G'Day Fellow Mountain Bikers,
The Sani 2 C has long been touted the highest on the "must do" list for mountain bike racers in South Africa. I predict that there will be a time in the not too distant future when it will be almost impossible for a South African to get an entry the way this event is getting world wide popularity.
The feed back from competitors this year is that it has just got better again, with even more single track. Check out what Richard Beswick from Team Fox Africa has to say.
Commiserations are in order for Andrew Mclean. Whilst there are many guys in the Vet Cat that would like (dream about it in fact) to thrash Andrew fair and square on a mountain bike (me amongst them), I know that nobody would wish to see him have a fall of the type he had on Day 1 of this years Sani. That's not how any of us want to see him out of the lead bunch; we are thinking more of the hands and knees position with his exhausted lungs laying in the dirt.
Andrew broke his collar bone in a tough high speed tumble on some knarly single track and had to abandon the race. I was discussing this with another bike racer some hours later, and his feelings were (and I quote) "He's a tough old bullet; he'll grow a new one tonight and be on the start line tomorrow morning".
I want to know what Andrew was doing up the front attacking all the young winged gods of professional mountain bike racing anyhow. Doesn't he realise 40 is just a memory for him. He should be thinking of retiring from Road Racing and taking up golf at his age.
Make no mistake, if you want to check out some awesome scenery and single track, then the Sani Adventure is the way to go. The Subaru Sani 2 C Race takes no prisoners. For a full description from Team IMC's Paul Cordes and Yolande Speedy, check this out. These world class pair of athletes had their fair share of woes too.
Bardy the Action Scribe has the perspective from the race winner's position for you here, and the results from Day 1 here.
News from the skinny tyre world can be found here, here and here, and news of the little wheel world here .
Dorette Crous has set new dates for the next specialist Skills Clinics: Kidz Clinic and the Womens Speci fic Design.
The ABSA Cape Epic is just around the corner. This is such a popular race, that the secret is out of the bag that competing in the Epic will cost you an arm and both legs before you finish. If this was just another race it would be too insanely expensive, and too long to contemplate seriously, but I have heard it described more often as a life altering experience rather than a bike race by those who have done it.
If you would like the perfect professional preparation to your 2008 Absa Cape Epic (http://site.activeworx.co.za/PreEpicCamp.html)then you really must have a look at this. Even if you are riding for the inner spiritual journey more than the win, the experience of beginning as the professionals do (the quiet before the storm) is a huge value add to a once in a lifetime experience.
I sometimes wonder if there isn't too much racing in mountain biking; but then realise I need to wash my mouth out with soap for thinking such things. The Final Gauteng Provincial Cross Country (XC) race for the 2008 season is being held at Logwood Bike Haven (a s you know). Remember that you don't need to be a pro to race at this level. There are categories for all skill and fitness levels.
All categories will start with the Shake Down Lap. This is the same as always and goes from the Start > T Intersection Left > Vehicle Gate Left > and up to the entrance of Organ Grinder Short and back to the Start.
The standard lap will be 6. 26 kms long and from the Start will enter Kitchen Sink > 12 Steps > Zombie Birdhouse (Long) > Sugar Bowl (with a compulsory chicken run past the semi circular bridge) > Maelstrom > Inner Vortex > North Shore (to climb the Dam Wall only) > Maelstrom (via the Diadora Dropoff, but still not as scary as Fountains) > Dorothy's Tree > Organ Grinder Short > Start.
This whole route is on good old fashioned dirt, deliberately avoiding all the man-made stuff that makes some folks nervous.
Our good friends from Garmin will have the route available on GPS for you to download soon (I'll send you word when it's done) and for those of us lucky enough to own a Computrainer you will be able to program it into your machine to practice at home; at least from a fitness standpoint.
There will be a separate route for the Sprogs and that will be posted soon.
Within the next 2 weeks there will be special course markers placed on Logwood B ike Haven so you can follow the route at speed for practice.
The trails are in awesome super-fast condition, and hopefully we have seen the last of the rain till after the weekend.
That just has to be enough mountain bike news and race results for one day because I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from pecking away at the keys.
See you on the weekend, keep the rubber side down.
Geoff the Aussie
PS: If you are slow enough to enjoy riding with myself, Jonty Doke, Steve Cavanaugh, Wayne Flood, The Brothers Kemp, Terrance Casey et al then you are cordially invited to join us for a Fat Burning Crank Turning session at 12 noon this Saturday at LBH.