Penny Pinchers Greyton Classic

It was my first venture out to the Penny Pinchers Greyton Classic over the past weekend. I had ridden and raced in the area before so had some idea of what to expect. The course would take in much of a 2014 Cape Epic stage, fortunately shortened by some 20km.


With the race offering and advertising some real prize money, the pros were attracted like bees to the honey pot. This is something myself and other riders feel that many race organisers could take a note of. Often racers don’t know how much prize money is on offer, sometimes if any. If you’re trying to race as a professional, this can become immensely frustrating.


The first selection of the day was made 15km into the race as Gert Heyns and Darren Lill upped the tempo on the first major climb to ultimately go clear. Shortly thereafter a chase group of 4 of us formed including: Conrad Stoltz, Charl Pierre Esterhuyse and Stephen Senekal. Our group worked well together. Stoltz was the victim of a puncture just past the half waymark and then there was just 3 of us.


With some degree of familiarity to the region I had an idea of what was to come, I knew the final 20km of the race encompassed a number of short steep climbs. I planned to up the pace in our group here to force a selection. The tactic worked as I rode away from the other two. The kilometres seemed to drag on for some time up to the final ascent up to the Castle. My thoughts were temporarily transferred from the pain in my legs to a stinging pain in my arm as I was stung by a bee! A welcome distraction perhaps?


The reward was some awesome trails down from the Castle, which brought us back down to The Oaks and the finish line, I was satisfied with 3rd on the day behind Gert who had taken the win and Darren in 2nd.


36ONE Storms River Traverse: The Wrap Up

Going through some great photos taken over the course of the weekend by Oakpics was a cool way in which to reflect on what a great 3 days of riding I had with my Dad at the 36ONE Storms River Traverse. Away from the stresses of racing we could thoroughly enjoy ourselves and tuck into the things I usually wouldn’t.

Marius from Team Wilde, also one of my Dad’s wine drinking partners.


Important to always look your best #redlipstick.



Paul Valstar once again kept us entertained.


Tucking into his fourth koeksister, explains the look of  astonishment of the guy to the right.

Our final day of the Storms River Traverse saw us waking to dreary and rainy conditions. Conditions which had become synonymous with the event in the past, but which we were fortunate to largely avoid this year. The mood was jovial on the start line and the light overnight rain had not put much of a damper on this.



As we headed off down the Storms River Pass, constructed by the famous Thomas Bain, the ‘race’ was on for the day. It’s interesting to note that the pass was the first that Bain constructed in the series of passes in the Garden Route area and bears many of Bain’s features such as the sweeping bends, high retaining walls and moderate gradient which was ox wagon friendly.



Back to the mountain biking where more chirping than ‘racing’ was actually done and this helped keep the mood high as the kilometres ticked on by. The forests had been muddied up but fortunately the rain wasn’t so drastic, so as to turn the route into a mud sh!t show.



The views, need I say more?


Wilde Fruit juices were also good.


Carel, event organizer extraordinaire and part time photographer.


 Nookie anyone?


My Dad had come to the race fitter than I had expected him to, and as we neared the end of the stage, as we had done on the previous days, a dice amongst our fellow weekend warriors ensued. On completely his own steam, we won the battle against our fellow warrior and crossed the line in a very respectable 8th men’s team on the day and 28th overall.



It was brilliant to be involved with a Dryland event once again and enjoy their famous hospitality. The 36ONE Storms River Traverse has grown in popularity each year, if you’re new to mountain biking and looking to do your first stage race, then this is it. The stages are not too long, not too technical and it’s a pleasure to have the option to not stay in a tent!  The area also lends itself to some great off the bike activities from the ever popular Segway Rides to the Canopy Tours, and is thus a great reason to being the family along too.



Full time photographer, part time bike rider, safety first.


Ostrich steak at the water points compliments of Klein Karoo International.


Darren Lill, AKA Mr Sexy Legs.


Carel: “Linda do we really have to give out all this champagne?”

Linda:”We could skip out the vets and then take home a couple of bottles each?”


Mission accomplished!

All images credit: Oakpics