- South Africa is again hosting one of the world's most extreme mountain bike events
- One of the people responsible for building these massive jumps, is an Austrian
- And he's been having a great time, riding trails around Cape Town
Although South African mountain biking is better known for its endurance stage racing events, the local scene has some scarily big jumps.
For the last few years, some of the world’s most skilled and daring mountain bikers have descended on the Banhoek valley, outside Stellenbosch.
At the valley’s Hellsend compound, enormous jumps are shaped and when weather conditions prevail, with an absence of wind, the results can be spectacular.
The insight and commitment to build huge jumps, that can be safely ridden by the world's best free ride mountain bikers, is a rare skill. Possessed by few.
One of those individuals is Austria’s Clemens Kaudela, who has made the journey to South Africa. He is part of a crew that prepared the Hellsend venue for hosting this year’s DarkFEST event, where mountain bikers boost massive huge air.
Building but also riding
Despite most of his time being invested at the Hellsend build site, Kaudela has also managed to ride some other trails in the area.
One of South Africa’s most celebrated downhill mountain bike racers, Andrew Neethling, guided the Austrian rider around his local trails, in the Helderberg network.
DarkFEST's event window runs until 26 May and Cape Town’s autumn should guarantee an ideal windless day, for riders to push the limits. The international list of attendees include many renowned extreme mountain bikers.
South Africa will be represented by Cape Town’s Theo Erlangsen. If you want to get an idea of how radical the riding will be, on the jump line that Clemens Kaudela helped finish, the video below provides a proper frame of reference.