Page 1


full sus



FR /FullSussa

April 2014, Vol 13



TRAILS Misty Valley pg12

Giro Gloves pg25 RIDER REPORT Wet weather PRODUCT REVIEW Garden Route pg26 GEAR pg27

2014 Victorious Annika Langvad being doused in Champaign by her RECM crew.

The 2014 ABSA Cape Epic has been one for the history books. From the race for five between Karl Platt and Christoph Sauser, to the equal prize money for the women in the build-up, and the ever changing lead in the early phases of the race all made the 2014 Epic the best yet.


t kicked off with the prologue at Meerendal Wine Estate on Sunday the 23rd of March. The pros and age group category favourites raced for the stage win and the right to start in the various leaders’ jerseys, while the normal riders rode to conserve their energy for the notorious stage one. In the elite men’s race the Multivan Merida Biking duo of Jose Hermida and

Rudi van Houts claimed the prologue win, while in the ladies race; RECM’s Ariane Kleinhans and Annika Langvad overcame Langvad’s dramatic crash down the stairs of the Meerendal manor house to claim the victory.

Stage one was set to be a dramatic day of suffering for all. In 2013 Dr Evil tested the worth of every


Kristian Hynek and Robert Mennen celebrate their Epic victory.



Erik Kleinhans


Notes from the best Epic yet… FS rider in the field to take on the ABSA Cape Epic with a day of sand in the mountains of Citrusdal. In 2014 the good doctor topped the misery induced by thick sand by leading the field through a sea of thorns and sharp climbs (the climbs weren’t part of the sea - it’s a mixed metaphor). The thorns played havoc with the race favourites, with the RECM ladies puncturing three times and losing nearly 25 minutes on their Meerendal sponsored rivals, Esther Suss and Sally Bigham. In the men’s race RECM’s Erik Kleinhans and Nico Bell worked exceptionally hard to limit the losses of MeerendalSongo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Frantisek Rabon, eventually riding them into a position to claim second on the day. Line honours and the yellow jerseys went to Centurion-Vaude on the day, with the first incident of the ‘curse of the yellow jersey’ striking Multivan Merida’s race hopes down. Jose Hermida suffered a suspected allergic reaction which ended his hopes of victory and nearly ended his race entirely.

Stage two was meant to be an easier day, but Mother Nature and a mean cut-off low pressure system battering the Cape had other ideas. Torrential rain throughout the night turned the red dust of the Breede River Valley into near impassable mud baths. Centurion-Vaude were struck down by the ‘curse’ when they broke a frame and RECM’s ladies showed their class by taking nearly nine minutes out of their Meerendal rivals. Stage two also saw the emergence of Topeak-Ergon Racing at the head of the field. Topeak’s Robert Mennen

and Kristian Hynek claimed the stage win while the second placed Team Bulls duo, of Karl Platt and Urs Huber, inherited the yellow jerseys from unfortunate Centurion, but not without doing themselves some damage in the process. Early on stage two Platt crashed hard on his knee and sustained an injury which would eventually end his race. After the rain of stage two the sun came out for stage three and the race left the Breede River Valley traversing the Sonderend Mountains on its way to the Oaks Estate in Greyton. With the stage billed as a roadie stage Meerendal-SongoSpecialized were buoyed by Rabon’s dominance on a day where the Team Bulls, in yellow couldn’t keep up with the pace. Platt’s knee was in pain and the ‘curse’ had stuck again. MeerendalSongo-Specialized claimed the stage victory, with Topeak-Ergon Racing inheriting the cursed yellow jerseys and the RECM ladies clawing back a meagre two minutes from Suss and Bigham of Meerendal on a day that didn’t allow Kleinhans and Langvad to show their strength.

Stage four offered the slower riders in the field a chance to enjoy the race for a change, on a singletrack filled day of riding around the trails of Greyton and Genadendal. There was drama when ten times Cape Epic finisher and four times winner Karl Platt withdrew on the road, unable to pedal another stoke due to debilitating knee pain. While in the African Riders Jersey competition Kevin Evans

turn to page 4


FS Editorial

your MTB full Get x online now at sus MTB ONLINE



ur one year anniversary – it’s hard to imagine that we have been around for a year already. An entire calendar year of MTB events and now our second ABSA Cape Epic. Time sure flies when you’re having fun... My biggest thanks besides to all our contributors, regulars, Seamus and Megan, has to go to our readers. The response we have received from you has been immensely encouraging and if anything given us the reassurance that we are doing something right. You have confirmed time and again that we are offering


excellent content that is presented uniquely and via a very different vehicle, is easily accessible via your LBS and on top of it all its free! Thank you for your support! We can also announce that we have successfully confirmed our distribution network into Shark country. As of this issue we are delivering to all of the LBS in the central areas of KZN. That’s at another 1 000 copies of Full Sus in circulation every month. Enjoy it guys and let us know what you think. We have also made every attempt to clean up our circulation so that there is a minimum number of copies left over every month, by monitoring the pick-up per store we have freed up 2 000 copies that are being distributed to MTB events around the country. Talk about doing our best to put a Full Sus into your hands. It hasn’t been without challenges and Full Sus is completely funded by

@FullSussa advertising (and Integrated Media), our primary challenge has been to prove to the industry that we are a serious contender on the MTB media landscape - while we are doing that (and quite nicely I’d like to think) - the economy is certainly effecting the market negatively. We continue to knock on doors, continue to think of ways to ensure we get sufficient ad revenue and at the same time continue to improve our standard of producing quality media. We trust that the market sees it this way too. It would be amiss of me to mention the world’s greatest MTB stage race. The ABSA Cape Epic is certainly the behemoth on the MTB calendar and is without a doubt the Tour de France of MTB. The ride has been embraced completely by the Mother City and was a frenzy of activity in

SUS the winners In March we gave away two pairs of adidas evil eye half rim pro’s worth R2 499 each! Congratulations to Janus Marais (Bloemfontein) & Elsie Bezuidenhout (Centurion), your pair of sunnies is on its way to you. This month we’re giving away a team entry to the RECM Knysna 200 Turn to page 28 to find out how you can win!

the build-up and during the event. It affects our sport so much so we held off on printing for a week so we could report on the ride. A massive congratulations to all those who participated in, and completed this year’s Epic – it’s a huge achievement! Congratulations must also go to Kevin Vermaak and his team for once again producing a world class event. I’d also like to give the tent dwellers a special mention, looking at the weather, you guys really need to be singled out, this is without a doubt where true grit lives and you guys are the soul of the race - well done! Finally a special mention to our mates, folks who rode for charities and Full Sus contributors - Kate Slegrova, Rens Rezelman, Lionel Murray, Erik Kleinhans, the SRAM, Trek and Specialized teams (especially Bianca Grobbelaar who kept us up to date daily) and of course Dom Malan and John Bayly who rode for JAG and good mates Noel Droomer and Stephen O’Brien who are legends (and Gallies)! I am sure to have left someone out - apologies. Goed gedaan en dankie maters! See you on the trails

SUS the Local Bike Shop: Ride Life - George (044) 873 5258 Last month, the customers of Ride Life, in George, were the most avid entrants of the Full Sus competition. So we’re featuring their local bike shop as a way of a thank-you. Ride Life is a proud Giant and Santa Cruz dealer with a workshop manned by the best bicycle mechanics in the Southern Cape, Nico and Shaun. You’ll find them getting involved in the local mountain biking scene along with the Hillbillies MTB Club going on club rides and lending their experience to the newer riders to mountain biking. Drop into the Ride Life shop at 9 Courtenay Street, George, or give them a call on (044) 873 5258 if you’re looking for a new Tall Boy or just a quality service for your existing MTB steed.

SUS The team

Publishing Editor: Shayne Dowling Content Editor: Seamus Allardice Art Director: Megan Knox Advertising: Shayne Dowling PR & Promotions: Julia Andrade Regulars: Meurant Botha, Stirling Kotze Snr & Jnr, Jacques Marais, Dr Mike Posthumus,


Rochez O’Grady, James Thornhill-Fisher, Sarah Walker, Jeanne-Louise Wiese & Erik Kleinhans Rogue Contributor: David Bristow Photography: Julia Andrade,, Cherie Vale Newsport Media and Contributors: Kate Slegrova, Kathryn Fourie and Tammy Reader. Printing: Paarl Coldset (Pty) Ltd Published by: Integrated Media Disclaimer: The views expressed by the contributors and columnists do not necessarily represent the views of Full Sus or Integrated Media.

l To get your store featured al s here all you have to do is g p n o ensure that your clients get a copy lli Sh a C ke of Full Sus and enter the monthly Bi competition. The question is easy and

stays the same: “Where did you grab your copy of Full Sus?” The client stands a chance to win great prizes, like the adidas evil eye half rims featured in the March Competition on page 29, and you get free advertising. Make sure every customer that leaves your shop is carrying a copy of Full Sus to boost your chances of being featured.

Head Office | Cape Town Tel: 021 685 0285 Address: Suite WB03 Tannery Park 23 Belmont Road, Rondebosch, 7700 Postal Address: PO Box 259, Rondebosch 7701


COMPETITION TERMS & CONDITIONS: Competition submissions should reach us no later than 20 April 2014. The Prize/s is as indicated, no alternatives or cash will be provided. The decision of Integrated Media will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. Under no circumstances shall Integrated Media or its appointed representatives and the prize donors be liable to anyone who enters these Prize Draws for an indirect or consequential loss howsoever arising which may be suffered in relation to the Prize Draws. By entering these competitions you make yourself subject to receiving promotional information. Entrants are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions. Prize Draw Rules: The prize draw is only open to residents in South Africa. Employees of Integrated Media and their respective advertising, media and PR agencies, as well as the family members, consultants, directors, associates and trading partners of such organisations and persons are ineligible for the draw. Prize style and colour may vary.


s w e n

FS Notes from the best Epic yet…

Stage five took riders over the biggest climb of the race, the infamous Rusty Gate. For the leaders there was drama when Kristian Hynek of Topeak double flatted, and with their race seemingly in tatters up stepped Centurion-Vaude. Markus Kaufmann and Jochen Kaess kindly donated Hynek two wheels which allowed Topeak to chase down the charging MeerendalSongo-Specialized who sensed their opportunity to eradicate Topeak’s general classification lead. The stage victory went to Torpado Factory Racing’s Roel Paulissen and Riccardo Chiarini, riding 608B shod Topado bikes over the Scott-Odlo team on their 27.5 Scott Sparks. Stage six around Elgin was the favourite stage of the riders on Day Trippers’ Epic Trial rides. And it will probably prove to be the favourite stage of the majority of the 2014 Epic field once the dust settles and they regain complete range of movement in their legs too. In the elite race Phillip Buys and Nino Schurter showed off their XCO skills racing to victory, while the RECM ladies continued their dominance over the women’s race. The grand finale into Lourensford had some riders wishing


Christoph Sauser attempting to fix a mud induced mechanical. for a neutralised Tour de France style last day of racing. Topeak again punctured having to rely again on the Centurion-Vaude for a wheel change, showing that sportsmanship is still alive and well at the Epic, despite the best (or should that be worst) efforts of some. The race for the stage victory was fought out by the 650B gang with Torpado racing, Scott Factory Racing and Scott-Odlo for the honour to cross the finish line, with the eyes of the MTB world on them, first. The Epic had a last sting in its tail though; Torpado missed a route marker having fallen off the relentless pace set by Schurter, leaving the Scott boys to content the victory amongst themselves. Buys and Schurter then took their feet off the throttle, took some time to soak in the Lourensford atmosphere and allowed Matthys Beukes and Gert Heyns, who’d supported them ably all week to roll across the line first. For Beukes it was a particularly sweet moment making up for the loss he suffered on the very spot a year earlier when Jose Hermida and Rudi van Houts of Multivan Merida outsprinted Beukes and then partner Phillip Buys. In the general classification the RECM ladies proved that they’re quite probably the strongest female stage racers in the word right now, coming home in 23rd place overall and 37 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals for the Sasol ladies jerseys. Topeak-Ergon Racing might have had Centurion-Vaude’s generosity to thank for their general classification victory but they raced hard and consistently all week, showing all assembled that the talk of Platt vs Sauser and the race for five was rather disrespectful to the rest of the pro field. As for Sauser and Platt? They’ll be back in 2015. In fact during the postrace interview with Rabon, Sauser’s gaze was fixed somewhere beyond the confines of the press room, beyond the towering HottentotsHolland Mountains even. What the most decorated man in mountain bike marathon racing was thinking, his grey eyes didn’t give away. But you can be sure the 2015 ABSA Cape Epic formed a large part of it.


incurred an hour time penalty for his FedGroup Itec team, effectively removing himself and teammate Max Knox from the race to be the highest place all African team. The penalty for taking an illegal shortcut occurred when Evans cut across a switchback to gain places over a number of riders, some of whom were Outcast riders (pro riders whose teammates have withdrawn from the race and therefore are disallowed from having an impact on the race). With the help of a considerable amount of GoPro footage the Commissaires’ Panel made the following statement with regard to the incident in support of their decision to measure out an hour time penalty to FedGroup Itec (Team 13): “Review of Go-Pro camera footage from the rider immediately behind the rider in question, as well as footage from team 13’s own Go-Pro (attached to the bicycle of the accused rider) confirms that the incident occurred, and that an unfair advantage was gained.” RECM’s ladies meanwhile overturned their deficit retaking the women’s leader’s jerseys that they’d lost on stage one. South Africans looking for positive news were delighted by Phillip Buys who rode the ride of his life to claim the stage victory with his Swiss powerhouse partner Nino Schurter for Scott-Odlo MTB Racing. Topeak-Ergon broke the curse of the yellow jersey to become the first team to retain the general classification lead for consecutive days on the fifth day of the 2014 race.

