May 2014, Vol 14
MOUNTAIN BIKE MONTHLY
PYGA Bike Review Tsitsikamma pg16 Trails - pg14
Kate’s Epic Review pg13
Nigel’s Revenge and other PMB highlights
ost of the DH fraternity had started reconsidering their approach to the PMB DH track after Australia’s Jared Graves pulled into third on his Yeti SC66B trail bike at the 2013 UCI World Championships. Meh, who needs a double crown fork? Enter 2014 and Nigel Hicks (chief DH track executive of Cascades) decided he was beyond tired of all the international keyboard jockeys debating whether this testing piece of earth should really be on the World Cup circuit. Nig, being a geologist with a profound love of rock, decided to up the ante. Stepping cautiously around the mineﬁeld of rocks in the new Cloud 9 on seeding day, it was ﬂippin’ easy to see why people started calling it Nigel’s Revenge. If you were one of the riders who decided to tackle PMB on a trail bike, our thoughts were ﬁrmly with you. Particularly if you were one of the people upside down with head and shoulders wedged between two boulders. Honestly though, the track was pretty much prime with whisperings of “this really is a proper
DH track now” ﬂoating from the lips of the humbled. South Africa was well represented at the event, with 23 men’s elite entries and 10 junior entries. Of course, gender wise the representation was less equal, but that’s a topic of discussion for another article. Essentially though, with so many South African jerseys smashing down the exceptionally challenging track, it made for pretty exciting viewing. 11 South African elites cracked the top 80 mark to make it into the main event on Saturday the 12th of April, while all the juniors qualiﬁed by virtue of their skill combined with the low overall numbers. Come race day, the weather was perfect and spirits were high. Cowbells, roaring chainless-chainsaws, wooden clappers, vuvuzelas and many sets of dust-lined lungs edged the length of the track. There is always something special about being able to support this unique and rather hardcore sport in person, and watching the number boards appear round corners (followed by the adrenalin fuelled glare of a South
There are occasionally times when one regrets their bike choice, writes Full Sus’s eyes and pen in Maritzburg, Kathryn Fourie. In this era of 26”, 27.5”, 29ers, trail, enduro, DH, AM and plenty of other bikey acronyms; a multitude of combinations of bicycle bits exist that the best riders in the world can debate about when they consider tackling a speciﬁc track, whether it’s XCO or DH.
Greg Minnaar had the ‘One Life Minnaar’ support crew in raptures during his run.
“MINNAAR SMASHES THE MONEY MAKER WITH A RIGHT-HAND HEAD TURN TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE CROWD AND HE BLAZES OVER THE FINISH LINE WITH THE CROWDS GOING BANANAS.” African set of eyeballs within goggles), was all one needed to be prompted into banshee shrieks of encouragement! The juniors kept it solid, with the South African lads gaining some valuable experience in the international standard of DH racing. Jonathan Philogene was the top placing South African with a time of 4:51:69, in 15th place overall. Kevin Smale unfortunately suffered a killer
bail in the rocks - showing what happens when you push yourself in races - and took home probably one of the worst injuries of the event, a broken wrist. It was said the paramedics had to hold his hand and arm separately to keep them at the same level. Typing that out makes my eyes water, eish.
turn to page 4
SUS the winner brilliant experience and one I highly recommend! I would like to hear about other rides like this.
More tours please A pril is a month of public holidays; great for getting out there and ripping up the trails but shocking if you are running a small business, not only our business, but also for the bike shops. Yes, the guys open as often as they can but there are staff considerations and of course a lot of people go away. It certainly has played havoc with our deadlines. The upside of course is that generally the weather is perfect and there are a heap of excellent rides about. I hope you made good use of them. Full Sus is a platform that allows for anyone to write and share their MTB experiences. This month we wrap up or Epic coverage, with ride reports from guys that showed true grit and completed the monster. It really is a race that captures the
CAPE COUNTRY TOUR
What would you recommend? Send us your top ﬁve stage rides to firstname.lastname@example.org. This month is also the second month we are available in KwazuluNatal – we would love to have some feedback from you guys. The Worlds in Pietermaritzburg were awesome, and the Karkloof Classic is set to be another hit. You guys have some of the best tracks in the country – let us know about them! See you on the trails,
imagination of all cyclists and the Western Cape is certainly caught up in the fervour. When you hear ﬁrst-hand what the regular guys go through to ﬁnish you realise just how tough it really is. I am off to complete my third Houw Hoek MTB Tour, a ride I really look forward to. I completely understand the need for timed stage rides and the challenges and fun they provide. However, I do think that we need more of the Houw Hoek and Greyton type MTB rides. They’re billed as a ride for newcomers to stage riding – not newcomers to MTB riding – the Houw Hoek provides a challenging two day ride, untimed and focussing on fun, great organisation and awesome experience. The ride is booked out in days. It is truly a
In April we gave away 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. Congratulations to Robert Vogel of Cape Town, who picked up the latest edition of Full Sus at Chris Willemse Cycles.
DOUBLE your chances by liking and sharing us at www.facebook.com /fullsussa
This month we’re giving away an entry to the Laikipia XC Turn to page 29 to ﬁnd out how you can win!
SUS the Local Bike Shop: Action Cycles - Port Elizabeth (041) 581 6499 Port Elizabeth local bicycle shop Action Cycles customers were quick off the mark in April and supplied the most entries to the Full Sus competition. Maybe they were just really keen on securing an entry to the RECM Knysna 200. Regardless their entries won Action Cycles PE a spot in this month’s Full Sus.
l al s g p lin Sho l Ca ke Bi
SUS The team
Publishing Editor: Shayne Dowling email@example.com Content Editor: Seamus Allardice firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director: Megan Knox email@example.com Advertising: Shayne Dowling PR & Promotions: Julia Andrade firstname.lastname@example.org Regulars: Meurant Botha, Stirling Kotze Snr & Jnr, Jacques Marais, Dr Mike Posthumus,
And it’s a good job too because Action Cycles is quite a shop. They’re the go to shop if you’re looking for a Specialized, Silverback or Giant in the PE area and not only do they have a great selection of top bikes, but they also have a host of Giant and Specialized (amongst others) accessories to kit you out in comfort and style. Speaking of comfort, they’re Specialized Body Geometry ﬁtment
accredited too. That means you can buy your dream bike, (the latest S-Works Camber is particularly mouth-watering…), get all the gear to go with it and then have it perfectly set-up to match your unique body and riding style. And you can do all of the above while enjoying a coffee and a chat with the knowledgeable staff. Action Cycles PE also have a fully kitted service centre so if you didn’t
win that RECM Knysna 200 entry but decided to enter the race all the same you can take your trusty steed in for a quick once over before heading off to tackle the lush Knysna trails. You’ll ﬁnd Action Cycles PE at 97 Heugh Road, Walmer, in Port Elizabeth. Call the shop on 041 581 6499, browse their offerings online at www.actioncycles.co.za or ﬁnd them on Facebook at Action Cycles.
CALLING ALL BIKE SHOPS To get your store featured here all you have to do is ensure that all your clients get a copy of Full Sus and enter the monthly competition. The shop with the most competition entrant wins!
Rochez O’Grady, James Thornhill-Fisher, Sarah Walker, Jeanne-Louise Wiese & Erik Kleinhans Rogue Contributor: David Bristow Photography: Julia Andrade, Oakpics.com, Cherie Vale Newsport Media and thinkstock.com. Contributors: Kate Slegrova, Kathryn Fourie, Dominic Malan, Lionel Murray, Rens Rezelman and Rudolf Zuidema. 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.
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
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COMPETITION TERMS & CONDITIONS: Competition submissions should reach us no later than 23 May 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.
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FS Pietermaritzburg UCI World Cup 2014
James Reid on his way to fourth in the U/23 men’s race
“DIRT, SWEAT AND A COMBINATION OF THE TWO, WHICH COULD BE TERMED SWUD (SWEAT MUD).”
from page 1 The women’s event was interesting, with a major shift in placing compared to last year’s overall log. Manon Carpenter from Wales won convincingly (4:34.92) by 4 seconds over Great Britain’s Rachel Atherton, but it may have felt like a somewhat unconvincing win considering a weird virus had Rachel hooked up to an IV drip for pretty much the entire week.
USA’s Jill Kinter narrowly took third over France’s Myriam Nicole. The next World Cup in Australia should very soon show us how the playing ﬁeld really looks when Atherton is back on top form, and Australia’s Tracey Hannah is conﬁdently racing on home soil after nervously making her way down Cascades to take sixth. And so the main event rolled on! The top 80 Elites took to the track in a kaleidoscope of blazing 2pm early ALL PHOTOS BELOW BY KATH FOURIE
Aaron Gwin was back to his 2012 winning ways at PMB
autumn sunshine, red dust, ﬂinging rocks and forested shadows. Lungs burned and legs spun, wheels churned through the air and ripped for traction in the loose earth on the way down the mountain. It’s intense and also bitterly disappointing for individuals like South African David Hogan who fought so hard to make it into the main event only to be ousted by a soul destroying ﬂat tyre. Sam Bull, Stefan Garlicki, Tiaan Odendaal and Timothy Bentley all did well to place in the top 60, while Andrew Neethling had a brief foray in the Hot Seat to nab 17th overall. However, it’s not even worth pretending that when Greg Minnaar is seeded way up in the tippy top that all SA eyes and hearts are not set on his race. The tension rises, and stuff gets a little cray-cray when the commentator says “And the report is in, Minnaar is on track”. I actually can’t handle the antics of the One Life Minnaar support crew (especially since one young chap has dropped his beery breakfast on his shoes) and a little space is needed to really concentrate on what Max Cluer is screaming down the mic. Greg is up on all the splits, and it truly looks like he’s going to knock the Hot Seat dominator Australian Michael Hannah off his throne. Minnaar smashes the Money Maker with a right-hand head turn to acknowledge the crowd and he blazes over the ﬁnish line with the crowds going bananas. Except he’s just off the pace, Mick is safe and the South Africans look a little bewildered. As Minnaar posts later on Facebook “I lay it all down today”. It’s hard being at the top of the game. The shock of loss doesn’t last long though, as a red-headed US devil that the rest of the world wrote off in 2013 smoothly and almost effortlessly shaves two seconds of Mick’s strangle-hold time and smiles his Californian way into ﬁrst place. Aaron Gwin. Holy smokes folks, sh*t just got real. 3:59.344. In theory, if you’re not South African, you couldn’t ask for a better way to start the 2014 UCI World Cup Downhill Season
Rachel Atherton fought her way to second despite a mystery virus
Sunday the 13th of April saw the XCO ﬁnals of the 2014 UCI World
Josh Bryceland showing why DH is the ultimate spectator sport
Cup Mountain Bike series. A change from previous years, the XCO had traditionally ﬁnished on Saturday and this schedule shift resulted in riders facing the hottest day of the weekend for their ﬁnal race. Pictures from this event will typically show three things: dirt, sweat and a combination of the two, which could be termed swud (sweat mud). In many other cases one would need to throw blood in to the mix, resulting in blood-swud. In essence, a crew of incredibly hard-core blood-swuddied international XCO riders committed to smashing out ﬁve to six laps of one of the most demanding XCO trails in the world. Respect Nick Floros, you did us 5.7 sterling kilometres of African hard-core proud. Indeed it was ridiculously hot, an element that threw many riders off their races to land up with a frustrating DNF next to their names on the Internet in the evening. However, in the Men’s U23, South Africa’s James Reid did phenomenally well to place fourth after Grant Ferguson from Great Britain, Michiel van der Heijden of Holland and Jordan Sarrou of France. Arno du Toit was the second South African home in 19th position. In the Women’s U23 the ﬁrst South African home was Candice Neethling in 9th position with Jenny Rissveld from Sweden in ﬁrst, Perrine Clauzel from France in second and Lisa Rabensteiner from Italy in third. The Women’s Elite certainly stepped it up a notch with far more entries and the enigmatic Mariske Strauss did well to ﬁnish 19th with Maja Wloszczowska from Poland in third, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa from Norway in second and Jolanda Neff from Switzerland in ﬁrst. The Men’s Elite was an extremely exciting event with the ﬁrst South African home being Matthys Beukes in 50th position. The rocks, climbs and ridiculous heat made for an exhausting ride and it was looking like a clean-up win for Switzerland’s Nino Schurter until he ﬂatted in his second to last lap, ending up sixth. It was France’s Julien Absalon who took ﬁrst, Manual Fumic from Germany taking second and Maxime Marotte from France placing third.
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s w ne
f you come from a motocross background you’ll be familiar with the advantages of an inverted fork. It keeps the fork seals constantly lubricated which allows for better small bump dampening. But the traditional issue with inverted mountain bike forks has been reduced torsional stiffness – or the lower part of the fork twisting, not something you want while navigating a rock garden. The RS-1 overcomes the torsional stiffness issue with a massive 27mm through axle. That means it needs a special hub too… The hub/axle/dropouts combine to produce something that RockShox call Predictive Steering; it’s designed to be stiff enough for trail riding but light enough for XCO racing – the complete package then. The fork’s steerer tube, crown and legs are integrated into a single carbon chassis, which reduces weight and improves stillness. The RS-1 weighs in at 1666g, offers 80/100/120mm of travel, is 29er speciﬁc for now (27.5 is in the pipeline) and because of the inverted design is only available with remote lockout. Expect to see the RockShox RS-1 in SA by mid-June this year.
