Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’


And now for polo on a cycle

May 22, 2009

We trust no one will be upset by cycle polo which from our research would appear to be gathering an increasing number of players, supporters and countries that play the game. Having said that we have not been able to find anything about the 2009 tournaments and so we would be delighted to hear from enthusiasts of the sport of what is happening, when and where, so we can post a blog and keep people informed.

Traditional bicycle polo is played in a rectangular grass field, 150 meters by 100 meters officially, unofficially whatever field is big enough or whatever surface is smooth enough. Moreover, official dimensions can vary between 120 and 150 meters in length on 80 to 100 meters in width.

The game was invented by an Irishman, Richard J. Mecredy, in 1891 and has seen a sharp spike in interest since the turn of this century and new teams are sprouting up across the world.

Today there is organized cycle polo being played in Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

The 1980s saw the rise of two new powers in cycle polo, India and USA. The Cycle Polo Association of India was officially created in 1966 and the Bicycle Polo Association of America was created in 1994.

International cycle polo matches staged a comeback in the 1990s with the first world championship organized in 1996 in the USA. Teams from India, USA and Canada participated with India winning the title.

Today the game has become more urban and is played on tennis courts and the like where a hard surface presents a fast and exciting game.

See the video below from cleancut62 of some action from a recent game which demonstrates there is more than just a little skill in riding a bike required – the crashes are pretty hard but it looks a lot of fun.

The final installment of this trilogy will be about Segway polo….stay tuned!


Time to dust off your mountain bike

April 16, 2009

As we move into mid April it is time to be thinking of putting away the skis and snowboards and at the same time dusting off the mountain bike. A little time spent at this time of year ensuring you have the right kit will help you to avoid disappointment when you get a sudden call from a mate to go out to the mountains only to find you never had the brake fixed on your bike. So here are a few reminders.

Body protection and your helmet

You may well have grown an inch or so since last year so it is as well to check out the kit you wear. 

The single most important item of personal clothing for downhill mountain biking your helmet –  ensure you always wear a helmet to protect your head against accidental falls. It is not enough to assume that you are talented and very competent to perform downhill mountain biking because safety is a very important issue as well. On no account must you put your life in peril and so wearing a helmet at all times is the best downhill mountain biking tips that you can get. 

Other kit will include shoes, gloves and knee and elbow protectors – again you will have probably grown and there is nothing more uncomfortable than forcing your feet into a pair of shoes half a size too small. We also recommend that you take a light weight back pack – so important for carrying that Mars Bar or other essential sustenance which is so appreciated after an hours biking. We also recommend you ensure your body is well hydrated whilst mountain biking so take along enough liquids and water to ensure that you don’t get thirsty.

Your bike

Maybe Santa crammed a brand new mountain bike down the chimney but whatever the situation and this applies to new bikes as well it is very well worth your while giving your bike the once over. Check nothing is loose, the saddle, the handle bars, the chain – check the brakes are working properly and the gears are sliding from one to another in the right manner. Oil the chain, check the pedals, make sure the tyres are in good order and you have no punctures, check the tyre pressure. Nothing too onerous here – just some basic common sense.

Where to go

It pays to search for relevant downhill mountain biking tips. One place where you can find useful downhill mountain biking tips of where to go is through online sources and via mountain biking forums. We also suggest (if you are not already) that you become a member of a downhill mountain biking club. Never be afraid of asking a question: mountain bikers are on the whole a friendly crowd and always willing to share their tips and experiences

So get ready for what will be a wonderful summer of mountain biking and we thought you would like to see the video below from XTremeVideo of some great action shot in South Africa, Andorra, Spain, the UK , France and Italy.

Ok so that was rather extreme, but that is what we are all about – whatever you skill levels we hope you have a great time.


Drag racer brain dead about his 280mph crash

February 27, 2009

Drag racing – the zenith of extreme sports?  And a sport we have not often talked about – something we decided to change having done a little research and watched the video below from ProModFil which shows an unbelievable and horrific crash at 280 mph from which the driver survived but suffered CRAFT.

So what is drag racing? Our friends from Wikipedia put it quite simply – a competition in which vehicles compete to be the first to cross a set finish line, usually from a dead stop, and in a straight line. In other words you go flat out!

