Anatomy of a Country MTB race
18 April 2016
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Gerald de Kock: Welcome to another edition of our Old Mutual Live Mountain Biking, thanks for downloading. As ever, it’s all about this wonderful sport of mountain biking and as you can hear, I’m at an event. This is a country event, this is the Fine Breede Mountain Bike Race that’s been going for 11 years in the Breede Rivier Valley.
Some 300-400 riders come from the Western Cape and there are races from 60km, a 30km and a 17km race as well. I’ve completed the race in a relatively long time, just on four hours, over 60km. Now I’m going to do a little anatomy of the mountain bike race, a country race. Let’s see who we can talk to and what we can find out about how these little races run.
First off I’m going to go to the finish on a bright and beautiful sunny morning. Plenty of wonderful, new single track that’s been created here that runs along the Breede Rivier. Plenty of good climbing in the first 20km or so into the mountains.
I’m going to walk through to the finish area and have a little chat to the ladies who are waiting for the riders to come in here. Hello ladies, you’re all wearing Breede Mountain Bike Events, where are you from, are you all from this area?
Communities getting involved
Interviewee: Yes, we’re all from the area.
GDK: Farmers here?
I: Farmers wife.
GDK: You’re handing out apples here and water and so on to the riders, what’s the general reaction when they come in here and find you here?
I: It all depends if they did the 60km, it’s not that good, but they loved it.
GDK: Apples are a pretty decent thing, are they grown in this valley?
I: Yes, they’re grown in the Ceres Valley, but we also have apples in this valley.
GDK: They’re beautiful, very tasty and some Cape Dew local water?
I: Yes, also local water.
In support of a local school
GDK: This race, is it raising funds for the people of the Breede Rivier?
I: It’s for the local school, it’s a primary school and there’s about 50 pupils in the school and the funds all go for the school.
GDK: Fantastic job, how many more do you reckon are still out there, how many more are you waiting for?
I: I think they’re about done.
GDK: That’s not good news cause I came through here not too long ago, which means I was quite near the back, but anyway, thank you very much. I’ll wonder on to see exactly how many are out there. We’re going to go down to the timers, a little bit further on down the track. Like so many events in the Western Cape, it falls under the Pedal Power Association race ticket, the official timers. There’s a gentleman sitting here timing, how many have you recorded in here sir?
I: 700 I think.
GDK: That’s over the three events?
GDK: So you sit here all day?
I: And take photos, yes of whoever comes through.
GDK: So every single rider –
I: Every single rider, their photo gets taken.
GDK: What’s the reason for that?
I: That’s for the timing.
Timers keeping track of everything
GDK: What was the winning time today?
I: I can’t tell you, the guys in the van can tell you.
GDK: Let’s go to the van which is where they are timing the guys. Hello guys, do you know what the winning time was today? On the 60km, how long was it?
I: 2 hours and 4 seconds.
GDK: Who was he? I think HP Kruger was probably the winner there from Team Telkom. We’ve got the mechanics out of it, the timing and the finish area where you get refreshment at the end of the ride. Now we’re going to go to where the real meat and drink, if you like, of the race is. This is the race village and there’s potjiekos, there’s all sorts going on here. So what I’m going to do is go and have a chat to these gentlemen who are standing over some very hot fires. Hello, how are you?
Refuelling the yummy way
I: Howzit, all right and you?
GDK: What have you got in here?
I: Skenkels and game, game skenkels, gemsbok and lamb.
GDK: What is a skenkel?
I: Skenkel is an ankle, it’s the animals ankle.
GDK: Did you ride today?
I: Of course yes, I’ve got a motorbike.
GDK: Do you have a mountain bike?
I: I do have a mountain bike, it’s been used once.
GDK: Best you get on it!
I: We are here for the entertainment, good cause for the school. We do it every year, it’s a lovely event.
GDK: Let’s have a chat to a few of the riders. How was your ride?
Soaking up the post-race atmosphere
I: I went well to 40km and then after that my engine fell out.
GDK: Good for 40, what happened?
I: It just fell out, so I had to cruise on.
GDK: What’s it about mountain biking you enjoy, do you do this often?
I: I don’t do it as often as I’d like to have, coming from the road and doing a mountain bike race in such a long time. It’s just reminded me how tough it is, so have to do a lot more mountain bike racing.
GDK: Do you think mountain bike, is it tougher than the road.
I: It’s two different disciplines, but I think it’s tougher.
GDK: Well done, thanks for chatting. How was your ride?
I: It was great, a bit tough, but it was all right.
GDK: Which one did you do?
I: The 30.
GDK: How long did you take?
I: I’m not sure.
GDK: Where did you come?
I: From Worcester.
GDK: And in the race, do you know what position you were?
GDK: Keep it going, young man, how far did you ride?
I: Ek is Afrikaans.
GDK: Hoe vèr het jy gery?
GDK: Hoe lank het jy gery?
I: Ek weet nie.
GDK: Het jy dit geniet?
Chatting to Team Telkom
GDK: That’s what it’s all about, enjoying the ride, well done guys, HP, well done, enjoy the race?
HP Kruger: It was a nice route, the first 30km was quite technical, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s what you expect in these rocky terrain, epic terrains. But it was fun and I enjoyed the race a lot. It’s good preparation and also, you can see what they do for the community. I mean the schools are involved, there’s okes making potjiekos, it’s something you don’t get every weekend and it’s a fun vibe to be a part of.