Shimano XT R M9000
n the interest of rider safety here’s another option for emergency identiﬁcation in the event that you’re not able to provide your vital information yourself. QR Lifeline offers a platform on which you create a proﬁle with all your medical details (medical aid number, primary physician, list of chronic medical issues and allergies) and a list of emergency contacts. Along with your QR Lifeline proﬁle you get a medical identiﬁcation card to carry with you at all times. The card has a QR code which, when scanned with a smart phone, will direct the phone to the user’s medical proﬁle. It’s a simple but effective solution which has seen more than 5 000 cards sold globally and QR Lifeline has also negotiated with South African vehicle retailers, meaning you could well get the QR Lifeline service for free with certain new vehicle purchases. The service costs R350 per annum.
You can ﬁnd out more by scanning the QR code on the card.
Ten years of trails at Delvera
n 2004, the Dirtopia Trail Centre opened its doors on Delvera farm. Now, ten years later Dirtopia would like to invite you to join in a celebration of mountain biking on the weekend of 17 and 18 May for the Delvera Decade Derby. Riders can choose to enter the Terrain Park Debacle on Saturday afternoon, a night ride on Saturday night, and a fun ride on Sunday morning or enjoy some fast riding at the Enduro. There’s even a beginners skills clinic with Sara Muhl which will take place on Sunday. There are also plenty of off the bike activities on offer with the Delvera Restaurant open all weekend, wine and olive tasting and go-carts for the kids. Find out all the details online on the new Dirtopia website, www.dirtopia.co.za, but make sure you enter by the 12th of May to receive an additional surprise Dirtopia birthday gift. Entries are available from www.entrytime.com.
himano acknowledge that since they last made a signiﬁcant upgrade to their top of the range XTR component range in 2010 mountain biking has changed a great deal. With the birth of the Enduro format and SRAM’s 1x11 technology shifting the boundaries of what riders expect from their drivetrains. The XTR M9000 groupset is a versatile and potentially game changing concept. The foundation of the M9000 is the 11 speed (11-40T) cassette. Working with the added gear inches offered by the 11 speed cluster, riders will be able to choose from one, two or three chainrings. Shimano’s XTR 1x11 is designed for competitive racers, the 2x11 is designed to be a ﬂexible no compromise choice, while the massive range of the 3x11 is ideal for less ﬁt riders looking to conquer everything the mountain throws at them. The new 3D hollow bonded XTR Ergonomically designed shifters crank arm, for racers, is one and two chainring compatible with the cold forged option, for normal riders, is compatible with one, two and three chainring options. And the XTR 1x chainring features retention technology, with a unique tooth proﬁle that eliminates the need for chain retention devices. The new XTR range also features a 11 speed chain (obviously), premium carbon wheels for cross country or all mountain in both 29er and 27.5 inch sizes, trail and race XTR M9000 brakes, a reﬁned Shadow RD+ clutch rear derailleur, a new front derailleur, improved ergonomically designed shifters and polymer-coated cables for 20% smoother shifting.
And improved front deraileur
XTR goes 1x (2x or 3x) with its new range
Expect improved stopping power
The reﬁned Shadow RD + clutch rear deraileur
FS Ride Report CAPE EPIC
The Nguni Bulls Stampede through the Cape Epic
The Nguni Bulls team of Rens Rezelman (AKA Woody) and his riding partner, Andrew Koen (AKA Rocky) ﬁnished the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic in 49th position in the Masters category. To do so they had to overcome some serious obstacles, dished up by the weather, the race officials and a nasty virus. Here’s Rens’ account of eight tough days on a mountain bike:
Prologue: Prologue done. What a great course. Our tactic was well carried out: take it easy, be safe and have fun. We reached our goal to make the C batch start on stage one. Update from the race village at Arabella Wines. So stage one was always going to be a bastard of a day. It’s tradition on the Epic to quickly ﬁlter the pack into those who should be here from those who haven’t prepared properly. In the race brieﬁng we were informed of an additional 6km thrown into the day, bringing us up to a moderate 113km with three big climbs in the way. Big climbs. Nguni Bulls tactic: sit tight. Grind the climbs out. Pace the jeep track. Ride for Tuesday. Eat for Tuesday. My tent was cosy (although I was blessed to have Americans opposite me. I already knew where they were from, what races they’d done, etc. And that was just from unavoidably listening to them speak loudly!)
Stage one: We made it! Worst.Day.Ever. Five punctures… What a mess. Completely set us back. Every time
we got going… bang! Hissssss. Stop. Repair. It really messed up our momentum. Lost a lot of time. But, we came through okay and we can handle any situation patiently. The tyre (all punctures on the same one!) is currently in a holding cell and will be shot at dawn. I reckon if the bastard wants holes, we’ll give it to him. Bliksem. That evening the weather turned for the worse. There was talk of a cut-off low pressure system hitting during the night. 50-60mm forecast. Mudfest. Makes for tricky conditions. And the bikes take a beating. Oh well, so be it.
AND NOW FOR THE CLINCHER: WE GOT A ONE HOUR PENALTY FOR THE WHEEL REPLACEMENT DEBACLE. TIME SEPARATION!
The Smooth Knobblies is a Cape Town based group of social riders. They entered 5 teams into the Cape Epic. Each team took on its own identity for the race - the Nguni Bulls being one of them. Here the Nguni Bulls stand with Moose and Gavin from Team Zone2.
Stage two: There was a sombre mood in the camp in the morning. Heavy rains had fallen throughout the night. Stage two was muddy. And bikes as a rule, don’t like mud. It clogs all the bits up. Now that was a kick in the nuts. Mud from the word go. And then some. Rocky and I were really hammering it and then at 38km his free hub broke. That means you can’t pedal the bike. At all. You’re dead in the water. Shaun Payne of the Assos Cycle Lab team then came past as Rocky was running his bike along and we asked that he get a message through to Amanda (Rocky’s wife) to get a spare wheel ready. But you’re not allowed outside assistance. So we had to ask race organisers about the rules. Eventually I could get the wheel from the mechanics. I strapped the wheel to my Camelbak and rode against the ride to Rocky and his buggered bike. This all took about 45 minutes. So again we lost valuable time and positions. But we ﬁnished despite the setback and lived to ﬁght another day. So stage one was tough. Stage two was even tougher with mechanical issues. And now for the clincher: we got a one hour penalty for the wheel replacement debacle. Time Separation! We thought everything was cleared with the race commissar but there are further issues. We could protest at some monetary cost, but decided to suck it up because we don’t have the names of the officials we spoke to. Talk about a tough Epic! Forget the riding, try bike issues and the Epic officialdom! We decided to persevere and show some Nguni Bull ﬁghting spirit.
Rens Rezelman (left) is the general manager of Douglas Jones Trading and an avid writer and mountain biker in his life outside of work. If you’re looking for a good MTB read take a look at his Blog, www.smoothknobblies.blogspot. com. It’s a classic read.
The longest day, distance wise - a 134km trek to Greyton. It was our third century in a row (112, 105 and 134km) so this is where endurance training becomes so important. We had been relegated to Group E… which was not great as it was the one day Rocky and I could’ve switched on the diesel engines and purred along in a fast bunch. But the truth is there aren’t too many racing snakes in Group E. So we needed to set the pace and claw our way back to a higher group ourselves. Everyone’s eyes took a beating on stage two. You couldn’t wear glasses as they got clogged up too quickly from the mud, so we had chunks of mud ﬂung into our eyes throughout the day. We all looked seriously hung-over with our bloodshot eyes on the start line of stage three!
Ride Report CAPE EPIC
This years’ Epic was characterised by “real” mountain biking terrain. The course organisers can be commended for getting the mix right between tough marathon riding and flowing mountain biking.
ROCKY ROLLED UP ONTO THE START LINE AS WEAK AS A PUPPY. ON THE TOUGHEST DAY EVER!
Rocky and I were allowed to stomp our hooves and run a Bull Run out of lowly group E. We left carnage in our wake as we bellowed through the weaker D group riders… We paired up with Joel Stransky and Stefan Terblanche for 80km. They too had a bad mechanical on stage two and were also in group E. Water, as they say, finds its level and the four of us ploughed through a the strong headwinds to end in a very good time. When Joel told d e me I was “putting him in the hurt We locker” I smiled inside as he’s a very competent cyclist. one So for once our report back was d just about the ride! We avoided any officials. We nursed our bikes. And h is we rode like men possessed, earning es an earlier start. Thank goodness for he that!
on ses Rocky and I awoke and were, by all y accounts, in good spirits. Our bodies of were certainly tired, but that’s par for ut the course. On stage four we tackled 88km es over rough shale tracks all over Greyton and the Genadendal area.
The positive psychological impact of not having to cross the 100km barrier again was super. The plan was to manage ourselves for stage five, the biggest stage of the 2014 course. It’s a minger with nearly 3 000m of climbing and well over 100km again. By the end of the stage we were stoked. We managed to beat all of our fellow Smooth Knobblies team mates as well (and on a stage that didn’t suit us). Obviously we’re still a long way off overall because of the first two nightmare stages but we feel we have recovered some sense of pride. Stage four’s ride was beautiful. The most stunning scenery we have been exposed to. But the climbing was horrific! Needle steep climbs through mountain valleys. Rocky road like a Trojan and the Nguni Bull stampede rumbled on.
Stage five: At the race briefing for stage five we were reminded of how big an outing it was set to be: 115km with 2 900m ascent. The terrain was varied but characterised by endlessly steep
Stage 5: 115km with 2977m climbing - Rocky was battling with a crippling virus that robbed him of his energy. Here Rusty Gate takes its toll in the rising heat.
Touch and Go! Here the Nguni Bulls celebrate their most complex Epic yet. The pure distance is one thing - it’s when things go wrong and how you tackle that as a team that makes the difference between failure and success
climbs up and over the mountains between Greyton and Grabouw. In addition to this, the bodies and bikes have been put to the sword over the previous five days, so stage five was set to be a real test of character. Rocky was hit by a nasty virus in the early hours of the morning before the stage. I’ll spare you the eye of the needle squirt details. Anyway, Rocky rolled up onto the start line as weak as a puppy. On the toughest day ever! But hats off to Rocky as he pulled through. It was tough going.
Stage six: Rocky needed to report to the medics at 6 am to determine if he would be able to continue. Fortunately the virus moved through his system quickly. After a good night’s rest and some cement with his morning coffee he was allowed to start. Recovery ride. We literally took it easy so that Rocky’s system could just get over the trauma that it had been through the previous day. This 88km stage was just great
riding really. Swooping singletracks countered by about 1 900 meters of climbing. We just wanted to tick the box and get to the final stage.
Stage seven: Well, there it is. We made it! I’m pleased to report that Rocky was in good health and we were able to put some sting into the last leg. The 204th overall and 49th in the Masters category was a bit lower than we’d hoped for but it was a very challenging week. We worked out that we had three normal stage rides and three cursed stages. Personally I have grown as a cyclist on this Epic and the dynamic of being a team takes preference. It wasn’t just about riding…
Thanks: Thanks again to our families, friends, sponsors (De Leeuw quantity surveyors, Douglas Jones and ITEC), and supporters for standing by us through this journey. We are humbled by the support.
FS Loose Cannon Correspondence
The Dragon Masters:
Lesotho MTB champ, Tume Taabe, leading the intrepid adventurers into the maw of the dragon - over the 3000m high Maluti Mountains
A short tale about a long trail
As I write this there are two people riding the Spine of the Dragon mountain bike touring trail. Sean Fraenken is pedalling from Beit Bridge, while John Brand is doing it the other way round. Maybe they’ll meet somewhere in the middle, perhaps on some sunny hilltop in the Drakensberg. Words and photographs by David Bristow.
hey’re both going solo, although in Sean’s case not quite so: he’s pulling a trailer for his two Jack Russells. I told him he’s barking mad because the dogs should be pulling him. He said he tried that, but each time he shouted “mush!” they bit him on the ankles, so now they sit at the back and bark instructions. “We’re hungry, feed us,” or “Hey, there goes a rabbit …” and then they jump off and go on a caper. Sean does other crazy things too, usually to raise money for animal charities such as TEARS and various animal shelters. So if you like animals and giving away your money, go to his website www.seanfraenkel.com. Clearly he’s a good oke. He just has to learn how to mush those two mutts of his. John, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to have any pets, pet projects or other trail furniture. He’s just doing it
for that best of reasons – because it’s there and because he can. It’ll be a bit past the fact by now, but if you want to back-track over his adventure, the place to look is by searching John’s Beit Bridge Ride on Facebook. That is exactly what riding the Spine is all about. The truth of it is that I dreamed up the idea of creating a touring mountain bike trail so no-one would ask me to ride the Freedom Challenge, or any other moerse bike race (they often call them “events”, or “tours”, or even “fun rides”, but we all know the lie). I know how to ride a bike, I just don’t like riding so fast that my heart starts ripping its way out my ribcage, Alien style. An old mate of mine who once went up a mountain with me dubbed me “Diesel Dave” – point me in any direction and I just keep on going. So I’d rather ride 3 400km in 58 days than 800km in just eight. To date, as far as I know, seven
people have ridden the full Spine trail, all 3 400km of it, from Beit Bridge to Cape Point (or vice versa) and then the two who are riding it “now” and should be done by the time you are reading this. We call them Dragon Masters and there are also two honorary Masters. First up is Kevin Davie who pedalled his mountain bike along a similar route (the Ganna trail), commando-style, in just 30 days. Then there is – or was – Jaco Strijdom, cancer fighter, who tried it twice before eventually riding his way right around South Africa, and then succumbed. May the mountain gods bless you Jaco. The first to ride the “official” Spine of the Dragon trail (and it’s official because we said it was), was yours truly and Steve Thomas of Daytrippers, the bike tours company. A good man in calm or storm. Next came Rohan, Danie and Craig who did it because Rohan of Detours Trails wanted to scout it out for an annual event, which we hope will one day come to pass.
