capegrosports.co.za
RockShox Reverb Stealth Seatpost R6999 www.cwcycles.co.za
Shimano XT Trail Wide Platform Pedals R1595 www.evobikes.co.za
Versus funky socks R110 www.versussocks.co.za/
ft guide assos casual t-shirt R999 www.cwcycles.co.za
gopro hero 5 action camera R7999 www.capeunionmart.co.za
A 5THINGSBIKER 1MOUNTAIN
SHOULD HAVE Trail e h T n O t u O e l i Wh
Every ride has a potential danger that goes with it. Itâ€™s important to carry the correct items which could help you should something happen out on the ride. This is the bare minimum of what I take riding with me out on the mountain bike trails around where I live, though a lot of the time there is even more stuff in my pack than is shown here. What is shown here, however, is probably a good guide for people to start with, and is what I feel to be good advice for people wondering what they should be carrying with them out on their own trails if they want to be able to deal with most problems that may arise during a typical mountain bike ride. PAGE 28
Bladder or Bottle
First and foremost, it’s important to carry some liquid
refreshment. Being away from any water source could prove
costly if you decide not to carry some, so always have a bottle or
bladder on a ride. Some people believe a short ride of an hour,
doesn't require you to take any water, but I disagree and believe
that having water available is vital. I would carry water on all rides,
just for peace of mind.
Wind Breaker /Jacket
Weather can change rapidly and unexpectedly, especially when
off road. It is good to carry whatever it is that you need to stay
warm and dry, as nothing ruins a ride quite like hypothermia. Most
rain jackets pack up really small, and weigh next to nothing, but
can save your ass if things get blustery at any point while out on a
Mini Pump/ Co2 Bombs
I think everybody knows that they should bring a tyre pump or CO
bombs with them when mountain biking. Flat tyres are by far the most
common cause of unintended ride interruption. There are a variety of
pumps available, they all work to put air in your tyre so the choice is
yours. Just bear in mind size and weight, you can’t carry a large pump
while shredding the trails.
Spare Inner Tube
If you run tubes in your tyres you will need to carry a spare inner
tube, I know a few riders who carry a tube even when they run
tubeless, simply as a last resort to a sidewall tear that won’t seal
etc. Nothing special here, just a good old butyl inner tube.
It’s nice to have a spare tube handy, as it makes for the quickest and
easiest flat fix, but unless I’m pressed for time, I almost always take
the extra five minutes to fix my tube with a proper patch, (vulcanizing
rubber glue, none of that peel and stick stuff.) The main reason being
that I don’t want to throw away a good tube, if it can be fixed. It is also
possible to have multiple punctures on one ride.
Chain Lube A small bottle of chain lube can save your drivetrain if your ride
takes you through, mud or water. A long ride through dirt and mud
can cause it to form a harmful paste which kills your working
parts. It’s a good idea to carry a small amount of chain lube just
to keep things oiled.
A good set of Hex wrenches and a chain breaker are a must-have
if you want to be able to fix a bike on the trail. Having all these
combined in one compact little multi-tool is usually the way to go.
A multi-tool can do minor adjustments on the ride too, like
tightening and moving parts.
Chain Pins or Quick Links The fastest way to get your drive train working again after having a
link break in your chain is to use a quick link. A chain link will allow you
to connect the broken chain and get back on the bike in no time.
Zip ties can come in real handy sometimes and I’m sure you can
dream up at least a dozen uses for them in the time it takes to
read the rest of this post.
Is there anything duct tape can’t do? This stuff could save your ride or
your life. You can sometimes buy tiny rolls designed for travel kits, but
if you can’t find that, what works really well is to wrap some around the
outside of a plastic pen or a pencil or something.
Lip balm Keeping a stick of lip balm (preferably with an SPF rating) in your
pack is a good idea when riding in dry environments
Smartphones can do a lot of things, but the most important
function is the ability to phone home in case of an emergency.
Also keep your I.C.E (In case of Emergency) contact info on your
phone so that others can contact your loved ones.
Money Carry some cash (in paper form) in your pack. In addition to being
useful for post ride beers and burgers, it can also be used as a
tyre boot. Money, that stuff that makes the world go 'round, can
also make your bike go 'round
Accidents happen: carry a first aid kit in a waterproof pouch or
container.A small first aid kit in a waterproof package is a must.
Bandages, gauze, disinfecting wipes and tweezers are all items to
include in your kit. Like the tools in this list, a first-aid kit is only
useful if you know how to use it — a basic understanding of first aid
and CPR may come in handy.
