Mud tracks, red wine and NO TRESPASSING!

So winter is truly here and in the Western Cape that means rain, and (fortunately) lots of it. Gauteng has the perfect, if somewhat icy, winters, but those crisp clear mornings and no rain make for perfect bike riding conditions.  As for Natal, well is there really ever a bad time to hit the trails in cane (sugar that is) country? What winter does mean is that we (ok I am speaking for myself here) find it a lot more difficult to get onto the bike to ride in rain, cold and mud. Comfort food, red wine and a pile of back issues of Full Sus are a lot more appealing. The bike parts also take a hammering in the muddy weather – ok so I have found most of the excuses.

Let’s be honest though, when you do lever your butt of the couch and shiver into your full body lycra (I still haven’t seen cargo pants with chamois…), balaclava, two sets of gloves, booties, rain coat and empty back pack (to put all the stuff into as you start heating up and stripping off), oh and for us hard-core winter riders (note how quickly I become hard core….) who have managed to find a flask that fits into your second bottle cage filled with your favourite coffee (really?), it is really worth it! The tracks albeit muddy in places, are sticky, your riding style changes accordingly and there is a definite sense of achievement having ridden. One should however spare a thought for the environment and the trails – much like your drivetrain they also take a pounding and so you should still be considerate, obey the signage, keep to the set trails and portage where necessary – leaving the trails to pass a wet spot eventually becomes a problem that will later require time and expense to repair. Be safe, enjoy but stay considerate!

We have a growing social media community; thanks for you support and keep sharing, forwarding, tweeting and contributing. Our most shared and viewed piece was the very serious letter that we received regarding rogue riding from our good friend Johan Kriegler, from Mountain Bike Adventures, who had to once again face an irate landowner because some twits just have no respect. Folks this is not only trespassing but also impacts on all other riders – because of some inconsiderate, selfish morons, these routes will eventually be closed and the board/permit carrying riders will be denied some spectacular riding. Events will have to be re-routed, purpose built trails lost, time, effort, money and relationships lost – just a &^%- up all round. So please don’t do it!

I just booked my spot for the Greyton MTB Tour, another awesome two day tour event that is a must do! You park you car, ride in awesome terrain, hangout with great people, drink lots of red wine and really enjoy winter MTB riding. See you there!

I hope you enjoy our bumper winter issue. There is enough to keep you reading for a couple of days! Thanks to the team and especially to our regular contributors – it’s a cracker issue! Don’t forget to keep sending us your stories! Enjoy, keep warm and see you on the trails!

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