A desolate Karl Platt consoled by teammate Urs Huber.



he unique Altech Autopage Jozi2kozi Cycling challenge is part cultural experience, part game viewing trip and part mountain biking stage race. Riders of the 2014 event are set to experience hard riding, awesome company and make memories to last a life-time in an unexplored part of South Africa. In what other event can you ride through a game reserve, stocked with the Big Five, overnight in a Zulu Kraal and stop at a rural shebeen for


a drink all in one day?!? The route traverses the mielielande of Southern Gauteng, the rolling grasslands of Mpumalanga, descends down a scarily named “Vuil Onderbroek pas”, crosses the Mkhunyane Nature Reserve and the Pongola River before heading towards the coast and the Mozambican boarder where Kosi Bay is located. Entries are open and you can enter online by going to

Red Bull Wide Open

nergy drinks company and supporters of all things extreme sports, Red Bull have put their financial might behind the fantastically viewer friendly sounding Wide Open race. Organised by H5 Events, the team behind the Red Bull Rampage, the Wide Open race will mark the dawning of the Mountain Bike Supercross format. It’s part downhill, part free ride and part 4X.

It pits six riders a heat against each other and the 500m long supercrossstyle downhill course, which features 60 foot gaps, 20 foot berms, wall rides and rock waterfalls (the mean big brother of the rock garden). South Africa will be represented by Andrew Neethling and Greg Minnaar when the racing kicks off at Bike Park Mottolino in Livigno, Italy on July 11th to July the 13th.


from page 1

FS News

Steve Smith will be facing off against Minnaar and Neethling in the Red Bull Wide Open.


FS News continued

Lifecycle Expo Pinarello Dogma XM

March is manic, with the country’s two biggest cycling events scheduled for the same calendar month it’s hard to get a chance to put your feet up and reflect on what you’ve seen in March. The Full Sus team took a walk around the Lifecycle Expo during the Cycle Tour’s Lifecycle Week and while there is always a lot of roadie swag on display there were also a few eye catching mountain biking exhibits too!


he most visually appealing mountain biking stall was the Santa Cruz set-up, with the stripped down frames showing off the geometry of the Virtual Pivot and Single Pivot suspensions. The Dragons Sport folks also brought the Juliana bikes along and they’re certainly worth a closer look, so read the bike review on the Juliana Joplin on page 16. Victor Momsen is not one to miss a trick and he had all the Two Wheels Trading premium goods on display, including his new carbon components, bike tool benchmark

Momsen Vipa

setting Lezyne tools and the nifty Münn kids’ bikes. The real highlight of Momsen stand though was a ladies VIPA, all decked out in white and pink. Keep an eye out for it in 2015 and beyond. The bike we drooled over the most though was the Pinarello Dogma XM. At this stage there are only three in the country and we’re hoping that we’ll get a test bike to ride as soon as ASG Sport’s sponsored riders get theirs’, partly because we want to tell you how good the XM is but mainly because we just want to get the chance to ride one!

Cape Country Tour


ntries have opened for Johan Kriegler’s, the director of MTB Adventures, favourite event. It’s a chilled ride from the Houw Hoek Inn to Knysna over six days and 550km from the 29th of June to the 4th of July 2014. No day features more than 1 600m of climbing even on the 100km stages, so you can expect to put in the miles but never suffer unduly. You’ll also be well looked after with the backpacking option staying in school hostels and the luxury entrants stay in hotels. It’s also the only event with wine and beer included in the entry fee, you’ll ride through some of the Western Cape’s most glorious scenery and enjoy a race village and ride vibe the like of which you won’t experience anywhere else. The Cape Country Tour ends with a seventh stage, the Knysna Oyster Festival MTB Challenge, so you’ll be treated to epic Knysna singletrack too. Find out more at Experience the Western Cape at its most beautiful this winter.

Laikipia XC Add the Laikipia XC to you to-do list.


f you’ve ticked the Cape Epic, joBerg2c, Sani and Tankwa Trek off your to-do list and are now looking for something completely different why not check out the Laikipia XC. Spend six days racing about in the Kenyan bush on the foothills of Mount Kenya and the Great Rift Valley. The 500 odd kilometre route is set to feature 10 000m of climbing and loads of unforgettable riding. The inaugural race is from the 7th to the 12th of July 2014 and you’ll need to take a partner along as it’s a team event. Entries are KES 100 000/US$ 1 200 per person, which works out to R12 500 on the Rand/Kenyan Shilling exchange of KES 1 = R0.125 (17 March 2014). You can enter online and find out all about the Laikipia XC by going to


SUS The Burry Stander S-Works Epic

Burry’s Bike

VISIT for more information on the Specialized Edition Burry Stander Epic.

At the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic Christoph Sauser and František Raboň rode very special bikes. In the unique burnt gold livery the Specialized Edition Burry Stander Epic bicycles are limited edition Burry Stander memorial editions. And you can own one too! Here’s what Specialized have to say about this breath-taking bike: “Burry “The Kid” Stander will always be remembered in the mountain bike world as a world-class competitor and wonderful person. We lost him, a teammate and dear friend, during a training ride on January 3, 2013. In his memory, Specialized will donate up to $50,000 from the sales of the Specialized Edition Burry Stander Epic to Burry’s beloved charity, Burry never had the chance to see his new Epic World Cup in completion, but we know he would have loved the dedicated single chainring and explosiveness of the World Cup frame, along with the more aggressive geometry. Just like Burry, this bike is all about going fast. The paint and graphics feature an African theme, while the South African flag and Stander’s personality are a permanent element of the design. We will always remember Burry, and we hope the donations from these 150 Specialized Edition bikes will help make South Africa a safer place to ride bicycles.”

Watch the Specialized Edition Burry Stander Epic video by scanning this QR code:

29 June - 4 July 2014 Grabouw - Knysna Enter @

550km in 6 days Houwhoek to Greyton To Swellendam To Riversdale To Hartenbos To George To Knysna

FS Kath peddles Karkloof crack

Karkloof Festival – put it on your bucket list


A long, long time ago, like 142 years ago writes Kathryn Fourie, a man named John Goodman Houshold stepped off a 300m high ridge in the Karkloof of KwaZulu Natal. John was not a foolish man, as when he leaped off that precipice in 1871, he was attached to one of the first gliders the world had ever seen.


ohn flew somewhere between 500m and 1km, and completely psyched after his triumphant flight, he went on to attempt a second which was successful - bar clipping a tree and him winding up with a broken leg. Unable to hide the buggered limb from his mother, John had to resign his glider to the shed of doom where it was eventually burned with other household rubbish. His mother was extremely worried that John had incurred the wrath of God for ‘challenging his natural state of being earth bound’. Additionally, John’s mates down at the Howick local thought he was ‘utterly and irresponsibly mad’. Fast forward to 2014, and I know why John did what he did. He spited damnation and the unknown to pursue what he really wanted to achieve, and there’s something in that Karkloof air, a special mineral in the water, a silent pulse in the life of a day out there that you can’t ignore. And that, guys, is why you should get your two-wheeled machines out to the forests to


experience the Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival. Sure the riding is pretty much phenomenal, but it’s John Goodman Houshold and the Stone Age tool discoveries, the druid standing stones and magical waterfalls, the tales of cave dwellers and leopards; that’s something you don’t get fuelling your legs and mind every day. At the risk of sounding cheesy, it’s sort of like riding through Narnia... The Sappi Karkloof Classic is one of those races that people travel from all over the country to attend, and its popularity is such that a number of events now make up the full weekend festival. Starting on Friday, the Sappi Karkloof Night Race is an awesome way to get the legs warmed up for the weekend away, seeing the forests in a whole new dimension of shadows and crisp air. The gruelling Sappi 60km Classic is well supported, taking riders right outback to the heights of Lebanon and big mountain riding, while the fast paced aQuellé 40km half marathon is still seen as the event of choice for many weekend

warriors. The aQuellé 20km and 10km routes are a favourite of families, kids and new riders; while the last two years have seen the new Stihl Enduro race format become ever more popular. I guess one of the main differences with the Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival and other races, is that it offers up tasty packaged snacks of trails that exist there all year long. The races are pretty much an extension of the network of trails that have been developed over the past twenty years, with a huge amount of love, support, blood, sweat and tears from the

Turvey family. Young Hylton Turvey’s name is often bandied about mountain biking circles these days, synonymous with tidy, progressive trails, flow, berms, excellent use of natural features and a penchant for building things that let you score air miles should you wish to. Funny that, John Goodman Houshold indeed... Anyway, if the existing trails themselves weren’t enough to get you over the price of petrol and that sort-of-friends birthday party you’ve been invited to on the 10th and 11th of May, perhaps the fact that a brandspanking new 40km route has been JAQUES MARAIS

You’ll be as happy as Larry post the Karkloof MTB Festival.




designed and built for the event may do the job. Trust me, I’ve seen the lime green route on Google Maps, and I know every dork who misses the race will be kicking themselves because it is not going to be a formally marked trail after the race. Huge stretches of unridden, virgin single track, freshly cut and pulsing with the Karkloof energy are waiting for the turn of your wheels. You are who you really are when you’re shredding KK on your bike, ne? And if the 40 and 60 are not really your thing, the STIHL Karkloof Enduro is going to do two things: 1. Make you wish you were fitter; and 2. put the fattest smile on your dial ever. With a whole new section exiting Bat Out of Hell, and the lengthy stretches of Jewitts Jive and Rene’s Rumble to reward you for the climbing, the STIHL Karkloof Enduro is probably one of the most true-to-form Enduro formats in South Africa. There’s no need to squish trails into limited space out in the Sappi Plantations, here the saying ‘trails for days’ is taken literally, not figuratively. Or as Sappi has coined it “You have the pace to go all the way. We have the space to take you there.” And when you’re done with riding, and your legs can’t possibly turn another revolution; cool off in the Karkloof River, chill with a few beers by the Falls (okay, not that close to the Falls, a responsible distance from the Falls) or take a trip into Howick to munch the famous Corner Post burgers and spy on the locals as the night closes in. You know, I guess that’s it. Some races are races, and others are game changers. The Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival is a really good way to cut your teeth on the style of trail tucked into this corner of the KZN Midlands, and it’s guaranteed to

have you checking your calendar for gaps to get down to us again soon. You’re going to want to ride the trails again, you’re going to want to ride them faster and stronger, and hit the features better than you did on race day. Man, I feel like I’m peddling crack. Come ride with us, do the race, come back for more. Jump off the ridge, fly your craft, pay tribute to the wild minds that have lived here, that still live here. Hell, you can even have your picture taken next to the John Goodman Houshold memorial and stick it on Facebook; Derek Turvey says “Squire, I’ll take the picture myself!”


The Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival: 9 – 11 May, 2014 Enter online: at

Race Navigation If you’ve done more than a few rides you’ve inevitably done it, missed a route marker and hared off in the wrong direction. Maybe you realised your mistake within meters or maybe you only found out 5km down the road when confronted by an intersection conspicuously unmarked. So Seamus Allardice had a look at the growing trend for GPS navigated events. Kathryn Fourie has become a bit of a regular in Full Sus lending us her considerable skills for the World Champs and introducing us to the life of a female downhiller. She’s from KZN, works for an NGO has a trail dog and a boyfriend called Mark Millar. Not Millah as she initially indicated on her official press pass application for the World Champs. JAQUES MARAIS

Experience “trails for days” go to


ith Kevin Evans and Co. taking a wrong turn in the final kilometres of the Cycle Tour’s mountain bike race the issue of route marking has once again been drawn into the spotlight. Here at Full Sus we’re firmly of the opinion that navigational skills, be it reading your GPS or just getting your eyes up and looking for route markers, are as much part of mountain biking as fitness or technical riding abilities (though being waved in the wrong direction by a marshal is a different matter.) I’m happy to admit that with my astigmatism and phobia for contact lenses I’m not the best person to preach on the matter of following route markings. So perhaps the move to GPS based navigation will be a good thing for me.