You never know when the dreaded “BONK” will come to haunt
you. Being unable to continue on a ride, because you have no
energy left, is never the situation you want to find yourself in. I
always carry some form of nutrition, like a gel or bar, or a few
nuts, to help me if I need an extra bit of fuel in the tank to get me
n e m o W AREN T SMALL MEN '
Myth busting female sports performance
University of Waikato Senior Research Fellow, Dr Stacy Sims, is changing attitudes in the sport science field. Her research addresses female physiology and how this influences athletic performance. Dr Sims â€™ research helps sport coaches to develop tailored training, nutrition and recovery programmes that enable women to achieve greater results. She â€™ s based at the University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance in Tauranga.
Dr Sims says while the representation of women in high performance sport has increased in recent years, when it comes to performance training and nutrition the science behind performance enhancement has long been skewed towards men. Until the 1980s, sport science research was based on 18 - to 22 - year - old men, with no recognition of the influencers and differences between the outcomes of men and women.
Its all about timing During a woman’s menstrual cycle, her hormones fluctuate from low to high; termed follicular (low) and luteal (high) hormone phases. The variation of baseline hormone concentrations can affect her physical and psychological performance, although it varies from person to person. The follicular phase is marked by the first day of bleeding through ovulation. At this time, a woman’s levels of oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. This is when a woman is “most like a male” in terms of what is known in sport physiology and nutrition research. Her pain tolerance is increased, time to fatigue is increased, intensity and workloads are primed for personal best (PB) and from a metabolic state, a woman’s body can tap into more carbohydrate stores and recover faster (as compared to the high-hormone phase). It’s during this low-hormone phase that women should aim to hit high-intensity training sessions hard, try for PBs in power and speed activities, and optimise recovery through nutrition. The luteal phase (approximately the two weeks preceding the start of a woman’s period) is known as the high-hormone phase. During this phase a woman’s physiology is markedly different from a man’s. Progesterone increases her body temperature (~0.5’C), sodium excretion and muscle tissue breakdown.
The combination of elevated oestrogen and progesterone decreases the amount of water in the blood, increasing the body’s reliance on fat for fuel, while stimulating greater fat storage, and increases central nervous system fatigue (ie she runs out of steam quicker). During the late luteal phase (~5-7days before menstruation) is a good time to focus on steady-state cardio exercises, higher rep, lower weight resistance exercise, and stay on top of protein intake throughout the week.
Key things to remember Women should think of their training schedule as a monthly cycle. Give yourself the flexibility to push hard when you're feeling good and to back-off when you're not. Start by keeping a training log and monitoring your cycle versus your performance – this should give you a good idea of how the different phases affect you personally. When you’re menstruating, it is not the time to hide, it’s the time to hit those intensities and PBs; fuel well and pay attention to protein intake. As your period approaches, know that it isn’t your fitness, but your physiology that can make your training sessions feel more like a slog than a win – hydrate well, eat your protein, and alter your training to work with your physiology, not against it.
Want to know more? For an ind - depth look at Dr Sims â€™ research and performance tips, read her book Roar.
This article was published on the University of Waikato website. http://www.waikato.ac.nz/newsevents/media/2016/myth-bustingfemale-sports-performance .
STRONG IS THE NEW SEXY
USING STRENGTH TO MAKE YOU A BETTER RIDER As a personal trainer and triathlete, I train a variety of people; from those wanting to lose weight, those that want to tone and reshape their bodies, to athletes wanting to improve performance by improving their strength. The thing that I find most astounding is how relatively weak the athletes are, and they are often the "fittest" for their particular sport. For example, cyclists that can cycle for days but struggle with a 60 second plank or 15 push ups. I think there are a number of reasons why endurance athletes neglect the strength component:
TIME LACK OF KNOWLEDGE A BELIEF THAT STRENGTH TRAINING IS NOT NECESSARY TIMING PAGE 35
With barely enough time to fit in the necessary training for their discipline, they struggle to find time to fit in strength training. Once they've made time to get to the gym, what exercises are going to add the most value? The benefits of strength training have been debated and some may believe that it just takes time away from their particular sport or discipline. When do they fit it in where it doesn't compromise a key training session? DIRTY HEART
I believe strength training is essential for athletes and especially for women. The key is to train in a way that is specific and adds to athletic performance. For example, doing a seated bicep curl doesn't really have much benefit for a mountain biker unless you want to stop at the top of a hill, get off, sit down and do 10 reps with your mountain bike...or maybe to lift the muffins at the water point! The strength training should as far as possible emulate the movements that are required in your specific sport. What are the specific benefits of a well constructed strength programme for mountain bikers?
