Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 16

xED’S LETTER CAPITAL OF PLANET MTB New bearings, a small price to pay for one of the most memorable days on a bike. #mudfest AS I SIT HERE, postride, on the couch with tired legs and a cold beer waiting for Greg Minnaar to shred his way effortlessly down the terrifying Croatian rock corridor, I’m glowing with pride for SA, as the capital of what has truly become a mountain biker’s world. Here’s why: I’m surrounded by proof pages of this Autumn issue, trying to spot typos or errors, but as are the joys of doing what you love I’m drifting off into daydreams about riding in places like Iran and New Zealand. Whole countries that have embraced cycling and lie waiting to be explored by bike. The NZ government have, in the last three years, literally spent millions of dollars building and marking trails from the north to south islands. Read Zane De Dekker’s account of his 12-day wife-inspired solo mission to get back to the birth of his baby on p162. We’ve recently received invites to ride in Vietnam and Uganda, places considered dangerous no-go zones just 10 years ago. Cycle tourism opens up massive wilderness spaces that were once accessible only to intrepid explorers, away from cities and congested highways, tourist traps queueing with hawkers and selfie snappers. For those of us who seek the path less travelled, it quite literally is a whole new world. As I curse Mr Min’s back tyre for costing the handsome, ageless Saffa another win I’m chuffed to read on Twitter that Alan Hatherly has just won the African Championships gold in Egypt, following his Commonwealth Bronze. Two years ago Alan was understudy to early retiree James Reid, who himself had stepped into the enormous shoes left by Burry, the “African mountain bike kid” who first waved our flag to the world. A Facebook post pops up of young talent Luke Moir’s dad posting pics of a win in Europe, and I’m proofing Jason’s inspiring interview with Phillimon on p106. Wow, we have a load of talent in this country, and it’s not just the okes taming the beast rides. Jeannie “the Bom” Dreyer smashed her own 36One record by a massive 30 minutes! And read on p114 about how a regular mom made the Munga look like a ride to the shops. The times they are a changing… As I look through the 100s of superb World Cup Stellenbosch XCO and Cape Epic pics, I’m transported back among the mad, flagwaving crowds cheering trailside. What a fortnight that was, watching the best riders in the world do battle right here in our backyard. Sam’s surprise undoing of a predicted Nino waltz (read all about this meteoric rising star on p26) went viral worldwide. And that happened after a flippin’ exciting ladies race that saw a bunch sprint for 3, 4 and 5 behind superstars Pauline Ferrand Prevot and adopted Saffa, Annika Langvad, who then went on to double up at Epic. Sheez, even cyclocross World Champ rock star Mathieu Van Der Poel was here racing the World Cup XCO series for the first time. All this in our little country that wasn’t on the MTB map 10 years ago. Viva! My irritation at Greg’s blow out had me wondering which tyres the downhillers choose, as I’m fast making sense of the mind-numbing “IT’S SOMETIMES WORTH GOING FULL GAS TO TEST YOUR FITNESS & LIMITS.” tech talk surrounding the rapidly evolving tread industry. A year ago I opted for “tubeless ready” because they just sounded right, when in fact my 90+ kg clumsy descending skills makes me a prime candidate for burp-resistant, heavier, UST tyres with more protective sidewalls. Who knew? Our tech gurus demistify what was, until recently, a fairly simple subject and explain what tyre suits which riders, terrain and budget best. We had some sweet surprises at just what a difference the right tyre can make to your riding experience. Find out on p84. My amped partner for the upcoming sani2c then messaged me about accommodation and if we planned to tackle the new Iconic Climb? My mind drifted off to the sweeping dual tracks and the neverever-gets-old Umko descent, before steak and wine at “jolly-vet”. Whoever doesn’t spend months hanging for the drive to Underberg has never ridden the fairytale 300km trail from the snow-capped Drak mountains to the warm Indian Ocean. Go to p136 for what you can expect this year if you’re entered, and if not, why you need to be ready to enter for 2019 on 18 June. If, like us, the XCO and Marathon races happening around us have got you amped, we think it’s sometimes