Monday, 29 August 2011

Celebrating the Big 3-0 #mountainbikingstyle

August Bank Holiday 2011, 34 of us went to Brechfa in Wales for a mountain biking weekend.

The Bunkhouse
I turned 30 in the week prior to the weekend, but decided not to have it as my birthday party as then it is exclusive and I wanted everybody to have the chance to come out and mountain bike with us.

We stayed in a bunkhouse that were able to host 32 of us, Zane & Jason stayed outside in a tent, not that there wasn't enough space in the house for them, but due to Health & Safety laws on this island. I would highly recomment Gilfach Wen Barn as it is well prepared for a group of this size, with 2 stoves, 2 fridges and enough bowls, pots etc to cook for this amount of people. Enough showers and such a spacious lounge area that you never feel in each other's space. 

Brechfa was the perfect setting as it has 4 routes, a blue, green, red & black so everybody was able to ride according to their ability.

Group Start

Bike park
Seeing 33 bikes lined up like this is quite impressive and a sight that makes me very happy.

Wales is well known for the sheep to people ratio and we tried our best to bring the average down.  This bunkhouse made most of the men's dreams come true when it came to the size of the braai. It didn't have the normal half-drum braai that we are used to, it even went further and a half-petrol-tank braai. (Vegetarians should stop reading here)

We indulged in steak, paptert, welsh lamb & roosterkoek with some of my mom's homemade fig jam! 

Die Boerseuns braai roosterkoek & tjops
Gerhard van Niekerk, Braam & Pierre
My flatmates sneakily lured me away to the station to pick Polly up. On my return I was surprised with this spread. I knew something was cooking, but was still quite taken a back by the amount of effort my friends have put in and being the centre of attention.

Surprize B-day Party for me!

The treats - Dankie Dolla & kie
Nic Master Minded evening Entertainment and this was probably one of the funniest things we have ever seen. Christiaan doing the wurm race on the floor.

The black route, called the Raven, has the most amazing single track section, it is like Yoghurt Pots in Surrey Hills, but on steriods, bigger berms, twists and turns. Scary, but you are going so fast that you actually don't have time to think about it. Proper leg shaking adrenaline goodness when you reach the end of it. The single track climbing is hard work, but very rewarding.
On the Monday we did the red, Gorlech trail. It has lots of firetrack climbing and completely different singletrack in comparison with the black. The last run into the car park has a few scary berms with some lose slate stone corners, a nice and challenging run. It is also beautiful being on the edge of a mountain and overlooking other mountains on the other side of the valley. 

It was such a fun weekend and I felt blessed to have so many amazing friends around me.
On Day 2 we took on the AWESOME black route

Local wildlife

Van Niekers v Van Aswegens

Steak & Paptert - Delicious
Nic, Dolla, Braam & Al
Gesellig om die tafel

Nice, in the kitchen where they belong. #afewgoodhandymen

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Tim's Mighty Crash

Note to self: Be sensible when you take 1st timers out

The good thing is, he wants to come back for more... So watch this space.