1 . Injury prevention : Strength training helps to address muscle imbalances and increase the strength of muscles , tendons and ligaments which in turn helps to prevent injuries . Strengthening the core is vital to protecting the spine which also prevents back injuries . 2 . Improved performance : Doing the correct exercises that are specific to mountain biking will translate into an improved performance . For example , upper body strength and core strength are vital on technical sections and single track . Lower body strength is great for climbing and long or windy jeep track sections . All round strength is vital for stage races as the body recovers better . 3 . Strength training can add an element of variety and fun to a training week and keep you motivated . 4 . The correct exercises will improve balance and assist in technical riding also decreasing the chances of falling . 5 . Time saving : A well designed programme will allow you to get maximum benefit from minimum time . You can get great value from a focused half hour session as apposed to an hour of doing a bit of everything . So, how do you go about finding the right programme? 1. Seek the help of a professional that can give you the right advice and prescribe the best exercises for you and your specific sport. 2. At the end of the day, some strength training is better than none. You want to be doing exercises that work the legs (quads. hamstrings, glutes, calves), upper body and core. So, start somewhere. Strong is the new sexy!! Set aside half an hour twice a week and follow the routine below and you'll experienece the benefits for yourself! Check out these 10 great strength exercises that can be done anywhere and work the whole body. Strongs
Des Dickinson is a world championship age group triathlete. 2x KONA Ironman finisher. Personal trainer & Sports conditioning coach. Follow her on twitter - @desi_d_tri
01 Spiderman Push-Up
02 Pull Ups
04 Forward Lunges with Twist
05 Back Lunges
07 Squat Jumps
10 Wall Sits with Twists
03 Squat with Shoulder Press
06 Step Ups
09 Russian Twists
A LITTLE GETAWAY
WITH YOUR BIKE Getting a ride or two in while on holiday this December. So December holidays are around the corner. You have planned the perfect little getaway to rest and recover from a long and stressful year and what better way than a family vacation exploring our beautiful country.
We live in a spectacular country with some amazing regions and trails to be explored. So pack the bike on your vacation and get up early while the family snoozes to explore some amazing parks and trail centers around South Africa this December.
The thought of lazing by a pool with a cocktail in hand or relaxing under a forrest canopy while reading the novel you have been meaning to finish the whole year, sounds delightful. Walking deserted beaches, eating icecreams and waffles at your favourite holiday breakfast café makes you want to jump in the car and get going right now.
We have put together a list of some amazing trails and bike centres around the country where you can get your trail fix and still enjoy that beer at the end of the day. I’m sure there are many smaller, wild trails around the country that are not listed so do a little digging and ask the locals to point you to some of their local trail treats.
However many of us would certainly want to include a ride or two as part of that holiday. I could not imagine going on a break to a new and exciting part of our country without getting to explore the region from two wheels while there.
PWC Bike Park Bryanston
Central Park Trails
Situated on the north western side of Johannesburg near Bryanston this is a new secure mountain bike park in Gauteng. They offer custom built single track for mountain bikes suited for ALL ages and ALL skill levels. All routes are graded, clearly signposted and include, beginner, intermediate and advanced circuits
Northern Farm, situated west of Fourways next to the R28, is a multi user recreational facility is used by Horses, Birders and Hikers and Adventure outings. The Northern Farm MTB Trail Head does offer a selection of rides. The trials are specially designed for different riding experiences, duration and difficulties. Two trails are already permanently marked to prevent you from getting lost, and there are more to follow.
Located in the Modderfontein area in Johannesburg these trails offer fun riding with mix of jeep track and single track. a Kiddies trail, excellent facilities and a restaurant ensure a fun day out.. The trails are open weekdays, public holidays & weekends and offer up to 45KM of riding for all levels.
PWC Bike Park Bryanston
This trail centre is situated in Mulbarton in south of Johannesburg on 450 hectares of a nature reserve. They boast JOHANNESBURG'S TOUGHEST MTB TRAIL with extremely exciting downhills on single track. Other routes include 6 and 15km non technical yellow routes and an intermediate green route. The Thaba Trails office on site is open on Saturdays & Sundays and night riding is available some week nights.
