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

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Important to always look your best #redlipstick.

 

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Paul Valstar once again kept us entertained.

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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.

 

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The views, need I say more?

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Wilde Fruit juices were also good.

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Carel, event organizer extraordinaire and part time photographer.

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 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.

 

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

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

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Darren Lill, AKA Mr Sexy Legs.

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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?”

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Mission accomplished!

All images credit: Oakpics

36ONE Storms River Traverse: Stage 1

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With some Fairview La Capra Merlot in us, my Dad and I were ready for stage one of the 36ONE Storms River Traverse. We lined up a couple of rows further back than what I’m used to and were soon on our way to tackle the 60 odd kilometres that lay ahead of us. Anyone remember Koeksister Strategy from Joberg2c? Well we would be employing that today!

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A few rows further back than usual.

 

The race seems to have hit it spot on with their course, aimed at the ‘entry level’ stage racer, 60km may seem daunting at first, but with changing scenery and fast gravel roads and jeep tracks the k’s ticked off quickly. We were even rewarded with a short single track and some fantastic views at each of the water points. Never mind the views; I was trying to make a grazing choice with so many different options available. The koeksisters were there yes, but so were the date balls and Ostrich steak strips. I decided the best would be to sample it all!

 

After 3 hours of mountain biking awesomeness we summited the last ‘berg’ and made the dash for the line. I’m not sure of the results yet but I think we may be in the top half of the pointy side of the field. This meant we were first in line for massages, beers and lunch! My Dad thoroughly enjoyed his ride and whilst the day still has its challenges it is by no means a stage of grand proportions.

 

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                                                                                                                                  Catching up with Adriaan Louw.

 

 

It’s safe to say that we are having a great time down here in Storms River. A destination I would probably have just driven past. It’s really worth the stop and there seems to be some other cool activities to do in the area from Segway Excursions to Canopy Tours. I on the other hand am eyeing out a coffee shop down the road, where I’ll be sure to get my caffeine fix this afternoon!

 

Till tomorrow then, keeping it rubber side down, ciao!