Archive for the ‘mountain biking’ Category

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The inaugural New World Tour de Wakatipu on April 11, 2009

March 7, 2009

Southern Traverse is organising another extreme event in New Zealand – this one a mountain bike race which is set in the Wakatipu Basin that links the two rivers and two lakes using some of the new tracks developed by the Wakatipu Trails Trust.

The race will be 45kms long and has been organised in response to the ever increasing demand for biking events, both serious and recreational, in the region.

New World Tour de Wakatipu

It is expected that there will be intense competition at the front of the field as athletes race to finish the event in a time of around 2.5 – 3hrs, while the recreational athletes will  finish in about 5hrs.

Competitors will Start in the Millbrook area and will finish at Chard farm winery with barbeque and band. Please click on this map to see the full route.

There will be several divisions to choose from:

  • Recreational: for racers who wish to have a good fun ride. 36kms total
  • Sport: For racers who wish a longer challenge, and a decent ride. 45kms
  • Elite & Pro Teams : for the fast and furious, 45kms total. For the Pro teams, 3 riders per team, all riders must enter and complete the individual section. All 3 riders times will be added to determine the winners of this category. Pro teams must ride the same colours

Age groups will be split up as follows:

  • Junior 15 – 19yrs …………
  • Open 20 – 39yrs …………
  • Veteran 40 – 49yrs ……….
  • Master 50 – 59yrs ………..
  • Master + 60+yrs…………

And age refers to AGE ON RACE DAY !

ENTRY FEE:
$65 per person
$45 Junior (19 years and under)

For all entries $5 go to Cure Kids.

ENTRIES CLOSE
27th March 2009 or when full … SO HURRY.

For further information please Email: traverse@queenstown.co.nz

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Catskill Mountains to host 150 mile staged mountain bike race

February 24, 2009

Here in the south of France the last vestiges of what has been a long and wet winter are beginning to subside, the birds are busying themselves with nest building and the mimosa is starting to flower and as we move into spring time our thoughts are channelled to those extreme sports more often assocaited with the summer. And so we bring news of what could be a great challenge for all you mountain bikers – particularly if you are based near the Catskill Mountains in New York State.

A group of mountain bike enthusiasts want to create a four-day race in the Catskill Mountains this summer, making use of some of the most challenging rides in the region. The 150-mile stage race would be called the Wildcat Epic.

Routes would include Minnewaska State Park, Mohonk Preserve and the Hunter Mountain and Cortina ski areas. One day of riding would ascend 2,900 feet to the top of Overlook Mountain near Woodstock.

Organizers are also planning a one-day race for adults and kids who aren’t up to a four-day epic ride.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest mountain biking events of the Northeast,” said Gunter Stilhaus, one of the co-organizers. Owner of a local outdoor Web site called Adventure Junction, Stilhaus, a South Africa native who now lives in Ulster County, is a professional race organizer. He’s joined forces with a company from Connecticut called Genesis Adventures, which produces triathlons and other endurances races.

A local doctor, who took part in a stage race in British Columbia last summer, knows that the difficulty of such races are not to be underestimated. Jessica Fleishman, an ophthalmologist who practices at Lasik Plus in Albany, started training for the BC Bike Race seven months early. Before the race in late June, she rode up to 15 hours a week.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said.

The seven-day race involves 500 kilometers of riding, climbing thousands of feet every day. Fleishman and her partner rode for eight hours a day. The race leaders rode for half that time. “That race improved my riding 500 percent,” she said. “It was like mountain biking boot camp.”

Such races are rare in the East, where large patches of wild space that allow mountain biking are hard to find.

But the Catskills is beginning to earn a name for itself for cycling events. The region is also home to the East Coast National Mountain Bike Race, held at Windham Mountain ski area in July, and the Tour of the Catskills Pro/Am Bike Race, a road race held in September.

“It’s all something we welcome with open arms,” said Daniela Marino, director of tourism for Greene County Tourism.

The Wildcat race would begin June 18. Entry costs start at $600, and would include some meals and transportation. All riders must have partners, who must stay together during the race. The race will also be videotaped. Competitors can watch race highlights at dinner each night.Officials are estimating from 200 to 600 racers will attend.

Race organizers expect the event will also help promote Ulster and Greene counties.