Next were Dylan and Misty Weyer of Grahamstown who rode the trail to raise money for a cerebral palsy organisation called Malamulele Onward. She’s an occupational therapist who works with children in SA and Lesotho who suffer from CP and who have little access to First World care. So bless them. And bless them too for calling us Steve Bristow and David Thomas; although sometimes it’s true we’re not quite sure who the heck we are. The best thing about the Spine of the Dragon route is… actually there are plenty. But one is that at the end of each day’s riding there will be a bath, bread and a bed. Another is that distances are generally not great so you can stop to smell the flowers, drink some beer under a thorn tree, or drink coffee in the sack until the sun is well up each day. Recommendation: ride it in spring or autumn when days and nights are kind, days and nights are neither too short nor too long, and the weather is generally fine.
“ONE THING I CAN PROMISE YOU, IT WILL BE THE BEST ADVENTURE YOU EVER DO IN THIS EXTREMELY COMELY LITTLE CORNER OF OUR PLANET.”
Sick at the Epic
Steve, kitted out in full MTB jousting gear, picks his way out of Die Hel via Die Leer (the rungs are, at best, marginal)
Lucas’ nightmare epic
Lucas McDowall and Lionel Murray are more than just an average pair of Masters Category ABSA Cape Epic entrants. They were conﬁdent of a top 100 ﬁnish and were putting in the training to ensure they reached that goal. When disaster struck Lionel in the lead up to the big race Lucas thought their chances were shattered, little did he know what awaited them in the Epic. Then there is the fact that you can ride it in one big chunk or a series of nibbles. The trail is divided into eight or nine (I think, my memory is shot) sections. Roughly, Vendaland, Sekhukhuneland (yes, really), the Mpumalanga escarpment, battleﬁelds, kingdom in the sky, war trail, Karoo, Folded Mountains , Fairest Cape. If you have not been laid off the job you could do it as a series of annual holidays, or biannual, or tri, whatever. One thing I can promise you, it will be the best adventure you ever do in this extremely comely little corner of our planet. We wrote a guide book to help with the logistics, then made a website where you can grab all the GPS tracks. Mountain biking doesn’t get much easier than that, or life much better. You really should do it. And you won’t have to race, unless you just can’t help yourself.
“I KNOW HOW TO RIDE A BIKE, I JUST DON’T LIKE RIDING SO FAST”
Postscript: As this edition was going into production we heard that three more steel-wheeled Don Quixotes, Archie Rutherford of somewhere near Pretoria and two chinas, were about to set off on the Spine route. My advice: do it soon, before the generosity of the good rural folk of SA starts to run low. Our wish forthem and all future Spine riders – may all your winds be north-southerlies.
David Bristow has buckets of MTB experience having ridden and written “The Spine of the Dragon.” He’s also the webmaster of www.dragontrax.co.za, a site which aims to be the country’s go-to, free, repository of GPS’d MTB tracks.
n mid-January, two months from the start of the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic my best mate passed away. And I just couldn’t get back on the bike. Lucas soon started to panic, he was already the stronger rider in our Freewheel Cycology team and he was getting stronger while I mourned. Eventually it became clear we’d need to strategize around the discrepancy in strength between the two of us. After a chat with our coach we decided the strategy would be for Lucas to lead until he was tiring and then I’d take over, setting a comfortable pace, so that when we got to the climbs 67kg Lucas would be too tired to out-climb 82kg me by too much. We hoped this would alleviate the frustration Lucas might feel waiting for me. Going into the Prologue we both felt good and despite the early start, amongst some very slow teams. After being held-up on the Stairway to Heaven climb by a particularly slow team, Lucas
flatted in the quarry. We bombed the tyre thinking that would solve it, but a matter of seconds later we discovered the problem was more serious. He’d ripped the sidewall of the front tyre, so two tubes and four bombs later Lucas was begging passing riders for a bomb. We limped home having spent 15 minutes longer than we’d bargained for out on course, meaning we’d start in a slower group on stage one. Again we reassessed our strengths and formulated a plan. It worked perfectly. We sat on the wheels of other teams looking to fight to an A batch start on stage two. Without expending too much energy we’d made up 250 places, finishing 40th on the day and moving from 333rd overall to 80th in the GC. Things were looking good for the rest of the race. Despite the rain and mud on stage two I was confident. We’d
turn to page 12
“THE REST OF THE WEEK WAS A BLUR OF LUCAS VOMITING, DODGING RACE MEDICS AND SENDING ME AHEAD TO GATHER APPLE PIECES AT WATER POINTS AS HE COULDN’T STOP.” 11
FS Sick at the Epic
Reaching Lourensford as a team didn’t seem likely for much of the 2014 Epic
LUCAS GAVE ME THE FIRST OF HIS CHURCHILLESQUE SPEECHES OF THE WEEK. “WE DON’T GIVE UP,” WAS THE JUST OF IT.
Lionel Murray is the co-owner of the Kenilworth bicycle shop Freewheel Cycology. His 2014 Epic didn’t go to plan (they still ﬁnished 158th overall mind you) but he’ll be back on the start line in 2015 with Lucas McDowall as they look to take a serious crack at the Masters Category. Lionel knows Lucas will be back being the strongest link well before then.
my response that we would safely make it being repeated every time he asked, he kept asking, again and again, every five minutes. Somehow Lucas managed to pull through. He’s a tough man. And you’ll be pleased to hear that Lucas hasn’t suffered any lasting damage. He’s had the flu since the Epic but a scan on his heart came out all clear and he’s on the mend. Brave but foolish, really.
A disgruntled looking Lionel and a sick looking `lucas cross the line after a tough day in the saddle
survived the muddy carnage on the Cape Pioneer Trek after all. I was comfortably inside the leading group, when I called out for Lucas. No response. So I dropped back and looked around. Still calling his name I dropped out the back of the leading group, then through the second and third groups, without any sign of him. Expecting a mechanical issue I pulled over to wait. Soon I spotted him approaching in our distinctive kit and remounted my bike, expecting him to catch me. But he didn’t. So I dropped back again waiting for him to pull up next to me. His bike seemed fine. “I can’t get my heart over 125,” Lucas told me. So we throttled back on the pace thinking he’d hit a sugar low and would soon regain his legs. But it wasn’t to be. Lucas went pale and started vomiting violently. By the first water point he looked too weak to continue and one of the race doctors was prepared to pull him from the race. Then the bargaining began. Lucas asked the doctor if he could continue if his vitals normalised and not expecting him to be able to climb back on the bike the doc agreed. Lucas gave me the first of his Churchill-esque speeches of the week. “We don’t give up,” was the just of it. The rest of the week was a blur of Lucas vomiting, dodging race medics and sending me ahead to gather apple pieces at water points as he couldn’t stop for fear of an official forcing him to withdraw. All thoughts of a good finish were out the window. In fact I didn’t think we’d finish until we passed the third water point on stage six. We hit two major lows, the first was on the long descent into the second water point on stage four. Lucas had been so weak on the climb that I’d had to push him because he couldn’t control his bike and hang onto my pocket simultaneously. Coming down the switchbacks Lucas ploughed straight on two occasions, showing a dangerous lack of awareness of his surroundings. Water point two on stage four was Lucas’s rock bottom, he was ready to give up but somehow managed to lift himself and convince me into believing that he’d withdraw at the next water point. After once again ordering me to collect apple pieces Lucas went through water point three on stage four, but the battle wasn’t over. Recovering enough to start on stage five, the queen stage, Lucas became fixated with the cut-off time while battling up Rusty Gate. There was no way we’d miss the cut-off as a vomiting, soft peddling Lucas still managed an average of 13km/h throughout. But despite
from page 11
A picture, as they say, tells the story of a 1000 words and the contrasting expressions on Lionel’s and Lucas’ faces proves that to be true
Cycle Training’s Epic ﬂashback
Kate’s Epic Review
Every mountain biker gets FOMO when the Cape Epic is on. Kate Slegrova had it bad last year, so she thought she’d do it one more time…
Training for the Epic I only took about a week off from cycling in early December and then started with base training. Luckily I had more time for training than I usually would thanks to the holidays. I managed to train 20 hours per week for three weeks over Christmas and early January. I got my husband involved in a lot of the rides to get him ﬁt too. We did some nice three to four hour rides together. My ﬁrst pre-Epic race was the Attakwas Extreme Challenge. It wasn’t easy, especially as I was still on hard tail and hadn’t done much intensity yet. After the Attakwas I started intensity training and soon it was Tankwa Trek. The Tankwa was exceptionally hard this year
Full Sus regular Kate Slegrova is taking a bit of a break from competitive riding and while she’s got more time on her hands she’s running MTB skills clinics in Cape Town & Stellenbosch. Follow her on Twitter @KateSlegrova or check out here website www.cycletraining.co.za to book your spot.
thanks to 40°C heat, but I loved the route and organising. The following weekend I did the GR300, which was really tough on my tired body! After the GR300 it was just easy rides with short high intensity interval rides. My normal Epic training week included 12 to 15 hours of riding, with the exception of the Tankwa and GR300 weeks which went beyond 20 hours. As a coach and personal trainer my job is very active. I spend a lot of time on my feet in the gym with clients, and I get up early every day, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep either. It deﬁnitely wasn’t easy, but I managed to hang in there.
My new baby I got my new full suspension, Scott Spark, before the Tankwa Trek. I was happy to get some practice on it and had time to get used to the Spark’s handling before the Epic. The full sus deﬁnitely paid off at the Epic!
The race As you might have heard I was the weaker link in our team, so every day I pushed hard. I had really enjoyed the Greyton and Oak Valley stages. For the rest I suffered! We camped for the duration of the Epic apart from the days in Robertson where we were invited to stay at a friend’s place for a couple of nights. Being put up in a house at Robertson was particularly fortunate as the camp in Robertson was massive and everywhere was far to walk. The Oaks in Greyton and Oak Valley in Grabouw were beautiful camps though. The atmosphere at water points was great and I often heard people cheering me on. Our result was just a bit disappointing, as we had missed the 10th spot in the ladies category. Especially with my partner being competitive and strong I couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty about not being able to go faster, but I can say I gave it all. I haven’t had a break from racing for a long time so I think I really need one now and also feel like I want one! The race is very well organised. I don’t think I have much negative to
say; only that maybe there could have been free Wi-Fi in the riders’ village (sometimes it was too far to walk back to the ﬁnish-line area to Tweet a photo). The Epic has become a must do on any mountain biker’s list and I wouldn’t
argue with that, but there are a lot of other events in South Africa that are also very well organized and I think more enjoyable. I prefer a smaller event, with fewer participants as it makes for more camaraderie.
Celina Carpinteiro teamed up with Kate for the 2014 Epic
did the ABSA Cape Epic in 2011 and ﬁnished 22nd in the Mixed team category, somewhere in midﬁeld. But for 2014 I wanted to ride in the ladies category and as I didn’t have a partner the organisers matched me up with Celina Carpinteiro, a very strong Portuguese mountain biker. We had our entries conﬁrmed in early December and then the training started in earnest.
Kate’s tips for Cape Epic participants Training Plan, realistically, how many hours a week you can put into your training without your family and work taking too much strain. You’ll need a minimum of 10 hours of smart training per week. I’d also suggest you invest in a coach don’t download a program from internet if you are not sure what you are doing. Partner Choose your partner wisely and make sure you both have similar ﬁtness levels and goals. Gear Get proper gear (especially bib shorts) but don’t go all crazy and spend your entire salary. People do it on hard tails too! Get your bike properly set up in advance. And please don’t bike on a new bike at the last minute. Nutrition Test your nutrition before the big race and try to keep it quite natural. Also don’t go into the Epic too skinny. Mind-set Prepare yourself to suffer, and try to stay positive. Taking the time to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery will make the suffering more bearable. Finally don’t lose your sense of humour. You’re doing it for fun after all!
Trails to make you all misty-eyed
Get all tree-huggy in the fantastic forests and pine plantations blanketing the ridges high above Tsitsikamma’s rugged coastline on the Misty Mountains Reserve MTB Route. Just make sure you do so after getting off your mountain bike… Photographs & words by Jacques Marais. Local buzz:
This is the Garden Route, but maybe not quite the way you know it. You’ll get none of the Knysna over-crowding or Plett glamourpussing, but you can expect tons of headspace, a range of kief outdoor destinations and a whole bunch of down-to-earth people. Tsitsikamma has somehow kept a low proﬁle on the local mountain biking radar, but events like the MERRELL Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge and the 36One Storms River Traverse are bound to change people’s perception of riding here upon the edge of the magical Garden Route National Park. Hopefully the Parks Board’s current attitude towards mountain biking will become more positive, as together with the internationallyowned (and very pro-MTB) Cape Pine, they are one of the major landowners in the region. Multiuse trails could link in with private landowners, making for exceptional riding along coastal cliffs and inland ranges.
