Browsing all articles tagged with MTB

CWC Durbie Dash 2014: feedback

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So, last week-end saw 4 mtb and 3 road events being hosted by the Durbanville High School in conjunction with the guys at Chris Willemse Cycles and PPA.

Registration started at 14h00 on Friday, 24 October at the Chris Willmese Cycles store in Durbanville and when I arrived a bit early at 13h45, the buzz was already developing! I finally picked up my 2014 Pedalpower number and prepared for my first MTB event post my cracked ribs incident. I was happy to test my body on the 36km Contermanskloof Rock Buster.

According to the event’s web site, it was suitable for the more serious weekend warrior looking for a decent workout associated with spectacular scenery and that a fair amount of technical skills would be required. Fitness levels should ideally be at least average to high.

The event started on a hot summer’s morning in Durbanville with not a breeze to be felt and not a cloud in the sky.

We had a 3 km or so neutral zone following a car until we reached Clara Anna Fontein from where we hit the dirt. From that point on it was mostly jeep track, crossing various vineyards and then a long 3-arrow-steep climb to Bloemendal.

From there we took the single track all the way up to the radio towers at the top of the hill, the highest point of the ride at 10,6km and an altitude of 467m.

After a quick Coke at the water table, it was downhill all the way on the expertly built Contermanskloof trail, courtesy of the Tygerberg MTB club. A compact track with plenty of switchbacks, jumps and berms makes for excellent riding. I must admit, a 29er hard tail might not be the most ideal bike for such a ride, as my very hard fall and beautiful blue chest bruise can attest to.

At the 20.4km mark, we were down to 108m elevation, from where some fairly flat and fast sections followed. We rode up to the Malanshoogte tarred road heading towards Hoogekraal where we took a right up the road for about 2,2km before taking and another right into some wheat fields. Riding right through the dry yellow wheat field, standing about waist high, was in sharp contrast to the green vineyards just half an hour earlier.

From there it was mostly flat again until we started climbing a short steep “sting in the tail” uphill after the last waterpoint. The last kilometre or so was on a tarred road to the finish line, 3 km from the start zone, near the Durbanville High School.

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The waterpoints (all 4 of them) were well-manned and stocked with water, Coke, fruit juice, potatoes, jelly beans, other sweets and banana pieces.

All in all a great ride, well organized and one I recommend. I hope to tackle the 54km Fair Cape Chain Breaker in 2015. That one promises to challenge your stamina and technical ability and provide an experience well worth discussing over a camp fire. ( according to the event web site)

Below is a clip of the Contermanskloof trail, courtesy of the Tygerberg MTB club.




My 2013 calendar: Q1

Yip, its time to plan again. Sure, by this time last year my plan was already sorted. Where-as in 2011 I attempted to do as many events as possible ( 40 in fact) and in 2012 my goal was km driven ( 3062km), this year I am aiming at one substantial event per month. That doesn’t mean that I wont do the small ones or even attempt to do more than one big one a month!

So, here’s my plan as it stands now:

  1. Bay to Bay 30km run. Did that one last week-end and yes, I am still suffering. Being more of a 10km runner and having only ever done 1 half marathon, 30 km is quite something for me. So, that should really be my ONE big event for January 2013.
  2. The Totalsports Challenge, Terra Firma. I did the solo Terra Firma in 2011 & 2012 so decided to try the pair thing this year. I’ll be doing the 13km road run as well as the 9km beach run. My riding partner, Omri Kleynhans will take care of the cycling legs. Good to have him on board. This takes place on Saturday 12 January from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond.
  3. Two smaller events for January are the 10km long course trail run at 7pm on 23 January at Constantia and the 49km MTB event in Paarl on 27 January.
  4. In February there are a couple of trail runs and road rides I’ll be participating in. The main event however will be the 3 day Grape EscapeThis MTB event starts in Riebeek Kasteel with Wellington being the race base. Day 1: 75km, Day 2: 60km, Day 3: 70km. It aint the distances or hills I’m worried about but the HEAT! Date: 28 February to 2 March.
  5. In March there’s the good ol’ Argus Cycle Tour. I am not a huge fan and so far have only done 5 in total. It is a good day out, especially if you stop twice for coffee along the way….Date: 10 March.
  6. Then there’s the Two Oceans Half Marathon on 30 March. I hear the biggest challenge is just to get away from the 16,000 strong bundle before one can actually start running.

So, now I am looking for suggestions for the second quarter of 2013. Any suggestions / ideas will be welcomed.

