G'Day Fellow Mountainbikers,
Mountainbikers have never really been famous for getting up in the dark and going out to train. As a Tribe, we are more fun focussed in our approach to riding, rather than the astounding dedication to speed and fitness found in our cousin's, The Roadies.
As such, with the days beginning to shorten, the "Fat Burning Crank Turning" rides will be put into storage till next year, and Wednesday mornings will again be the exclusive environment of the duvet and pillows.
Bardy the Action Scribe has been busy again, and has news of the Skinny Tyre World, whereNic White is attempting to give the European Roadies a bit of stick African style.
Zombie Birdhouse has developed an artesian spring (that we are not even tempted to begin bottling) in the beginning section, and until we can work out a way for the water table to be altered, will remain closed.
Sugar Bowl is coming under the microscope this coming week (it too has developed a spring in the section near the bridge) and you can expect to see some startling new developments on this all time favourite trail.
This weekend was the 2nd Provincial Cross Country (XC) race at Fountains in Pretoria. A large contingent of Logwood regulars went north (or actually come from there in the first place) and all the results of the North South warfare are up to check out.
Fountains is one of the best pieces of single track in South Africa, but unfortunately is probably the most dangerous to ride at from a personal security standpoint as well. I won't go there outside of an organised race environment no matter how much I love single track regardless of the size of the group I am riding with.
Derek Palmer always does a wonderful job with the course organisation, and I'm sure 2008 will be no different. Derek has been a part of the MTB infrastructure for so long that he has become almost invisible; like part of the furniture. Derek is one of the many unsung volunteer heroes. If you spot him at a race, remember to say thank you.
Despite all the best efforts of race organisers and officials, if a person wants to cheat then they will find a way. I personally think that disqualification from all future mountain bike races is the only way to go once a person has shown this complete lack of ethics and character. Compulsory licensing allows this.
I certainly don't hold with the idea that "it doesn't really matter because they are not a professionals with prize money at stake". In fact I think there is far too much emphasis placed on prize money in racing today. What ever happened to personal glory, racing for your Province or your Nation, and the honour that goes with it? Does anyone remember the term "striving to be the best you can be" other than old toppies like me.
And as for the disgusting notion that "they are only kids and it doesn't matter if they cheat a little", I would say that the qualifications for parenthood are far too low if this sort of nonsense is what parents are teaching their children. I strongly believe that whilst what position a child finishes in doesn't matter in the slightest, that doing a "personal best" and the manner that it is accomplished does.
Parents that believe otherwise are the same sort who run red lights with their children in the car and then complain about the poor road safety and driving habits of taxis.
I know lots of folks wouldn't beleive that there was a time when helmets were not compulsory on bikes, but if you doubt the sanity of not being an organ donor, check this out.
And whilst we are talking about road safety, Bardy the Action Scribe has news of 5 days of perfectly safe (if somewhat quick) road riding from MTN. This is a happy way to say cheers after tales of cheating at races is the talk of the town in the mtb world.
Till next time, keep the rubber side down,
Geoff the Aussie.