Saddle up here and you get the whole bang-shoot of geographical terrain options as well – craggy Fynbos peaks, tranquil plantations, indigenous forest tracks, plunging ravines and panoramic coastal cliffs. All you have to do is make friends with gravity as you take on the steep and undulating trails. The MTB route starting from Tsitsikamma Village Inn www.tsitsikammahotel.co.za is ok for a quickie, but if you want to supersize your ride, the trail network on Misty Mountain Reserve should be your go-to ride. More than 60km of jeep-track and forestry roads (and the occasional stretch of deep-forest single-track), makes for a rollicking day on your bike. The trails – there are four colourcoded options to choose from – are really well marked, making for easy navigation along fast and open forestry roads. As you will be traversing both National Parks and Cape Pine land, it is essential to always ride with your permit (available from the lodge or various entry points).
Take the kids for a spin along the easy 8km or so Yellow Route; farm and forest tracks combine along a tranquil and flattish crank on terrain which would not phase your average six-year old too much. If the very thought of that makes you yawn, aim your knobbly bits at
the 15km Orange Route towards the Storms River View Point for a nontechnical return ride. The Blue Route (42km) will force you to dig a little deeper, both from an endurance and a technical perspective. Start off along the Orange markers, but then drop to your right into a great section of the national park’s indigenous forests. The surface may be gritty and loose, so watch your speed into those corners! A calf-cruncher of a climb awaits you as you make your way up to Storms River Village, where you can grab a cold beer at The Hunters’ Pub if that is your wont. I know I would… From the Village Main Road it is a high-speed duck and dive across the river and back up to the view point, with a feel-good forest track thrown into the mix for good measure before you head left along the coast to Misty Mountain Lodge. Finally, you can go the Full Monty along the 60km+ Black Route, a fast-paced crank mostly along gravel roads and forestry tracks running parallel to the coast. The bumpy jeep track eventually blasts you onto the Elands River View Site, before you connect back via the Blue Route to complete your ride.
Getting there: Look for a brown sign to Misty Mountain Reserve, South of the N2, approximately 170km from Port Elizabeth. Follow a gravel road for 7km to the lodge.
SUS the Misty Mountain Reserve MTB Route: SO
Grading: Easy/Intermediate (some steep climbs) Duration: 30min – 4hrs Conﬁguration: Circular/Return options of 8 – 63km Start Point: Misty Mountain Reserve (alternative
A F R I CA
Tsitsikamma Village Inn)
Terrain: Gravel road, jeep-track and short sections of
Eastern Cape Tsitsikamma ◆ Port Elizabeth
Post-Ride Beer: Hunters’ Pub www.tsitsikammahotel.co.za
Must-do Event: Storms River Traverse www.stormsrivertraverse.co.za or the Tsitsikamma MTB Challenge – www.tsitsikammamtb.co.za
where are we? www.themapstudio.co.za
Access: Permit from Misty Mountain Reserve Cell Reception: Reception along most of the route Accommodation: Full range of accommodation options at Misty Mountain Local Contact: email@example.com / Tel 082 891 9008 GPS: S34° 1min 26.8sec / E23° 56min 52.7sec
full sus M T B O N LI NE
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 www.jacquesmarais.co.za
Tsitsikamma is the natural, wilderness heart of the Garden Route. It may not have the glamour of Plett, or the hustle and bustle of Knysna but if you want to escape the maddening crowds then it’s the Garden Route destination of choice
Get your MTB ﬁx online now at www.fullsus.co.za. FullSus.co.za 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 www.FullSus.co.za to buy second hand bikes and gear or sell your old bikes and gear. Check it out at www.FullSus.co.za/classiﬁeds
ONETWENTY vs ONETEN: The PYGA Show This month we got Rudolf Zuidema to give the ﬁrst 650B bike to go under the Full Sus microscope a test. Rudolf put the PYGA ONETWENTY650 through its paces and then hopped on the big wheeled, shorter travelling ONETEN29 just for good comparative measures too, this is how it went: Photography by Julia Andrade.
SUS The ONETWENTY650 Geometry Medium frame: All measurements in mm or ° Seat Tube .......................... 460 Top Tube .............................595 Head Tube .......................... 120 Bottom bracket height ... 335 Head tube angle ...........68.5° Virtual Seat tube angle.....74.5° Chain Stay .........................428 Wheel base ........................1132 Stack ...................................600 Reach ...................................428
Rudolf Zuidema has 15 years of mountain biking experience, 10 of which spent in the industry here and internationally. He’s a ﬁrm believer in giving good unbiased advise and of course that more travel equals more fun.
The PYGA ONETWENTY650
or those living under a rock somewhere, PYGA is the brainchild of SA bike industry legends Patrick Morewood, formerly of Morewood and Mark Hopkins, formerly of Leatt and the founder of Csixx. They focus on making bikes that are fun to ride on your local trails, while also being capable of riding the odd Enduro or Marathon Stage race by simply switching selected components; wheels being the obvious ﬁrst choice. I tested both the ONETWENTY and the ONETEN. And both bikes have the same essential features and proportional geometry, so in theory they should deliver similar rides… One of the ﬁrst things you notice on the PYGA frames is build quality. The single colour paintjob and decals are smooth and understated, the welds are uniform and the visible machining in the 90mm Pressﬁt BB and tapered steerer tube is neatly ﬁnished off. All of the pivots run on sealed cartridge bearings with the Main, Rocker and Rear Brake pivots getting a double set of bearings for improved durability and increased lateral stiffness. The suspension setup is essentially a Faux Bar linkage with a ﬂoating rear shock, which aims to isolate suspension forces from the frame itself. The replaceable hanger is stout, belying the trail orientated nature of the bikes and the replaceable thread for the Syntace X12 rear axle is a nice touch. Both test bikes were ﬁtted with SRAM XX1 drivetrains and Stan’s ARCH EX Wheels. There were a number of minor spec variations, but two impacted on the test in my opinion and are worth mentioning. The ONETWENTY came ﬁtted with a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 fork with 140mm travel and a 15mm QR Axle while the ONETEN had a FOX FLOAT 32 RLC with 120mm travel and a standard 9mm QR Axle. Both forks feature the full spectrum of adjustments but what sets them apart is the axle standard. Why anyone would still spec a bike, let alone a 29r, with a 9mm QR fork in this day and age is beyond me. The beneﬁts of the 15mm QR Axle standard are by now well documented and the 20 odd gram weight penalty is far outweighed by the improvement in steering precision, particularly when it comes to 29er’s. Coming off the ONETWENTY and the utterly sublime Revelation fork the ONETEN with the Float was disappointing to say the least. Steering was noticeably less direct and even vague at times, severely affecting conﬁdence when it came to throwing the bike down the trails. Moral of the story, buy a fork with a 15mm QR Axle! On the other hand the ONETWENTY was ﬁtted with a standard seatpost, while the ONETEN was ﬁtted with a Rockshox Reverb Dropper Post. The Dropper Post is probably the one upgrade on a bike that will improve your singletrack descending prowess! Being able to drop your saddle out of the way when descending technical trails at speed is sheer bliss. I’m sure everyone’s bought a plot somewhere on a trail after getting hung up on the back of their saddle! Having the dropper on the ONETEN went a surprisingly long way to offset the poor choice of fork, such a pity we didn’t have one on the ONETWENTY. I might have to call for a re-test… The PYGA’s, both 29” & 650b, are superb all-rounders with relentless traction and the climbing efficiency of a lightweight marathon race bike. The slacker head angles and the superb suspension make for a bike that pushes you to go ever faster. As long as you commit to the trail ahead and let the Force ﬂow through you, you’ll get to the bottom of the trail with a smile on your dial and if your sports pass hasn’t expired yet you’ll be pointing the front wheel back up the mountain for another run! I haven’t touched much on the different wheel sizes… as that can of worms is for next time. Suffice it to say that both have their Pros and Cons and you’ll have to ﬁgure out which one is best suited for your personal riding style, but you won’t go wrong with either PYGA.
The PYGA ONETEN29
Read David Bristow’s full PYGA ONETEN29 Review in the September 2013 issue of Full Sus or on www.fullsus.co.za/category/reviews/bike-reviews/.
The ins and outs of strength training S
trength training has recently become increasingly popular among cyclists. Although traditionally cyclists have been fearful of strength training due to a possible increase in body weight or muscle bulk. Several modern elite cyclists, such as Nino Schurter, are known for their focus on strength training. The scientific research studies, which have evaluated the effect of strength training on endurance performance has, however, not been conclusive. In a recent systematic review of the scientific literature, five studies that investigated the effect of strength training interventions in highly trained road cyclists were reviewed. Of the five studies, two found no improvement in cycling performance with strength training, whereas three of the studies did find an improvement in performance. The most important finding from this systematic review was that the studies, which replaced a portion of their endurance training with strength training, improved their endurance performance. The studies, which added additional strength training to their endurance training, did not yield any additional cycling performance gains. There has been no single strength training intervention that has been shown to be superior to any other. Of the studies, which have been associated with an increased performance, each one implemented a totally different strength training program. High repetition based, low repetition based and explosive based workouts have been shown to be beneficial. It is therefore clear that further research is required to identify the optimal resistance training program for cyclists. Furthermore, from my own personal experience, and that presented in previous studies, here is a summary and some Practical recommendations: Strength training may provide an additional gain in performance to elite or competitive athletes who are already training to their full potential when correctly performed
and correctly incorporated into their training. A strength training session should never be added on top of your normal training. When including strength training ensure you decrease your training on the bike. Ensure adequate recovery after your strength training session and only include intensity training on the bike once your legs have fully recovered. Include a combination of both heavy/low repetition based strength training and low resistance explosive strength training in a periodised manner (i.e. align the objectives in the gym with the objectives of your specific period of training on the bike). Do not be put off by very heavy weights. Very heavy weight training with low repetitions may be used to gain strength without gaining too much muscle bulk. Include exercises which mimic the muscle patterns used when cycling. For example, a weighted single leg step-up is a good exercise for cyclists to perform as similar muscle groups and joint range of motions are used. To avoid injury, always ensure you are performing all exercises with the correct technique. Consult a personal trainer, biokineticist or other expert to ensure your technique is correct.
SUS THE FURTHER READING If you’re scientiﬁcally inclined
DARREN GODARD/GAMEPLAN MEDIA
In this issue Dr Mike Posthumus brieﬂy reviews the scientiﬁc literature on the use of strength training to improve cycling performance.
A look at Nino Schurter’s leg size to victory ratio will quickly convince you of the beneﬁts of strength training
“A STRENGTH TRAINING SESSION SHOULD NEVER BE ADDED ON TOP OF YOUR NORMAL TRAINING. WHEN INCLUDING STRENGTH TRAINING ENSURE YOU DECREASE YOUR TRAINING ON THE BIKE.”
and keen on reading more about strength training for cycling then read the following article: LM Yamamoto, JF Klau, DJ Casa, WJ Kraemer, LE Armstrong, CM Maresh. “The Effects of Resistance Training on Road Cyclists: A Systematic Review.” The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.24(2), 2010.
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 www.sciencetosport.com
MTB Skills Guru
SAM CLARK/CAPE EPIC/SPORTZPICS
Stage two of this year’s ABSA Cape Epic was a mudfest of note! James Thornhill-Fisher heard a rider say: “Man today is going to be an expensive day.” But if you follow these guidelines in future it need not be.
f you are going to be doing a ride/race that is notorious for mud, my opinion is that you invest in proper mud tyres. They cut through and disperse the mud so your tyres don’t clog up. They also slip and slide less. Your clothes and everything else will be covered in mud but you will be riding while the rest are wallowing and walking. Mud is one of the most difficult terrain types, especially when combined with hills, rocks, logs or roots. It’s best to avoid any sudden or quick movements when riding in mud and as in sand, use momentum as your friend. You may also want to lower your tyre pressure to increase traction. Serious mud can accumulate on your bike and add three to four kilos to your wheels in no time, as well as preventing your wheels from rolling and turning properly. With heavy mud accumulation, your front tire may tend to skid and slide without rotating at all! To combat this I sometimes use “Spray and Cook” on the bike frame and tyres to stop the mud sticking, but this only works for a short while. If you have time to stop, use a stick to remove built-up mud from the tyres, frame and brakes. If there is a river nearby, it will be worth giving your bike a quick wash down. I did this a few times on stage two T’s of this year’s Epic and it saved me ne lots of Rands because my gears and 2 brakes were free to work properly, y for a while at least, after the wash. Steady pedal pressure and ats in strength are also required to ease edge the burden on your components. iﬁc Focus on pedalling smoothly – this at is vital in mud. You need to use a gear that lets you spin the pedals at about 70-80 rpm, making sure
you apply the power as evenly as possible right through the pedal stroke. If you go for the big push at the front of each stroke, you’ll just make the back wheel lose traction and spin. Then as you go through the middle of the pedal stroke, the bike will stall where there’s little power. Gear selection is crucial and anticipating those gear changes will save you a fortune and a lot of heartache. I’ll have to discuss gear selection and correct shifting in a future issue, but if you need a quick answer go to
www.mountainbikeguru.co.za and click on the MTB Academy tab. Try to avoid the brakes if you can. Approach any obstacles as close to a 90 degree angle as possible and keep your weight centred between the wheels. Ride light, balanced, centred, and ready for the bike to start to slide out. There will be times when your bike will slide out from under you, and it is a question of how fast you can recover as to whether or not you will fall. Going uphill, you may wish to select a slightly higher gear and do not stand
“I DID ALL OF THE ABOVE AND MADE IT THROUGH THE DAY AND THE WHOLE EPIC FOR THAT MATTER WITH ONLY LUBING MY CHAIN (LOTS) AND HAVING MY BIKE CLEANED AFTER EVERY STAGE.”
