Nervous for a Quickie…

By Martin Vos

Race: Northern Quickie

Stats: 16 March 2014, 55km, Northern Farms, Pretoria Rural.

 

Martin Vos
Martin Vos

The night before I struggled to fall asleep. It’s been a while since I’ve been this nervous or anxious to do a race. The Northern Quickie that is held at Northern Farms between Krugersdorp and Pretoria in Gauteng. Despite the venue famous for trails and mountain biking being close to my home I have not yet been there to ride the trails.

So today I rode the 55km race started in A Batch I was very happy getting A batch start mainly because with all the rain we had the last couple of weeks this race was going to be a wet and muddy affair.

The route being unfamiliar to me I knew the day was going to be a fun, wet muddy day in the saddle.

The route I found was not completely flat but there were no big climbs either, which made for a fairly fast race. There were two water points on route, for the 55km race, and they were well stocked with water and 32GI.

The race consisted mostly of farm roads with wonderfully cut singletrack. There were quite a number of riders and the race had various distances on offer, with 55km, 30km and a 10km race. At some points the 55km riders flowed into the 30km riders. This was a bit of a hold-up, but due to the fact that Northern farms singetrack offers overtaking zones and is clearly marked the slower riders on the same trails weren’t a major headache.

The singletrack was wonderful to ride there were a couple of rocky sections but nothing to right home to about. The route being located in a dedicated mountain bike haven was clearly marked and the riders had no problems following the markers. As you can see from the map the trails used crossed very close to each other and some riders decided to use this as an opportunity to take short cuts, however it is my humble opinion you only cheat yourself doing so. The route was great and I could not see myself crossing barriers into other sections cheating myself out of a wonderfully prepared route.

 Endomondo route map

Like I mentioned before, there was plenty of mud and if I can offer anyone reading this some good advice it would be this: when riding in mud don’t stop peddling, whatever you do keep your momentum going and your momentum will push you through the mud. When you see a mud puddle don’t slow down instead speed up, chances are with enough momentum you will go through the mud without taking a mud bath. And if you fall embrace the mud; mud baths are fun and some people pay top dollar for mud baths…

In closing I would recommend you go visit Northern Farms and ride their tracks, because their routes are great, clearly marked and perfect for taking your mountain bike out for a ride. As for the Northern Quickie, it’s a wonderful race I would recommend it to anyone. Great job guys love your work!

Look out for the Northern Quickie Winter on the 22nd of June.

 55km Route Profile

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