Wolwespruit is a mountain bike and trail run park located in Erasmuskloof, Pretoria. Named after the spruit that runs through it, the park's hand crafted single track trails provide a flowing and adrenaline filled adventure for beginner to advanced skilled riders and runners. The trails make full use of the park's topography and offers thrilling drops, jumps, river crossings and lots of uphill! It is a perfect place to practices skills and get fit at the same time.
Buffelsdrift Mountain Bike Park is located only 15km North of Pretoria and provides a safe and secure riding environment within the confines of the Buffelsdrift Nature Conservancy. Lying on the western boundaries of the Dinokeng area, between the Roodeplaat Dam and the N1 highway. The Park currently has six main trails available. These trails offer the mountain biking enthusiast different challenges and riding environments. Trails are very well marked
WESTERN CAPE Mountain Biking Cape Town, Table Mountain Some great trails (multiuse) around table mountain are short but sharp trails which will test the legs but offer spectacular views to admire your hard work. visit www.tablemountainbikers.co.za for more info and maps of the area.
Harkerville Cycling Routes Situated between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, Harkerville forest is the ideal location for recreational mountainbiking. The relatively easy gradients and diversity of the rides offer some of the finest cycling in the Southern Cape.
Lebanon MTB Trails Lebanon MTB trails are situated in the Eglin valley. They consist of 4 marked trails offering a unique riding experience that combines rolling orchards, forested pine slopes, mountain fynbos, rock gardens and breathtaking views.
Rhebokskloof offers riders of all skill levels the opportunity to ride among the vineyards and natural granite features that define the Paarl landscape. Decide between a 14km and 21km option depending on your fitness level and also the time of year, as this area can reach uncomfortable temperatures during the summer months. Long sections of flowing singletrack with amazing panoramic views from the top of the hill makes this a very rewarding piece of MTB heaven.
Spanning numerous wine farms along the Bottelary hills area, the trail covers a total of 76km. With 4 different route options, accessible from 7 different starting points, the trail boasts incredible views of the Winelands, Table Mountain and False Bay. The routes offer everything from easy, beginnerlevel riding to technical, challenging climbs and downhill sections.
Elgin Country Club With an amazing array of colours and varying types of terrain, the greater Grabouw area offers a true piece of MTB magic. Combining sandy and rocky singletrack, pine forests, fynbos and marslike rock formations, you get to experience a number of different rides in one. Though some sections of the trail are very mild, it's not advised for inexperienced riders as some of the rocky singletrack gets very technical in places.
KWA-ZULU NATAL Giba Gorge
Nestled in Giba Gorge valley is Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, a special place for those who enjoy an active and outdoor lifestyle. It is an escape from the rat race, a local spot to meet likeminded people and spend quality time with family and friends. Visit the Giba Gorge Website.
Holla Trails are a system of marked mountain biking trails among the farms in the Ballito area. The trail system already consists of nearly 300kms of marked and signed trails. The MTB trails are not just for experienced riders, there is plenty of track for the newer riders and it will finally give many people who want to get into mountain biking a place to ride on the KZN north coast.
Sappi's vast plantations, coupled with the vision and dedication of passionate local mountain biking enthusiasts the Mr Price Karkloof Classic has resulted in a world class trail network which is now accessible year round to recreational riders. The Karkloof Mountain Biking Club have marked the XC, 6km, 7km and 40km and 60km singletrack routes.
All Out Adventures
Clearwater Trail Centre
The best riding in the Drakensberg area. All Out Adventures is home to the annual Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge and the valley now has 100km of permanently marked mountain bike trails, with routes for all abilities. Trails can be accessed from the Cavern.
Howick MTB Trails are in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands in South Africa. They offer technical single track with about 30km of tracks varying from gentle, tree and fern lined paths to attention getting sections with names like Suicide Slide, The Face, Rushalot and Pines.
Enjoy some of the best terrain over farm roads, single tracks and down hills with panoramic views of the coast, gorge and grasslands. situated along the South Coast.Great little day trip with food and great facilities on offer.
MPUMALANGA Sabie Mountain Biking around Sabie arguably the best mountain biking destination in South Africa is the ideal springboard for both novice and accomplished mountain bikers to practice this sport in a secure environment amidst breathtaking scenery.�Sabie offer both the competitive and the casual mountain biker a wide range of expertly guided and well marked selfguided mountain bike trails.
