Monday, July 26, 2010

"First there were caravans, then 4x4s, and now people are investing in mountain bikes so they can be outdoors."

The carnival atmosphere of the Mr Price Karkloof Classic Mountain Bike Festival in the Midlands in May also attracted thousands of entrants to its night, cross-country and marathon races.
And, of course, mountain biking has more surprises than road cycling. Swarming bees on the Karkloof cross-country race last year forced cyclists to divert into the forest.
This year the Mabalingwe Lion Man Mountain Bike Race in the Waterberg in May had close to 1500 riders - a tenfold increase on 10 years ago. The Lion Man is the only race in a Big 4 nature reserve, although the riders of the tough 80km course are probably going too fast to do much game watching.

SHOOT: I think if you can combine Mountain Biking with the elements that make up hiking and game viewing, well that's got to be a winner.
clipped from
LIFE CYCLE: Mountain biking enthusiasts have pioneered many new routes

Cycling past lions in the bush or along cliff tops or next to a waterfall are experiences unique to mountain biking. On winter mornings, the exhilaration of being outdoors on a rocky trail and the chance to have fun and stay fit gets riders out of bed. Across the country "weekend warriors" - the majority 30- and 40-somethings with testosterone, although the ratio of Amazons is rising, hit riverine and forest single-track at dawn and unwind later at coffee bars and cafés with cycle racks.

One Sunday, I spotted five groups of lesser-muddy Swampdogs riding along the Braamfontein Spruit, about 40km of paths. Allan Laudin, founder of the 300-member Swampdogs club, says: "Mountain biking is not about the speed; it's about pleasure. This lifestyle has attracted a diverse collection of individuals, not clones in club kit but free- spirited, lateral thinkers, men and women from eight to 60, couples, singles and families."

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1 comment:

Carine said...

RIP swampdog founder allan laudin :(