SAM CLARK/CAPE EPIC/SPORTZPICS
The RECM Ladies displaying mud mastering techniques
James Thornhill-Fisher, the MTB Guru, has over 25 years of cycling and mountain biking experience. He’s ridden over 60 000km in the last ﬁve years, leading numerous Cape Epic trial rides along the way. Check out his website for upcoming training camps and workshops: www.mtbguru.co.za. up. Build up momentum before going into these uphill sections. Another problem is that shifting may be difficult, as mud may coat the drive train. It may be beneficial to use the middle, and not the small, chainring to prevent chain suck. Lube your drivetrain as often as possible. This prevents it from drying and causing shifting problems and also reduces the “grinding paste” effect. If it’s not a race consider not even riding on a muddy trail, as you may do some serious trail damage in addition to the damage to your bike. It is also a good idea to give your bike a thorough cleaning before the mud dries and cakes up on your bike. When riding in muddy conditions spray your pedals with a liberal coat of lube. This will save you from getting stuck in the pedals when you need to escape in a hurry. (Actually just do it regularly as most people forget that pedals need some lube too now and again to keep working properly.) I did all of the above and made it through the day, and the whole Epic for that matter, with only lubing my chain (lots) and having my bike cleaned after every stage. I never even needed my tyres pumped.
R 'n R:
FS Nutrition Why it’s important to take a break
The Cape Epic 2014 is behind us and congratulations to all of you awesome riders out there who took part! By now you might be experiencing the post Epic blues and it’s time to enjoy some good rest and relaxation. Here are some warning signs to watch out for and signs that you’re in need to take a break from the bike, courtesy of the Full Sus Physio, Sarah Walker.
fter a lot of training and many days of racing, are you experiencing any of the following? ◆ Stiff sore muscles ◆ No power and slow, heavy legs ◆ Lack of motivation and feeling irritable ◆ Loss of conﬁdence and selfesteem… You may be in need of some R ’n R and here is why your body needs a break. After an intense training session or a race, the following systems in your body are stressed:
around race time and recovery time. Massage your muscles to promote blood ﬂow in localised areas, relax the muscles, and also improve your mood and well-being. Perform static stretching for 10 minutes in a pool after exercise as this aids recovery of the muscles. Make use of the contrast bath technique: have a 3 minute long hot shower, followed by a 1 minute ice cold bath. Repeat three times. This also aids blood ﬂow and muscle recovery. And sleep, but not too much – 7 to 9 hours for adults is perfect.
Muscle system micro-trauma:
Muscle cells have been damaged and need to repair and rebuild.
The basic rule of thumb is one rest day per week during training, and post-race is one rest day per day of racing. Make sure recovery time is part of your training and race programme to avoid fatigue and sub optimal performance on your bike.
Nervous system fatigue: High intensity explosive or endurance exercise puts pressure on your neural pathways to ﬁre in the correct sequence at the correct speed.
How you can really boost your immune system? Our immune system is a strong army ﬁghting against a battalion of disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes the warriors slip up and an invader gets through. Is it possible to try to help and make our warriors stronger? What factors will assist? Read Rochez O’ Grady’s Nutrition Column to ﬁnd out how to boost your immune system. Prevention is better than cure We would all love to boost our immune system, but in reality it has been proven difficult since the body’s army is a system, and the warriors do not act on their own. To ﬁght at their best, it requires balance and harmony. Your ﬁrst line of defence is a healthy lifestyle; this is the best step in keeping your immune system strong.
Get into healthy habits like: ◆ Don’t smoke. ◆ Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat. ◆ Exercise regularly. ◆ Make sure you drink enough water, at least 8 glasses a day. ◆ Cut out reﬁned sugar, and reﬁned starch. ◆ Maintain a healthy weight. ◆Control your blood pressure. ◆If you drink alcohol, drink only in
moderation. ◆Get adequate sleep. ◆Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly. ◆Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
Eating right And what about what we put into our mouths? Like all armies, our ﬁghting warriors need healthy nourishment. This requires a balanced micronutrient intake. How do we know if we are getting this balance? There is no concrete answer to this question, which means we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to reach our
Energy depletion: The body’s energy system has been stressed and needs to be refuelled.
Mental fatigue: This may set in, particularly after a competitive race lasting a few days.
Travel fatigue: If you have travelled to train or compete, factors such as change in time zones / altitude / climate / disrupted sleep and meal times will all add to the body’s stress. Rest helps these systems to recover and adapt to the stresses they are or were exposed to. One can then train with less fatigue and your body now has the capacity to perform better and adapt to new workloads faster. Rest also lowers the risk of falling sick, developing an injury or reaching burnout. Doesn’t R ’n R sound more and more appealing? If the idea of rest from your bike tips you into a state of depression though, here are ways and means of recovering faster: Seek guidance from a Nutritionist on how to fuel and refuel your body
Sarah Walker is a is a sports physiotherapist who has been involved with treating cyclists for 15 years. She’s worked at many MTB stage races around the country and from her Cape Town practice sees many a sports person. She teaches Pilates and is a ﬁtness trainer for tennis academy. Sarah believes that a thorough sports speciﬁc assessment followed by a well-planned 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.co.za for more info or send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
She he ah h abou c
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. co.za or ask Rochez your nutrition related questions at email@example.com.
Lord of the Trails –
A Hogsback adventure
Anybody who has visited the Drakensberg will know that the Berg is not exactly the same as the majestic mountains we have in the Western Cape, but the Berg is a close second in Jeanne-Louise Wiese’s books. So follow her advice and when passing through the Eastern Cape take the scenic route through the mountains and detour to the little town of Hogsback.
unny enough, the name has nothing to do with hogs. Some say that it’s because one of the three peaks that overlook the village resembles a Hog’s Back, which is a geological term describing that particular rock formation. In Xhosa, the surrounding area is called Qabimbola, after the red clay which they used to paint their faces. The town’s history reaches back to 1848 when Thomas Baines passed through it on his travels through South Africa. One of the ﬁrst inhabitants was Thomas Summerton, a gardener from Oxford, who attempted to re-create the English countryside at Hogsback. Today you can see this legacy throughout the town with apple orchards, hazelnut avenues and ﬂowering gardens scattered across the landscape. Forestry activities started in 1883 and the Hogsback pass was opened in 1932.It is still the only tar road accessing the town. There are a few gravel roads around the area that lead to the town, all of which can be explored on a mountain bikebut should not be attempted with a small vehicle. If you really want to experience the beauty of this place, you have to head into the single tracks which lead through the forests, up the mountains, past the numerous waterfalls and up to some spectacular views.There is a 22km Green Madonna Loop, a Blue route, the Tor Doone route and many more options. All information regarding the MTB trails can be obtained from the tourist office in town. The Amatola Mountains and Amatola Forest in the Hogsback area are often claimed as being the sources of inspiration for J.R.R Tolkien’s epic The Lord of the Rings.You can clearly see why when you trek through the secretive forests. It doesn’t take much to imagine how fairies, trolls, elves and wizards could make their home there. After some challenging climbs, when looking down from the mountains onto the fertile plains of the Tyume Valley, one can see the patches of indigenous forest where a rich variety of birdlife thrives, including wailing cisticola, African pipit, reed cormorant, red-billed duck, loerie and parrot. These forests are scattered with spectacular waterfalls like the Madonna and Child, Swallowtail and Kettlespout. The Kettlespout waterfall bursts through a natural
spout in the rocks and, during windy conditions creates a feathery plume some 9 metres high. The rivers which feed these waterfalls are also mostly stocked with trout and feature crystal clear water, perfect for cooling down after a long and challenging cycling trip around those parts. And if you take some time to quietly sit and wait you might be lucky enough to spot the Cape clawless otter, mongoose, bushbuck, duiker or vervet monkeys. A word of caution though, when planning a cycling trip in the winter, it is important to remember that these mountains do get a lot of snow, swirling mists and frightening thunderstorms. Which for most adventure seekers would mean an additional thrill and more reasons to visit. Just dress for cold weather. If you need a local contact to help plan your trip, give Cycle Roots a call on 073 567 9487 or drop by the shop
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. in the Hogsback Main Road. The owner, Neels du Toit, set up many of the single tracks around town, so he’s the best possible source of local riding knowledge. The area is unspoilt and the locals would prefer to keep it that way. So please take care not to litter, stick to the marked trails and leave only tread tracks when riding out in the forests of the enigmatic town of Hogsback.
“THOMAS SUMMERTON ATTEMPTED TO RE-CREATE THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE AT HOGSBACK.” Enjoying the pristine Hogsback forest
optimum micronutrient intake. Firstly, get enough micronutrients from your diet. The old recommendation of ﬁve servings a day of fruit and vegetables is no longer good enough. We need to start aiming for at least 10 portions of vegetables a day, and one to two servings of fruit per day. Increasing to this amount could reduce your risk of premature death by up to 42%. Try to ﬁll at least half of your plate at lunch and dinner with salad and/or vegetables, and to include one to two servings as a snack between main meals. Once you have increased your micronutrient intake by eating more greens, yellows, reds and purples, you can also take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, rather than mega doses of single vitamins. Your urine may become more yellow in colour as your body gets rid of any excess, but at least you will know you are meeting your optimal nutrition requirements. This means that you are ensuring all you can to promote prevention rather than cure. Remember a multivitamin needs to be taken daily, after a main meal, preferably in the morning. Next, make sure the environment of your body stays healthy. A great way to do this is to put back the ‘good’ bacteria, probiotics, into our stomachs. It is now known that certain bacteria in the gut influence the strength of our army. It can help correct deficiencies and increase certain front line soldiers. Taking a probiotic daily helps to create a peaceful environment for your army. In the end the beneﬁt of doing these simple things will make a great impact not only on your warriors protecting you against disease, but it will also make you feel energised and help all systems of the body function at their best.
FS Ride Report CAPE EPIC
JAGMagic 30 at the ABSA Cape Epic
As the sun was rising later and the burden of the last seven months of four am mornings started to take its toll on Dominic Malan, the thought of leaving his wife and their warm bed was nearly unbearable, but he knew that every ride would assist him and his riding partner John Bayly in getting through the tough stages for JAGMagic 30.
Dominic Malan loving the real MTB riding on the 2014 Epic. ALL PHOTOS BY SPORTGRAF
he family were starting to ask when the training would finish and when I would be able to give my normal morning cuddles to my kids but all I could think about was the beast that lay ahead and the fear of not finishing. This was the goal and my priorities at the end would not shift albeit at the expense of my family. As the event came closer we started to canvas possible sponsors. I focused specifically on clothing and crafted a proposal to First Ascent to see if they would support our efforts. The fit seemed to be a natural one with First Ascent positioning themselves as a brand for the committed weekend warrior and launching a range for the performance end of the outdoor athlete looking for comfort, performance and affordability. First Ascent agreed to get behind us and offered us a substantial kit sponsorship that covered head to toe, warm weather to the icy stages and all the bits and bobs required. In the meantime John had landed a big title sponsor in JHB, Penny Black, and this certainly eased the financial burden that was fast beginning to weigh on us. With three weeks to go, John and I went full-steam ahead raising funds for the Jag Foundation. All of our efforts were targeted at supporting the Bullyproof campaign that equips kids to “cut bullies off at the knees” by disarming their power over previously helpless victims. One of the fundraising highlights was a small intimate gathering of about 20 Cape Town Captains of Industry where they were exposed to the wonders and mysteries that lie behind the production of Scotch whisky, held at the famous Bascule Whisky Bar in the Waterfront and hosted by Rynard van der Westhuizen. We were all treated to the romantic side of Scotch whisky
production and a colourful tasting that allowed all who attended to ask deep and complex questions about the whisky industry and the world’s most loved Scotch whisky. We managed to raise R18K that evening which will go a long way towards supporting the Bullyproof campaign. Three days to go and Jag took some of the riders out ahead of the Epic into the communities to showcase the environments where the Bullyproof program was prospering. We listened to the teachers and the kids talking about the profound impact this initiative has made in their lives. John arrived in Cape Town a day ahead of the registration, sporting a whole new wardrobe. John weighed in at 98kg, down from a 118kg in July 2013 and only his infectious smile resembling his former self. He was ready and anxious, quietly confident and as usual full of pearls of wisdom, one of which was the word “GAMENESS” which translated means “the ability to follow through and complete the challenge or task at hand regardless of circumstance”. This word would help us through some dark days to come.
