Mountain biking and mud. Experienced mountain bikers know that a little bit of overnight rain, make for ideal riding conditions, the following day.
It is called ‘hero dirt’. When soil becomes a touch spongey, after some overnight rain, delivering perfectly gripper trail riding conditions.
It might be muddy, but racing mountain bikes in the rain, is part of the experience. Spending a bit more time cleaning bikes and gear, is well worth the cost.
Cooler weather and a bit of moisture made for a great edition of Stellenbosch’s iconic two-day stage race. A welcome change from previous years, where summer temperatures could peak, dramatically, in Stellenbosch during the race.
"The Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience was the perfect way to close off what has been a roller-coaster of a year,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports and Founder of the event.
Newbies love it
Spinning instructor Suzette Olivier (Somerset West) made her mountain bike racing debut by taking on the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience half marathon.
"This is my first mountain bike race ever," says a very excited Olivier.
"A friend of mine asked me three days ago whether I’d like her entry as she couldn’t take part due to injury. The Savanna Origin of Trails is a fantastic race. It’s hard, but it has great routes and scenery. I definitely want to come back next year."
Young riders, having a great time
Albie de Waal (Stellenbosch) has taken part in the Savanna Origin of Trails several times, but this is the first year that he managed to beat his father (Andre) to the finish.
"I train a lot with my dad and this is the first time that I’ve managed to beat him," laughs De Waal.
"This is my first time racing the Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience," says Kusaselihle Ngidi (Stellenbosch).
"I entered the event for the experience. Stage Two of the marathon featured a good route and crossing the finish line first is a good feeling. The event features nice trails and good routes that are well marked."
Karla Stumpf (Stellenbosch) made her Savanna Origin of Trails MTB Experience debut by taking on the Marathon.
"I’m a first-year student and I entered the event because I thought the trails must be amazing to ride," says Stumpf.
"The event was amazing. I just entered to have fun, but then I saw that there were two women in front of me, so I chased and caught them. For me the downhills are the best part of the event. I definitely want to come back next year."