MTB Captains report for week of 1st August
Condolences to Jill Edwards on the recent loss of her dad.
How good was our ride on Saturday. See Marks report below. And to round it off Clive and I took the scenic route back down the hill via Celtis road, the tunnel and Wylie Park. What a start to the weekend.
Our last ride through the plantation opposite Grace was a bittersweet moment – great trails but our last ride there. New amazing trails will soon be found no doubt.
New member Keith Diederichs claimed a credible 1st Vet at Saturdays Giba Enduro. Well done.
Saturday Ride Report for 29th July
We heard during the week that harvesting operations would be starting in both the Grace and Cedara forests. It seems like we will permanently lose the marvellous ST in the Grace / Wedgewood / Garlington sector, so a fond farewell route was planned to take final advantage of this old friend. Arriving for the service was Team Rowland, Team Helga & Richard [forgot to ask surnames], the Gruppenfuhrer, the revenue generating half of Team Smit, T-Shirt Gert, Gordon B and a guest appearance by Marianne, graciously lowering her standards to ride with us. Dale took himself, the fragrant Sticky, and Eddie off with the D-group. A small S [snake] group clustered, selected the most rodent-friendly route, and hissed off in search of breakfast. I think it contained Gavin G, Clive, Ian and Stephen.
The C-team confidently headed off towards Grace, only to be immediately stymied by tree felling operations on the main road. Fortunately, some months back, the brat pack had forced me to take a back route past Laddsworth and through the church grounds [‘It’ll be fun, you’ll see!’]. Being the product of a strict catholic education, sneaking through the church grounds had made me distinctly uncomfortable. I half expected to get an extra few years in purgatory from an irate priest, or at the very least detention. At worst, he would expect to see me at the next Sunday service. There’s been nothing in the mail since then, so we risked a repeat. I could always blame Larry. Fortunately, the godly were elsewhere, and we were soon heading down Hayfields Rd into the forest. This route to the N3 is not going to be open for too much longer – be aware. The fence posts are up at the bottom of Hayfields Rd, and just lack wire between them.
The bridge under the N3 was bitterly cold, as always, so we didn’t dawdle. Up Nkandla ST, and then into the Grace corner ST. We did it clockwise and fast. It was, as always, great. Very sorry to see it go. Looping back to where we started, we crossed the road again, and wound our way down the switchbacks. At the halfway point, we turned left, and for the first time in a long while, took the more technical ST on the left. Although bumpy, it didn’t disappoint. There were no takers for the jump.
Back into the forest, and back under the N3 bridge, past the Rotunda, and up reservoir hill. A Mach run down the hill, with me at the front to avoid / generate the dust, much to the displeasure of those behind me. We then went all experimental, looking for a route around the new development that would allow us to get to the top Cedara college road, and back into the forest. What is MTB if not adventurous? We were successful, but it tested the team somewhat. New Richard’s relative youth was starting to count against him, and he was pulling serious amps keeping up with the pensioners. At one point, he was observed to dismount his steed and tramp disconsolately alongside it up a particularly testing incline. Gordon attempted a short but steep incline and lost, without injury.
A little jeep track was required to offset all this adventure, and so that is just what we did. I am nothing if not flexible. At the next ST, Team Helga / Richard elected to rather recover, and the rest leapt into the forest.
We did Pin the Pines without incident, and then looped back to meet the others at the big dead tree. A brief wardrobe adjustment period ensued, and we headed for home. The two Richards cleaned up on the freewheel challenge, with Alison close behind. Helga almost did the Mallory Rd gate again, losing out to gravity only at the last second. Nothing that can't be fixed with coffee and breakfast. All three groups reunited to sample the best that Jaxx had to offer, and as usual, we were not disappointed.
Strava Stats: 31km, 2h16 and 700m of climbing. A good ride, especially for the newbies. Well done.
D Group MTB ride Saturday 29th
Having agreed to lead a slower, non technical MTB ride on Saturday mornings, behind the normal C Group, only 2 others joined me, Janice Brisbane and Eddie Sherwood.
We set off before the main C Group, heading towards Hilton Mondi forest, keeping the ride within the capabilities of the group. We worked our way around past Nurses’ Dam, up the hill and cut back through some very bumpy jeep track and a bit of single track. We then went over the fence and dropped down to the donkey route and headed towards Cedara.
We climbed, what I call “Happy Hill” up to Wedgewood, and back down again, heading towards home via John’s Demise bridge, through the bottom gate and back to Jaxx – a distance of 29kms and 612metres of climbing, according to Strava.
It always feels good to put something back into MTB cycling by leading a slower group.
I’d like to take this opportunity to extend our club’s condolences to Jill Edwardes, who lost her Mom last Wednesday – our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Jill, during this difficult time.
Please remember there are still club rain jackets available at R710 – please contact me on 0836593000.
Please make sure you read last week’s BT to catch up on the new kit arrangements.
Ride safe, stay alert, say alive,
Dale will be leading the final D group this coming Saturday before he heads off to the Namaqualand daisy’s. He invites all roadies to join him at 07:00 at Jaxx.
Burg Wheelers will be at the Illovo Eston (6th Aug) with our gazebos and refreshments. Please join us before and after your rides.
The Ride for Rhinos (12th Aug) is always ride for a worthy cause and this year has a new format, starting and finishing at Zulu falls outside Mooi River.
Gavin Green has proposed a club ride up at Sani Spoors, Underberg. Details to follow, but the trails are magnificent.
Following extract from the KZN MTB calendar for convenience.
Trails Off Limits Reminder
Howick / Karkloof
Be aware of certain trail closures at both Howick and Karkloof. All BW riders are requested to respect the restrictions imposed by harvesting and obey local signs and instructions. View Trailforks app to keep abreast of local trails. Harvesting also taking place opposite sawmill on the Kwa Wulu road. All riders have been requested to stay clear.