Registration: The kids were brimming with excitement and could not wait to come and see what this Epic was all about. My wife, managing her nail appointment ahead of registration, saw John and I leave home with both kids and set off to the beginning of a number of milestones. On arrival we noticed a man standing in the queue. At 1,62m and weighing it at 86kg, this man looked like he should be running out as tight head for the Stormers and not be entering the world’s most gruelling MTB race. Seven days later we found out that this man, Tyrone, had lost 55kg and would come in minutes behind us, completing a lifetime dream and
John Bayly become a true mountain biker on the Epic.
Dominic and John setting off on their Epic journey. become an official finisher of the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic.
The Race: Having not had much sleep John and I awoke at 4:30 am on the morning of the prologue. Making as little noise as possible we had breakfast, packed (including a healthy sense of humour) and set out for Meerendal. I recall saying to John during the ride: “Johnno we are actually doing this – we are riding the Cape Epic!” Well what a day it was - brilliant weather, amazing single-track riding and phenomenal support from family, friends and the general public made for a day we will never forget. To see the excitement on my kids’ faces when we crossed the finish-line was priceless with a comment from my seven year old son Daniel: “Dad when I am 21 I want to ride the Cape Epic with you.” What a challenge and something to look forward to. From Meerendal it was off home to pack our final things for the week before uniting with the JAG Foundation team, our family for the next seven days. We’d gone for the premium
upgrade package to ensure maximum comfort during the days of agony which were sure to follow. So dawn on stage one saw us waking up in luxury before driving to the start at Arabella. Both John and I were extremely nervous and little was said during the transit to the start. We set off in batch H, the batch we would ride in for most of the week and the start was fast and furious, the aim was to cover the first 35km to water-point one at an average speed of 24km/h so that we could bank time ahead of the 2000m of climbing to come over the middle 45km. Climb one saw both of us push our bikes up something that resembled the North Col of Mt Everest. I am not joking, with the line of riders disappearing into the cloud covered peak of the first climb. One hour later we summit and knew what Sherpa Tensing Norgay felt like during his first summit of Everest. This climb certainly set the scene for the week ahead and we knew that patience and pride would come into play when looking to conquer these ridiculous Cape mountain “paths”. After the second big climb of the day John narrowly escaped a hectic head
Ride Report CAPE EPIC FS “JOHNNO WE ARE ACTUALLY DOING THIS – WE ARE RIDING THE CAPE EPIC!”
Keeping a sense of humour when the going gets tough isn’t always easy.
Team JAGMagic 30 proud Cape Epic ﬁnishers. over heels, as the rider in front of him disappeared into the Fynbos and down a 5m ledge, ﬁnally coming to rest in a Camel thorn tree, looking a little confused. On the morning of stage two we awoke to heavy rain and spared a thought for the riders living in the tent town, having to negotiate the rain, weather and all things wet ahead of the start of the day. Thoughts of looking forward to a theoretically easy day were dispelled within the ﬁrst ﬁve minutes after the start. Thick mud would signal the conditions for the next 50km. The slog continued, with washed away tracks that had promised so much fun during the race brieﬁng the night before taking their toll on team after team left alongside the tracks with broken chains and punctures in their attempts to beat the conditions. For us it was a long yet calculated day, getting ahead of tricky muddy sections. John started to feel the impact of the day before and due to the wet conditions started to develop a small saddle sore that would turn out to be his biggest distraction during the week. The plan for stage three was clear - get off to a fast start and hook into a peloton to take advantage of the possible drafting on offer. John’s ﬁrst order of the day was to visit the bum doctor and get his saddle sore looked at, after assuming a fairly compromising position he was sort of good to go and he put on a brave face as he neared the starting line. Today would be a real test of our endurance and the hours of training up and down “Breed’s Neck” in JHB. The second half of the route was a nightmare,
50km/h headwinds, sand, corrugated road and an evil river crossing that saw us wading chest deep across the Sonderend River was enough to break the toughest of spirits. John and I were both hurting. I had a back spasm that I carried into the race that was excruciatingly painful and the river crossing further aggravated John’s saddle sore making any amount of time in the saddle worse than ten lashes with the “cat of nine tails”. We made it to Riviersonderend and with both of us feeling the distance, we had two-and-a-half hours to ﬁnish the next 35km. John sucked up the pain and pushed through the mental barrier leading us home in 9 hours and 22 minutes. This day would prove to be our biggest victory yet as John’s ability to block out pain and get the job done came to the fore, constantly reminding ourselves of the word “gameness” and the inspiration of a friend of ours who is a recovering addict who offered the advice of “when it gets tough – one second, one minute, one hour at a time as long as you never stop”. It was more than enough inspiration for us to cross the line. Neil, thanks for the inspiration, your words added the majority of the encouragement during those dark times. On paper stage four was arguably the easiest stage of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic. Leaving the hotel feeling a little lax about the meander through Greyton, I forgot one of my protein shakes, the one supplement during the day that stabilized my blood sugar. It turned out to be a big mistake on a brutally undulating, rocky and technical stage. With no second protein water bottle I was
forced to eat gels, spiking my sugar levels before dropping again, leaving me ﬂat and broken. What should have been a tough but fun day turned out to be my toughest day of the 2014 Epic. The queen stage saw John visiting his new best friend, the bum doctor for the third day in a row. She treated him with a local anaesthetic to help him take his mind off his saddle sore, allowing him to focus on the mammoth task at hand. On the descent after the ﬁrst climb we were faced with a fellow rider who had just been stung by a bee and she was hyper-allergic. Convulsing on the ground she was attempting to ﬁnd her adrenaline shot in her backpack. I stopped and fed her two anti-histamine pills which calmed her down somewhat while a co-rider from Hong-Kong managed to stab her leg with the adrenalin ﬁlled syringe. That worked instantly, allowing us all to get back on our bikes and tackle the remaining 80km ahead of us. The famed Rusty Gate Climb, 5km with a 900m ascent and an average gradient of 10 degrees, over-delivered on its promise of challenging! Both John and I walked 80% of this monster and one and half hours later we saw the summit of the beast, but we’d been brutalized by the sun glaring off the white surfaced road. John’s wife, Inga, had positioned herself on the Theewaterskloof Bridge and offered much needed words of encouragement. The sight of Inga brought goose bumps to both of us; a familiar face offering emotional support during the intense battle with stage ﬁve was much needed. The arrival at the ﬁnish at Oak Valley was possibly one of the most emotional moments in both of our lives. Few words were spoken but there was the realisation that something special had been achieved on the 28th day of March 2014. It was the day that we had broken the back of the Epic and could look forward to the last two days of riding that promised to be superb. The morning of stage six started with the anticipation of seeing our families at water point one, early on in the stage. By that time of the week we were both struggling with injuries. John had his saddle sore and a knee that was fast becoming a real issue after the brutal day before. But as usual he downplayed the agony he was experiencing and we set off. At the Houw Hoek water point we were greeted by a banner that read “go Dom and John” held proudly by Luisa, Dan and Kerry, with Inga offering moral support just a few yards away. Sheer determination and a sense of humour carried us through the deceptively tough mid-section of the stage, but by the end we were loving the manicured single-track of Oak Valley, carving up the switchbacks
and berms with style. Stage seven featured another wet start, providing a chance to test the First Ascent Raingear, long gloves and base layer. We both really looked forward to getting to the Hottentots Holland Saddle, which would signal the high-point of the last day and the literal downhill to the end. I went ahead as adrenaline ﬂowed through my limbs. This burst of speed was greeted with a look from my partner that I had not seen all week. All of a sudden John found a burst of strength and like an old racehorse turning for home he decided to really up the pace. John had ﬁnally become a true mountain biker, as he ﬂew through the meandering singletrack negotiating the turns, inclines and drop-offs like a seasoned pro. Certainly not like the novice who had accompanied me to Jonkershoek four months earlier. At the ﬁnal water point we were greeted by Matthew Pearce, the SuperSport commentator, who had to look twice before recognizing the more chiselled version of John. An hour later we were greeted by our respective families at the iconic ABSA Cape Epic ﬁnish-line. The ﬁelds of Lourensford were lined with friends and family, all wanting to share in the epic achievement, the moment in time that’ll never be forgotten by the 2014 ﬁnishers. The rest is history, and as John and I reﬂect on the race there is still a sense of “did we really do it?” We may be back for more punishment in 2015, but ﬁrst we’ll have to check with the family!
“ONE HOUR LATER WE SUMMIT AND KNEW WHAT SHERPA TENSING NORGAY FELT LIKE.”
Dominic Malan is the Regional Marketing Manager Africa for Diageo (the people who bring you the wonders of Johnnie Walker). Dom rode the 2014 ABSA Cape Epic with his mate of 30 years and owner of Green Advertising, John Bayly. They rode the Epic to raise funds and awareness for JAG’s Bullyproof project.
The 100 miler
The AmaRider 100 Miler was created to become a primary fundraiser for AmaRider. And here’s why that’s important: AmaRider is a recreational trails advocacy group focused on improving trail opportunities on the African continent and proceeds of the event are channelled directly to trail projects. AmaRider is focused on improving trail construction standards around the country and assist various mountain bike clubs to ensure that their trails are safe and environmentally sustainable. But you don’t just have to enter the 100 Miler to support trail building, there are some good selﬁsh reasons to enter too.
opportunity for keen riders to get a taste of endurance riding along with the trials of racing against the clock to ﬁnish before the cut-off. The 100 Miler route has been developed with the co-operation of local farmers and landowners who
gave permission for the organisers and mountain bikers to have access to their properties. This type of support forms the foundation of AmaRider as the organisation endeavours to bring new routes to riders and new riders to existing routes.
SUS The AmaRider 100 miler Start Time: 07:30
Entry Fees 50 Miler: R275 per
Distances: 160km or 80km (the 50
person plus R50 for a temporary
Cut-off Time: 10 hours and 30
Bonus: Seeding event for Die
Burger MTB Challenge 2014.
Entry Closing Date: 19 May 2014
Entry Fees 100 Miler: R473 per person
Facebook: Amarider 100 Miler
plus R50 for a temporary trail tag.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.amarider.co.za
Enter the 100 Miler solo or do it socially in a team of four.
he inaugural event was held in 2009 and in the short years since then the AmaRider 100 Miler has grown to become one of the must-do-events on the South African mountain biking calendar. It’s not designed to test your technical abilities, the 100 Miler is all about ultra-marathon endurance. Held in the beautiful Swartland (the bread basket of the Western Cape) during autumn, riders will be spellbound by the stunning scenery. Expect rolling wheat ﬁelds and undulating vineyards as the route heads South out of Malmesbury, from the start at Swartland Cellars, before turning in the foothills of the Paardeberg and heading north, circumnavigating Riebeek West and Riebeek-Kasteel before heading back to Malmesbury. The weather can play a major role in the difficulty of the ride, with previous years seeing riders take on challenging winds, mud and torrential rain. So watch the weather forecast to ensure you pack your race day kit appropriately. While the elite competition is based on solo riders, riders can also form four man teams and enjoy a day out in the saddle with mates. The team results will be based on the fourth rider crossing the line, thereby encouraging teamwork and camaraderie. The shorter route option of the 50 Miler (80km) starts at the halfway mark at Riebeek-Kasteel and ends with the 100 Miler riders at Swartland Winery. This event also provides an
Paolo Montoya en Ben Bostrom saam vir ‘n slaag....
SHAUN ROY/CAPE EPIC/SPORTZPICS
aam met my en Nico Bell in die Specialized Internasionale kamp was ’n derde ondersteuningspan met Amerikaner Ben Bostrom, beter bekend vir sy loopbaan op ’n motorﬁets waar hy sewe Superbike-oorwinnings ingesamel het. “It’s not dangerous to go 330km/h because everyone else is also going 330km/h!”. Paolo Montoya wat vir Costa Rica in die 2012 Olimpiese Spele vir XCO verteenwoordig het was ook in die span. Die Cape Epic is nogal ’n taamlike heftige uitstappie vir Specialized. Dit wys jou net hoe ongelooﬂik belangrik die resies geword het vir die top spanne en ryers. Saam met die drie spanne kom daar natuurlik ook drie kampers, drie werktuigkundiges, drie terapeute, ’n kok en ’n video-span van vier sodat Specialized ook hulle eie bemarking kan doen, asof die Cape Epic organisasie nie reeds genoeg mediablootstelling uitstuur nie! Oor die jare, veral met die nuwe sirkelroetes, het die Cape Epic definitief meer tegnies en rowwer geraak. Die bergfietsryers is mal daaroor, maar die risiko vir tegniese probleme is drasties verhoog. As gevolg van ’n gebreekte raam moes Centaurion-Vaude hul voorsprong afstaan sonder ’n ondersteuningspan om te help. Die uiteindelike wenners, Topeak-Ergon, het so ampertjies die resies weggegooi op die einde met twee dae van meganiese probleme as Centaurion-Vaude nie so gaaf was om uit te help nie. Net so sou Sauser en Raboň heel moontlik nie so hoog soos tweede kon eindig as dit nie vir hul twee ondersteuningspanne was nie. Gaan ons volgende jaar al die top spanne sien met ondersteuningsspanne? Kan die top spanne nog die kans waag daarsonder? Ek dink nie so nie. Dit maak nie sin dat enige span wat die Cape Epic ernstig opneem nie met ten
KARIN SCHERMBRUCKER/CAPE EPIC/SPORTZPICS
Stellenbosch is ’n tweede tuiste vir Christoph Sauser en oor die laaste paar jaar het hy en Erik Kleinhans baie goeie vriende geraak. Meer as dit, Susi, soos hy beter bekend staan, is ook Erik se oefenmaat, ﬁetsry-mentor, afrigter en het ongelooﬂik baie vir sy loopbaan beteken. So toe daar gevra word of hul RECM-span hulself sal uitleen vir die ABSA Cape Epic om as ondersteuningspan vir hom en František Raboň te dien, was die antwoord maklik!