EASTERN CAPE The Eastern Cape is a region rich in diversity! Not only in culture but also in mountain biking terrains. Test your technical riding skills in the forests around Stutterheim or Hogsback. Test your anaerobic endurance in the mountains around Rhodes. Rid yourself of any stress while you explore the wild coast on your mountain bike, or go for multi day rides through the Baviaans Kloof. You could even go on a mountain bike safari in one of the many game parks
Misty Valley MTB
In the heart of Mpumalanga, it is located in an indigenous forest near the Sudwala Caves. The property consists of sub tropical forest, open grasslands, mountains, valleys and river frontage. Mankele Mountain Biking is renowned for its sometimes technical, but always flowing, single track and big mountain trail riding.
Mountain Bike Trails, guided rides and holidays through a pristine Game Estate in Mpumalanga which is 150km from the Kruger National Park, with spectacular scenery and awesome mtb trails.
FREE STATE Parys and surrounds
There are a great variety of mountain biking trails found in the Vaal River valley, in the farmlands to the south of Parys, and along the heights of the Dome Bergland. There is something to suit every level of fitness and interest, from pure sport to archaeological explorations and historical battlefield routes.
Clarens is a Mountain biking mecca and offers a variety of trails and options. Start of at Clarens Extreme which offers a variety of marked trails. The Clarens Village Nature Reserve also offers some trails to explore. Bergwoning/Di Bus Stop offers some climbing tests and spectacular views with a 7/18km route. The Golden Gate National Park offers tar roads which can be explored.
P APAGE G E 4103
Views and Reviews
Bufflesdrift Mountain Bike Park
Being close to Johannesburg and within the borders of Pretoria, Buffelsdrift is easily accessed from the highway and easy to get to. The venue is user-friendly and a great setting for a breakfast or lunch following the ride. Plenty of parking and good facilities lend itself to a great day on the bike. At R40 entry, you know the park is not out to make a buck but is passionate about the experience.
The trails are very well marked and range in difficulty so there truly is a trail for everyone. The park is enclosed so is safe for female riders or small groups, even single riders. You will certainly leave the park satisfied and challenged. One of the few training grounds for a marathon distance ride, don't forget to ask about the 100km challenge being run by the park. Buffelsdrift is a fantastic offering to all Gauteng cyclists and we suggest you get there soon!
You don't get much better on a MTB. Sunshine, bush-veld, wild animals and well kept trails.
COMING UP DECEMBER Sondela Family 3 day Stage Race
The Boutime WTF MTB Challenge
PennyPinchers Origin Of Trails
Landrover Centurion Mountain Monster
Elephant Route @ Amersfoort Mpumalanga
MPUMALANGA Cyclesure Hollard MTB Series @ Babbas - Event 12
JANUARY 2017 Cape Winelands & Koue Bokkeveld Tour
WESTERN CAPE Summer Fast One MTB 2017
GAUTENG Fairview Attakwas Extreme Challenge
WESTERN CAPE Barbeton XCM
MPUMALANGA PAGE 44
MTO Group Support Songo.info Education Initiatives The MTO Group has become synonymous to mountain bikers with fantastic trails; from Jonkershoek to Tsitsikamma many of the Western Cape’s most beloved mountain bike routes weave their way through MTO plantations. For the Kayamandi based charity, songo.info, though the MTO Group provides far more than a mountain biker’s playground – by supporting the charity’s education initiatives the MTO Group is providing possibilities for young people beyond the bike. Founded in 2008 by Songo Fipaza and Swiss mountain biking legend Christoph Sauser, the aim of songo.info was initially to provide a safe space for the children of Kayamandi to play and introduce them to BMX riding and mountain biking. It soon became apparent though that there was so much more which needed to be done to improve the lives of the children in the programme.
Christoph Sauser in action during the MTO Champions Race. Photo by Ewald Sadie
In 2014 the songo.info clubhouse was opened and afterschool homework classes were implemented. Under the guidance of songo.info trustee and retired educator Eunice Myataza the children are assisted with their homework for an hour, Mondays to Thursdays, before they are allowed to head outside and ride the BMXs or mountain bikes. Homework sessions alone though are not enough to address the shortfalls in the education of the youth of Kaymandi and this is where the generous support of the MTO Group has been making a significant impact since March 2016. With MTO’s support songo.info was able to bring Liz Ward on board to head up the education programme and implement, with the support of the rest of the team, a number of exciting initiatives. One of the most promising of these being the Reading Eggs programme, this interactive, online, programme teaches children to read in an engaging and entertaining manner. It’s also essential to the children in the programme as they are not native English speakers. With much of their teaching and learning conducted in English, increasing their English comprehension skills is an important step in improving their academic results. With the assistance of the MTO Group songo.info has been able to implement other initiatives too, including fortnightly and holiday extra mathematics sessions; a tertiary education programme; a life-skills development programme; holiday activity plans; and educational outings which help foster a love of learning. Plans are also being put in place to create a tertiary scholars intern programme which will see students from Stellenbosch University volunteer as tutors to children in the songo.info programme. As MTO Group CEO Lawrence Polkinghorne explains: “songo.info’s vision is aligned with MTO’s social performance programs. We believe that it is critical to identify, nurture and develop talent from a young age. The songo.info programme offers kids the opportunity to learn discipline, commitment, pride and participation which we believe will ultimately culminate in well-rounded individuals who will lead by example in their communities. It is a privilege to be associated with songo.info and we look forward to celebrating the positive impact the programme has on all associated with it”.