Why GPS? GPS navigated races aren’t new internationally but the inaugural Dusi2c in 2013 introduced South African mountain bikers to the concept and with the 2014 joBerg2c following suit it’s likely we’ll be seeing a lot more of them. As Dusi2c race director Glen Haw explained last year: “Parts of the race move through populated areas, and we know from previous experience that children love removing or worse, moving markers. Riders commit a lot of time and resources to taking part in a race like this, and they don’t want the frustration of having to

deal with getting lost on the course. With a GPS you cannot get lost.” Well, I’d suggest riders could still get lost, but their doing so would then undoubtedly be their own fault… Back to the why of GPS’s. It’s not just children moving route markers; the wind blows them over, animals bump them or the sweeps miss them and leave them to litter the route until the next race passes through. And then there’s the warning of an impending change in direction that a GPS provides which is so useful. So often in a traditionally marked race you’ll find yourself bombing down a hill towards a T-junction knowing you’re going to turn but which way is a mystery until you spot the route marker partially hidden behind a bush. By this time you’ve got hard on the brakes, inevitably committed to the wrong side of the road and now have to give way to the rider you just passed on the brief descent after sitting behind them up the last single track climb while they moaned and groaned painfully slowly to the top. With a GPS you’ll have an early warning as to which way you’ll have to turn. Allowing you to pick the best line to conserve your speed through the corners and avoid those wasted seconds of marker spotting (if you’re an average rider like me it’s not the time that hurts but the energy you lose in braking).

turn to page 10



Are route markers soon to be a thing of the past in stage races?

from page 9

Yip, cost is a factor. But then the Saturday race at a wine farm or in the local pine plantation is probably never going to go GPS navigated. Let’s face it, GPS navigation is going to be a feature of stage races, which given the entry fees and the bikes most entrants are riding hints at cost not being a major prohibiting issue. Plus in the age of smart training so many riders already boast a GPS device on their handle bars, even if it’s just to ensure the most accurate Strava segments possible. Early issues of uploading entire maps to the GPS device have been ironed out by races proving entrants with a simple GPX file which provides a Hansel and Gretel style “bread-crumb” route to follow. This means your GPS device will show a clear route, with no national/district road interference, a bold arrow and some devices will even provide a warning beep for an approaching change of course.

Picking a brand joBerg2c have suggested to their entrants that any of the following will work fine: the Bryton Rider 40 or Rider 60, Suunto’s Ambit or Ambit 2, PowerTap Joule GPS or any one of the range of Garmin GPS cycling computers or GPS multi-sport watches (though they advise that you research which allow for GPX uploading before making the purchase). Having done a bit of research myself it seems that most of the Garmin


GPS Issues

SUS the Garmin Edge 810: The good people of Garmin South Africa sent us an Edge 810 to test while researching this feature and we were really happy with how well it worked.

GPS units will let you upload GPX files directly to them, without having to resort to using Garmin Connect. Some devices do rely on marring to Garmin Connect online through Garmin Express on your PC to upload navigational files and while I haven’t had to do this and it sounds like a bit of a faf, so just go for the model which allows you to drop the GPX into the device as if it was a flash disk.

I jokingly told Michelle Hohls, Garmin’s Brand Communication Manager that I would refuse to read instruction manual because if the device isn’t user friendly enough to puzzle out with minimal effort then it’s not worth owning. Well, the 810 passed that test with flying colours, everything is laid out logically and if you can navigate a smart phone you’ve got nothing to fear. Even the most technophobic of Luddite will be able to operate the 810 without a problem. My only points of concern were the time it takes for the 810 to power up and acquire satellites. The establishment of GPS signal was slightly slower on the 810 than it was for Strava to establish GPS connection on my Sony


Xperia Go, on every ride. That’s not ideal but it’s also not a major concern, it’s just something to keep in mind before heading out on a ride. I’d suggest letting the Garmin find itself before you buckle up your helmet and pull on your gloves, that way it’ll be ready to go when you are. For GPS navigated races the Edge 810 is perfect, with its comparatively large screen and warning tones indicating an approaching change in course. Uploading GPX files to the 810 is also super easy, you just plug the unit into your computer, open the ‘external hardware’ file as you would for a flashdrive and drop the GPX file into the “NewFiles” folder. Edge 810


Edge 510


Remember to keep an eye on the trail though, not all hazards are GPS marked...

If you’re keen on a GPS take a look at Garmin’s offerings on their website, they do online sales at very competitive prices too.

Ride Report


The third and final leg of the Western Cape Interschool Series took place at Hoërskool DF Malan in Bellville on Sunday the 16th of March with 84 riders from 16 schools taking to the 460m long urban track to try their legs at cross country eliminator racing. Unfortunately there were not enough female entrants to run the girls division, but it’s something the organisers are working on for the KZN and Gauteng legs of the series. After three action packed events, the champions were crowned. In the u/14 it was three from three for Calla De Vos (Paul Roos Gymnasium) ahead of three times runner up Daniel Van Der Walt (Kenridge Primary), with Karl Prins (Bishops Diocesan College) showing that consistency pays off to round off the podium. The u/16 division offered great entertainment with a hard fought tussle for the top honours with the lead changing three times during the course of the series and finally having Joshua De Freitas (Parel Vallei High School) victorious over Neil Van Tonder (Hoërskool DF Malan) by the smallest of margins with Wynand Dippennaar (Hoérskool DF Malan) taking his place on the final spot of the podium.

nder, il Van To ght: Ne ri naar. n to e p ft Dip m le ynand ium fro W d , o s p a it u/16 De Fre Joshua nzsen, Lars Fra

nder, e Holla ht: Morn ruyn. g ri to om left be, Juri De B dium fr ub u/19 po Zyl, Manie L n a V c a Isa PHOTOS BY SNAPSPORT PHOTOS


fter a tough day of racing in the u/14, u/16 and u/19 boys categories the final WC series results were calculated. The WC races took place at: Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch, Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and Hoërskool DF Malan in Bellville, with racing taking place on very different courses ranging in terrain from single track, open fields and urban sections through the school buildings. As the series moved from one event to another, the riders and schools started working on team tactics and realised that it didn’t matter how far ahead of the field you were in a heat race, as the top two would advance and rather than racing further ahead, riders began to race smart and conserve energy for later rounds. A total of 111 riders entered the WC leg of the series from 21 different schools from around the province.

rius, nc Preto er Walt ght: Fra D left to ri r, Daniel Van m o fr ruge dium u/14 po Vos, Zander K e Calla D


In the u/19 series was pretty much a one man race with Manie Lubbe (Hoërskool DF Malan) being fairly unchallenged for top honours ahead of Alexander Rohrer (Bishops Diocesan College) whose two finals and quarter final result placed him ahead of Morne Hollander (Hoërskool DF Malan) who completed the top three. In the Schools division it was a dominant performance from Hoërskool DF Malan that rocketed them ahead of all the competition placing them on the top step of the podium ahead of hard fighting Paul Roos Gymnasium who finished second to edge out Bishops Diocesan College into third place. The Western Cape schools definitely set a high benchmark moving forward into KwaZulu Natal, in May, before the series moves to Gauteng later in the year. The national series is supported by Catlike Helmets and GoPro while the WC leg of the series has been sponsored by EnjoyFitness, Olympic Cycles, Freewheel Cycology, VeloLife and Chris Williamse Cycles who provided great prizes to get the young riders to dig extra deep in the battle for the podium. For more information on the Interschool XCE series and the KZN event dates go to or follow them on Twitter @One_Move_Ment.

FS Trails

Misty Mpumalanga Trails

Misty Valley rates as one of South Africa’s more established MTB trail destinations, and the recent upgrades to the trails means there’s now all the more reason to go ride here. Photographs and words: Jacques Marais. Local Buzz: A scenic cruise through the highlying grasslands of Mpumalanga gets you to Misty Valley Bike Park where it languishes at 2 000m above Emgwenya (New SA code for Waterval Boven). High altitude riding means you may have to deal with anything from savage thunderstorms to icy mist, so it’s lekker to know that you can duck into the ‘Mad Dog in the Fog’ Pub or ‘Knight & Boar’ Restaurant for a post-ride cooldown (or warm-up). Other activities include game viewing, fly-fishing, trail running, tennis, bird watching, archery, horse riding, or a visit to the Sudwala Caves.

Trail Low-Down: The beauty of Misty Valley is that location atop the plateau generally

makes for a flat and very fast blast, but with a whole bunch of delightful little swerves and switchbacks thrown into the mix to keep your ride punchy. Local trails guru Garth Flanders is in charge of the show here, and a lot of work has gone into some nifty new bridges and boardwalks amidst the rocky outcrops in the build-up to last year’s Misty Valley 24hr Event. A range of well-marked trail routes start from the Bike Wash area, mostly spider-webbing out in the direction of the main entrance to Misty Valley. Wooden directional markers are colour-coded, so finding your way should be quite straight-forward if you keep paying a bit of attention as you blast along the purpose-built single-track. The most difficult thing about


Misty Valley will probably be which of the trails to go ride… If you’re keen on an Easy option, the nonchallenging Stonehenge Loop meanders amidst the archetypical Misty Valley standing stones. The route combines a bit of everything, with some gravel road, jeep- track, single-track and no less than seven wooden bridge crossings. Another route perfect for beginner riders is the Loch Ness Trail; this ride takes you on a looped circuit of the upper property, or you could link onto the Ambleside Trail to go and explore lower down. Intermediate rides include the Hadrian’s Wall Route, with numerous bridges, some technical sections through the rocks, tight single-track and a few sharp but short climbs. My riding partner Matt and I played to our heart’s content on both Hadrian’s Wall as well as in the Fingal’s Forest section, where game footpaths loop in tight turns before blasting onto a handful of bridge crossings and some funky drop-offs as you crank at speed back to the start area near the lodge itself. Up the ante a bit along a few tough climbs on the Munro Bagger Trail, but with the best views in the area as a just reward. And then – if you rate yourself as a bit of a hard core cranker, there is always the ‘Gorge of the Gods’, featuring loads of big-ass drop offs, steep climbs, rocky sections, technical descents and narrow paths. You’re going to need your sense of humour for this one, and preferably a proper dual-

susser to soften the knocks. Good news is that there are some pretty okay bikes for rent at Misty Valley. They come in a full range of sizes, so if you’re ever up here without your bike, feel free to pop in!

Getting there: Follow the N4 from Witbank to Belfast, then turn right at Machadodorp. From here, follow the Badplaas Road (R541 for 13km, then turn left on Slaaihoek Road for a further 12km till you see the Misty Valley Lodge entrance.

Jacques Marais is the author of Top MTB Trails, and will be keeping you up to speed with the best rides in SA. You can find out more at






Mpumalanga Pretoria North Misty ◆ West Valley Lodge SwaziJohannesburg land N1

Free State

SUS the Misty Valley Trails:


Trails where are we?

The Misty Valley Trails are about 2 and a half hours drive from Johannesburg in the heart of Mpumalanga’s Highland Meander. It’s situated on one of the highest farms (above sea level) in Mpumalanga.

Grading: Beginner to Extreme Duration: 30min – 3.5hrs Configuration: Nearly a dozen trails: circular and return options

Terrain: Gravel roads, dual-track, purpose-built single-track, wooden bridges

Beware: Summer thunder storms; boardwalk sections when wet

Post-Ride Beer: Definitely the ‘Mad Dog in the Fog’ Pub!

Must-Do Event: Misty Valley 24 Hour –

Access: Day permits available from lodge Start Point: Misty Valley Lodge Cell Reception: Reception along most of route Accommodation: All your accommodation needs – from basic camping to luxury, fully-serviced rooms –

Local Contact: Garth Flanders - (079) 404 5858 GPS: S25˚45’ 14.5” / E030˚ 26’ 08.3

The Altech Autopage Jozi2Kozi is a unique event which celebrates our South African cultural and natural heritage! The Altech Autopage Jozi2Kozi is about an experience of our country on the back roads, footpaths & cattle paths of our unique country, experiencing our unique cultures, wildlife & countryside along the way. From the game reserves which we traverse on our bikes to the Zulu villages we overnight in, the bush veldt paths we traverse. 7 days, 700km’s, the Altech Autopage Jozi2Kozi is a lifetime experience! The 7 day route starts just outside Nigel on the edge of Jozi, the first 2 days route crosses the mielie farms of Mpumalanga following the rising sun. Gently undulating for most of the route, beware the odd climb which seems to rise harmlessly out of the flatlands! By day 3 we drop down the escarpment to the German community of Luneberg before traversing game reserves ending on day 4 at the awesome hilly Ithala Game Reserve. Here we have some lighting fast drops down mountain passes, both single track and gravel roads. On day 4 we enter Zululand, traverse the broken thorn veldt scattered with thatch kraals, herds of traditional Nguni Zulu cattle and daily rural life, where we have an amazing cultural experience in a Zulu kraal. Single tracks, steep fast downhill’s and sharp short hills characterise this section. On the last few days we enter lush flat Pongola floodplain where we sleep next to Lake Sibaya surrounded by fish eagles and hippos, where we feast on local Thonga cuisine! Sandy jeep tracks make the going a little tougher as we head to the end at Kosi Bay on the Indian Ocean.

23 – 29 August 2014


Cost - Single: R 10 000 | Double: R 18 000

FS Life through movement

What can a Biokineticist do for you?

