Seweweekspoort MTB Challenge

ladismith-seweweekspoortThe people from Ladismith, a small town in the Little Karoo, will agree that mountain biking can make a difference to the lives of ordinary people. One weekend every year their town is invaded by mountain bikers who come to race in the Ladismith Cheese Seweweekspoort MTB Challenge. This year the event will take place on 15 October.

It is the brainchild of two doctors Pieter Blignaut and Jaco Denkema. This year Dryland Events also got involved. More than 1000 mountain bikers are expected to participate over the various race distances, namely 25km, 40km and 80km. This event creates a boom in the town’s economy because the riders and their supporters need to eat, sleep and enjoy themselves.

A conservative estimate will be to assume that each rider will spend approximately R1000 on meals, petrol and accommodation over the weekend. This means that the race could bring in about R1.5 million to boost the town’s economy. This is not taking into account the family members of the riders who will accompany them.

According to Fanus Walters, principal of the Hoërskool Ladismith, the Seweweekspoort Challenge has developed from merely a small race into one of the main social events on the town’s social calendar. “People realize the importance of such a race, especially because many small towns are currently involved in a battle for economic survival. Ladismith is no exception. “One of the main problems in most small towns is the over-population that puts huge demands on the economies of the towns.
“Ladismith’s economy is sustained by two cheese factories, a distillery, a dried fruit company, as well as ostrich and dairy farms. This is more than what many other towns can boast of, but it is still not enough to sustain the ever increasing population.

“The people who live at the Zoar/Amalienstein Missionaries and in Vanwyksdorp also rely on Ladismith for their survival. Therefore, any extra income that can be generated brings welcome relief too many people.”

Walter reckons that the big spin-off of the race is that it makes people aware of the fact that Ladismith actually has much to offer from a tourism perspective.

“The main tourist attraction of our town is the Swartberg that surrounds it. This mountain range has been the inspiration for a number of authors who used it as a background for their stories. In this regard Jan van Tonder and Abraham de Vries can be mentioned and even David Kramer refers to the Swartberg in some of his songs.

“A considerable portion of the race goes through parts of the beautiful and unspoilt Seweweekspoort. Riders will also get the opportunity to ride through some of the most beautiful farms in the Hoeko Valley. For those who may not know, this is where the most famous author in Afrikaans, CJ Langenhoven, was born.

“I will admit that most people’s first impression of Ladismith may not be favourable, but first impressions can often be misleading. There are some really beautiful old buildings in the town that date back to the boom period of the ostrich feathers industry in the previous century. The architecture of some of these houses is unique to this part of the country.

“In short, Ladismith is the uncrowned jewel of the Little Karoo.”

Nando’s Magalies Recap

If you can remember, the MTB Shorts team recently previewed the Nando’s Magalies Adventure event, and today I have the pleasure of bringing you the news and results from the event.

In what best can be described as a whitewash, The Toyota Supercycling team of Shan Wilson and Andrew McLean won all 3 stages and took the overall victory at the Nando’s Magalies Adventure at the weekend.

And if Toyota Supercycling didn’t prove their dominance enough, their other team of David Labuschagne and Tinus Buys took second place ahead of Martin Hogan and Karl Kielblock.

It looks like Toyota is getting some quality dynamos in MTB. Now, if only I could get that sort of performance from my 1997 Toyota Tazz. Oh well, I guess it’s maybe time for me to upgrade to a Yaris hehe

Click here to see photographs of this year’s event.

Ricky in Spandex

Nando’s Magalies Adventure

Next weekend is the 3 day, multistage mountain biking race known as the Nando’s Magalies Adventure. Starting on the 14th and running until the 16th August, this event will prove to be a fun event for nature fundis and MTB fanatics alike.

The event will kick off on Friday night with a night stage of 25km, followed by a second stage of 75km on Saturday, and a shorter 45km on Sunday.

Magaliesburg is a beautiful, conservation area and I’m sure that you’ll have many mental Kodak moments after this event.

Click here to enter (entries are open until 300 teams are finalised)

On the plus side, if the race sucks, at least you can grab a mild Nando’s chicken on the way home. Which reminds me, what the hell am I making for supper tonight?!


Marky Mark

Akkedis Soutpansberg Mountain Bike Challenge

On the 1st August 2009 (and for the 5th year running), the Akkedis Soutpansberg Mountain Bike Challenge takes place on the western side of the Soutpansberg Mountains in the Limpopo province.

The Soutspansberg Mountains has a fascinating history in South Africa, due to archaeological interest and pioneering. Its unique local micro-climate is also extraordinary. Warm, moist winds from the Mozambique Channel ascend up the sharp, southerly slopes and with the ensuing cooling, condense and form a mist which often turns to rain, which has resulted in the Soutpansberg’s prosperous and diverse vegetation.

The venue where the race will take place is the Schoemansdal Environmental Education Centre. Registration for the event will happen there on Friday 31st July, from 12h00 to 19h00, and on Saturday 1st August, from 06h00 to 07h45. There are three race packages available – a 70km marathon (starting at 08h00), a 35km half-marathon (starting at 08h30) and a 10km fun ride (starting at 08h40).

Entry fees:
70km event = R120
35km event = R75
10km event = R30

Pre-entries close on 28 July 2009. Click here to enter.

Accommodation will also be available. For further info, please visit

I hope to see you there!

Bandaged Jack

Vit-T-Go Mountain Bike Super Series 2009 (Race #9)

Watcha doin’ on the 9 August, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh? Well, if you’re anything like the rest of the MTB Shorts crew, you’ll be heading off to the Vit-T-Go MTB Super Series at Babba’s Lodge in Bultfontein (I’m going to be honest and say I have no freaking idea how to get there, but our friends at Supersport have been supreme awesomeness by providing directions for every non-GPS owner, so check out directions here).

