Newsletter - August 2011
Greetings fellow dirt junkies
So much has happened since our last newsletter.
We had a very successful launch of the Number Board scheme and this initiative has really taken off, with more farm owners contacting us to allow us access through their land. Arthur from the law department of Fort Hare has been assisting us with developing a code of conduct. He has instructed us to call our yellow boards permits. So please purchase your permits if you have not done so. Make sure the bike shop where you purchase these permits has your records accurately. By having a permit you are agreeing to our code of conduct that all the bike shops should have and will be available on our website.
The Storms River Traverse 3 day MTB Stage Race took place over the weekend of 5 7 August and from the reports received it was pretty cold and miserable riding conditions. Well done to everyone who took part and braved the cold and wet weather for those three days, were very proud of you.
And a little further down the road (and a week later) saw some real adrenaline junkies take on the Trans Baviaans 24hour challenge. There was a route change this year and rumour has it that it made for tough riding and that the weather gods werent very pleasant to the riders. A HUGE well done once again to club members that participated, you can give yourselves a pat on the back, and have bragging rights and many tales to tell around those braai fires.
With the sudden and very abrupt, muddy death of the Jikileza Wet & Wild Marathon, the committee had to literally make magic and come up with another event to at least give our riders that had planned on doing the marathon, a chance to ride and also to give our valuable sponsors their moneys worth of advertising. It was really a tough call to make for the committee to cancel the Wet & Wild but it would have been unpleasant and just plain nasty if we had gone ahead. A very big thank you to Deon and Cameron who took the time to try and salvage what there was, but it ended up as an afternoon of playing in the mud boys will be boys!!
The Committee drowned their sorrows, cleaned up the mud and by Monday morning wheels were in motion (excuse the pun) to bring you the Areena Dirty & Wild Marathon on Womans Day, the 9th August. We were originally restricted to 80 entrants but by the time race day came we were up to 95 and unfortunately had to turn some riders away. We will however re-look the numbers for the next time and we hope to make this an annual event. We do admit that some gremlins crept in here and there and considering that we pulled it all together in just over a week, the ride was a huge success. In keeping with the Womans Day celebrations we gave the ladies a 30 second head start and we even had two riders dress up as pretty ladies and they were rewarded with a KFC voucher for their troubles its hard work being a lady! A big thanks to Riaan Odendaal and Anthony Verwey for being such great sports.
The loop around Areena was
awesome, to say the least. Our markers
had an issue or two with one feisty giraffe and an enthusiastic ostrich, but
managed to do a great job in marking and scouting the route. For the ladies there was a little stretch
aptly dubbed ladies lane which took us through some stunning bamboo plantations
and a short canopy section back on to the tar road. There was something for everyone on the 15km
loop, from big hills to electric fences, from dams to roaming game, and a
welcome (but short) downhill section just before the finish line to put the cherry
on the top of a very twisty turny loop. At times it felt like you were losing
your sense of direction, having the
route spiral through the trails and facing on coming riders, but what made it
so great was having someone to see all the time. Thanks to everyone for sending
us their thank yous afterwards, we really do appreciate your support. Without our sponsors this event would not
have been the success it was, so in closing wed just like to thank the
following sponsors for prizes and lucky draws etc:
Firstly, A GIANT, ENORMOUS thank you to Ed from Areena Riverside Resort, without the stunning venue we wouldnt even have had an event, we may have caused Ed a few sleepless nights but were grateful for the hospitality and friendliness showed to us from everyone at Areena. Another big thank you to Heather at the Quays restaurant for the delicious lunches that were served afterwards as well.
To the rest of our generous sponsors:
Not forgetting all the helpers and timekeepers, markers, sweepers and everyone else that made the day such a success. A big thank you as well must go to our chairman, Cameron Middleton, who spent many hours negotiating the venue for us, scouting the route, answering emails, calls and smss and keeping the committee sane when the going got tough. Results from the ride are on our website www.amatolamtb.co.za
If you havent already, please add us as a friend on Facebook to get updates on outrides and any other happenings.
To end off Four wheels move the body; two wheels move the soul
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