As a mountain biker there are a host of healthcare practitioners out there who can help you. Help you improve your performances, help you recover faster, help you avoid injuries and generally just help you to enjoy your time on the bike. We all know what a Dietitian can do for us, and a session with a Skills Coach will pay immediate dividends, but what is a Biokineticist? So in the interests of rider education we called on Stellenbosch based Biokineticist Tammy Reader to provide you with a crash course. What is a Biokineticist? Broken down, the word biokinetics means life through movement. Movement is a defining element of the quality of life. Biokineticists prescribe scientifically based physical activity programmes to promote health, maintain and improve physical abilities and facilitate the rehabilitation of injury. They’re medically trained therapists that are recognised and registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and their primary function is to improve physical functioning and health, through exercise. Biokineticists have a broad scope of practice and depending on the reason for your consultation; a biokineticist can evaluate and measure posture, body composition, blood pressure, glucose levels, cholesterol levels, lung function, heart rate, physical fitness, muscle strength, endurance, power and flexibility. Once this individualised assessment is complete, the biokineticist will prescribe an exercise programme specific to your needs. This will aim to improve your physical status and quality of life, by targeting your goal of rehabilitation, fitness, wellness or high performance.

Biokinetics and Mountain biking Although hours in the saddle are extremely important, it is also imperative to keep your muscles balanced, through strengthening areas that will prevent injuries and complement your pedalling. It is important to train to cycle, not the other way around. Cyclists need to work on improving posture and core mobility, stability and strength. While sitting for hours on the bike, it’s very important to maintain healthy posture to avoid back and neck injuries. Correct posture also improves your breathing ability, allowing more oxygen to reach your muscles, for greater endurance and better recovery. Cycling incorporates all of


your major leg muscles and is a comprehensive leg workout. However, overuse injuries are a concern and if imbalances in your body are present, compensation could increase your risk of injury. Cyclists often complain of lower back, knee, foot and neck pain. Assuming your bike set up is correctly, these overuse injuries often occur due to the repetitive nature of cycling. So, what can a biokineticist do for you? A biokineticist would first identify muscle imbalances, weaknesses and/or limited flexibility. Secondly, they would prescribe various exercises to rectify this. Strong legs and core, with adequate upper body endurance, increases your riding efficiency, especially when motoring through technical terrain. A few individualised strengthening/stretching exercises should be done at least three times a week. This will help you manoeuvre around difficult obstacles with ease and efficiency during longer rides. Just as your technical skills form a central part of your overall endurance, the exercises prescribed by a biokineticist will improve your ability to perform on the bike. Your ability to maintain a good posture will help with breathing and reduce discomfort which in turn will reduce the energy you need to expend. It’ll also make it easier to concentrate on the trail helping you take the right line, which also reduces the energy you waste. Your individualised strengthening and stretching programme will complement your time in the saddle. Cross training and core conditioning can help distribute the forces generated in mountain biking and decrease overuse injuries. Your core forms a vital platform that helps power your legs during cycling and supports you while tackling tricky single tracks. It promotes stability and helps you to transfer force to your arms and legs. So what is your core? Roughly speaking, your torso, can be referred to as your core. The most important core muscles form a cylindrical, solid base of support and lie in your stomach and

“A BIOKINETICIST CAN EVALUATE AND MEASURE POSTURE, BODY COMPOSITION, BLOOD PRESSURE, GLUCOSE LEVELS, CHOLESTEROL LEVELS, LUNG FUNCTION, HEART RATE, PHYSICAL FITNESS, MUSCLE STRENGTH, ENDURANCE, POWER AND FLEXIBILITY” lower to mid back area. The front side of the cylinder includes the abdominal muscles, while the back side of the cylinder includes the lower back muscles. The bottom of the cylinder comprises the pelvic floor and the top of the cylinder comprises your diaphragm. The peripheral core muscles include the hips and shoulder/neck muscles. Core exercises improve your balance and stability, not only having a positive effect on your cycling, but also improving your overall daily functioning.

Why should I see a Biokineticist? Whether you currently have a nagging injury, want to improve your cycling or balance your body, a biokineticist would be able to help you! Biokineticists help build a functional, sports specific program, tailor-made for you to improve your weaknesses and achieve your riding goals.

Tammy Reader is a registered biokineticist based in Stellenbosch. She is a mountain biker and trail runner and enjoys incorporating her practical experience into her work. For further information on biokinetics you can email Tammy at:

Introducing the Joplin: A do it all ladies MTB When we dropped of the sky blue Juliana Joplin at Debbie Stopforth’s Dynamicbikefit Studio we could tell she couldn’t wait to give it a go. And she promised to take it for her Tuesday group ride to give it a proper shake down. Photography by Julia Andrade.

SUS The Geometry

Due to the nature of her job Debbie Stopforth of, gets to work with lots of bikes and has come to enjoy matching and setting up bikes for riders (some bikes just match some body types). She’s ridden so many different bikes in all forms and sizes that she’s got a great frame of reference and in fact her riding buddies have lost track of which bike is actually her own.


Medium frame: All measurements in mm or ° Seat Tube ....................... 444.5 Top Tube ......................... 587.2 Head Tube ..........................100 Bottom bracket height ..331.1 Head tube angle .......... 70.2° Seat tube angle ...........72.4° Chain Stay ..................... 445.3 Wheel base ...................1091.8 Stand over height ..... 724.89 Stack .................................619.8 Reach ...............................390.2


The Juliana Joplin shares the Tall Boy’s celebrated Virtual Pivot Point to ensure the most stable pedalling platform possible.


Bike review


y Tuesday group of riders, The Trail and Tar Tarts, were keen to see how the bike would handle on our planned 50km ride. We include road and off road riding as part of our Sani2C training so it’s a good first test ride. Most of us were a little skeptical as women’s specific bikes are not usually as well specked as the men’s bikes. So I was extremely excited to see the Joplin had some amazing features. I’m 1.72m tall and fortunately the bike arrived all ready for me to jump onto! A 90mm stem and medium frame were perfect. So we headed out towards the Constantia greenbelt. I loved the CTD adjustments and three-step Trail Tuning Range. I could really feel the difference between the climb, trail and descend settings and had fun playing with these. The VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) suspension gave an amazing balance of pedal efficiency and the suspension was so smooth. I was thrilled at its ability to eliminate the feeling of “bobbing” that one gets when the suspension is not sensitive to its settings. The Juliana Joplin is a carbon women’s specific 29er mountain bike and I was delighted with how comfortable yet rugged it felt, all in one. I personally prefer a longer reach and the ability to get into an aggressive racey position. The Joplin felt very spacious in the cockpit area but still allowed me to power up the hills and descend over rough terrain with ease. The front fork on the test bike had 100mm of travel but the bike comes standard with a 120mm travel fork. The suspension is awesome, and I felt in total control at all times. The bike comes with Shimano Deore XT drive train and disc brakes. The one feature that I did not enjoy though was that it has been designed to have small handlebar tube to facilitate thinner grips for women. My hands are not particularly large, but I battled with the smaller grips even experiencing numb hands after the ride. It’s definitely a feature I would change when setting the bike up for a client who does not have tiny hands. The test model weighed in at just under 12kg’s (when we washed the mud off) which helps it climb. I will certainly recommend it to the clients who are looking for a bike to carry them through the trails with comfort, confidence and ease. This 29er rolls over anything and if you are looking to play in the forest on the trails or tackle a three day stage race, the Juliana Joplin will do both with ease. The Juliana has the same frame geometry as the Santa Cruz Tall Boy. I have ridden the Tall Boy and have always recommended it for clients who are looking for a more comfortable ride and a slightly more upright body position. I will now suggest the Joplin for women who are looking for these same features in a bike. After riding the Joplin I can now say with extreme confidence that the Juliana Joplin is an amazing Cross Country bike for women. There are three symbols on the top tube which puzzled us all at first. I went back to my Studio and looked up what they meant. The three symbols stand for POWERFUL: BEAUTIFUL: NATURAL. Definitely sounds good, but I have to admit and great as the bike made me feel on my ride I still enjoy the good old “PEDAL DAMMIT” sign.


FS Coaching

Training with


Training with power and the use of power meters have become increasingly popular. In this article Dr Mike Posthumus discusses the benefits of training with power for all levels of riders.


n the November Full Sus Coaching column (visit the-coach-dr-mike-postumus/ for a refresher) I discussed heart rate training zones. These heart rate training zones are used to prescribe training intensity. In a similar fashion, power, as measured by a power meter may also be used. This method of training, power training, is becoming increasingly popular. There has been a lot of debate about using these two modalities, training with a power meter vs. training with heart rate monitor. However, in my personal opinion, the added benefit of a power meter (or training according to power zones) is not so much in the prescription of training, but rather the objective measure of performance or progression provided by the power meter. Although this viewpoint may be contrary to what other coaches may be preaching, there is sufficient evidence that the training adaptations from both heart rate training and power based training will yield similar gains. This may be explained through reminding you that optimal performance benefit is achieved through polarised training, i.e. prescription of polarised intensities of 20% near maximal training and 80% very easy. Near maximal intensity, weather the intensity is prescribed by a power meter, heart rate monitor or simply a maximal effort results in a very similarly performed session. Do not think that I am antipower meter. I think power meters are an exceptionally valuable tool. Their major benefits, to me personally, are in the objective measurement they provide. It does not take one long to realise that training and racing never becomes easy, it never stops hurting, you just manage to go faster or further for the same amount of discomfort. It therefore becomes very important to ensure that you have objective measures


of progress, especially if you are training for the sole reason to improve your cycling performance. Below I have summarised a few key benefits of a power meter. In addition, although a power meter is the ultimate objective measure of progress, my recommendations to novices and those who are not able to afford a power meter are also summarised below:

Benefits of a power meter: The primary benefit of a power meter is to accurately measure performance and progression of each training session or specific interval or effort within a training session. ◆ A power value (watts) may be used to prescribe training intensity. ◆ A power meter may be an additional motivator or “carrot” during interval training or hard efforts. ◆ A power meter allows for an accurate determination of training load and therefore assist in athlete training load management.

Alternatives for beginners or those who cannot afford power meters: For training prescription, similar training adaptations can be achieved through correct heart rate based training methods. As one of the primary benefits of a power meter is a subjective measure of performance, other performance measures may be used. These include measured performance during time trials or other measured during specific training sessions. For example, I always recommend athletes who do not have power meters to perform their hill repeats on the same hill. Distance covered up the hill in the allotted time may therefore become the measurable outcome. When used correctly, Strava (an extremely popular app and web based GPS training tool) may also assist you in tracking your performance. Strava has an

Dr. Mike Posthumus is an accomplished academic with UCT’s Exercise Science and Sports Medicine faculty and a coach with Science 2 Sport. He was a provincial rugby player before switching togs for cleats and taking up competitive mountain biking. He has an exceptional knowledge of training periodisation and scientific training principles. Find out more at extremely useful feature which allows athletes to view the performance of every effort over a specific “segment”.

What are the power meter options available? Currently in the MTB power meter market, there are only a few options available. The power meters may be situated in either

the rear hub, crank arm, crank spider or pedal. Currently, the options include rear hub based power meters (Powertap), crank based power meters (SRM, Power2max etc., Quarq currently discontinued), crank arm power meters (Stages). Currently Powertap’s are the most popular power meter available.


Food for Thought: Brain vs. Brawn?

Nutrition FS

It’s all we read about at the moment, every new article telling us how to reach our peak performance but what about the engine that drives us? Not your heart, your brain. This month Rochez O’Grady provides nutritional advice for keeping your mind sharp.


ur brain, comparatively larger than other species (although sometimes I have my doubts), is made up of 100 billion nerve cells called neurons. These essentially collect and communicate using electrochemical signals, and for them to converse with each other they use neurotransmitters, which are chemicals made from amino acids – the building blocks of protein foods. They allow messages to be carried between neurons which influence mood, thinking and sleep patterns. The connections continuously change and rewire as specific vitamins and minerals are used in this process. As we age our lights become dimmer and this is because the neurons’ ability to communicate is reduced. Now we all want to stay bright and bushy tailed for as long as we can so here’s a few tips on keeping that good ol’ brain fit:

Carbohydrates Carbohydrates, yes I said it, the dreaded C-word. The brain’s only fuel is glucose - this means that the 120g it guzzles up daily needs to be given consistently so eating every 3 hours helps to keep your glucose levels steady (eating small amounts regularly). Sometimes you can experience symptoms such as light-headedness or dizziness and this can be a result of a glucose dip - which your brain feels. Speaking of which, how does your brain feel something? As glucose levels drop, there is a decreased level of dopamine, which is used to increase focus and concentration. Subsequently, an increase in levels of serotonin and adenosine also causes fatigue. Glucose is the building block of carbohydrates so another benefit of

eating carbs during training is that it lowers blood levels of your stress hormone, cortisol. Insulin is released as a result of glucose entering the body, which lowers the levels of ammonia in the brain and blood. Ammonia impairs muscle metabolism and is toxic to the brain.