GDK: Thanks for chatting, well done today, 2:22, was that right?
HPK: 2:22 for Johan and I.
GDK: Here he is, hello Johann Rabie, how was your day?
Johann Rabie: It was quite technical in the beginning, big climb in the beginning and then some nice technical pieces after that. I did a lot of effort with the single track and bridges and stuff, especially after the fire again. You can see they repaired it quickly again and then towards the end it got a bit flatter and faster, but ja, it was a very nice 60km.
GDK: Team Telkom, HP and Johann, well done. Thanks for chatting, good luck for the rest of the year. So you did hear the music that was being played down here and it’s beautiful, the stage is probably the smallest stage I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s surrounded by proteas, you were singing sir? You are?
Geen Groen: Geen Groen.
GDK: Geen fantastic, nice little opportunity for you here?
I: Thank you, always loving it.
GDK: Did the riders, they arrived here, they’re tired and they’re chatting and things, but you’re playing away here.
I: I’m just playing what I hope everyone wants to hear. I normally just write Afrikaans music and record that and I’m actually, I’m an original artist.
GDK: Do you have a mountain bike?
I: Yes, I actually do.
GDK: We’ll see you on it one day.
I: If you want to speak to someone, you must speak to that little man.
Age is just a number
GDK: How was your day?
I: It was awesome, a bit tough, but it was awesome.
GDK: Where are you from?
GDK: Not far for you to come out here, young man, what did you ride?
I: I ride the 30.
GDK: That’s a long way, how old are you?
GDK: Fantastic job and how long did you ride for?
I: Two and a half hours.
GDK: Wow, that’s impressive.
I: It was enjoyable, but fortunately they get taught to do the cross country, so they’re now going a bit for the marathons as well. The smaller guys, so for them, they enjoy the technical bits, to them it’s nothing because they’re used to it. So just the uphill is a bit of a grinder, but otherwise no, they do well, it’s amazing.
GDK: Did you ride?
I: I rode the 30. That was fun, it was tough, it was better than last year. The new single track was quite tough, but enjoyable, I think it’s one of the toughest 30km rides you can get.
GDK: Put that medal up, you deserve it.
I: Thank you very much, cheers.
GDK: Thanks guys, these are just a sample of what the vibe is here at Breede Rivier, the Fine Breede Mountain Bike Race, which is obviously a fundraiser for the school here. This is probably the busiest place to be in the Fine Breede, it’s the bar area. You’ve got a list of cocktails here, but what’s the most popular drink you’re serving?
I: Basically the mojita, the strawberry daiquiri.
GDK: Dehydration vital, thanks very much, it’s the most important thing, I suppose, at the end of a ride. Then there’s the prize giving and there’s lucky draws to be had here and we’ve got all manner of prizes here, what are the prizes you’ve got here?
I: For the lucky draw we have a stay at Houdini Spa, we always have a Ceres Zipline Adventures, there’s three of them. The nice Aquila Safari trip to Aquila Safari, so there’s very nice prizes to be won.
Winning your weight in wine
GDK: A lot of wine as well.
I: We have, but the wine is only for our 60km winners, they win their weight in wine. So however much they weigh, that much wine they win.
GDK: That’s the winner, HP Kruger, he’s not very heavy is he?
I: I think we’re going to score on that, I’m very happy to see.
GDK: How much do you weigh HP?
HP: Johann won.
GDK: You see, Johann Rabie is a bit heavier, he’s probably about 80kg.
I: I think we’ll supply he’s –
I: I’ll put on more clothes.
I: Something like that, get dressed.
GDK: This event, it’s been going 10/11 years?
I: Yes, it’s the 11th year we’re doing the Breede.
An important event for the community
GDK: How important is it to this community?
I: It’s very important, it’s the only fundraising we have for our local primary school, so it’s very important for the school, but it’s also very nice for us as parents because we get to know the parents in the school and the school. We only have 50 pupils, so it’s a small school, about 30 parents that do this, on our own. That includes the marking of the routes, the layout of the routes and even the food you have here and enjoy today.
GDK: It’s fantastic, well done, if I can ask, what sort of funds do you raise from the event?
I: We raise about R120 000, only with this fundraising event, that’s why we don’t really need to do a lot of other small stuff, it works for us.
GDK: I suppose one other area is the retail, guys, can I have a quick chat to you, from Manic Cylces in Worcester.
I: Hello Gerald.
GDK: Have you just come in?
I: I’ve just come in, ag, normally what we do is, we’ll do a stand and there’s normally the rush with all the novices. Then I’ll start from the back and just help all the back markers get in. We’ve been coming here for 10 years and a lot of people associate us with the events.
It’s also where you build up a relationship with the locals and they come and support the shop when they notice you’re at the event, especially for the new guys as well, just starting out. Doesn’t know which shop to support, sees us here and hopefully when he comes to Worcester, that’s where he’ll pop in as well.
GDK: Well done, it’s a vital ingredient to mountain biking Francois, thank you very much for being here and supporting the sport.
I: We always enjoy it.
GDK: That’s just one more element of what a race is all about in the country around South Africa, this is just one of many of these type of events that are taking place around SA on any given weekend, Saturday/Sunday. It’s just fantastic to see the numbers supporting the event and the youngsters taking part as well. That is the anatomy of a country mountain bike race on Old Mutual Live Mountain Biking, thanks for downloading, until next time, cheers.