worth going full gas to test your fitness and limits. Unless you’re a pro, we don’t suggest you do it often, but this year the World XCO and Marathon Champs happen just a week apart, a stone’s throw from each other, in Europe. Plus, one of the great stage races in the Alps, the Swiss Epic (now an Epic qualifier) is nestled in-between. So we’re giving those of you with latent racing snake tendencies an early heads up on a fourmonth window to either watch the build-up on TV (p66) and social media, perhaps qualify to race yourself – or just go over to witness these amazing spectacles. Work those ronds by killing 3 birds with 1 stone. Watch our Facebook, Insta and Twitter for details on special offers too. Whether you’re plus wheel sizing your way to beer or weight weenying your way to podiums, share the trails with a smile knowing that there will always be more, and by riding your bike you’ll always be fit and strong enough to keep exploring our magnificent planet. Paul We look forward to your pics, stories and comments. paul@electricink.co.za @paulingpen Mountain Bike SA @mountainbikesa PHOTOGRAPH JETLINE ACTION PHOTO 16 | MTB | planet MTB x E D ’ S L E T T E R New bearings, a small price to pay for one of the most memorable days on a bike. #mudfest CAPITAL OF PLANET MTB 16 | MTB | planet MTB As I curse Mr Min’s back tyre for costing the handsome, ageless Saffa another win I’m chuffed to read on Twitter that Alan Hatherly has just won the African Championships gold in Egypt, following his Commonwealth Bronze. Two years ago Alan was understudy to early retiree James Reid, who himself had stepped into the enormous shoes left by Burry, the “African mountain bike kid” who first waved our flag to the world. A Facebook post pops up of young talent Luke Moir’s dad posting pics of a win in Europe, and I’m proofing Jason’s inspiring interview with Phillimon on p106. Wow, we have a load of talent in this country, and it’s not just the okes taming the beast rides. Jeannie “the Bom” Dreyer backyard. Sam’s surprise undoing of a predicted Nino waltz (read all about this meteoric rising star on p26) went viral worldwide. And that happened after a flippin’ exciting ladies race that saw a bunch sprint for 3, 4 and 5 behind superstars Pauline Ferrand Prevot and adopted Saffa, Annika Langvad, who then went on to double up at Epic. Sheez, even cyclocross World Champ rock star Mathieu Van Der Poel was here racing the World Cup XCO series for the first time. All this in our little country that wasn’t on the MTB map 10 years ago. Viva! My irritation at Greg’s blow out had me wondering which tyres the downhillers choose, as I’m fast making sense of the mind-numbing “IT’S SOMETIMES WORTH GOING FULL GAS TO TEST YOUR FITNESS & LIMITS.” smashed her own 36One record by a massive 30 minutes! And read on p114 about how a regular mom made the Munga look like a ride to the shops. The times they are a changing… As I look through the 100s of superb World Cup Stellenbosch XCO and Cape Epic pics, I’m transported back among the mad, flag- waving crowds cheering trailside. What a fortnight that was, watching the best riders in the world do battle right here in our tech talk surrounding the rapidly evolving tread industry. A year ago I opted for “tubeless ready” because they just sounded right, when in fact my 90+ kg clumsy descending skills makes me a prime candidate for burp-resistant, heavier, UST tyres with more protective sidewalls. Who knew? Our tech gurus demistify what was, until recently, a fairly simple subject and explain what tyre suits which riders, terrain and budget best. We had some sweet surprises at just what a difference the right tyre can make to your riding experience. Find out on p84. My amped partner for the upcoming sani2c then messaged me about accommodation and if we planned to tackle the new Iconic Climb? My mind drifted off to the sweeping dual tracks and the never- ever-gets-old Umko descent, before steak and wine at “jolly-vet”. Whoever doesn’t spend months hanging for the drive to Underberg has never ridden the fairytale 300km trail from the snow-capped Drak mountains to the warm Indian Ocean. Go to p136 for what you can expect this year if you’re entered, and if not, why you need to be ready to enter for 2019 on 18 June. If, like us, the XCO and Marathon races happening around us have got you amped, we think it’s sometimes worth going full gas to test your fitness and limits. 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