Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chartered Van Gaalens Dirt Fest

A whole weekend of riding on uncongested singletrack!

Friday night was 25 km of nightriding on the famous Vn Gaalens tracks: slightly more technical by night than by daylight.

Saturday morning's ride was a 'social race' of 6 timed 'stages' of 500 metres to maybe 3 km's in length, with well-stocked watertables and social riding between the stages. The start was delayed due to higher than expected water levels due to the previous night's rain. The track was slightly muddy, but uncongested and great fun riding.

Sunday morning's stage was a flattish 60 kay with the climb up to the Greek church the only major obstacle.

Maybe the orgnisers could have done a bit better with getting information to the riders before the event - but overall, a very enjoyable weekend, and the 'sprint' stages definitely a format I'd like to see more of.

My friend Zurika's summary of the ride:

1. Go at your own pace. Trying to keep up with someone else will only make you tired.
2. Don't mind the slow riders in front of you. Eventually the will be a climb an you will pass them.
3. If there suddenly there are 6 little duckies in your path, stop and wait till they move out of the way otherwise you will separate one of them from the rest and feel very bad afterward.
4. If you get lost, go back to the last place you knew you were still on the right track.
5. If you loose your sense of humor, best you find it quickly. It will only make for a more pleasant journey.
6. There are lots of unexpected beauty along the way. Like the cactus I saw with the most beautiful white flowers I've never seen before.
7. Don't worry if you find yourself alone on the course , just keep going.
8. If you still don't know where you going don't stop for too long , you wasting valuable time. Ask for directions.
9. If you get chased by three dogs , pedal faster and be thankful you got your tetanus shot months ago.
10. Sometimes there is mud in your way and no way around it. Go through it and always be grateful if you did not fall.
11. Most of the time, for every rocky uphill there is a fast downhill.
12. Don't give up. Always finish the race! It makes for a good satisfied feeling.

Looking forward to this one for next year!