Trail Angels Diaries: Wines2Whales Training Camp

Wines2Whales is one of the biggest stage races in our beautiful country. It has become the sort of bucket-list event you need to experience. The ladies at Trail Angels hosted a training camp on the Wines2Whales trails.

Trail Angels hosted a W2W training camp recently. Our destination was Grabouw in the Western Cape.
Our aim was multi-dimensional – to ride some of the trails that are part of the W2W event, to ride two days back to back of 50km+ and very importantly to learn to ride with your partner as a team unit.

Image Credits: Nikki Haywood

 

A usual Trail Angel getaway/training camp is normally a women’s only event. This time however we decided to invite Trail Angels and their partners/husbands to come and join us. One of the most common reasons why ladies sign up with the Trail Angels is that their ultimate cycling goal is to be able to ride a stage race with their partner. Their gripes when I first chat to them are that they just can’t keep up with their partners, their skill set sucks, they need to work on their fitness and their partners are impatient. We can help them with everything except their partner’s impatience. Very soon by improving their skill set and fitness their
partners don’t need patience anymore, they can get out on the trails together and have fun and feel confident.

On Saturday morning we congregated at Trails End Bike Hotel, ready to roll at 09:00. After a briefing of the day ahead and urging the guys to ride WITH their partners, we set out onto the trails. Our first climb took us to the top of the A-Z trails, always fun and fast and a little bit challenging after all the rain we’ve had. Moving around the very full dam took us onto the trails of Oak Valley and onto our refreshment station, The Elgin Railway Market. Beers and Burgers were the order of the day. A 4km cycle back to Trails End Hotel over the old railway bridge ended a very rewarding 50km day.

Trails End Bike Hotel is your ultimate sporty accommodation in the Grabouw area. Super friendly staff who always go that extra mile, delicious meals, coffee and a selection of local wines. They are equipped to store bicycles, mechanics on call, lap pool, Pilates studio and massage facilities. Sean, our local guide was encouraging and super motivating and knows the trails like the back of his hand. So many trails and jeep tracks that without him we would have ended up riding in circles.

Sunday’s ride took us through Lebanon, Paul Cluver and Thandi trails. The ladies were challenged by the rocky single tracks and the hike-a-bike section but they conquered fears and overcame some obstacles that they had never been able to ride before. We had a very welcome water point 30km into the ride where we refuelled with oranges, @Nanuki Boom Bars (yum yum) and @Tailwind endurance drinks.

At the end of the ride, confidence was high, and self-belief was tangible. The ladies were all super chuffed with their achievements and their ability to keep up with their partners and I think their partners were super impressed with their skill and fitness levels. A win-win situation and very rewarding for me to see how far these ladies have come. It has been commitment and hard work from their side and it has been a pleasure providing the platform for them to achieve their goals. The ladies are all really looking forward to the W2W event at the end of October and I have no doubt that they are going to love this event.

From October the Trail Angels will be broadening their offering to non-club members. If you are not a club member and would like to join any of our rides, outrides, skills clinics or any of our super awesome local and international tours please contact us on nikki@trailangels.co.

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