Monday, September 27, 2010

Heritage Day weekend rides

What a great way to celebrate South Africa's Heritage Day then a Mountain Bike ride in your own back yard. Greg, Justin (pictured below) and I headed off to Dunblane Equistrian estate in Kempton where the Rotary club was holding a MTB race. This route, we were all very familiar with as we do parts of it almost every weekend. We entered the 50km race and it was quite a pleasant race. The field was not too big and quickly stretched out, racing machines Greg and Justin powered off into the distance leaving me to help the novice lady riders at the back (joys of being a slower rider).
The route wasn't marked out the best and some people may have taken shorter/longer to complete the race. There was a horrible little loop just as you reached the end, they look you back up out for another 4 km stint. My load was shot at this stage and the ladies I was riding with powered away from me, leaving me defeated and deflated. Good race to finish, hopefully they will have more of them in the future. 

Greg fortunately noticed that I had a broken spoke when he was loading my bike onto his carrier before the race. We tied the offending spoke with a zip tie so that it would not get stuck in the chain etc. The next day, I dropped the wheel off at Procylces to get fixed, thus leaving me without a Mountain Bike for the Sunday ride.....

At last my new road bike that has been collecting dust over the last 2 months will see some action. I managed to get a ride with Peter and Victor (pictured below), they are really fantastic guys and it was an absolute pleasure riding with them. We did 70kms at an average speed of 25km/h, great route that we went on past East Mall, through Kempton, Pomona, Petit, Rynfield and then back via Kempton (Atlas road). 

My first experience on a road bike, I couldn't believe how fast and responsive it was (I was averaging over 40km/h along Atlas road). The cars speeding past were a bit of a worry but you seem to get used to them. I really had an awesome ride which totally justified my purchase of the road bike - come on 94.7 I am going to give you carrots this year. 



  1. Hi guys,

    As a fellow east rander (Atlasville), I love following your blog. I found it by accident one day and keep coming back to see what you guys are up to.

    I need some advise from you guys. My brother and I have just started mountain biking and are not too familiar with good routes or areas around the east rand. We entered the 25km 94.7 mountain bike challenge this week and start training this weekend. Could you maybe suggest a +/- 20km route or even an area where we could go and start our training.

    Thanks. Keep up the good work.


  2. Hi Sean,

    Good to hear from you. There are plenty of tracks around the East Rand - we normally stick to the veld around Dunblane and Serengeti estates (about a 20km ride there from Benoni so it may be better to take your car and park at one of the estates).

    Alternatively there is a track close to you - just along the side of the bottom of the airport runway. Good luck, let me know how it goes.

  3. Thanks alot Richard. I've been going to Rietvlei farm but it's quite a drive just to get there.

    How exactly would I get to the track by the airport? Which side/street would I come from? Is it an established track or just a dirt road?

  4. Hi Sean, it is an established MTB track maintained by Sweat & Gears - used for the Emporers MTB race held in Feb. It is split into 2 parts - one down the side of the runway entrance just off the road at bottom of runway and one on the other side of the runway (entrance before first factory) - this is a forest section and is really cool. The ride from Atlasville and the 2 routes should take you just over 20km, it is pretty isolated so don't do it alone.

  5. Perfect! Thank you.

    I'll see if I can get a few guys together to try it out.