But within the sport there is a myriad of jargon, organisations – the two major ones in North America being the  National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA), classes – both professional and non professional, and a glossary that would fill a dictionary. Don’t worry guys – we’re going to keep it simple!

The fastest cars can attain terminal speeds of over 530 km/h (329 mph) while covering the quarter mile (440 yard) distance in roughly 4.45 seconds. It is often related that dragsters are the fastest accelerating vehicles on earth; quicker even than the space shuttle launch vehicle or a catapult-assisted jet fighter at launch.

Before each race each driver is allowed to perform a ‘burnout’ which heats the tires and lays rubber down at the beginning of the track, therebye improving traction, he or she then lines up, or ‘stages’, at the starting line.

Professional drag races are started electronically, with a series of vertically-arranged lights known as a Christmas Tree – in itself a performance and where racers can often be disqualified by trying to jump the gun.

The race has three measurements taken:

  • reaction time – the time from the green light illuminating to the vehicle leaving the starting line
  • elapsed time – the time from the vehicle leaving the starting line to crossing the finish line
  • speed – indicates the approximate maximum speed of the vehicle during the run and is measured by a speed gun near the finish line

The winner is the first vehicle to cross the finish line.

Now this first video of Jerry Caminito’s crash does not really show the racing element so we have decided to add another video which is a compilation of drag racing, often presumed by the uninitiated to be a preserve of North Americans – but there is now a thriving and growing following of the sport in Europe and the South Africans have long been nuts about this extreme. The video comes from mannyrego.

Oh and if you are still wondering what CRAFT is……..Can’t Remember A F……….Thing! We know what you mean Jerry.


The best 20 bungee jumps in the world

February 9, 2009

Our thanks to sanela who posted this great guide in  to the top 20 places in the world to bungee jump – so good we could make no improvement but knew we just had to let you have this information.

Bungee jumping – dive from the giddy height of a towering fixed structure while an elastic cord secures you and keeps you suspended just inches above the ground level at the end of the leap. What leaves most people breathless during a bungee venture are the rebounds that occur due to the stretching and snapping of the cord. Bungee jumping was first practiced as a rite of passage for the youths of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. Since the modern times, several records have been made and broken by bungee-jumpers world over. The Guinness Book of World Records of the highest bungee jump was by AJ Hackett from Macau Tower of China from an altitude of 233 meters.

Below follows a brief guide on the places to bungee jump

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Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge, USA – 1053 ft (321 m)

Hanging above the Arkansas River, this suspended bridge is an all-time favorite bungee-jumping spot because of its amazing height. It spans over the Royal Gorge Route Railway and has a wooden plank-way for a breathtaking walk across the river.


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Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 710 ft (216 m)

This unique highest single span arch bridge adds much to the giddy raptures of bungee jumping. Look ahead to the instructions by the jump experts, the tantalizing countdown before the plunge and the smoothest recoils owing to the pendulum bungee technology that makes it the highest commercial bungee jumping venue internationally.

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Verzasca Dam, Val Verzasca, Switzerland – 721 ft (220 m)

Ever since the famous James Bond stunt in the movie ‘Goldeneye’, this high arch hydroelectric dam has been one of the favorite haunts for bungee jumpers. You require an advance reservation, a medical check and of course, the proper height and weight proportions for stepping into the shoes of 007.

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Corinth Canal, Greece – 260 ft (79 m)

The Corinth Canal works as a connector between mainland Greece and the Peloponnese. If you like to plunge down to the canal’s depth, just take a bungee jump from the bridge. This is a regular weekend sport organized by the Zulu Bungy in the summer months.

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Ponte Colossus, Italy – 500 ft (152 m)

You will find this 350 m long bridge awe-inspiring and an inspiring spot for an energetic sport like bungee jumping. It will take you an average of almost 4.5 seconds for the first fall. You need a lot of nerve power to sustain the 100 km/hr vertical velocity of the free fall.

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The Pipeline Bungy, New Zealand – 335 ft (102 m)

As you undertake the four seconds of free fall from the longest single span suspension bridge over the raging Shotover River, your heart skips a beat. At the close of these four second, you hang dangerously close to the foamy waters only to be secured in a boat and brought to the shore at the end of the oscillations.