Hilton / Cedara
We will have some trail closures of our own in both the Grace College and Cedara areas soon. Gill Bures feedback below from a recent Mondi meeting in Hilton:
Hi there sports lovers,
Please note that felling of the area opposite Grace College near Wedgewood and the area opposite Cowan House next to Shepstone Complex will be taking place from 1 Aug – it’s a 24hr project and long 23m trucks will be busy in these areas. We have been asked to give them space, stay away, be patient. Please spread the news it will be over by 30 Sept and then of course, the development starts. There go our single tracks. Sad but true, but we have lots of forest left so I suppose we should be grateful for what we have in Hilton.
Please let everyone know, pass on this info,
Kind regards Gill
The following supplied by Mondi:
Out of courtesy and in the interests of zero harm we would like to make you aware of the harvesting and transport operation which will be coming onto Mt home farm by 1 August 2017.
Please be aware of the following information and safety rules and share with other interested and affected parties that you may be in contact with:
- There will be harvesting and transport operations from 1 August to 30 September 2017.
- The operation will start on the Wedgewood side by Garlington and then move across towards the Mt Home nursery part of the farm adjacent to Dennis Shepstone road.
- Please keep 200m from all harvest, extraction, loading and long haul equipment. Please respect this rule to prevent serious injury.
- The trucks doing the long haul will be TLS or Log Matters (Tekwani). Signage will be erected. These are very long trucks 25m. Please be aware that the trailer “tracks” and so the area needed to corner is more than the width of the truck. Please rather don’t over take, drive with your lights on and keep a safe travel distance. These trucks will need to drive on Dennis Shepstone road and Cedara road. They will be hauling timber 24/7 for 1 month.
- The loading will be 24/7.
- The harvesting and extraction will run from 5 am to 11pm, 6 days a week.
- There will also be chainsaws working in a smaller compartment doing approximately 450t. The felling here should take about 3 weeks. The chainsaws will be quiet by 17h00 in the afternoon.
- There will be dust. A water cart will be deployed to suppress the dust as the need arises.
- The harvesting contractor will be Agattu. All safety signage will be erected.
- The forester in charge will be Nathi Sibetha 072 614 2652
Following the harvesting operation there will be a destumping operation. Please also stay 200m from these activities.
The Wednesday ride from Crossways is at 15:00. Returns to 15:30 from 16 August.
This Saturday the rides are from Jaxx, Hilton Quarry Centre, at 7:00.
Last word ……
When out riding, carry some form of identification and an ICE contact no., either on your person or on your bike, or both. Benefits are obvious.
Burg Wheelers Cycling Academy
Weekend Activity of Omar Wilson
Saturday - Giba Gravity Enduro - a fun event - he came 4th in his age group - he was riding with a mate from school (who was only doing his 2nd Enduro ever) and certainly wasn't pushing it - I told him to just go out there and have fun.
Sunday - #1 race in the Spur School series at Kearsney - he was leading for all 4 laps, but was pipped on the finish line by the chap who basically rode on his tail the whole way. A very fine result, but you guys are definitely going to have to give him some strategies, as he is competing against some boys who have Dads who ride competitively, and they are definitely getting tips and hints from their Dad, and Omar needs to know how to "defend" himself! He was kaput after that race!
Attached is a pic of the results and podium. They aren't allowed to wear branded clothing for this event. It is a school series after all. It was heartening to see a huge turnout for the event (33 boys in the Sprog Boys category alone.) Last year they weren't so well supported.
Thanks for the update Trish. Great to see Omar riding so well.
This will be held on Saturday, 25 November.
The following have confirmed their entry:
We have vacancies for a couple more riders, so if you want to ride please pay a R1000 deposit into the following account
Account Name - Burg Wheelers Cycling Club
Bank - ABSA Bank
Branch Code - 630 125 (Victoria Road)
Current Account No. - 0711 328 599
Reference - DC plus your name
Proof of payment to be sent to: Trish Wilson at email@example.com
Also please advise Trevor Thompson on 083 628 8485 before 17:00 tomorrow of your intention to ride in order for us to book accommodation and select teams. Thank you.
Team training starts on 2 September.
B and C GROUPs
We were 10 last Saturday who met at VC at 05:30. Sandi, Llew, Dean, Dee, Sharon, Ian, Jamie, Nathalie, Jumbo and ww. There was no Colin. It was good to see Dean again after a long absence owing to swimming and running obligations and he rode strong. Sandi is also looking good but had to stop at Jowetts on the way back owing to a faulty free wheel hub which caused her to nearly fall a few times!
Dee put in a rare appearance and cut his ride short as he tends to suffer from cramps when trying to keep up with the ladies. It was also good to see Jumbo again, the last time I saw him, he was lying in the road outside the Mall with 2 other cyclists when he failed to negotiate a slippery section of the road!
We warmed up by going up Montgomery Drive – Dee said, “I thought this was supposed to be an easy ride!” Nathalie thought to herself, “This is too steep for someone from Howick and I need to stop and rest a while”. Sharon exclaimed – “I am way over my base heart rate.” Jumbo thought to himself, “Wow this is easier than riding with the C group”.
We regrouped at Athlone Circle with Llew barely sweating and looking good for Old Howick Road! Instead, we cruised down Howick Road, crossed town and went up Hesketh and around the airport. When we came back past Steers the temperature was showing 5* on the Woodburn wall. The traffic was a heavy coming back thru town and we decided it was time to venture into the country in future.
Back at VC after a 60km ride, we enjoyed coffee and breakfast at Coffeeberry.
Saturday 4 August
Meet at Woodburn Steers at 05:00 for a 2 hour ride around the Dards with Ian and Jamie.