Please take note that closing for all entries is Wednesday 5 August at 18h00. So get your number before it’s too late (a little birdie told me that if you enter online, you’ll also get a free T-Shirt – sweeeeeet!).

You know the drill: get the number, arrive there before starting time at 08h30, and race till your little lungs explode to claim a podium place and a mention on the results board. By the way, results of the event will be posted on

I’ve also been so gracious to create a little summary of the information for everyone. You can thank me later by buying me lunch – that’ll be one Greek pasta salad and peach flavoured sparkling water from Woolworths please!

Brief Summary

Date: Sunday 9 August 2009

Venue: Babba’s Lodge, Bultfontein, Gauteng North

Distances: 70km (R110), 35km (R90), 12km (R70), 1km Brats (R50)

Starting Time: 08h30

Online entry webpage

Ricky in Spandex

African Continental Champs

The African Continental Champs will be happening at Mankele, Mpumalanga – just 30km from Nelspruit and pretty near to the Sudwala Caves. The 11th of July will be dedicated to the cross-country event and the 12th will be the downhill competition.

Every junior rider, U23 and Elite will have to purchase a SA kit – otherwise they won’t be allowed to compete. So if you don’t have a kit yet, go out and buy it!

Guys and girls, the African Continental Champs is going to be an exceptional ride, where you’ll cross bridges, rivers, bush tunnels and monstrous climbs over 7.4km. It really is a fantastic way to get in touch with the beauty of the country and give yourself a sensational workout.

Diarise 11-12 July, because over that weekend, Mpumalanga is going to be dancing to the beat of MTB!

Online entry and further information available at

Ricky in Spandex

Glengarry Classic

Firstly, let me congratulate Bafana Bafana for their resounding victory over New Zealand yesterday. Well done boys! That’s the kind of soccer we wanna see from you all the time!

On Sunday, 28th June, Glengarry Park will host their 28th Glengarry Classic MTB race. The event features 3 races: The Classic (57km), Intermediate (35km) and Fun Ride (15km).

Recognised by Ride magazine for their scenic, hassle-free trails, this should prove to be more of a leisurely ride than a furious competition.

I remember one weekend when Fred and I went away to the Drakensberg, and decided to give Glengarry’s red, intermediate trail a bash. It proved to be so beautiful and serene that we weren’t even challenging each other like usual – instead we started walking, admiring the green, and making plans to buy a house in KZN!

It’s really a fun ride for the whole family and definitely recommended by me!

Contact Info: 033 267 7225

Bandaged Jack

Walkerville MTB Challenge 2009

What are you doing on Sunday, 12th July 2009? Before you have a chance to make up some lame excuse, I’ll tell you what you’ll be doing – you will be participating at the Walkerville MTB Challenge 2009 at the Lapeng Hotel and Conference Centre.

I promise it will be fun and also affordable. For the 60km race, it will cost you R120; and for the 35km event, it will cost you R80. I’m sure that’s decent price for everyone, right?

You can collect your racing number at Cycle Lab Nichol Grove, Design Quarter Shopping Centre (corner William Nicol Drive & Leslie Road East), Fourways on Friday, 10th July from 09h00 – 17h00. Alternatively, you can just go to the venue, the Lapeng Hotel and Conference Centre, Randvaal Road, Walkerville on Saturday 11th July 2009, from 09h00 – 16h00, or Sunday 12th July 2009, from 07h00 – 08h45.

The event will start at 09h00 on Sunday 12th July.

For further info, contact Cycle Events at 011 707 2700.

Will you be attending the event? Want to let everyone know what your number is? Tell us.

Ricky in Spandex

Toyota MTN Bike Park Event

On Sunday 28 June, the posh suburb of Bryanston is going to get dirty with a full day of non-stop mountain bike racing at the Toyota MTN Bike Park.

This cross-country event will be open to all ages and will take competitors around the best-manicured single-track trails in the country. With every lap being 5.87km, expect to shed those unwanted kilos which we’ve all undoubtedly put on during this cold weather spell *Brrrrrrrrr*

The men’s Elite and Under-23 categories will do 8 laps, which should take approximately two hours to complete, while the women’s Elite and Under-23 categories will do 6 laps.

On racing day, the Toyota MTN Bike Park will be closed to other riders until the end of racing at approximately 15h30 – so you better make sure you enter the race if you want to ride.

Oh yeah and before I forget, Supercycling TV will be broadcasting highlights of the event, so put on your best smile and wave if they catch you on camera *Hi mom*

Further information can be found at

Are you going to enter? Let us know and maybe we’ll do a cover feature on you…

Marky Mark

Dusi Mfula 2009

WOW! I’ve just read that nearly 700 riders have entered the Jonsson Dusi Mfula 2009, which takes place on 6-7 June, between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, along the route of the celebrated Dusi Canoe Marathon.

It’s looking quite interesting with 203 CEO’s of companies riding over 275 senior managers competing. Maybe that weekend will your best bet to sneak into the company and catch up on all the work you’ve been postponing?

The Dusi Mfula is not about winners and losers, it’s more of a social event than anything else. So if you’re a hardcore cyclist, don’t be upset if others aren’t competing as hard as you.

I think I should suggest to my boss that I’ll ride on the same team as him…When we win (which we naturally will), I’ll ask him about that raise I think I deserve. Perhaps, a Nando’s burger will also help sweeten the deal MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

For further info, please visit

Bandaged Jack