Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 61

Kingdom Enduro | RACE REVIEW big gardens and plenty of space to facilitate the 40 odd riders. An aspect that always intrigued me about the enduro events is the camaraderie among the riders. The community is very welcoming and the atmosphere super relaxed, quirky and social. The venue was perfect to accommodate this family- like set up. We were served delicious homecooked meals on the stoep of the main house with everyone gathering around one big table. A lounge room I NATURALLY GRAVITATE towards technical trail riding, exciting adventures and big challenges, and when viewing The Kingdom Enduro teasers it was clear that this was going to be a wild trip. Whether I was able to ride the raw and rugged terrain was another story. The adventure started with a 15-hour road trip from Cape Town to Lesotho intercepted with a quick overnight stop in Nieu-Bethesda, a quaint little with a fireplace was a popular space to exchange the war stories of the day and enjoy a Maluti beer. The first evening was rounded off with the race briefing. The weather prediction for the next day included heavy rainfalls in the afternoon with light drizzle in the earlier part of the day. Better be fast and back early was the closing maxim of the briefing. The next morning, neatly clothed in rain jackets, we were waiting in the drizzle while our bikes were packed away inside the trucks, and not long after, everybody was on their way in the local mini-buses to the first stage of the day, the Pressure Cooker. We arrived in the middle of the mountains, were given our bikes and started climbing towards the direction we were pointed with the help artist’s town in the Eastern Cape. The moment we crossed the border over to Lesotho, the landscape started changing, and so did the weather. Welcomed by heavy rain clouds it wasn’t long until the heavens opened, and dusty roads turned into red clay. Our destination was Roma Trade Post, a place that has its origin in the early 20th century and functioned as the event’s base camp. A fabulous venue with slaying the downhill | MTB | 61