TIME YOUR REST AND SUPER SET
INTERVALS AND COTINUES EMOMS
Project manager, Sipho Madolo (in blue) racing some of the young boys in the programme on the songo.info BMX track. Photo by Seamus Allardice. Putting the reading egg platform to good use. Photo by Etienne van Rensburg. Liz Ward teaching at the songo.info club house. Photo by Etienne van Rensburg | songo.info
It is songo.info’s ultimate aim to provide a holistic support structure for the children within the programme, and in so doing help them reach their full potential as individuals. It is a tragic reality of life in South Africa that so many children are born into a life of poverty; it is only through programmes which provide children with support structures beyond simply sport or education that the individual children can be empowered to break the cycle of poverty. With the help of the MTO Group songo.info hopes to do just that for the youth of Kayamandi. DIRTYHEART PAGE 47
THE FINAL BERM
When not pushing watts on her bike, SHREDDED BETTY is contemplating the usefulness
Going from good to great of cable ties and other important things...
What will it take for you to go from good
But how many of us do this with regard
At the start line of any race you will hear
to our sport, let alone our lives in
people talk about the hills, the weather,
Why can’t you do that stage race?
general? We have to have a goal in
the competition etc. There are things we
Why can’t you be on the podium?
order to know what direction to go in.
worry about and things we can actually
And this applies to other aspects of your
The second part of setting a goal is to
control. Rather focus on the things that
life as well.
have a plan on how to get there. Tied
you can control. Your training, your
Why can’t I get that job, man of my
into that is to ask for help. Perhaps get a
preparation including your bike, your
dreams? Why can’t I lose 10kgs?
coach, a new training plan or enter a
packing, your nutrition and lastly your
race you want to complete.
mind set. This is one of the greatest things to learn for stress relief and confidence
Try this 7 S strategy to go from good to great!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH
going into a race or competition.
LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE SELF MAINTENANCE STRENGTHEN YOUR STRENGTHS
Surround yourself with people who challenge and inspire you. Spend the
As women we are particularly hard on
We live in a world that says we should
most time with them and it will change
ourselves. Our work/life balance is always
always be working on our weaknesses but
your life! Make sure these people buy
being juggled and we try hard to keep
this just encourages mediocrity. For
into you and your plans and are invested
everything in check. When is good, good
example: if you are not great at climbing,
in your goals and vision.
enough? Self-maintenance refers to
you must devote your time and training to climbing. But what if you spent more time
taking care of ourselves - physically, STAY IN THE MOMENT
working on your strengths. So instead of
mentally & spiritually…whatever that means for you. “Be careful what you say
being a good technical rider, you become a
There is a certain amount of power in
to yourself because you are listening” We
FANTASTIC technical rider. If you put your
giving the present moment your full
never speak to a single other person as
time & energy into the things that you are
attention. Do “right now” as well as you
much as we speak to ourselves. Make sure
good at and you are passionate about, the
can and “just now” will take care of
gains will be exponential! Obviously you
itself. It also helps if you focus less on
cannot only focus on your strengths, you also
stresses of the future and see the
need to MANAGE your weaknesses.
beauty of right now, whether it’s the trail
So, WHY NOT ME?
and scenery around you or a
Sometimes it’s easier for us to ask
conversation with another person. The
questions like, “What if this happens or
world is so full of distractions and we
what if that happens. What if I fail?” But
We all know we need to set goals. We know
choose to focus on these things rather
what if you asked “Why not me?”
the acronym: they should be
than live in the moment. One of the
greatest gifts you can give someone is
You deserve more than you believe and
your undivided attention, and that
you are capable of more than you
imagine! So get going and take some
action. The first step is right in front of
R esults orientated
SURRENDER THE THINGS YOU
T ime bound
Women's MTB Cycling magazine December Issue 2016