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Colorado River, Costa Rica – 279 ft (85 m)

The Colorado River is chiefly the haunt of the hobby fishers though its bridge is an excellent bungee jumping site as well. There are both normal and special all-day long bungee jumping schedules offered by Tropical Bungee to give you diverse ranges of experiences at the highest safety levels.

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AltaVila Tower, Brasil/BH – 233 ft (71 m)

The Alta Vila Tower of Nova Lima attracts site seers and bungee jumpers alike since it commands a breathtaking view of the mountain-surrounded Belo Horizonte.

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Navajo Bridges, USA – 467 ft (142 m)

Navajo Bridge of Marble Canyon spans across the Colorado River right over the Grand Canyon. The autumnal beauty of its natural setting makes it a lovely bungee jumping spot in late September. The advantage of the superb elevation of the Navajo Bridge is coupled with a unique sense adventure that you associate with bungee jumping.

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Macau Tower, China – 764 ft (233 m)

This 338 m tall tower holds the provisions for an observation deck for relaxing as well as for undertaking daring sports like bungee jumping or ‘sky jumping’ as it actually feels like. It counts among one of the giddiest entertainments that Macau has to offer to its visitors and locals.

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Nevis Highwire Bungy, New Zealand – 440 ft (134 m)

The jump pod overlooking the roaring Nevis River holds an irresistible attraction for the lovers of bungee jumping. This incredible 8.5 seconds of freefall offers you an exciting scope to span the Nevis Valley. Nevis Highwire Bungy shuttles the jumpers to the glass-paneled jump pod to help them have an unforgettable experience.

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – 120 ft ( 37m )

Puerto Vallarta is more than a resort with its countless scopes for adventure sports in its jungles, beaches and cultural getaways. You can accept the allure of the lush-green waters of Banderas Bay by taking a bungee jump from the adjacent cliffs for $55.00 between 10 am to 6 pm. The superior quality of the jumping equipments allows you to enjoy a safe thrill.

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Graskop Gorge, South Africa – 197 ft/262 ft (60 m/80 m)

As a potential bungee jumping site, Graskop Gorge offers you a peerless freefall from a height of 18-19 stories of Foefie slide. As you leap off, the cord will take you across the entire width of the gorge in a single sweep. Catch the spectacular beauty of the Graskop Falls as you trail across in the super-fast zipline like a bird.

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Pont de Ponsonnas, France – 338 ft (103 m)


If you deem suspension bridges as the most exciting bungee jumping spots, this is something you can positively rave about. The old dilapidated Pont de Ponsonnas Bridge has been now replaced by concrete-built arch Ponsonnas Bridge to give you an even safer bungee jumping experience.

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Ledge Urban Bungee, Queenstown NZ – 154 ft ( 47m )

Queenstown offers a perfect combination of wild adventures and serene beauty. The Ledge Urban site is known for its unique runaway jumping style whereby you can catch a glimpse of the nighttime beauty of Queenstown. The bungee harness helps you to adopt any posture during the free fall and enjoy a maddening rush of adrenaline.

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Perrine Bridge, USA – 486 ft (148 m)

You do not need a permit for year round bungee jumping from this bridge connecting the Twin Falls area to the Jerome County. You can find several BASE jumping compeers to share the excitement.

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The Last Resort, Nepal – 525 ft (160 m)

It gives you a scope to look and jump off from the longest Nepalese suspension bridge across one of the scariest tropical gorges, with the Bhote Kosi River rumbling below. You can remain in air for a long time during your free fall amid the charming valley sights.

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Niouc, Switzerland – 623 ft (190 m)

Niouc holds the record for the highest bungee jumping spot in Europe. Discover the wild side of Switzerland as you go for an entire array of holiday activities, with bungee jumping topping the list.

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Longqing Gorge Bungee, China – 164 ft ( 50m )

With its green mountains, caves and clear water, Longqing Gorge of northeast Yanqing County is an amazing natural spot for trekking and cruising. However, nothing matches up to bungee jumping. Just gear up some courage and take the plunge. Let your friends capture your action in a camera that you can treasure for a lifetime.

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Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambia – 500 ft (152 m)

The Victoria Falls Bridge over Zambezi River connecting Zimbabwe and Zambia is reckoned a perfect spot by bungee jumpers to get a close brush of the spraying falls. Once you jump off, the fall may seem to rush up to you at a maddening pace but you can trust the ankle and body harnesses for their full-proof security.