Water A no brainer really. The majority of our bodies and blood is water, and blood delivers nutrients to the brain. Try to drink 8 glasses of water a day; no one wants to shrivel up into a prune.

Omega 3s The essential fatty acid, omega 3s, “essential”, meaning our body can’t make it so we need to get it from food. A big part of our brain sheath is made of fats. This healthy fat helps your brain to have effective conversing, reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system. Not getting enough omega 3s has been associated with depression and other brain disorders. The best sources of these amazing fats are found in fatty fish, such as sardines, pilchards, herring, mackerel, trout and salmon. We should be aiming to eat those twice a week. Give it a try, a tin of sardines, once you get past the smell and look, it is delicious. If not, an omega 3 supplement will do. For those that don’t eat fish, walnuts contain the high amount of omega 3s too.

Antioxidants They sound really healthy, but

SUS the Essentials The three vital neurotransmitters are: dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin.

full sus M T B O NLI NE

what are they? The most important element for the brain is oxygen. So much so that it manages to use up half of our total oxygen intake. A by-product of oxygen use are free radicals, which play a role in the deterioration of our mind and body. They cause us to age in all senses of the word. You might have guessed it already but antioxidants are nutrients that can deactivate or slow down this effect. Sources of antioxidants are vitamins A, E and C and these are found in almost all fruit and vegetables. At least half your plate at lunch and dinner needs to be filled with salad and/or vegetables. Phytochemicals are another form of antioxidants; great sources are fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. A few examples of powerful sources include blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, broccoli, oranges, red grapes, red bell peppers and kiwis.

B vitamins Vitamin B12 prevents degeneration of nerves, brain tissue and the spinal cord. Animal foods are great sources such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and poultry. Try a supplement if you’re a dairy-phobe. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) helps to convert tryptophan into serotonin, which is our happy hormone. So try including chicken, fish, whole grains, nuts and legumes into your diet to ensure you’re getting enough B6. Folic Acid is needed to metabolise fatty acids in the brain. Green leafy vegetables, dried peas and beans will help boost your folic acid intake. Knowledge is power, so feed your brain with the right stuff.

Rochez O’Grady (pronounced r-OH-shay) is a registered Dietitian and runs her own practice called MunchWize. She focuses on educating and motivating her clients in practical ways to follow a healthy lifestyle and achieve personal health goals. You can find out more about MunchWize at www.munchwize. or ask Rochez your nutrition related questions at

Get your MTB fix online now at is growing. Read the latest MTB News. Organise your MTB life with our comprehensive MTB specific calendar. Browse for health care professionals in your area to treat your MTB induced injuries or find a coach to help you outperform your mates. And now you can also use to buy second hand bikes and gear or sell your old bikes and gear. Check it out at

Are You Physiotherapy FS Set-Up for Injury?

FS MTB Skills Guru

As a cyclist, you rely heavily on a good bodybike (biomechanical) relationship, explains Sarah Walker. If you overuse certain joints, muscles or tendons repetitively over a period of time, you could get an overuse injury.


Mastering Sand

Riding in sand can be one of the trickiest techniques to master, but with James Thornhill-Fisher’s advice in mind you need not look for a place to fall the next time you spot sand on the trail.


he type and consistency of sand can vary tremendously depending upon environmental factors, and require different riding techniques. Wet sand is a pleasure. But that white powdery stuff is the real challenge. And if you’re faced with a lot of sand (more than a kilometre or two), it will be worth your while to deflate your tyres considerably for better traction and to allow you to ‘float’ over the sand rather than cut through it. Entering the sandy stretch with as much speed as possible will help you maintain valuable momentum, for when the going gets tough. Usually, in loose or deep sand, it is best to stay on your seat and keep your weight back on the back part of the saddle. The idea is to keep your front wheel light so that it doesn’t plough under and throw you off the bike! It is important to keep your body relaxed, and let the front wheel float a bit, but try not to let it turn or wander off course. It is advisable to keep up your momentum. Keep looking far ahead and try and maintain as straight a line as possible. Use even pedal strokes, and try not to make any sudden movements, spinning is good, but not too chaotically. Keep it smooth! Steer your bike by gradually leaning your body and not turning the handlebars. Try not to apply too much power to the pedals as this will break the surface tension on the sand and cause your back wheel to dig in, in turn causing you to stiffen up and hold tighter (white knuckle) on the handlebars and this will send the bike off line. Some sand may be impossible to ride through regardless of your technique (practice by riding on the deep sand at the beach!) As a last


resort, you may have to stand up and pedal to use the weight of your body to generate force, but this is usually a last resort and you will most likely soon come to an abrupt stop. If you know you are going to be riding/ racing where there is a lot of sand, or like to ride in the sand dunes, use the widest tires your bike will accept to allow for maximum floatation. Be prepared to pedal hard to keep going, but at least if you do wipe-out or endo you will have a soft landing… There’s a saying from an unknown author that I like to quote when it comes to sand: “A single grain of sand can go unnoticed, but when it assembles together it can begin to conspire against you.” But don’t let the sand get you down, practice the pointers I provided above and if you’re faced with more sand than you can handle remember pushing your bike is cross training.

Ensure that your saddle is level.


hen physiotherapists treat injuries like this we look at possible causes of the injury. These causes can be extrinsic factors such as sport equipment, training errors or shoes. Or they can be intrinsic factors which involve the body such as muscle flexibility, muscle imbalances and joint stability. Your knee should be directly above the centre of your pedal when the cranks are running parallel to the ground.

Changing your bike set-up The set-up of your bike is the most important extrinsic factor relating to cycling injuries. Let’s have a look at what corrections you can make to your bike to ease the pain or injury you may be experiencing:

Neck or lower back pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too far back, too high or tilted; or your handlebars are too low.

Mid back pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too far forward, tilted up or down rather than level; or your handlebars are too low.

Hip (butt) pain or Hamstring (back of the thigh) pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too high or too far back. Note the knee driving straight through the centre of the pedal

Iliotibial band ITB (outer knee): Likely causes: your saddle is too high or too far back; or your cleats are turned in.

Anterior (front) knee pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too low or too far forward; or your cleats are turned in.

James Thornhill-Fisher, the MTB Guru, has over 25 years of cycling and mountain biking experience and has ridden over 60 000km’s in the last 5 years leading numerous Cape Epic trial rides along the way. You can book a one on one skills session or find out more by going to

Posterior (back) knee pain: Likely causes: usually arising from the anterior knee problem or a hamstring injury, see above for likely causes. If your saddle is too low, it’ll force your knees forward of the centre line and cause your shoulders to hunch too.

Quadriceps (thigh) pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too low or too far forward.


pain: SGroin Likely cause: your saddle is too high. Calf/Achilles tendon pain: Likely causes: your saddle is too high; or your foot is too far back on the pedal.

Numb foot: Likely causes: your shoes are strapped too tight; or the pedal pressure on foot is not through the ball of the foot.

Numb hands: Likely cause: you put too much weight through your hands due to saddle being too high or too far forwards.


Reducing your Carbon Footprint on the R62 near Calitzdorp

Feeling unstable on bike: Likely cause: your handlebars are too high.

Sarah Walker is a is a sports physiotherapist who has been involved with treating cyclists for 15 years. She’s worked at many MTB at stage races around the country and from e her Cape Town practice sees many a sic sports person. She teaches Pilates and is a fitness trainer for tennis academy. Sarah an believes that a thorough sports specific assessment followed by a well-planned y, exercise programme to treat the cause of the problem is the key to gtting her patients back to full health and sporting success. Go to www.walkerphysiotherapy. for more info or send your questions st to

to at



Your injuries may not be due to bike set-up. There are other possible causes of overuse ar injuries, but bike set-up is the han easiest factor to address so we try ow. making the changes there first. I’d suggest making small changes to your bike set-up. For high example: 1mm to 5mm when shifting the saddle or handlebar ee): position. Your cleats should be high shifted to mid position. When tweaking your set-up choose ONE factor to change at a time. For example, if you are ow experiencing pain in the front of re your knee try shifting your saddle up by 5mm. If that does not lead to an improvement, shift saddle backwards 5mm. Then check cleat m position is not rotated in or out. ely If changing your bike setup does not improve your symptoms within a few rides, ow consult an experienced Sports Physiotherapist.

Jeanne-Louise Wiese had to admit she knew precious little about Calitzdorp before her recent stint in the area to consult on the flood damaged roads. She’d thought it was just a Route 62 town on the way to Oudtshoorn or a place to buy Port but she soon found out it was so much more.


ell buy Port was all we did on our first trip through the town, and of course remind myself why I never eat/ ate/will eat tripe. But for those who enjoy the acquired taste, you can pop into Dorpshuis restaurant and enjoy some curry infused intestines, or just be normal and eat steak. The town is surrounded by the Swartberg Mountains in the north, Rooiberge to the South and the mountains of the Huisriver Pass to the West. This mountainous landscape lends itself to floods, droughts and extreme weather which can offer the traveller very hot temperatures in summer to snow clad mountaintops in winter. If you really want to know what drew me to this place you would have to pack your “roughing it” attitude and paraffin lamps, before heading out of Calitzdorp towards Ladismith on the R62. Turn off at Matjiesvlei, before you get to Huis River pass and get lost in this scenic valley. I stumbled across this road on a work trip and was very impressed by the selfcatering facilities on offer. The beauty of this place is that it’s completely hidden and tucked away at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. If you follow the Gamka River that leads to the Gamkapoort Dam, you can enjoy stunning sunsets and the glorious Karoo night sky, completely untarnished by the city’s smog and streetlights. It’s the perfect place for magnificent night rides. Matjiesvlei is also situated close to the famous Bosch Luys Kloof Nature Reserve. The area possesses the highest level of natural beauty in respect of geology, fossils, botanical value, scenic beauty and potential mountain biking trails. The area is very well known for its indigenous flora and especially the 200 species of succulents which only occur in this area and nowhere else on earth. With a floral diversity ranging from Renosterveld, Klein Swartberg fynbos, succulent Karoo, Rivierbosveld, Gannaveld and Spekboomveld there is never a lack of stimulation for the senses. You can also contribute to

a reduction in your carbon footprint. Since you will already be cycling through the area, you can also be assured that all the carbon dioxide that you exhale as well as your exhaust fumes on your way there will be absorbed by the Spekboom plant, which occur in abundance there. Spekboom can store 20 kilograms of carbon per square meter of vegetation or 200 tons of carbon per hectare, which is equivalent to taking 37 cars off the road for a year. It would be quite interesting if one could measure the carbon footprint of a race such as the Expedition Blackberg to take place in this area in May 2014, when almost all the carbon emitted during that weekend could potentially be captured by these plants, since they are abundant in this arid environment. The benefit of being able to travel in such a conservation focused area is that it is very likely that you can spot animals like the Cape Hyrax and Verreaux Eagle, Kudu, Duiker, Klipspringer, black-backed jackal, caracal, leopard, Cape baboons, Genet and Honey Badgers, amongst many other species. The selection of sedimentary rock types in the area include the Table Mountain, Bokkeveld group and Witteberg group make for interesting rock formations. These can be seen in the valleys which has been eroded and shaped by the rivers which has been flowing there for thousands of years. When these rivers flow through the Great Swartberge in the Klein Karoo, the Buffels and Olifants Rivers join in and eventually becomes the Gouritz River which flows into the Indian Ocean near Mossel Bay. So it is interesting to note that all the water collected in these mountain catchment areas eventually lead to the ocean and supply drinking, irrigation, sewage and recreational water to hundreds of communities along the way. So always be mindful not to discard waste and pollutants into the water streams. Just like these interlinking streams, the trails around there are simply never-ending, but always

remember to ask for permission to cycle on private land when coming across a gate or fence. I think some members of our cycling community have done enough to scar the reputation of road cyclists recently, so let’s not do the same for mountain biking.


Jeanne-Louise Wiese is a Senior Environmental Practitioner for engineering, management and specialist technical services giant Aurecon. As an avid MTBer she has the good fortune of consulting on the Provincial Department of Transport to upgrade and maintenance programme for gravel roads, so she gets to visit secluded areas and take her bike along.


FS Amarider

Trail design considerations In previous issues we touched on the economic sustainability of trails and how these factors impact on the trail planning process. In the third article on trail development, Meurant Botha wants to move closer to mountain and focus on the design considerations of the planning process. Any earthworks in a natural environment creates an impact and as a trailbuilder it is imperative that you acknowledge this. South African environmental regulations are guided by the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA). Depending on the scale and location of your activity, you may ‘trigger’ certain legislative processes of which an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is probably the one that you would want to avoid most, as these have to be conducted by independent experts and can cost R150 000 and beyond. Typically you would trigger an EIA as soon as you operate within nature reserves, wetlands and any similar habitats. Generally, trail building is not a ‘listed activity’, meaning that most trails fall outside the ambit of an EIA. It is very important to note that each province has different environmental rule-sets and it is best to consult with a local expert before putting a spade in the ground. In Gauteng, for example, all ridges are deemed sensitive and you might require an environmental scan (a low level EIA) before moving any soil. It is therefore pretty clear that environmental considerations can have a serious impact on your design process. A good rule is to avoid waterways, wetlands and other sensitive habitats when designing your route.