“They’ll have small towns begging to be included, just like the Tour de France,” said Pete Zimmer, a local mountain biker who is working with the organizers.

Zimmer is a member of the mountain bike club Fats in the Cats. Club members have built dozens of miles of mountain bike singletrack in the past few years. Some of their work will be featured in the race.

“We’ve got some world-class resources here,” Zimmer said.

 

Upcoming events planned for the Catskills this season:

  • Race: Wildcat Epic. Bike: mountain. Venue: numerous trails in the Catskills. Dates: June 18-21
  • Race: East Coast Nationals. Bike: mountain. Venue: Windham Mountain Resort. Date: mid-July
  • Race: Tour of the Catskills Pro/Am. Bike: road. Venue: roads around the Catskills. Dates: Sept. 19-20

We are most grateful to Alan Weschler of timesunion.com for bringing us this story and to 1speeder whose video below shows what a beautiful place the Catskill Mountains are to go mountain bike riding and the trails look to be a great challenge. This Wilcat Epic is certainly going to attract the crowds. 

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Mountain biking at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

February 18, 2009

Yesterday we were talking about a downhill ski race scheduled for January 25th, 2010 at Kranjska Gora in Slovenia, but whilst investigating the area we came across all this great information on the mountain biking trails there and thought we should pass  some of it on to you as, as you probably know, mountain biking fits happily into our catagory of  ‘extreme sport’.

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Kranjska Gora – scenic isn’t it…

We bring you a video from nosymetry which gives an idea of the superb site and scenery that can also be enjoyed, if you have time, whilst descending the hill at extreme speed…

There is a fun bike park at Kranjska Gora and the tracks will suit all kinds of bikers from experts, who are looking for the challenge of  big height differences and difficult ascents and descents, to the bike lovers who want an enjoyable day out with time enough to drink  in the stunning surroundings.

This year the existing track has been modified and updated and more than 40 artificially made obstacles have been added. Some of the old obstacles have been changed in order to ensure both a safer ride and a safer landing. Facilities have been put in place to allow the less experienced riders to learn the basic skills they will need to fully enjoy the freeride trails.

All obstacles have been made with different levels of difficulty, so that every biker has a choice. A new track will run through the woods on the “north shore” while the old track has been completed with some new elements. The freeride track should be enormously popular with all MTB riders.

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The trails around the alpine village will also host the 2009 DH European Championships. The  race will take place from the 12th – 14th June, 2009.  Both the European Mountain Bike Downhill Championships for Junior and Expert catagories and the Masters Catagory Championships will be held.

The “Downhill Vitranc”, a title given to the men’s Alpine Ski World Cup race, is shared with the mountain bike downhill race. There will be two main catagories to the mountain bike race.

  • The ‘Masters’ riders will race the bottom two thirds of the course which is about 2km with a 300m vertical drop. The racing time will take between 2.5 and 3 minutes.
  • The Junior and Experts, on the other hand, will start at the new top part of the course which is steep and technical. It will be mostly in the woods which will offer many challenges – roots and rocks being just a few of them! The lower part, which is frequently used in national races, will be slightly changed for the Championships but will remain fast and flowing. Long stretches are on open ski slopes, shorter sections in the woods and a some of it on gravel jeep trails.

So, if you’re wondering where to go, perhaps somewhere a little unusual, this year for a wild and wonderful mountain biking experience, why don’t you think…. Slovenia? Maybe Hayes1955 can help you make up your mind:

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Virgin in Utah

February 7, 2009

Excuse the rather lurid headline but hey – we got your attention and rightly so cos what you will watch below is truly extreme, truly awe inspiring and truly incredible mountain bike riding.

The best in the land test their skill in yet another Red Bull sponsored extreme event at Virgin in Utah in both freeride and downhill mountain bike riding with some huge drops. We are really impressed by the skill that these guys show – mastery over your environment, a cool nerve and great balance – and watch how in mid air they manouvre the angle of the bike frame so as to land the bike at the right angle to the hill.

Well done guys this is cool – thanks to  pjmitchellontoast for the video

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Important lessons for all mountain bikers

February 3, 2009

This frightening video from adamwuk clearly demonstrates why it is vital that when mountain biking it is imperative to be in 100% control for 100% of the time.

