Although there is much cooler weather expected in the province this weekend, it certainly isn’t enough to scare away the dedicated and passionate mountain bikers ahead of the second annual Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival at Cascades MTB Park in KwaZulu-Natal from 30 April to 2 May. One discipline in particular that shares ever-growing passion and excitement is Enduro racing. The Enduro event, which forms part of the Festival, takes place on Monday 2 May.
Untimed slow paced rides to the top with friends, and super fast sprints down the hill one at a time to the bottom, is just one of the elements that make the Enduro discipline so much fun for all.
Local Enduro Veteran rider and all round “crazy kid”, Grant Dekker, chats about why this discipline provides such thrills. “It’s simple, in theory it’s an unknown course – unless you are a local,” he said.
Dekker mentions that Enduro adds a whole new dimension to mountain bike riding. “You haven’t practiced the trail to perfection like downhill (with the luxury of shuttles and/or ski lifts). Similarly with cross-country, where you have gone round and round like a stuck record with your heart and lungs trying to leave your chest via your mouth,” he says.
He emphasises the risk taking factor involved: “There’s a whole lot of reading the trail as it unfolds before you and, in my case, tonnes of ‘Oh no! How do I get out of this mess?’ when you have overcooked a section.”
Bringing elements of nostalgia and reminiscence back to the tracks and trails is what Enduro racing does to many a participant. “It’s how mountain biking and riding always used to be – a bunch of mates having a laugh and being all buddy-buddy, until they sniff singletrack – then its gloves off and glory to the winner,” he laughs.
Dekker, and others like him, will be taking part in the Enduro discipline at the PMB MTB Festival. He ended by mentioning he often enjoys to live by when it comes to riding and life off the bike: “Remember, it’s all about the skids and wheelies at the end of the day.”
Online pre-entries are now closed but late entries will be done at registration:
· Friday 29 April: Registration and late entries (all events) à 09:00-15:00
· Saturday 30 April: Registration and late entries (Marathon and Enduro) à 10:00-17:00
· Sunday 1 May: Registration and late entries (Marathon) à 06:30-07:30
· Sunday 1 May: Registration and late entries (Enduro) à 11:00-15:00
Other mountain bike events that will be held over the course of the weekend at the PMB MTB Festival are:
Saturday 30 April
UCI Junior World Series XCO
UCI Elite XCO HC
Sunday 1 May
SA Marathon Championships Masters 30+
Monday 2 May
KZN Inter-Schools MTB Series
The Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival takes place at Cascades MTB Park from 30 April to 2 May 2016 and forms part of the greater Africa Bike City project in Pietermaritzburg. The legacy project and continued development of the venue of Cascades MTB Park as well as staff, cyclists and officials strengthens the local resource pool as we build towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games. For more information on the 2016 PMB MTB Festival, click here: http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-pmb-mtb-festival/