Hi there W2W Supporters, Fans, Sponsors and Beneficiaries (see my updates at the bottom)
The older we become the quicker a year go pass and the quicker we can do another W2W!
Thanks for all the chats, e mails and feedback regarding the 2011 W2W Routes. We managed to sort out the 2010 bottlenecks with better route designs and starting times and categories.
Most of you met one of our biggest Proud and Joy's; CAPE TRAILS, a youth SMME, initiated and developed by W2W. These Grabouw guys, Aswell, Pikkie, Denzel and Murzeon are trained in route building, business management and is contracted to W2W for most of the year. Their objective and passion are to build amazing MTB trails and features to create a best and magic MTB experience. Gold medals to them; Trails such as Lourensford, Schapenberg, Paul Cluver, Thandi, Houw Hoek and Botriver have become world class trails, with features such as Pofadder (100m long wooden Trail squeezed between rocks, cliffs and a waterfall) and countless wooden bridges 3m - 30m.
What's been done by our Cape Trails Team since the 2011 W2W Events?
Thandi Trails - renovating and building new Trails to be enjoyed in 2012 - I'm contemplating the construction of; "Boomslang" - a wooden Trail running through trees, in trees.
Photos to be posted
Seeing that you can foe-fie slide through part of the Knysna Forest, why not do the same on your bike?! I looked for the ideal spot, but the only one I got was 10m high through trees, a bit dangerous! But looks like I got the spot for 2012 (at Thandi), will keep you posted for another 1st in MTB!
Renovating and extending the Schapenberg Trials
A sleepy resident in Schapenberg, on a newly scouted Trail... A view of Helderberg (where W2W starts)
.....eyeing..... the familiar Cape Trails logo
In 2011 I only the W2W Race did the Han-se-Kop Trail, as it was a bit eroded and some of the corners at the top, were just too technical. These corners were eliminated to create a better and more flowing Trail and the eroded parts are closed and a more gradual downhill and better Trail have been completed.
Early morning in Schapenberg - The Cape Trails boys eager to build a more flowing section for 2012 - brought to you by IZUZU 250DC & REEDS
Another wheelbarrow of slates goes up the mountain, to build the 20th, 25th? (lost count) wooden bridge/ structure on the W2W Trail- 6 too tight corners were cut out and replaced by two flowing chicanes; a combination of concrete blocks and wooden trails; what a MTB sensation.
Photos of the Rinkhals and Cape Cobra sections (in Schapenberg) will soon be posted-
On the right sleeps the now infamous 100m Pofadder,nestled in a Groenland gorge on Paul Cluver's Estate, to be waken by some brave 2012 W2W MTB's!
Scouting the old and retired Quad Track at Korteshoven (Day 3 of W2W)
A small piece of the Track was included in the 2011 W2W (which very unfortunately was only ridden by the Adventure). The other day we cycled a high adrenaline part, a major drop (quite safe; hard, straight down and at the end, an uphill berm to the left); approximately a 10m drop. If you approach it as Alex Rust did you become slightly airborne, before you and bike atom-multiply in speed and descent, leaving your stomach behind!. I've contemplated long enough about the inclusion of "Dead Drop", Googled the track, took the 800GS and scouted options. Surprise; there is an alternative to Dead Drop; Free Fall - similar but not as steep, with two beautiful left-and right bermed corners, stone hard and flat surfaces.We'll construct a new single track through a pine and bluegum forest, which will spit you out at the end, down the belly of Mother Earth. Drop Down for the brave and skilled and Free Fall for the responsible and cautious.
Do not brake going down- it won't stop you it will just bury you. Keep you updated on this part when we start there.
Update 1: 12 July 2012
Sorry for being off screen for some time! but don't worry Cape Trails are full time busy building new and amazing trails.
We'll finish Boomslang on the Paul Cluver Estate next week. Riders continuously ask me; "How much does it cost to built single tracks?" a difficult question as it depends on the terrain, the type and quantity of structures you are including and how well the trail is build (smooth surface and width). Boomslang when finished will surely be one of the most expensive pieces of single tracks in SA. It's approximately 800m long, runs along a steep slope next to the picturesque Pickstone Dam and to ensure we keep the track on the same contour, runs twice through Blackwood Trees, 4-5 meters above the ground. The trail is on the southern side of a mountain so another challenge is that there is no / little sun in this forest. Problem being that we cannot use wooden structures to take you through the trees, as it will rot in no time and be too slippery. Therefore I had long discussions with the local Grabouw Engineering Works and we eventually decided that welded mesh sheets (2.4m x 1.2m) will be the best solution to our tree and darkness problem. This resulted in quite an expensive little trail, but the feeling / sensation it creates when you fly through the trees, on a MTB, is unbelievable. The total cost to complete Boomslang (incl. labour and steel structures via trees) will be R40 000, quite an amount for 800m of single track, but worth every cent per sensational meter. The photos below give an idea of the height and scale of the steel structures which run through the trees. Boomslang is not technical (the bridges run straight through the trees), but it's high. Don't worry we'll fix safety nets to the sides to stop you from doing a bungy jump on a MTB.
Cape Trails are still busy with the Magic Mountain single track section, on the Cape town side of the mountains and will probably only finish this part by end August. This piece toghetehr with the Han-se-Kop singles, from which it originates will become one of the single track icons, in SA mountain biking. I'll post photos of this piece by end of July.
Update 2: 31 July 2012
A group of local / Somerset West MTB's test drive the new additions on Saturday. We have been cycling together since 1992 and has done a lot a races, the last being the SANI2C, when we took the two Izuzu DC, eight MTB and twelve boxes of red wine to do a four day road trip and the SANI. We cycled the new Thandi sections and Kili Hill, Boomslang and Pofadder on Paul Cluver Wine estate and did the Houw Hoek switchbacks. We all loved it and according to Franco, the fastest of us, "the best single tracks I've done". The Ribboks waterfall is spectacularly falling from the top of Groenland Mountain, creating quite a noise, which echoed between the cliffs as you approach Poffies (which you may call the Pofadder if you can easily ride it). We had to stop at the exit of Poffies to walked along a trail that Dr. Cluver's team recently build to get a close view of the water fall and a huge rock pool that the water splashes into.
If you want more info; drop me an e mail firstname.lastname@example.org OR 083 274 2609