The inaugural Trail and Trout (besides the last 40km) was the best stage mountain race I have done in my 8 odd years of riding. It was absolutely incredible, it was small and intimate but also tough at the same time. Being the first event, the organizers kept it really small so they could foresee any teething problems, restricting the field to 60 riders. This meant that you pretty much had a chance to meet and chat to most of the participants or see them along the route. There were six Benoni Rough Riders that took part in the event - Becky, Michelle, Darren, Fabio, Wayne and myself. This was awesome we had so much fun together after each stage.
Day 1, we started in Ezimvelo Game Reserve outside Bronkhorspruit for the start of our day (240km) journey to Dullstroom, first stop near Loskop Nature Reserve 84km away. The route was mainly jeep track, district road and a spattering of single track in between. Unfortunately I had a tumble next to the river single track, it wasn't a big fall just came off at a rocky section. Except my back wheel was in the air and I was suspended over the front handle bars that were jammed on my thigh. My left leg was still clipped in and was stuck there for a few minutes, being at a weird angle I strained my calf slightly when trying to free my foot. Everything seemed fine and a eventually caught up with Wayne, Darren and Fabs (the girls were racing snakes with podium places in sight). Granny Hill wasn't too bad I spun up there and even helped push a elderly lady with her husband. The decent down to the finish was pretty hectic (no Sani manicured single track), so bumpy that Wayne and I stopped just so we could get blood back in our hands. Great day and even better rest camp, we got big A Frame tents with a stretcher and mattress each (much better then cramped Sani2C tents). No lugging boxes and bags for miles because the race was so small. Everything was so easy, no queuing for meals, showers, toilet and beers.
|Rough Riders at the start - me, Wayne, Michelle, Becky, Fabs and Darren|
|Sometimes you just have to stop for a quick selfie|
|Views were amazing|
|Blood circulation stop|
|Darren at hand to capture Fabio's fall|