The only other definite for 2013 is the Big 5 at the Oyster Festival, 28 June to 6 July 2013:

  • Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna MTB race – 80km
  • Pick n Pay Rotary Knysna Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Road race- 100km
  • Salomon Featherbed Trail Run – Coelacanth – 14km
  • Totalsports XTERRA: Full (3km trail run, 23km MTB, 7km trail run)
  • Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon – 21 Km




The Sea Otter Classic and my Top 40 Challenge

It is that time of the year again: SeaOtter Classic time!

This 14-17 April in Monterey, California. According to their website, the inaugural Sea Otter Classic, originally called the Laguna Seca Challenge, was held on April 6 and 7, 1991. The event totaled 350 athletes and 150 spectators.

Fast forward, and the 21st Annual Sea Otter Classic is a four-day “Celebration of Cycling” that welcomes over 8,000 athletes and 50,000 race fans and other bicycle enthusiasts.

Over a 4 day period there will be circuit , criterium and pro stage as well as general road racing, downhill, 4-cross, cross country, short-track, dual slalom, mtb and road tours.

I attended for one event on one day last year as was hooked. This year I’ll be there for 3 days and will participate in one road and one mtb event.

Of course, doing these 2 events fit in very well with my most recent, self-imposed challenge: to participate in 40 events during the remainder of 2011. The biggest challenge to fit in that number of events relates very much to the fact that I only decided on this half-way through March. That said, having to account for family time, traveling, health, etc makes it quite tight!

It is now 7 April and I’m standing on 6 events. I have 4 planned for April and then will have to consistently participate in 3,3 events every month from May until the end of the year.

Events I enter include road and MTB events, road running and trail running.

Will I make it…?


Hermanus Adventure Festival report

This just in from Paul and his team in Hermanus:

Wow!  What a day!  December will never be the same again!

Bykans 300 deelnemers van regoor Suid Afrika het op ‘n pragtige Hermanus-dag bymekaar gekom met een doel in die kop – kom geniet die uitdaging.  En Hermanus Adventures se Mean Team het weereens alle krane oopgemaak.

The 5 & 10 km Bush Trail Run was a roaring success! Some ran, others jogged, even a couple of shovellers. The course was taxing yet very enjoyable.  A couple of roadies were converted and will now infest in some serious ”off road” gear.

5km ladies were won by Tawani Naude in an impressive time of 34min 32sec. with Christell Botha and one of our sponsors Leigh Murray in hot pursuit.

5km men was led by Anton Kruger in 29min 26sec. Pieter Uys and JP Fouche covered second and third places.

In the 10km run it was our local ouckle! Alfred Tsabeni whipped the Bush Trail in 40min 45 Sec! 6 minutes later Christiaan de Villiers and Theuns Matthee crossed the line.

The 10km ladies were won by Kate Swarbreck with Ronel Marshal and Vicky Cotter shortly thereafter. Kate’s time was an impressive 48min 35sec.

The Mountain Bike rides were once again very much appreciated.  Tough, scenic, challenging, great fun. The Hemel en Aarde Valley has it all! Marshals may have been a problem on one or two occasions, we apologise to the couple of riders that got lost.  First 5 riders to send in their ”LOST” reply will get a free entry for 2011!

25km men – 1st Michael Jacka, 2nd De Villiers Britz and 3rd Charles Jenkin

25km ladies – 1st Emily Brink, 2nd Emma de Villiers and 3rd Louise Jansen

45km men – 1st Niel Bradford, 2nd Jarryd Haley and 3rd Petrus Oosthuizen

45km ladies – 1st Heidi Siebert, 2nd Ingrid Peens and 3rd Ilse Viljoen

Who could believe that there would be enough fresh water to swim in? We had a plan B to use one of the wine vats at Southern Right Vineyards but that would have been impossible to get the swimmers out of. 50 dedicated Open Water swimmers tackled the 800 & 1,600 meter courses.

1,600m men – 1st Mathew Reaper, 2nd Andrew McTavish and 3rd Hugh Basel

1,600m ladies – 1st Candice Davison and 2nd Kate Swarbreck [she also won the 10km Bush Trail Run!]

Our timing system jammed and unfortunately we can not give you the 800m results. Sorry!

100’s of participants also got stunning Spot Prizes and for that we hale our sponsors. Without their support this event would not have been a success.

Congratulations to all winners! But also to all participants, we hope you had a great time in Hermanus. Full results are posted on our

We wish all our dedicated adventurers a prosperous and injury free 2011. We will keep you posted on the next exiting Adventure Challenge early in the new year.

Paul and the Mean Team


2010 Gravity Adventure Festival

13-15 August, Kleinmond:

  • Trail Runs
  • Kayaking
  • River Swim
  • MTB race
  • Croc races

I participated in this event last year and really enjoyed the vibe. Check it out:

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