Die Epic wenners Topeak Ergon, Susi, Franti en Erik op die eindstreep in Lourensford
“DIT IS ’N ABSOLUTE WONDERWERK DAT DIE TWEE VAN HULLE NOOIT ’N UUR STRAF GEKRY HET OMDAT HULLE MEER AS TWEE MINUTE WEG VAN MEKAAR WAS NIE.” minste een, maar verkieslik twee ondersteuningspanne opdaag nie. In ons kamp het dit perfek gewerk. Terwyl een van die spanne ’n wiel moes afstaan aan ons spankaptein moes die ander span die wind breek en hulle help werk om terug te veg sodat daar so min as moontlik tyd verloor word. Met al die fokus om die grootste bergﬁetswedren ter wêreld te wen, was Ben en Paolo ons daaglikse vermaak! “Where’s Bostrom!?” met ’n Spaanse aksent het ons seker tien keer per dag uit Paolo se mond gehoor! So baie, dit het ’n algemene sarkastiese gesegde geraak elke keer as iemand vir Paolo sien. Dit is ’n absolute wonderwerk dat die twee van hulle nooit ’n uur straf gekry het omdat hulle meer as twee minute uitmekaar was nie. Ek en Nico het hulle altyd in die middel van nêrens gesien. Ons het al lankal vir Ben weggery dan sien ons vir Paolo êrens in die bos. Hoe
hulle mekaar elke dag gevind het is ’n raaisel wat seker nooit opgelos gaan word nie! Met dit alles kan mens niks wegneem van hulle toewyding om vir Susi en Franti te help nie. Ben is ’n vegan en hy kyk goed na wat hy eet. Vir die eerste vyf dae het hy omtrent nooit by ’n waterpunt gestop nie, net omdat dit te veel tyd vat en hy wil naby die voorste ryers bly om te kan uithelp indien nodig. Maar, alles het sy breekpunt! Op dag ses was Ben so gebreek, hy het in middagete ingevaar en enige iets waarop hy sy hande kon lê in sy mond geprop! Vegan? Watse vegan! Die laaste dag was die kersie op die koek. Die spanbestuurders het seker gemaak almal is bewus van die verpligte stapsessie oor die historiese Gantouwpas. Maar vir een of ander rede het Paolo met sy gebroke Engels nie verstaan dat dit regtig verpligtend is nie. Hy het amper alles gery! Dit terwyl hy vir
RECM se Erik Kleinhans is een van Suid-Afrika se gewildste bergﬁetsjaers. Hy het sy vrou, Switserse marathonkampioen, Ariane, diep in die Kammanassieberge op die 2010 Cape Pioneer Trek ontmoet. Hy het vanjaar die Meerendal-SongoSpecialized span van Christoph Sauser en František Raboň in die Cape Epic ondersteun saam met Nico Bell. Volg hom op Twitter by @kleinhansmuesli of besoek sy weberf: www. kleinhansmuesli.com. die ander ryers skree om uit sy pad te kom en nie verstaan hoekom almal so onstelt is nie. Daarvoor het hulle wel ’n uur straf gekry! Volgens my was alles ten volle die moeite werd vir die genot wat hulle ons verskaf het gedurende die week. Ben en Paolo, my 2014 ABSA Cape Epic helde!
BIB SHORTS GUIDE
One of the most important factors in ensuring you enjoy your riding experience is a good pair of bib shorts. You know this, we know this, and everyone except the okes still riding with gel saddle covers knows this. But here’s a look at some of the best bib short options available to you right now. Bontrager Evoke Shorts
Even baggies can have bib shorts. In fact it makes sense that they do, because a waist band just doesn’t do as good a job of keeping the chamois in place as the shoulder straps of bibs. The Bontrager Evoke Shorts are trail riding shorts with a drop-in bib liner, featuring Bontrager’s inform chamois. The baggie outers are ruggedly tough giving your delicate skin a bit of extra protection from the harsh terrain should you take a fall, or if you just prefer the look of yourself in baggies rather than tight ﬁtting Lycra, they’re cool looking and well-made shorts. So if baggies are your thing keep an eye out for them at your local Trek dealer.
Anatomic Ladies Ergonomic Bib Kicking it off here’s one for the ladies. Local producers Anatomic don’t just do custom kit, you can also buy single items from their online store www.weardirect.co.za. One of the niftier design features they’ve come up with in recent times is the ladies bib with a zip in the lower back, making road side pit stops a breeze. In fact with these on it’ll probably be easier for girls to answer the call of nature than it would be for their male riding partners. The Ladies Ergonomic Bib also has all the features you’d expect from a top class bib short like the lightweight, ultra-absorbent, high density and ventilated ergonomically padded chamois. RRP R949.
Craft Elite Bike Bib Short
Wonderfully comfortable and superbly designed. Full Sus went with the Craft Elite range for our gear and we’d recommend you do too. Like Anatomic you can order custom kit or buy individual pairs from your local bike shop. The Elite bib shorts feature a chamois designed to move with your body, making you effectively one with the shorts and ensuring that any movement is between the shorts and the saddle rather than between your sensitive bits and the shorts. The Elite Bike Bib Short is available from most good bike shops or from CWCycles.co.za for R999. You can also order custom kit directly from The Bicycle R999 Company. Go to www.thebicyclecompany.co.za and click on the custom kit tab.
Assos T FI.Mille_S5 Bib Short
The long-distance comfort bib short the sign says. Well, with Assos being the Epic’s brand of choice and if the price tag doesn’t scare you off, you should give the Assos T FI.Mille bib shorts a try. You’ll probably never try anything else again. They feature a four panel construction, optimal muscle compression, and the chamois is designed to provide built-in stability during your long rides. They’ve also got all the other bells and whistles you’d expect from Assos gear and you can buy them online from CWCycles.co.za so you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home before you comfortably swaddle yourself in the T FI.Mille_S5 and go for a ride. RRP R1 899.
Specialized Racing Bib Short If you’re looking for gear from a company who spends on R&D then look towards Specialized and their Body Geometry range of products. You can kit yourself out from head to toe in Specialized kit and rest assured that your money was well spent. Their racing shorts are good enough for the reigning UCI XCM World Champion, Christoph Sauser, so they will quite probably be good enough for you. But if you’re concerned they feature 50+ UV/UPF protection, anatomical construction and the Specialized Men’s Three Padding which provides varying densities of padding for across the chamois where you need it most. Get yourself kitted out at your local Specialized dealer or go in for a total Body Geometry ﬁtment session at a Specialized Concept Store.
Nalini Lambro Compression Bib Shorts The Italian company MOA Sport, better known as Nalini, has been manufacturing cycling sportswear for over 40 years and even pioneered a revolutionary new chamois 30 odd years ago. Since then they’ve continued to offer leading cycling gear to pro teams and amateur riders alike. Their Lambro Compression Bib Shorts offer an anatomical ﬁt, superbly comfortable chamois and as the name suggests compression for your leg muscles to improve venous return and the oxygenation of your working muscles. Buy them online from www.evobikes.co.za for R1 495.
SUS The reviews
ADT FindU FS
Stay safe with ADT’s new app
Late in 2013 ADT launched their FindU mobile app which is designed to get you out of tricky situations. Wherever you ﬁnd yourself, as long as there is cellular coverage FindU has your back.
he FindU app runs on BlackBerry, Android, iPhone and Windows smartphones and utilises your phone’s GPS to track your movements. Using the same technology as Strava and other sports trackers. Once the FindU app has been activated you can go about your ride as you normally would and if you need help you shake your phone vigorously to set off the alert. It is sent to the ADT FindU monitoring centre and they will then dispatch the necessary response team. The alert activates your phone’s video camera too, so you can make a ten second video clip of your situation. For example, if you’ve had a fall you can ﬁlm your injury to help the
monitoring centre get you the right sort of help. In addition to being able to summon medical, armed response, mountain or sea rescue teams to your aid, an SMS alert will be sent to contacts you selected. The people closest to you will therefore be able to spring into action too. Apart from the general lifestyle applications of FindU, as listed on their website www.adtﬁndu.co.za, the app is a great way to keep you safe while on those solo rides. You can set a timeframe for your ride and if the time elapses without you deactivating the timer the app will send an alert to the monitoring centre. And the developers are working on a function which will harness your
phone’s accelerometer to activate an alert should the phone not move for a certain period of time. So if you’ve crashed and are lying prone in the dirt you won’t have to wait for the time frame you allocated for the ride to expire before help is sent. But because it’s using the accelerometer it won’t activate a false alarm should you be taking a breather. You might not be moving enough for the GPS to detect movement
ARMED RESPONSE STANDBY
“THE ADT FINDU APP ENABLES YOU TO SUMMON MEDICAL, ARMED RESPONSE, MOUNTAIN OR SEA RESCUE TEAMS TO YOUR AID.”
Bell Super FS It’s probably the most awaited helmet on the MTB market, ever. Which is an odd thing to say because a helmet is just a helmet, or is it?
but your phone’s sensitive accelerometer will pick up your footfalls as you wander off to grab a coffee. The FindU app is free to download and the emergency response service is charged at a monthly rate of R49, including VAT and existing ADT customers get a further discount too. Visit www.adtﬁndu.co.za for all the information and to sign up for the service.
he Super is aimed squarely at the all-mountain category of rider. And if you remove the peak it even looks like a BMX or free-style helmet, with the protection extending low down to cover your medulla oblongata, or brain stem to those of you who’ve hit your head one too many times. In addition to the extended protection the Super boasts a mass of vents (25 in total without counting the 4 brow ports), GoggleGuide Adjustable Visor System and an integrated/removable GoPro camera mount. It’s CE EN1078 and CPSC Bicycle certiﬁed. While we’re not keen on crash testing it – because it’s a good looking piece of kit and we don’t have the technology to do it any other way than the old fashioned, man, bicycle, helmet, tree, way – the certiﬁcation, look and feel of the helmet allay any fears we might have had. In fact with the snug, low ﬁtting, design you do feel more protected than you do with the standard perching mountain bike or road helmet. Bells extravagant colours aren’t for everyone, especially with this rather bulky lid, so if the neon green, bright blue or burnt reds aren’t your scene check out the white, plain black, grey or black with white stripe colour options. As for stock availability… that might be an issue as they sell out fast. Basically if you see one, expect to pay around R2 270, buy it and if you don’t actually ride all-mountain, start.
Giro Terraduro FS
SUS the Giro Terraduro
f you have walked up the Gamtoos pass during Wines2Whales you will know that most MTB shoes are just not meant to be walked in - which is fair enough - but like most of us know, there will come a time when you will be walking, normally in an upward direction and usually over pretty gnarly terrain. With this in mind Giro have produced the Terraduro (or Terradura for the ladies) an all-mountain, trail shoe that is aimed squarely at most of us - comfortable, practical but still offering a good pedalling performance. Oh yes, it’s a bonus that they’re easy on the feet when you’re walking. The Terra’s have vibram rubber soles that are chunky and sticky, have breathable microﬁbre uppers and a replaceable ratchet buckle. They feel good on and because of the recessed cleats walking is easy and eerily quiet on hard ﬂoors (we stopped for coffee...). They ﬁt well and performed well. The Giro Terraduro’s have a cool, understated look, especially if you like black – which I do! Buy them from your local Giro dealer for R2 460.
AN ALLMOUNTAIN, TRAIL SHOE THAT IS AIMED SQUARELY AT MOST OF US COMFORTABLE, PRACTICAL BUT STILL OFFERING A GOOD PEDALLING PERFORMANCE
FS Stirling Revolution
The DARK SIDE of Cycling Exploring the moral dilemma for importers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of bicycle products by an old industry hand, Stirling Senior. Confession Way back in my journalism/publishing days I was making a regular visit to my local bike shop. The owner knew I was looking for a new road bike and asked me how my selection process was progressing. I had made up my mind and was negotiating a purchase of an Italian bike complete with an Italian groupo (what WAS I thinking!). My LBS didn’t sell these bikes and he was understandably disappointed in my choice, hoping I would buy one of his USA-made machines. While we were discussing the merits and de-merits of each brand – my “Alfa Romeo” and his “Ford Mustang” – the Main Man from the Ford importer happened to visit the store and joined in our debate. The Main Man and I were well acquainted on a professional level and he would have none of this Alfa Romeo bullshit and he instructed my LBS to ‘sell’ me the Mustang at a fraction of its retail price. Within an hour I was rolling my beautiful yellow lifetime-warranty Ford Mustang out of the shop. What a bargain! To this day I still feel crap about this ‘bargain’. There was no real winner in this transaction. Because I had the power of the pen, I was ‘bought’ by the Main Man. The real loser was my LBS and the Alfa Romeo dealer. And my loss – a slice of integrity.