Wow – sure is quite a list and if you have skalped all of these death deying adrenaline rushes we send you a big shout of respect – must be some kind of world record!


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 for bringing this story to our attention.


The world’s most beautiful marathon

December 7, 2008

You are in South Africa and it is Easter – what can you be there for – undoubtedly it will be South Africa’s Two Ocean’s marathon which has been run in Cape Town since 1970.

It has been dubbed ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon’ as it is set in a very beautiful place – Cape Town, South Africa. The race starts in Newlands and runs south along the coast to Fish Hoek before turning right handed to Chapman’s Peak and again right handed under the Twelve Apostles and Table Mountain before the finish at the University of Cape Town.

There is both the ultra marathonn, a half marathon and fun runs which in 2008 attracted an entry field of in excess of 26,000 people of all ages. The two principle races are the ultra marathon of 56 kms, 38.5 miles, and the half marathon, 21 kms, and with the fun runs of 8, 5 and 2.5 kms – there is something for everyone. The ultra and half marathons attract an international field from around the world with the ultra marathon being won by a Zimbabwean in 2008 in a time of 3 hrs 13 mins, and the half marathon being won in a little over the hour mark (1:03) by another Zimbabwean.

Entries for the 2009 event, which will be held on Easter Saturday 11th April, are now open and should anyone require further information they should visit the official website

Below is a video from tristanowen of the 2007 event which really does not do justice to the race claim of being ‘the world’s most beautiful marathon’ in the Cape’s peninsula – we suggest you get yourself there and experience the atmosphere and environment, it is truly spectacular.


Marathon history and one extreme marathon

November 26, 2008

Marathons – a subject close to the hearts of many people – those who have pitted themselves over distances from as short as 13.1 miles, a half marathon, to a full marathon of 26.2 miles and beyond to much greater distances. We give the history and will then present some of the more extreme marathons – just in case you feel so inclined.

History: The marathon  race  commemorates the run of the Athenian soldier Pheidippides who legend tells us ran from a battlefield near Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C., a distance of approximately 25 miles, bringing news of a Greek victory over the  Persians. Pheidippides collapsed  and died at the end of his historic run.

However there has long been debate about the accuracy of this story which we will not discuss here – save it to say that when the modern Olympic games were started in 1896 the marathon was the last event of the games and was fittingly won by a Greek named Spiridos ‘Spiros’ Louis in a time of 2:58:50 hours. The distance was not standardised until the 1924 games when atletes ran 26.22 miles, or 42.196 kms.

Extreme marathons: with over 800 marathons run every year there are a number of extreme versions. Most marathons come under the jurisdiction of the Association of International Marathons and Distance Runners. We will over the next few days give some examples of some of the more extreme marathons.

The Addo Elephant Trail runs: not strictly a marathon in the sense of distance as you can run a 100 mile, 50 mile or 25 mile route. The fifth running of this race will be held on Saturday 2nd May 2009. The 100 miler is run through the Addo Elephant Park, about 50 miles from Port Elizabeth, South Africa and winds its way over the mountains into the Sundays River Valley before crossing the escarpment of the Zuurberg Mountains to finish at the Addo Elephant Park main rest camp.You have to complete the race in 30 hours. The 50 miler and 25 miler routes are run in the same location.

The cost of entering the races varies – the 100 miler is 950 rand, the 50 miler is 550 rand and the 25 miler is 350 rand. For further details go to the website

Below is the schedule and we have included a vdeo from bradke – not of the race but of some of the ‘traffic’ you might meet as you run!


Friday, 01 May 2009

From 14h00:  Registration for at the Lapa, Addo Elephant National Park, Main Rest Camp.  Drop off bags to be taken to registration by 17h00 for distribution to the Checkpoint Captains. (Drop bags will not be accepted after 17h00)

Saturday, 02 May 2009

05h30:  Complimentary coffee/tea at the Kirkwood Hotel

06h00:  Start of the 100 Miler, 50Miler and 25Miler in front of the Kirkwood Hotel.

Sunday, 03 May 2009

06h00:  Cut-off of Silver Buckle, 100Miler.

12h00:  Cut-off of Bronze Buckle, 100Miler.  Finish of the 100Miler, 50Miler and 25Miler at Addo Elephant National Park Rest Camp.

14h00:  Prize Giving.