‘Fat bikes’ find a home

2017-07-27 06:00
The increasingly popular ‘fat bikes’ will have their own recognised category at the upcoming Sappi Scottburgh MTB race.PHOTO: gameplan media

The increasingly popular ‘fat bikes’ will have their own recognised category at the upcoming Sappi Scottburgh MTB race.PHOTO: gameplan media

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NO stranger to innovation, the Sappi Scottburgh MTB race on August 13 has become the first race in KwaZulu-Natal to formally recognise the new trend of fat bike mountain bikes as a free-standing race category.

With more and more social MTB riders opting for the wide rims with balloon tyres that handle the off-road and sandy conditions particularly well, the numbers being entered for races around the country have started warranting recognition, and the Scottburgh MTB team has met that demand by formally recognising fat bikes as a racing class.

Grant Macpherson and Crispin Brien are two locals that have latched onto the fat bike craze, and say the race recognising Fat Bikes as a class is a big step in the right direction.

“For us, riding fat bikes is all about fun,” says Macpherson, who with Brien was one of the first to cotton onto the fat bike craze two years ago.

“We are not racing. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. We have a clear idea why we ride, and riding fat bikes is all about enjoying the riding.

“There is a group of us that ride on the beach when the tide is out, and we really enjoy it,” he said.

Macpherson was thrilled that the Sappi Scottburgh race would make history in KZN by being the first race to formally cater for fat bikes, but he had a few requests.

“This must always be a fun class. I hope it doesn’t grow to the point that the racing takes over from the fun element.

“On the Cape West Coast, there are lots of fat bike races on the calendar, and the vibe there is excellent, so hopefully by incorporating a Fat Bike category in the Sappi Scottburgh race we can start a similar thing in KZN,” said Macpherson.

“We would really be excited if the fat bike race could include a section along the beach, if the tide allows it,” he added.

He said that the inclusion of a fat bike as a lucky draw prize at the race would ensure that another member would be added to the growing KZN fat bike community.

“It will be known as ‘The Giant Toti Fat Boy’ category as Giant Toti are sponsoring the prize money, and the fat boy bike that will be a lucky draw prize open to anyone at the prize-giving,” said race director Flavio Scarpa.

The race forms the third leg of the South Coast MTB Series that was started last year, with more and more riders using the event as the reason to spend the weekend in the holiday hub of Scottburgh with their families, with local hotels and B&B establishments backing deals around the race.

Entries for the race on August 13 are being taken at www.roag.co.za

Start/finish venue: Scottburgh main beach

Distances: 8.30am - 45km Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race (pre-entry - R170, late entry - R195)

8.45am - 28km Dash and Splash (pre-entry - R130, late entry - R155)

9am - 10km family fun ride (pre-entry - R60, late entry - R85)


Sunday 14 August (6.30am to 8.30am) at Scottburgh Lifesaving Club Clubhouse

Enter at www.roag.co.za or contact Flavio Scarpa on 084 330 6029 for more information.

- Flavio Scarpa

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