Redemption Not long after my ‘deal’ I overheard (in a coffee shop) an underpaid policeman expressing his desire to ride the ‘Argus’ but bemoaning the cost of bicycles. I spontaneously offered him my ‘Mustang’ for exactly what I paid for it and he still has that bike today. I went back to my LBS and purchased a replacement, though I must confess a better bike, at full price.
The cardinal sin Every retail bicycle shop’s biggest irritation is when importers/ distributors/manufacturers of bikes and accessories, in other words bike shop suppliers sell direct to the consumer – they cut out the bike shop
on that speciﬁc deal and, as life would have it, that accessory or bike ends up in my store for a service, warranty claim or ﬁtment. Even worse, the bike will arrive at our store boxed and unassembled. We are then asked to build it while the purchaser proudly boasts about his bargain often explaining his ‘connection’ at Acme Distributors! “But, shhh, don’t tell them I told you”. Distributors please note, consumers almost ALWAYS can’t help bragging about their connection and your credibility goes down another notch until one day we no longer order from you.
CONSUMERS CAN’T HELP BRAGGING ABOUT THEIR CONNECTION Utopia The ideal situation is for an importer to never sell a bike directly to a consumer. Never, ever. Work through the stores selling your brand. These are the guys supporting you and your sales, so why risk that relationship? Choose the store closest to the customer’s point of convenience or according to the customer’s choice. Collaborate on a special price. Explain the connection with your ‘old’ private school mate, your cousin or your lawyer. Everyone can win.
The exception The only exception is when the importer has a full-blown sponsorship of a professional race team and the sole purpose of the transaction is to build and market the brand.
The exception to the exception It is NOT part of the above exception to supply special deals to the owners and management of the other corporate companies sponsoring the team. Let me explain: We had a highend customer who regularly purchased
from us. Some of his management and staff also bought from us. Then he decided to title sponsor a cycling team. Good business sense. Great marketing and promotion.Tax deductible. But we lost him and his management as customers. We lost - and continue to lose - a lot of money. The importer is now supplying and selling to him and his staff everything they need at a much better price. The importer is making his retailer make less money. The importer has stolen my customers.
Retailers who buy & hold stock, whether they are brick-and-mortar or online stores, deserve to make a proﬁt margin for the risk that they are taking. The biggest con to the consumer is the online retailer who doesn’t hold stock. They advertise products online that they do not own and regularly the customer will get an email a day after their order indicating that the product is in fact out of stock. Ballache. The online retailer gets away with this by having agreements with suppliers to send the product directly to the consumer, but invoice the online retailer. Again, it is the supplier who is to blame for happily entering in on this agreement. Then there are a few cyclists who set up phony internet retailer websites (not hard to do) so that they can buy stuff for themselves and their mates at wholesale prices, even though they only sell a handful of products through their wishy-washy website. Suppliers should refuse to sell to these fake shops. And last but not least are the suppliers who have their own direct-tothe-public websites (often disguised under different website names). Make a decision, sell to the public or sell to bike stores. It is wrong to do both.
The ﬁnal word Importers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of bicycle products, you have every right to promote your product and brand to my customer. You have no right to SELL to my customer.
In every other instance, Mr Importer, use your bike shops to help facilitate special deals. For example, that semisponsorship where the top amateur guys riding in the Masters Category in the Cape Epic get the bike at cost price. Make the bike shop your go-between for the brand (importer) and the brand ambassador (the ‘hot’ amateur rider, the sexy celebrity rider, the high-proﬁle ex-rugby player, the ‘entitled’ media person etc). Think about it – this formula will help you get on with your priority: selling your bikes and products to the bike shops who in turn sell to their customers. This same logic goes for members of the media, race organisers, brand ambassadors and your wife’s father.
Bike retailers, I would welcome your opinion on ‘The Dark Side’. Please e-mail me at: email@example.com.
The pop-up retailer This is the indefensible practice of an importer becoming a retailer for a convenient few days. It is perhaps even worse than the clandestine direct sales to a ‘connection’. At the recent Argus Lifecycle Expo there were importers, distributors and manufacturers selling openly (and often at a lower price) to my customers and other bike shop customers. These entities should promote the brand and the product. Importers should never sell their product direct to a bicycle retailer’s customer. Retailers are your customers, consumers are our customers.
The internet retailer And ﬁnally, there is the ongoing debate about internet bicycle retailers.
Stirling Kotze, aka Stirling Senior Years in the saddle: 27 Favourite ride/trail: Table Mountain, Cape Town Recurring MTB nightmare: Dirty, worn chains 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.
artz n Sweaky lift a w Ro a sn cs ying e Oakpi lling o j n e e h t u with n the gr nge. o lle crew ne Cha O 36
photo of the month
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 www.oakpics.com.
Stand a chance to win an entry to the Laikipia XC
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The Laikipia XC is a six day MTB stage race that takes place in the vast wilderness of Central Kenya from 7 to 12 July 2014. Riders will experience the region’s breathtaking scenery, a variety of ancient cultures and a once in a lifetime opportunity to dominate some world-class mountain biking trails. The route covers approximately 500km and includes about 10 000m of climbing. It runs through the foothills of Mount Kenya, up into the stunning scenery of Laikipia and ﬁnally into and around Mukogodo Forest, all straddling the incredible East African Rift Valley. Famed for its spectacular views and diverse terrain, the race snakes its way through steep, rocky singletrack, open savannah and virgin forests that border the legendary Ewaso Nyiro River. Riders take part in teams of two and can compete in men’s, ladies’, mixed or veteran’s categories. Entries are open on the event website: www.laikipiaxc.com. And you can follow the pre-race buzz by liking the Laikipia XC Facebook page or following @LaikipiaXC on Twitter.
Win a team entry to the inaugural Laikipia XC, in Kenya valued at US$ 2 400! Enjoy some of the best riding you’re ever likely to experience in true African wilderness. Ride socially or race competitively, it’s your choice, but don’t miss the Laikipia XC! Please note, the prize does not include ﬂights, transfers or accommodation before or after the race.
HOW TO WIN: Drop us an email by 23 May 2014 with the subject line: “Where I grabbed my Full Sus” to email@example.com. Please include the following details: Name of the shop where you picked up your copy of Full Sus, your Full Name, ID Number, Contact Number and Physical Address.
CALENDAR SUS THE BEST OF June 2014 MPUMALANGA 21 Mpumalanga Spur High Schools League Event #2 28 The Big 5 MTB race
4 14 14 15 16
GAUTENG Kia Over the Moon Series X-Trail MTB Series Event #1 MTN National MTB Series #6 Van Gaalen Ride of the Roses MTB Series Event #1 Beaulieu Prep MTB Challenge
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
7 Freedom Challenge 8 SA Marathon Championships 15 Saﬁre Baynesﬁeld MTB Classic 21 Dusi2c 22 BELL Big 5 Series # 2 – Elephant
EASTERN CAPE Pedal
21 SA Cup Series XCO & DHI # 4 28 Eastern Cape Spur High Schools League Event #2 FREE STATE 28 Rhino River Run June WESTERN CAPE 6 RECM Knysna 200 7 Western Cape Spur High Schools League Event #1 14 Napier Patatfees MTB 15 Greyton MTB Classic 15 Southern Cape Spur High Schools League Event #4 16 Nine to Five Team Relay 29 Cape Country Tour KZN
1 SAPPI Howick MTB Classic 1 Newcastle MTB Family Race Series 4/4
League Event #1
27 Babbas Lodge MTB Series # 7
22 MTN National MTB Series #7 Hilton 28 UCI Marathon World Champs – Rainbow Challenge 29 UCI Marathon World Champs – Elite & U/23
5 ECC Provincial XCO #05 9 Eastern Cape Spur High Schools League Event #3
12 Eastern Cape Spur Schools Series Finale FREE STATE
7 Konka Mountain Bike Race 2014
26 Rhino River Run July
OUT IN AFRICA
7 ZimSpur High Schools League
4 Grindrod Bank Umngazi Pondo
13 Pennypinchers G2C 19 SA XCO & DHI Champs 26 Gauteng Spur High Schools
Event #3 (Zimbabwe) 11 Vic Falls MTB Challenge (Zimbabwe) 13 ZimSpur High Schools League Event # 4(Zimbabwe)
6 7 9 10 12 12
MPUMALANGA 5 DAS Auto #3 12 Cradle Pecan MTB 26 Wildevy MTB Challenge 26 Forever Resorts Badplaas MTB Challenge LIMPOPO
5 Yurok Spur MTB Challenge 19 Mabalingwe Lion Man GAUTENG 5 Nissan Trailseeker #2 12 Gauteng Provincial XCO Champs 12 The Leverage Corporation Ladies MTB Day 2014
WESTERN CAPE Momentum Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour MTB Race BIKENITE Cycle Race Trailmania Cycle Enduro Totalsports XTERRA Kids Totalsports XTERRA Spur SWD XCO # 5 Western Cape Spur Schools Series # 2 Southern Cape Spur Schools Series # 5
26 Wolseley MTB Challenge KZN 4 Dads and Ladz 5 Ride4Rhino 6 Burry Stander Sardine Classic 12 Giba Gravity Enduro 13 KZN MTB Classic 19 Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens MTB 20 Varsity College MTB # 1 20 Kwambo Lion Classic - Big 5 Series # 3 26 KZN Spur High Schools League Event #5 26 iMfolozi MTB Challenge 27 Ingeli MTB Ride NORTH WEST 27 Rustenburg MTB OUT IN AFRICA
4 ZimSpur High Schools League Event #5 (Zimbabwe)
5 Ngwenya Glass MTB (Swaziland) 7 Laikipia XC (Kenya) 19 ZimSpur Schools Series Finale (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! All you need to do is go to www.fullsus.co.za, 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 FullSus.co.za to be seen by thousands of mountain bikers from the furthest corners of South Africa.
It’ll automatically be included in the newspaper too. And best of all, it’s FREE. Just like Full Sus.
MAY Must do events ■ Must do events in May
9 - 11 May: Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB Festival It’s billed as the best MTB fest in South Africa, and if you read Kath Fourie’s article on the Karkloof MTB Festival in the April issue of Full Sus you’ll know why. It’s impossible to oversell this event. Think pure mountain biking at its best. A night ride. An Enduro. Four cross country distances. A chance to qualify to represent your country in an age
Out in Africa
group world championship event over the marathon distance. A whole weekend of jolling on your bike with your mates and family. You’d be silly to miss it, go to www.karkloofmtb.co.za for all the information or just go straight to the ROAG website and enter now.
■ 10 May: Gravel Travel Enjoy the hospitality of the Bosman Family Vineyards in Lelienfontein outside Wellington for the annual Gravel Travel mountain biking day. There are the following distance options on offer at the following prices: 65km (R220), 35km (R170) and 15km (R120). The routes make use of the extensive Bain’s MTB Trails and you can be sure that the routes will be challenging but highly enjoyable. Entries are available online on the ROAG website and there are no late entry penalty fees
so you can enter on the day of the race too.
■ 11, 18 & 25 May: One
Movement School Series XCE The One Movement Cross Country Eliminator series kicked off with three events in the Western Cape and in May it moves to KZN with Kearsney College (Botha’s Hill – 11 May), Crawford College (La Lucia – 18 May) and Ashton College (Ballito – 25 May) hosting the events. The races take place on the school ﬁelds, school MTB tracks and on occasions through school buildings and corridors with riders entering in U/14, U/16 or U/19 categories. The racing follows the XCE format with the top two rides or heat progressing. For entries and a full rundown of the XCE format visit the One Movement website: www.onemovement.co.za.
■ 24 May: The FNB Magalies Monster MTB Classic The idea of the Monster came from a former resident of the Buffelspoort Valley – Karl Schubert, who spent many days and nights exploring the area for the best possible riding routes. Karl put together the best possible route that would match up with the other great events in the country in terms of scenic beauty, technicality, toughness and the sense of accomplishing something unique. The key to the event was around getting to ride up the northern slope of the Magaliesberg range along an awesome 9km climb that is affectionately known as the Monster. But you don’t just have to do the big one, along with the 70km main race there is also a 40km ride as well as 12km and 24km trail runs. Find out more and enter online at www.magaliesmonster.co.za.
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
• Excellent gravel roads • Full back-up provided
• Jeep trackes to test endurance and not so much technical MTB ability • 4 nights accommodation *incl incl dinner, bed & breakfast contact LINDSAY STEYN on (M) 082 456 8848 or (E) firstname.lastname@example.org * MINIMUM OF 4 / MAXIMUM OF 12
GUEST HOUSE TOURS
FOR WHEN A GOOD TIME IS JUST THAT. The Trek Fuel EX 29, it’s light. So light in fact it’s easier to lift than your spirits after a marathon ride on any other bike. But it’s not just light, it’s also smart.
FUEL EX 29
The Active B ra ki ng Pivot keeps the s u s pen s ion active even u nder b ra ki ng forces , whi l st the clever G2 Geometr y g ives you preci se ha nd l i ng a nd sta b i l it y, no mat ter you r s peed. Dua l Rate Control Va lve s hock technology g ives coi l per forma nce at a i r s hock weig ht. Ever y u n neces sa r y g ra m ha s been removed f rom the new Fuel EX 2 9, without com prom i s i ng on control or ha nd l i ng.
Royalty Sports is the exclusive distributor of Trek Bicycles in South Africa. | Tel: 021 2000 454 facebook.com/trekbikesa