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Sep
19

Nelsons Creek MTB festival

Author mtbguy    Category MTB Festival     Tags
Three days of absolutely great mountain biking. That is the only way to describe the 2009 Nelsons Creek MTB festival held in Wellington last week.
Starting the 3 day challenge on a Friday at 1 pm sure was different for me. Seeing that it was billed as a fast and flat ride, we were hoping that we wont be there until dark. The 
60 km ride was just that and a great start to the week-end.
Arriving back at the Nelsons Creek estate it was great to be able to have a hot shower,  followed by a cold drink! A number of food stalls sold wraps, burgers, pita’s etc. Some 
people even jumped into the pool.

On Saturday morning there was a much bigger buzz as some riders chose to enter the challenge event just for the day in addition to those that entered the 50km , 30km and 
15km routes. There was a schools event as well.
The Saturday event was advertised as “very difficult” at a total distance of 85 km. On the day however, Meurant informed us that it was actually 77km. Well, long and 
difficult it was ( for me at least). My riding partner ( Mark Prutton ) and I made sure to stop at every refreshment point to enjoy the coke, energade, oranges and Mule bars 
provided. This in addition to the sandwiches we carried with us.
One thing that one cannot deny was the absolutely fantastic views through the vineyards, wheat fields and orchards. Once up on the mountain on the other side of  Wellington, we looked back down towards Wellington and all the way across to Table Mountain. That view was worth the pain it took to get to that spot. Some really long and very much granny gear single tracks were followed by a great single track descent through a forest while riding next to the Berg River.
That shower at the end and cold Savannah tasted even better on day 2, especially seeing that it turned out to be 82 km in the end!
Now it was just the Sunday ride that remained.

At the start of day 3 Meurant told the riders that the ride was indeed a “little” more difficult than originally thought.
Well, it was by no means a match to day 2, but certainly not a walk in the park ( or shall I say ride in the forest?).
This was the first day that it remained overcast and cool and that surely helped after the long ride in the sun the day before. Once again it was the great views and varied route that made the ride enjoyable and interesting.

All in all it was a great event and one to put on the calendar for the future. The route was well-marked with marshals at every road split and turn and traffic officers at every road crossing.
The venue, Nelsons Creek, has ample parking, a great lawn area and genuine easy vibe to it.

Any complaints: there was enough mud to want to spray your bike off at the end of each ride. That however cost you R 60 for a wash and lube, not something I was going to do even
once, let alone 3 days in a row.
At the medal ceremony on Sunday, Paul Valstar had to call out a number of winners who were no longer there. It would seem to be a good idea to let the winners know before-
hand that they should please stay (or return) for the prize giving.

At R 525 for three days of riding, I consider this event great value for money and great enjoyment. It will make me take a serious look at participating in similar events charging
a great deal more!
To the whole team: Meurant, Arina, Grevile, Spook, Hendrico and all the route developers, marshals and helpers I would like to say well done.
The 2010 MTB festival is on my list of must-do events.

For the event results go to: www.mtbfestival.co.za

For photos: www.oakpics.com

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