Social impact Whenever I design a route I try to eliminate the ‘nuisance factor’ from the start. Avoid building trails close to homesteads, farm yards or places where the trail activity can lead to a negative experience for the local residents or business operations. Your trail user will also benefit from this approach, as you’re less likely to encounter rabid dogs on your ride.



Environmental impact

New forest trail on Delheim Wine Estate

An often ignored design consideration is the aesthetic impact of the trail. A trail must always enhance the environment and certainly not be an eyesore. Many 4x4 trail builders simply took bulldozers up mountain slopes, leaving scars on the mountainsides that are visible from miles away. On the contrary, a well-designed pass hugging the slopes of a mountain can be considered a work of art (a very biased trailbuilder’s opinion!) and certainly enhances the user experience. It can also be very possible that the meandering flow of your trail design could prove to be aesthetically pleasing, but more importantly offer an enjoyable to ride for your MTB visitors.

trail network. Erratic flow will not appeal to this target market. Despite what we believe the riders want, all statistics point towards the basic fact that the bulk of mountain bikers in SA are not technically proficient. AmaRider’s latest project has focused the first six months of construction on building easy access trails, to ensure that the bulk of the market can reach the higher elevations without unnecessary effort and traverse on smooth, groomed surfaces. Now that the base network is constructed, the focus can shift to the more technical trail options. It is also important to provide progression opportunities for novice riders as most riders aspire to improve their skills and we’d love to see more riders riding the technical stuff. Also ensure that you offer sufficient trail miles to offer a rewarding experience without creating a maze of parallel tracks purely for the sake of adding distance.

Target Market


Before you hit the slopes with your GPS, you need to have a clear plan and idea of who your target market is going to be. If you are building trails for general tourism you need to ensure that your design focuses on green and blue grade trails in order to appeal to the majority of the riding market. This means that you need gentle grades and a core network of green/ easy trails to form the base of your

In a previous article we discussed the general economics of trails in detail. Of course, your design can have a huge impact on the project budget. Beautiful swing bridges and canopy trails will send your budget through the roof so make sure your design stays in sync with your budget. Steep, technical trails are generally more expensive to maintain so it is important to keep maintenance costs in mind

The risk of an accident is also greater when trail users need to negotiate tractors or delivery vehicles.


Location How will visitors get to your trail, where will they park, pee and pay? You could have the greatest trail system but if access is compromised by bad roads, gates and problem landowners you could have some real sustainability issues on your hands. Also most trail systems derive revenue from hosting events so facilities such as parking are critical.

Meurant Botha is the founder and director of AmaRider. AmaRider is a South African non-profit company with the aim of improving MTB opportunities on the African continent. Contact them at 021 8844547 or or visit the website at

Kleinhans Muesli

Ariane bewys haar tegniese vaardighede by die Tankwa Trek



Gevare van fietsry As ’n fietsryer is Erik Kleinhans wel bewus van die gevare wat hom daagliks in die oë staar terwyl hy sy sport beoefen. As ’n fietsryer wat getroud is aan ’n mede-fietsryer, is hy vanselfsprekend nog ekstra bewus van die risiko’s waaraan sy beter helfte ook op ’n daaglike basis blootgestel is terwyl sy êrens bo in die berge rondjaag.

natuurlik die ergste... Ariane het nog so bietjie gaan trap op haar eie na haar tegniese oefensessie, en in ’n draai het sy konsentrasie verloor en êrens gedurende haar eenvoudige val het iets skerp haar linkerboud oopgesny. Die sny is 20 sentimeter is vir my gesê. Hoe kan dit wees? Ek kon dit nie glo tot ek dit self gesien het nie! As daar nou een ding is wat altyd vir my uitstaan in die bergfietsbedryf waarin ons onself bevind, is dit die eenheid tussen die ryers, hoe hulle kan saamstaan, die vriendskappe wat opgebou word en hoe almal vir mekaar kan omgee. Ons ken vir Marleen al ‘n klompie jare, want sy is ook gek oor bergfietsry. Sy bly in Durbanville




o, ’n mens is nie altyd seker hoe jy gaan voel as jy ’n effe histeriese oproep van jou vrou af kry nie.. Ariane was die dag uit saam met haar vriend en tegniese vaardighede-afrigter, Sven Lauer. Ek het nie eers geweet hulle is 50 kilometer weg by die Meerendalroetes nie, so gewoond raak mens aan die daaglikse roetine van oefen. Terwyl ek rustig op Ride In se stoep sit en middagete geniet, kry ek onverwags ‘n baie histeriese oproep van Ariane. Ek kon oorspronklik niks uitmaak wat sy probeer sê nie, sy het skaars geweet sy’t my gebel so erg in skok was sy, maar sy kon haarself soort van regruk en al wat sy vir my kon skree is net hoeveel bloed daar is! Met ‘n knop in my keel verwag ek

RECM’s se Erik Kleinhans is een van Suid-Afrika se gewildste bergfietsjaers. Hy het sy vrou, Switserse marathon kampioen: Ariane, diep in the Kammanassieberge of die 2010 Cape Pioneer Trek ontmoet. Die jaar ry hy in die Epic vir die Specialized-span saam met Nico Bell. Volg hom op Twitter by @kleihansmuesli of besoek sy weberf

Ariane se 20 sentimeter sny. naby aan waar Ariane geval het en net een oproep aan haar word omskep in ‘n string goeie dade! Marleen kontak ’n ander fietsryvriendin, Tando wat nog nader aan waar Ariane geval het bly. Ons ken haar nie regtig nie, maar dit maak glad nie saak nie en sonder om twee keer te dink is sy in haar kar en binne 5 minute is Ariane ingelaai en op pad na Vaugh. Hy is ook ‘n mede-bergfietsryer en plastiese chirurg wat weier dat Ariane na enige iemand anders as na hom gebring word. Hy verstaan fietsryers en wil seker maak sy mis nie eers een enkele oefensessie nie.

Met ons kar in Durbanville sit ek vervoerloos in Stellenbosch en is ek amper op my fiets op pad na Ariane se redding, wat toe al lankal eintlik nie meer nodig is nie. Die keer is dit Henk, Marleen se ander helfte en natuurlik ook ’n bergfietsryer wat my kom oplaai by my huis sodat ek vir vroulief van die kliniek huis toe kan bring. Ons is bevoorreg met Bonitas Mediese Fonds wat ons RECM-span ondersteun en ons spanbestuur maak seker alles is altyd perfek gereël en in plek, want iets soos bogenoemde kan so maklik met enige iemand gebeur. Geen fietsryer, maak nie saak hoe vinnig of stadig jy ry nie, kan vir altyd ongelukke vermy nie en ek hoop almal beskerm hulself teen groot mediese onkostes. Dankie aan die ongelooflike vriendelike bergfietsgemeenskap wat dit altyd pret maak vir ons om ons naweke by die wedrenne te geniet en vir die gevoel wat ’n mens kry dat ons wonderlike sport groter is as net jou posisie wat jy elke Saterdag losjaag!


FS Loose Cannon Correspondence

mountain biking101 This month our loose cannon correspondent, David Bristow, looks back at the scars and medical bills of two decades of happy mountain biking and gives a few pointers about how you can avoid them.

Rule #2:

easier for yourself by getting your centre of gravity just right. You want to drop your elbows down to your sides, then pull your bum forward in the saddle. It feels like you are trying to pull all parts of yourself to the centre of the bike frame. This ensures all the bits of the bike and of yourself are in the best place for optimal power transfer and minimal wheel spin.

Look ahead

Explanation: From your very first ride, or your very next one, depending, you need to practice looking at the trail ahead of you. Never look at the trail right in front of your front wheel. Looking down at your front wheel leads to welts, bruises and roasties, i.e. falling off. You need to look at the track ahead, about five metres if you are going fast, and around three metres if riding more slowly. What you need to get right is finding the right line ahead of you and allowing your instincts to steer the bike through. Once you brain has processed the best route option, your body will do the rest. Only very occasionally, and very briefly, should you look at the terrain right in front

Rule #5:

When riding downhill, stand Explanation: Even on the trickiest of drop-offs, which scare the bejesus out of us when we’re starting out, can be cruised by just putting your weight back, then steering to make sure your front wheel doesn’t connect with some big object. The best way to do this is to stand on your pedals, then you can shift your weight (bum) forwards and backwards as your bike rocks and rolls. You should have the image of riding a horse, when you push down on the handlebars and pull up on them, so that your bike rolls over objects rather than hitting into them.

AmaRider’s Meurant Botha giving an exhibition of Rule #2 and Rule #7.

Rule #6:


Keep your front wheel light


his is the post-Cape Epic 2014 issue and will likely be packed with analyses, war stories and lots of technical stuff about gear ratios, wheel diameters, android nutrition and all the palaver that goes with the racing side of mountain biking. How intimidating must all this be for newcomers to the sport? I was trying to tempt my boy, Ben (13), down some single track the other day, and was a little bit disappointed that he preferred to bomb down the dirt road. Which got me thinking: I’ve been mountain biking for around 18 or 19 years, and have the benefit of thousands of hours and many thousands of dirt kilometres. I’ve forgotten how bang I used to be to ride down technical single track, but there I was expecting him to sommer follow me down stuff that has taken me a few broken bones and umpteen stitches to wax. It must be the same for every new mountain biker when surrounded by racing reptiles on their stealth machines. So I took some time to teach him the basics of good riding. The rest of this is therefore not aimed at the super athletes, but rather for those riders – or wannabe riders – who are still learning the


basics without breaking their bodies. There are a few very basic skills and techniques that need to be honed in order to get to the point where you feel like you’d rather be riding the singletrack than the dirt road. This column is for you, and Ben.

Rule #1:

Never hit the front brake Explanation: Your front brake is the one that brakes the hardest, and you do need to use it often and often hard. But you must never pull it by itself. You need to know which lever works the back and which the front brake. Then you need to practice always pulling the back brake as your first reaction. It’s probably best to set up your bike so that you have the back brake on the right if you are right handed, and vice versa. What you really need to be doing, however, is using them both at the same time. Use two fingers on your back brake lever and one on the front, which will make sure you are holding the bike with the back brake while the front works to stop you. Flying over the handlebars is something you really want to try to avoid, even though most of us have done it more than once. What follows is invariably a trip to the doctor.

of you, just to double check your line through a tricky section. It’s like shooting a pistol or a bow: you do not aim down the barrel or the arrow, but allow your body and actions to follow the line of your eyesight. This is something you sometimes have to force yourself to do, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. Finding the best line up ahead is the difference between riding like a drunk and riding like you are enjoying it.

Rule #3:

When the trail gets gnarly, put your bum back Explanation: While all your hard braking is done on your front wheel, all your hard traction is done by the back one. Getting your weight right to the back of your saddle (downhillers often slide their bums right over the backs of their saddles), is the secret trick to all tricky riding. If you get your weight far enough back, and just steer sensibly, it’s almost impossible to spill.

Rule #4:

When riding very steep uphills, centre yourself Explanation: Sometimes the only way up a very steep climb is brute leg power. But you can make things

Explanation: It’s your front wheel that causes all the trouble. Whether riding up, flat or down, you should avoid your front wheel hitting into things. You need to learn to lift it over stuff. A light front wheel, combined with weight shifted back, is the way to ride effortlessly. Practice lifting your front wheel over logs and rocks, even the smallest ones. Start small and work your way up through the bigger stuff. The technique is to push down then lift up, quick and hard, and the secret is in the timing. You need to get the wheel up exactly at the critical point (which is the object you want to clear). That’s why you need to start on the small stuff. Don’t be timid, really pull hard up. Then try pedalling hard at the same time. You’ll be surprised what you can get over once you perfect this. Also on drop-offs, or when going through dongas, lifting your front wheel as hard as you can will avert just about every pitfall.

Rule #7: Corner like a pro

Explanation: Whether on road or singletrack, the trick to good cornering is the same. Most importantly, you need to look ahead and see the curve you are going to be taking (never, ever, right in front of you). Do that and the bike will follow the arc you draw with your eyes. As you enter the corner, lift your inside foot so that the pedal is clear of the ground, and push down with your outside foot. Then drop your inside knee like motorbike riders do. This gets your weight distribution and body posture just right to take any corner at good speed.

Loose Cannon Correspondence FS hard handlebar lift. It takes lots of practice, so don’t give up too easily. A soft car park or any park is best, going slightly uphill.

Rule #10:

Rule #8:

Thick sand is just another technical track Explanation: The secret to riding through thick sand is the same as for all tricky tracks – get your bum right back, keep the weight off your handlebars and steer as lightly as you can so the front wheel doesn’t bite in, and spin through in an easy gear that you can keep going without having to change. You can also try sitting straight up in the saddle and putting only

the lightest of touches on your handlebar, just to keep going straight. The front wheel will find its own best way through.

