Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eight Bells Enduro

It has been awhile since I was able to take part in one of the local mountain bike marathon races, and I have to say, the hospitality my family and I experience at these events is overwhelming. Eight Bells is a small mountain resort guest house situated near the top of the Robinsons Pass, about 30minutes drive from Mossel Bay. The organizers had put us up in the lodge for the night, and with the venue of the race being hosted at Eight Bells, it was ideal for us.

After a great nights rest, we woke up to perfect conditions and I was really excited to take the new Volcan XC29 bike for its first race. The start was literally about 50meters away from our room, and it was great to be able to roll out of bed straight onto the start line. Although the 65km route had some rude awakenings in store for me! I new that regardless of which direction we went from the lodge, we would have some climbing to do, though I never expected to climb 1500m in the relatively short distance.
The race winds its way around the same roads as the last 25km of the Attakwas race, and then heads up towards the top of the Outeniqua mountains. Soon as we hit the steep long climbs, I used the “big” wheels to good use and accelerated away from ex-teammate Mathys Beukes (Scott) to build a substantial lead. I never let up on the pace, giving myself a good workout and some great preparation for next weekend.
The bike handled really well, especially on the fast gravel roads, and was surprisingly nimble on the rougher jeep track sections. At the highest point we had the most amazing views of the bay, including Mossel Bay and Glentana. In fact the whole area we were riding around in was pristine and an absolute pleasure to be able to ride around in and enjoy such great mountain biking. The route was well marshaled with enough water points for all levels of riders.

The finish line was a welcome sight after the surprise of a climb to the end! And the cherry on the top was the incredible little lazer etched mountain bikes each rider received replacing the ever boring medals, and a much bigger version of the same bike for the floating trophy!
As always it was great to be part of the event and we look forward to coming back again in the future!

Next race for me will be one of my favorite events on the calendar, Karoo to Coast on the 19th September. I will again use the XC29 on this course, and from there will head up to the Lowveld to race the Clover Tour with the MTN/Energade road boys, which looks to be a tough tour.
Till then, cheers.
Kevin Evans

Provisional results:

1st Kevin Evans (MTN/Energade) 2hrs30
2nd Mathys Beukes (Scott)
3rd Marcel Deacon (Deacon Properties)

1 comment:

info said...

Hi Kevin
It was an absolute plesure in hosting you and your family here at Eight Bells and thank you for participating in our event organised by the Gromoss MTB Club. It is now our third year in hosting this event and we are hoping to grow the participants in the future.
Other good news is that we are negotiating with the Foresty Department and will hopefully soon be able to offer a permanent single mountain biking track in the Ruiterbos Indigenous Forest and the ajacent Pine Forest as part of our sporting facilities.
This will allow us to attract mountain biking enthusiasts from around the country to enjoy their sport in very save and secure surroundings throughout the year.
Thank you once again for participating and for staying at Eight Bells Mountain Inn.

Rene Bongers