Another example from bakewhore of why control on your MTB is essential.

Having viewed the above and should you be thinking of taking up this ever increasingly popular sport we thought it might be helpful if we gave you some guidelines. Thanks to www.thaimarathon.com for this useful advice.

Anyone who knows how to ride a bicycle can enjoy mountain biking. There are some dangers to mountain biking, when it is compared to the standard bike ride. It is for this reason that mastering the following beginner mountain bike skills is a necessity prior to taking off for your mountain bike excursion.

These skills can all be practiced by heading to any school, local park, around your house, or on a bike path. The key to the right location is if it has a steep hill for you to practice on.

The pedals are an important part of a mountain bike. You can practice getting a feel for the pedals by doing the following:

  • Release and Replace your foot while pedaling around;
  • Sit and spin for position with the following;
  • Adjust the seat height so that the leg is a minimum of 70% extended at the bottom of each pedal cycle;
    Bend arms slightly;
    Keep the body as relaxed as possible, a position should never occur that requires you to lock your elbows or knees.
  • Sit on the Mountain bike and pedal;
  • Practice shifting gears ;
  • Make sure you know the differences in gears on your bike;
  • Try a high gear-it is harder to pedal, but rides at a faster speed;
  • Try a low gear-easier to pedal, particularly useful while on hills;
  • Try shifting gear prior to reaching the hill – it is easier to overcome a shift before the hill than it is while on the hill;
  • Practice coasting and;
  • Practice this while standing on the pedals, not sitting on the bike seat;
  • Do not lock your knees;
  • Keep arms slightly bent;
  • Attempt coasting while shifting the body towards the rear of the mountain bike;
  • Practice pedaling while standing;
  • Try pedaling standing up in different ways, once you have become comfortable with standing on the pedals;
  • First pedal while standing in a high gear on flatter grounds;
  • Then pedal while standing in a low gear on hills;
  • Practice dropping down a curb;
  • Locate a curb in the area, using a moderate speed, practice coasting and standing off the curb to the lower level from the upper level;
  • Continue this at different speeds until you are comfortable with it and it is like second nature.

The above practicing techniques are important because they will give you the feel of the mountain bike trail, without having to be on one while you are training.

Basic stuff but important and the only thing we would add is that it is imperative to take your time in learning these skills – do not rush.

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South Africa to be world champions of the ultra marathon mountain bike scene

January 20, 2009

We have often spoken of mountain biking and we have often spoken of ultra marathons – you put the two together and you have an ultra marathon mountain bike race.

With a determined effort to dominate this new and challenging extreme sport it is not hard to understand why South Africa is setting the pace in these events.

Ultra-marathon mountain bike races will become the newest challenge in a country that’s fixated on endurance sports events and the MTN National Mountain Bike Series will be at the forefront of the drive to push the limits even further, starting with the MTN Barberton Classic in Mpumalanga on 24 January.

Much like road cycling has done, South African mountain biking has grown steadily through the participation sector, as large numbers of enthusiastic riders of varying levels of skill and fitness make the most of good year-round weather and fantastic geographic diversity to compete in a packed calendar of endurance events.

At some point during the evolution in the sport in South Africa, the marathon distances settled on a minimum of 70km, which takes the leaders around three hours to complete and the majority of the field between four and five hours. In 2009, marathon distances at the MTN National Marathon Series event will remain unchanged, but a new Ultra-marathon distance will be added to some events.

It all begins at Barberton, the bushveld town at the foot of the Mkhonjwa Mountains in Mpumalanga. It’s the first round of the seven-leg national marathon series and the Ultra-marathon will be a combination of the 75km marathon route and the 45km Half-marathon route, giving a total distance of 120km. And with almost 4000 metres of climbing, it’s expected to be tough, as well as long!

Open to all riders who believe they’ll manage the increased distance within the cut-off time of 5 hours at the 75km mark, the Ultra-marathons will only offer MTN National Series points to Elite men.

If the video below from theogrobler of the South African half marathon mountain bike series is anything to go by the thought of a further 107 kms is totally exhausting!

Our thanks also to CyclingNews.co.za for bringing this story to our attention.

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Mountain Biker’s Beware – your better half WILL get pissed off!

November 30, 2008

Guys, take note, this is seriously NOT cool……

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!!!!