Rule #9: Play

Explanation: The best way to improve your technical skills is by playing. Try bunny hopping over things, especially puddles. Try jumping curbs, or up and then off any low platform. It’s all in bonding with your body, lifting the bike with

your feet and pulling hard up on the handlebars. To do this and indeed to ride any technical stuff you need to have cleats. Practice moving as one with your bike, sideways as well as forwards and backwards as you roll over obstacles. Getting a rocking motion is one key to smooth riding and not hurting your bike. With your shoes out of the cleats, or wearing takkies, try mastering the art of doing a wheelie (popping up onto your back wheel). Think it through – power pedal and

Explanation: Just ride as often as you can, enjoy doing it, and the rest is like learning to ride a bicycle.



There is no rule number 10.

David Bristow has buckets of MTB experience having ridden and written “The Spine of the Dragon.” He’s also the webmaster of, a site which aims to be the country’s go-to, free, repository of GPS’d MTB tracks.

SUS The reviews Looking for full fingered gloves? Well sus these two offerings from Giro, the breathable but tough Rivet and the rugged all-mountain all-action Xen.

SUS the Giro Rivet


iro’s Rivet gloves are based on their LZT road gloves and are designed to be allpurpose but lightweight, providing a thin layer of protection and comfort while enhancing grip and bar feel. Or that’s what the advertising material says. From a rider’s perspective they do all they set out to. They’re definitely lightweight and breathable, with ample ventilation on the back panels. They do take a little getting used to tough. Don’t for example wipe your eyes with the textured finger tips designed to allow you to use your touch screen bike computer or phone while on the go (there’s a special panel on the back of the thumb for that). The lack of a Velcro closing strap is also a bit of a mind bender at first, but if you’ve got the right size the glove sits snugly enough for you to question the need for Velcro closing straps on any glove. They’re not going to protect your hands in the case of a major spill at speed, but then not much will, but their supple feel on the bars combined with comfortable grips will provide you with the right blend of control and comfort. The downside is as usual finding the right fit. The 4-way stretch upper doesn’t stretch as well where it needs to and if the fit isn’t 100% you could end up with the gloves bunching around the webbing of your fingers. So make sure you get a pair that fit perfectly. The Rivets are available in bold Blue or Red colouring or a more muted Black & White. Expect to pay R460.

Giro Gloves FS SUS the Giro Xen


he Giro Xen gloves are the Rivet’s big, all-mountain, badass, brothers. Constructed with Clarino, synthetic leather, they’re low on palm padding but high on bash guards for your knuckles. They feature a 2mm Technogel® pad on the heal of the palm to dissipate the worst of the impacts and the supple Clarino palm panel looks set to provide good protection in the case of a crash but still allows for ample feel on the bars. The Xens are surprisingly breathable for such heavy duty looking gloves and also feature the touch screen technology finger tips on the index and middle fingers of both hands. When trying these gloves on it’s important to give the touch screen finger tips a quick test on your phone though (if you have your bike computer with you, then that too, but carrying it around with you in the shop is sure to raise a few eyebrows – weirdo). The test pairs worked perfectly on the Garmin Edge 810, Bryton Rider 40 and Samsung Galaxy screens, but no amount of pressure, or lack thereof, could elicit a response from the Sony Xperia. So the moral of the story is check with your more expensive device for compatibility first. The Giro Xen gloves are Brown, Black, White and Red colour schemes and you can also expect to pay R510.



Garden Route Kate Slegrova did the Garden Route 300 in 2011 and 2012, and she loved it both times! In 2011 she won the mixed teams competition, which she fondly remembers as a great result in one of her first stage races. While in 2012 she rode it with her Dad to show him the local trails and the South African racing vibe. This year she took on the GR 300 as Epic training and here’s how it went…


ots of people use the Garden Route 300 as a Cape Epic training race as it’s a chance to test the miles you’ve put in during training on a challenging stage race. I was going to ride with my team mate, Lara Woolley, who is superb in her technical skills. Unfortunately though, she hurt her back and couldn’t ride, so I opted to ride solo. I drove up from Cape Town on Thursday at lunch time and registered in the evening. I’d booked very nice accommodation close to the race venue which was at Quay Four on Thesen Island. It was raining when I arrived so the trails were wet and bit muddy when the race started on Friday morning, but nothing serious - compared to the Cape Pioneer Trek!

Stage 1:

90km with 1 900m ascent Stage one is all about fun and singletrack in the Harkerville Forest. I love the route. We did the red route and much more, in the opposite direction to usual, which was a great change. I felt great on my new Scott and didn’t find the climbs too bad either. I finished in the top 50 (650 riders) and third in the Solo Women category and was very happy with that. There was a buffet lunch at the finish and massages for the sore bodies. I had a bit of a trouble of getting my bike washed, but


managed eventually. In the evening supper was ordered off the Quay Four menu.

Stage 2:

100km with 2 400m ascent The start was at Rheenandal, off the N2 about 20km out of Knysna towards Sedgefield. We had to get there by car and then leave our car there and get a shuttle back later. I would have preferred to cycle there, but I can understand that most riders wouldn’t want to add another 20km of riding to their day… It was probably best I didn’t ride to the start anyway as my legs were quite tired. The Epic training and the Tankwa Trek the week before were clearly having an effect. I tried to get going but didn’t have much power and got passed by a lot of people. The route was made up mainly of gravel roads with beautiful views.

You can’t be afraid to get your feet wet on the GR 300.

Stage 3:

80km with 1 700m This day was promised to have more singletrack. We started climbing the famous Simola climb which wasn’t easy, but luckily my legs felt better than they had the day before. After Simola we did more and steeper climbing, then rode down to The Hydro and did another long steep climb which offered lovely views. From water point two the route went mostly downhill with fun singletrack in green forests before we joined stage two’s route for the last 20km of super fun singletrack from the Phantom Pass back to Knysna. I was happy to finish in 3rd place again and 72nd place overall. We had a nice lunch at the finish, waited for the prize giving and then hit the road back to Cape Town. I’m sure the three day stage races I did in February will pay off at the Cape Epic, so look out for my report on how the Epic went in the May issue of Full Sus!

SUS the environmental angle After hearing that a few riders had struggled to get their bikes washed after each stage at the GR300, Full Sus had a quick chat to Garden Route Events. Louise Wilson was quick to clarify: “Since the race village is on the Knysna Marine Reserve, where the endangered Knysna Seahorse lives, Garden Route National Park, a proud event partner, prohibited any washing at the venue itself.” Bikes were collected from the race village and taken to the various bike shops in Knysna to be washed. Full Sus is glad to hear that event organisers are taking steps to conserve the sensitive environments their events are held in and would like to remind riders of the RECM Knysna 200 in June that the same procedure will be in place.

where are we? Knysna is the heart of the Western Cape’s iconic Garden Route, it was the original start for the Cape Epic eleven years ago and has subsequently developed a reputation as a great trail ridding destination.


Singletrack Racing in the

There was a short singletrack in the forest at the end, which was lovely, and then a flat piece back to Knysna which I rode on my own. There was a portage down to Homtini and then a river crossing and steep hiking trail up the other side, where we had to carry or push our bikes. I enjoyed that section, as it broke the race up a bit and it was good training for the Epic – as there are always some parts where you have to push and carry your bike (Ed: Kate has too much energy and was probably the only kid who enjoyed running up and down the pavilion stairs for athletics training when she was at school). For the less keen on climbing, stage two offered an 80km route too, which cut out some of the climbing.



FS Ride Report GR 300

A F R I CA Northern Cape N1

Cape Town

Western Cape N2


Kate Slegrova has quickly become a Full Sus regular. She’s incredibly active on the local racing scene and when she’s not racing herself she’s coaching others to achieve their racing goals through her business: Cycle Training. Look her up at or follow her on twitter @KateSlegrova, that way you’ll know as soon as we do what her post Epic riding plans will be.


Winter stuff



April in the Cape is often marked by the first proper cold front of the winter, while up country the sun starts to set depressingly early, so we thought we’d profile a few products to keep you riding as the elements begin to turn against you. K-Way Arc Jacket

Looking for a lightweight multi-purpose waterproof jacket then take a look at K-Way’s Arc? It won’t break the bank and it’ll wrap up nice and small to fit in your jersey pocket should the rain clear during your ride. Or pop it in your pocket if it looks like rain before your ride. The active shell jacket is made from 100% polyester, is windproof, vapour permeable and finished with a water repellent coating. It features elasticated cuffs, an adjustable hem and an adjustable hood. Plus it has reflective trim to keep you visible to motorists at night (the canary yellow might help with that to). The Arc is available in yellow, blue and black from Cape Union Mart stores or online from for R599.

Skins Men’s A200 Compression Long Sleeve Top

There’s a bit of conjecture over the effectiveness of compression gear, but Iron Man athletes swear by them, so they should be good for MTB stage races or ultra-marathons. The Skins Compression Top features gradient compression to enhance circulation, which helps your body deliver more oxygen to boost muscle performance. It also provides muscle wrapping and support to the reduced risk of muscle injury. To top it all, the top features 50+ UV protection, antimicrobial properties and moisture wicking fabrics. Find out more at Expect to pay R970.

Asics Gel Fuji Attack 2

Off the bike winter is not the time to be sloffing about in the race village or parking area in a pair of flip-flops, so why not invest in a pair of trail running shoes. Cover cross-training and post/pre-race footwear in one purchase with the Asics Gel Fuji Attack 2 trail running shoes. They’re lightweight and designed for long-distance over extreme terrain. But don’t be put off by the longdistance tag, that just means they’ll be comfortable enough to sooth your aching feet after a long day of riding in your super stiff MTB shoes. The updated Attack 2 are lighter than their Attack 1 processors and also feature a Trail Specific Outsole that gives you effective grip and protection from sharp rocks if you should wish to take up trail running as cross-training. Find out more at Expect to pay R700.

Energizer Bike Light Kit

Looking for a low cost light to get you from point A to point B safely on short commutes? Take a look at Energizer’s offering then, it comes in a pack containing a front and rear light and the necessary triple A batteries to light you up right away. The front light has three LED lights, offering the options of, all lights on, all lights flashing or central light on and the side beams flashing to help you remain visible to motor vehicle bound road users. It’s not the light to fit if you’re going for a technical single track night ride, but if you’re looking to keep yourself visible for a good price then it’ll do the job admirably. Look out for the Energizer Bike Light Kit in selected local bike shops and expect to pay in the region of R300.

Fi’zi:k Shoe Cover

Keep your feet dry in the wettest conditions with the Fi’zi:k Booties. They fit over your MTB shoes and keep the water out. Pretty simple really (and a lot better looking than the emergency option of shopping packets and duct tape). Buy a set before any ride where you’re expecting wet weather so you don’t get caught out. They’re available from bike shops stocking Fi’zi:k or from for R499.

Falke Pro Cycling Socks

There’s few things more underrated than a good pair of socks. And Falke make the best. Their cycle socks selection is pretty comprehensive too and the mountain biking specific options offer nice thick cotton weave to keep your toes warm on those cold winter rides. Find out about the ranges on offer from Falke at www., you can expect to pay around R45 for the Pro Cycling Socks.

Assos iJ.Tiburu.4 Jacket

If you’re looking for the most epic jacket to keep you warm and looking your best on the bike then Assos is arguably the way to go. It’s best used in conjunction with an Assos interactive body insulator underneath and is designed to act as a middle layer if it’s really cold or an outer layer in chilly conditions. Featuring Assos’s usual excellent cut and construction and available in white, red or black, you can match the jacket to suit the rest of your riding wardrobe. You can buy it online from for R2 650.


FS Comp

n i w T

Stand a chance to win an entry to the RECM Knysna 200

Tell us where you grabbed your copy of Full Sus. Email your answer with your ID Number, Full Name, Physical Address and Contact Number to he RECM Knysna 200 is a fully catered stage race, with the option to stay in luxury at one of the world class local guesthouses or boutique hotels as part of the event booking process. Entries are limited to 350 riders, so expect an intimate feel to the event and no bottlenecks on the trails. The race village is based on Thesen Island and the race starts at a different venue outside of Knysna everyday ensuring a varied riding experience across the three stages. Race entries start from R6 300 per team and R3 300 for solo riders, and the competition prize includes one team entry to the 2014 RECM Knysna 200. For more information about the RECM Knysna 200 go to or follow the race on Twitter @RECMKnysna200.

cer rs ra Cicli e t s he n Ma isi of Italia aso Cr Ceramic m e Tom nini/Alic sed to ns u a t itio g n Mo gettin n cond i. a c k i o a fr th A pic in T u o S E pre-

Oakpics is a Strand based photographic company. They shoot a vast array of events, covering everything from wild horses to weddings. But it’s in MTB that they’ve carved out a niche as one of the leaders in the field. If you spot them on the trails, usually when you’re picking yourself up after an unexpected brush with the ground, you can purchase the photos directly from their website. Or book them to shoot your event. Call them on 021 854 8723 or visit




your chances your chances by liking liking and by and sharing sharingus usatat /fullsussa /fullsussa

THE PRIZE: Win a team entry to the RECM Knysna 200, which runs from Friday the 6th of June to Sunday the 8th and provides riders the opportunity to explore the amazing trails of the Garden Route for three single track packed days of riding. HOW TO WIN: Drop us an email by the 22nd of April with the subject: “Where I grabbed my Full Sus” to Please include the following details: Where you picked up your copy of Full Sus, your Full Name, ID Number, Contact Number and Physical Address.

photo of the month

Stirling Revolution

Sneak Preview of 8 Ground Breaking 2 01 5 Products These mountain bike products are so cutting edge that only a few prototypes are currently being tested and very few photos exist, explains Stirling Junior. We have also been asked to keep the respective manufacturers confidential. Thanks to a few industry contacts and a lot of favours, we are proud to be the first publication to introduce to you these ground breakers. 1. Hydraulic Extending Handlebars Modern mountain bikes have wider handlebars than ever before. 600mm bars used to be common but nowadays with longer travel or bigger wheeled bikes the norm, 700mm plus bars are the standard. And these wide babies feel great but as they get wider, we clip more and more trees, so testing has begun on a pioneering handlebar that extends and retracts between 600mm to 840mm hydraulically, similar to the system used in modern dropper seatposts. It is actuated by a little button for each of your pinkies and according to our source they make tight single track a breeze.

2. 36er wheel size If 26, 27.5 and 29 weren’t enough, get ready for the new 36er wheel standard. Numerous tests have shown that a 36” wheel is officially the largest wheel that can fit in a modern mountain bike. The additional weight is offset by keeping the bike fully rigid and with the supreme rolling benefits and a BB that is much lower than the axles for insane stability, this new wheel standard is set to gain its own chunk of market share in 2015 with most major manufacturers releasing their version.

3. Super-Hex Tyre No more tubes, no more sealant, no

2. 36er wheel size

more hassle. Imagine a tyre that is always the right pressure, isn’t affected by punctures, and can’t burp or rip a side wall. The Super-Hex Tyre is your next upgrade. Basically it is a wirebead tyre with a built in hexagonal internal matrix that gives support to the tyre. The more condensed the matrix, the harder the feel of the tyre, and you buy the tyre that represents how hard or soft you like to ride. Even though the tyre is a bit heavier, there is no tube, no valve, no rim tape, and no sealant, plus future rims specifically made for these tyres will be drilled out, so overall weight should be competitive. The only gripe is that these tyres are going to be to be tough to fit and may require special tools and lots of elbow grease.

4. CO2 cooling hydration pack Inflating your tyre with a CO2 cylinder (aka ‘bomb’) is always such a waste of nice (very) cold metal and so we were ecstatic to hear that bombs have now been integrated into the bladder of a popular hydration pack brand so that when you release the CO2, it cools down your remaining juice too.

5. Self-Stiffening Shoe Imagine a shoe that is supple to walk in, but stiff when you pedal. Based on the same material that makes Batman’s cloak harden in the film “The Dark Knight”, an electric current


is run through the metal cleat and into a layer of special material in the shoe’s sole when you clip into the pedal triggering the shoe to stiffen up. Two power methods are being tested. The favourite requires a small replaceable 2032 battery in each shoe so that engaging each cleat completes a circuit in the shoe. The alternative method involves a tiny dynamo in the pedal, creating a current only when pedalling. But don’t worry, the electric current is very low so wetting the pedal or shoe won’t shock your feet.

6. Flip-Up Bar-Ends Directly competing with the innovative Hydraulic Extending Handlebars already mentioned, this is a cheaper solution to the wide handlebar conundrum. These new wide 760mm flat handlebars are fantastic on the downhill but when you hit an incline, just flip the end portions of the handle bar forward (and a little upward) 110 degrees, and you’ve got 620mm handlebars with 70mm bar-ends. A simple mechanical system keeps the weight down, and the special flexible silicon grips sold with this handlebar, make for a very comfortable ride.

7. Pull-Back Front Hub Motor And last but definitely not least, the Pull-Back front hub motor sets to render the heavy and expensive engine & battery motorised hub systems worthless. Based on the same technology that propels your Pull-Back toy car forward, the PullBack front MTB hub houses a dense twine of elastic and springs that coil tight under braking retaining the Kinetic energy usually lost when slowing down. It can be released when needed, like pulling you forward on a steep uphill or speeding you up on those KOM hunting enduro runs. According to the manufacturer, the current prototype can hold up to 1400m of ‘pull’, with over 2000m expected for the production version. For more information on these products, including sneak videos and pictures as they get released visit WhichProductIsActuallyReal.htm


Stirling-James Kotze, aka SJ Years in the saddle: 17 Favourite ride/trail: Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch Recurring MTB nightmare: Noisy, squeaky bikes The Stirling Revolution Bio The father and son combo of Stirling senior and junior are avid cyclists and owners of a local bike shop in Cape Town. In their monthly column they’ll be offering their uniquely phrased views on the ins and outs of mountain biking from negotiating a discount to locating that weird noise your bike keeps making, but won’t make when you take it to the workshop, they’ll cover it. 4. CO2 cooling hydration pack

5. Self-Stiffening Shoe

3. Super-Hex Tyre


CALENDAR GAUTENG 1 ASG Night Series 1 Winter Fast One MTB 7 Kia Over the Moon Series 18 Babbas Lodge MTB Series Event # 5 25 Bell of Hope Cycle Challenge for Mental Wellness KZN 3 Mascor Greytown MTB Festival 3 Newcastle MTB Family Race Series 3 or 4 3 Greytown MTB Festival 3 BELL Big 5 Series Challenge 2014 4 Zini River Estate Buffalo Classic 9 Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB Festival 13 Sani2C Trail 14 Sani2C Adventure 15 Sani2C Race 11 One Movement School Series XCE KZN Event #1 18 Husqvarna Mid-Illovo Classic MTB 18 One Movement School Series XCE KZN Event #2= 25 Compendium MTB Derby= 25 One Movement School Series XCE KZN Event #3= WESTERN CAPE 3 Houwhoek MTB Tour 10 Gravel Travel 10 MTB Adventure Race 11 Tripping On The Wild Coast 17 LEAP Challenge 23 Hex Valley Autumn Splendour MTB 24 Amarider 100 Miler & 50 Miler 31 Montagu Mountain Mania 31 Darling Brew Extreme

28 UCI Marathon World Champs –


3 MTN National MTB Series #4 Clarens 3 Anatomic Dirtmax MTB Series

Rainbow Challenge 29 UCI Marathon World Champs – Elite & U/23

Event #4

10 Spur High School MTB Parys Cup GAUTENG

Event #3 31 Rhino River Run May

4 Kia Over the Moon Series 14 X-Trail MTB Series Event #1 14 MTN National MTB Series #6

EASTERN CAPE 4 My SPAR MTB Classic 12 Wilde Coast Amble


6 RECM Knysna 200 14 Napier Patatfees MTB 15 Greyton MTB Classic 16 Nine to Five Team Relay 29 Cape Country Tour NORTH WEST

7 Konka Mountain Bike Race 2014

Van Gaalen

15 Ride of the Roses MTB Series Event #1 16 Beaulieu Prep MTB Challenge

NORTH WEST 24 The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic



28 Rhino River Run June MPUMALANGA 28 The Big 5 MTB race

4 Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo Pedal 21 SA Cup Series XCO & DHI # 4

LIMPOPO 24 MTN National MTB Series #5 Rooiberg 31 Nissan Trailseeker #1 Cullinan 31 Rooibokkop MTB Rally


11 Vic Falls MTB Challenge (Zimbabwe)

List your Event in the Full Sus Calendar Get your event, big or small, from the ABSA Cape Epic to your LBS weekly training ride listed in the Full Sus calendar. If it’s a MTB event, be it a ride or race, we want to list it. And it’s free!


25 SA Cup Series XCO & DHI #3

All you need to do is go to, click on ‘Event Calendar’ and find the submit event bar, fill in your event details and click submit. Then Robert’s your mother’s brother, your event will soon be live on to be seen by thousands of mountain bikers from the furthest corners of South Africa.

OUT OF AFRICA 18 Windhoek Namib Quest (Namibia) 31 Red Island Ride (Madagascar)

It’ll automatically be included in the newspaper too. And best of all, it’s FREE. Just like Full Sus.


1 SAPPI Howick MTB Classic 1 Newcastle MTB Family Race Series 4/4 7 Freedom Challenge 8 SA Marathon Championships 15 Safire Baynesfield MTB Classic 21 Dusi2c 22 BELL Big 5 Series # 2 – Elephant Classic Eshowe

22 MTN National MTB Series #7 Hilton



Advertise your event in Full Sus and we will send you copies of the paper for your goodie bags or registration table. Call Julia on 021 685 0285/6

Go enjoy the South African countryside on your bike this month.

APRIL Must do events ■ 5 April: Nav Challenge With the first NavChallenge of the year proving to be a great success in February Race Interface have decided to up the ante and hold a second event on the 5th of April at Cascade Manor in Paarl. The race follows the same format with mountain bikers and trail runners competing to reach as many of the 25 checkpoints as they can in the three hours allotted. The NavChallenge is about racing smart and navigational skills rather than speed and endurance on foot or on




Free State


Western Cape

Northern Cape



North West

Eastern Cape

Out in Africa

the bike, but that’s not to say being fit and fast won’t help… Riders can expect to cover between 20 and 45 kays depending on their map reading skills, while trail runners and hikers will cover between 7km and 20km. Entries are R440 per team of two and are available online at www.raceinterface. A portion of the funds raised will go to supporting Reach for a Dream and the NavChallenge could also be your opportunity to reach for your adventure racing dreams. Just maybe…

■ 19 & 20 April: Dirtopia Enduro If you haven’t tried your hand and bike at the Enduro format yet then you’ve been missing out, so get down to Tarentaalkraal outside Greyton for the Diropia Enduro. For the uninitiated it’s a great format with timed runs held mainly over downhill sections, though Meurant isn’t afraid to throw in a few lung busting climbs in the

timed sections, with un-timed liaison stages between (much like in rally raid racing). Organised riding will happen on Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th of April but you’re welcome to camp for the long weekend and explore the area’s trails at your leisure on Easter Friday and Monday. Book online at

■ 26 April: Trans Karoo How strong are you feeling? Have you got 240km in your legs for an epic single day of effort? Ride 240 in the ‘up ride’ of the Trans Karoo from Eselfontein in Ceres to the Jupiter Guesthouse in Sutherland on the 26th of April. Starting at 7am and with a midnight cut-off the Trans Karoo is one of SA’s most challenging events. It’s beautiful though and whether you attempt it solo or as a team of two you’re sure to find it a rewarding experience. Late entries are R1 250 per rider (sorry you just missed the

early bird cut-off of 31 March) and you can find all the information you’ll need, including a list of must have items for your own safety, on

■ 26 April: Anatomic Southern Skies 24 hour MTB Get everyone involved and sign up for the Anatomic Southern Skies 24 hour MTB relay. Do as many laps as you can in 24 hours as a solo rider or in a team of between three and seven people. Or if you’re all of school going age, in a team of up to nine riders! Entries are R350 for solo riders and R1 250 for the teams (youth or otherwise) and it promises to be a fun filled day and night of riding. Held at the Ride Arena in Parys the racing starts at 12:00 on the 26th and runs until midday on the 27th. You can find out more and enter online at




Bicycle Tours

We have a tour just for you! 021 511 4766


Prince Albert to Wilderness Beach Supported Social Ride Cycling from Great Karoo across Klein-Karoo

day one

60 KMS





• Excellent gravel roads • Full back-up provided

• Jeep trackes to test endurance and not so much technical MTB ability • 4 nights accommodation *incl dinner, bed & breakfast

contact LINDSAY STEYN on (M) 082 456 8848 or (E) * MINIMUM OF 4 GUEST HOUSE TOURS / MAXIMUM OF 12


YOUR MARATHON RACE PARTNER. Our tech-loaded XC mountain bikes are the lightest, smartest bikes on the mountain. They give you the ultimate performance edge, so you can go as fast as your legs and heart will allow, and have a great time doing it. Just point these race-ready rockets in the right direction and go.

S U P E R F LY F S 9.9 S L X X1

A s u per- l i g ht f ra me of OCLV Mou nta i n Ca rbon, f it ted with the l i g htest X X1 com ponent s , g ives the S u per f ly FS 9.9 S L X X1 a lea d i ng edge on the mou nta i n. Al so ava i la b le with X TR com ponent s.

The Bicycle Company is the exclusive distributor of Trek Bicycles in South Africa. | Tel: 021 510 2110 |


Full Sus April 2014  

The April issue of Full Sus, featuring the ABSA Cape Epic, the Karkloof MTB Festival & GPS Navigated races. Plus all the regulars, including...

Full Sus April 2014  

The April issue of Full Sus, featuring the ABSA Cape Epic, the Karkloof MTB Festival & GPS Navigated races. Plus all the regulars, including...