Over the past weekend, myself and Rachel (my AMAZING assistant and Wife) took a trip up to the midlands to cover the inaugural Compendium Burg Wheelers Gravel Growl.
The event was set so there was a distance for everyone, which made it very welcoming for the whole family and their friends of course.
It was set out to be a beautiful day; extremely hot and windy, but much better compared to what was planned for the week ahead.
After registration was complete; which took part over 2 days for riders convenience, the nerves kicked in for the riders as they prepared for their respective events. It's always interesting photographing people at this time in the event, to see how differently everyone reacts to nerves. But it was great to capture the overall excitement for what the day was to bring for everyone. And lets not also forget the beautiful sunrise that created everyone when it eventually came up over the hills.
Once the riders were off, it was time for us to jump into our transport and catch up with the riders. A special thank you to Con Malherbe for taking us around and chasing all the athletes and getting to where we needed to go. I think we had just as much fun exploring the Midlands Meander as the riders did, such a beautiful part of KZN that the cyclist had the pleasure to enjoy and ride through.
Even with the hot and challenging conditions, the majority of the riders made it to the finish line with a huge smile on their faces. In my books that makes for a successful event. It was great to be out there to cover such an awesome event. A massive well done to everyone who put this together and we hope to see you next year.
To view the full set of images: CLICK HERE
To view the video from the day: CLICK HERE
Rather late than never; which I feel like is becoming a common opening line when it comes to my blog posts, I had the amazing pleasure of covering the 2023 edition of the UMKO Adventure.
The UMKO Adventure is a 2 day MTB stage "race", that starts in the small town of Richmond and takes riders in and out of the mighty Umkomaas Valley.
The reason why I call it a "race", is because I found out that its more of an adventure and riders are encouraged to take it easy and enjoy it at their own pace so they can soak up every single experience that they may encounter in the event. The atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than I'm use to experiencing at events which made for a nice change.
The event actually started on the Friday before stage one, where the majority of the riders and runners registered and camped over night. Everyone was treated to an amazing assortment of foods for supper which I guess was the organisers way of making sure everyone was a bit slower the next day after all the food they had consumed.
The majority of the athletes camped on the field, with the selected few bringing their own luxury to sleep in.
Stage 1 started off in the cost over cast skies. It was planned to be the harder of the 2 days as it took riders deep into the Umkomaas Valley, with everyone finishing by needing to cross the mighty Umkomaas River. I can give first hand experience by telling you the river was pretty cold! As the bridge was a bit to unsteady for a motor bike to cross, or to even cross by foot, I eventually ended up wading through the river with all my gear.
Stage 1 had multiple dam wall crossings for the riders as some lovely decent that took them down to the river. Everyone liked like they enjoyed it, which I guess is the main thing. Everyone loved a stop at a water table, taking their time to enjoy the experience and even grab a cup of coffee!
Take nothing away from the riders, race or not it was a tough day out! But, all riders were once again treated to a feast as well as some live music when they arrived back at their tents.
Unlike the start of day 1, day 2 brought a magical sunrise! The sunrise put everyone into a good mood and made everyone excited for what was in store. Day 2 was also unique in the way that a water slide was introduced for the riders to take part in. This along with the many water crossings made it super enjoyable for everyone who took part. The night before however we had a small down pour, which did result in the majority of the trails been pretty slick and a bit to muddy for a motor bike, which sadly resulted in a restriction of where we could get to, but none the less we had lots of fun.
What an amazing event to be part of, and I hope to be back for many years in the future!
Rather late than never as they say!
A week or so ago I had the pleasure of traveling up to one of my old regular shooting grounds; Townbush Trails (Cascades Mountain Bike Park), to cover the final leg of the Cycling South Africa XCO Cup Series.
Being a 'local' is always an advantage as you know your short cuts around the track. But, been away from Cascades for a while, I was a bit nervous I was going to forget a few things and loose my bearings. Luckily, this wasn't the case and everything managed to go to plan, and I didn't manage to get myself horribly lost in the forrest.
The racing was intense across all events, mostly close fought which made it super exciting to photography. A great course layout as always which aided in both ease of getting around and the tight racing that took place.
A massive well done to all the organisers for putting on such spectacle for all the riders and spectators.
Unlike what I mentioned above, the Elite races were a pretty one sided affair, with the various winners darting off from the gun to take a commanding victory in their respective events. But, none the less it was great to be back and shoot some proper entertaining racing.
A huge well done to everyone who took part, and a massive well done to all the winners. Was great to back behind the lens to capture you all in action.
Last year, Cornel had this crazy idea of hosting a 24 hour track challenge (in the middle of winter) at the Pietermaritzburg Cycling Oval. This year, partial common sense prevailed and he decided to host a trimmed down 12 hour version instead.
Hosted from 4:30am to 5pm with a 30min break in between did not mean it was going to be any easier than the 24 hour version though, many of the competitors took it on themselves to push it to the absolute limit to see how much milage they could clock up in the 12 hour riding window.
Starting in the pitch dark, only slightly illuminated by the glow of the lights around the Pietermaritzburg Oval, a mighty impressive amount of cyclists took on the challenge of clocking up as much millage as their legs could handle.
Was great to see; from the start, the smiles and the jokes between riders with the odd banter here and there on who is going to beat who and ultimately who will be taking home the wooden spoon for the least amount of milage.
The first hour or so that took place in the darkness was set at a frighteningly high pace, with a lot of riders already questioning why they were here... AGAIN. But Ultimately the pace settled down and everyone got into their own grove where they could dig their heels in and have a great time.
It was great to capture the extreme facial expressions, from shivering because of the cold, to the joy of riding with friends and the concentration to not crash into the rider in front of you, it was great to capture it all.
After a few hours of intense hot laps, what predicted to be a pretty cloudy and dull sunrise, got it completely wrong and we were rather greeted by an amazing picture perfect ray of colours in the morning sky. Suddenly riders were woken up and the motivation levels were at an all time high. It was the motivation boost that a lot needed, especially those who were contemplating heading home for a quick cat nap.
The sunrise did not disappoint at all, but after the beauty had burnt off and the clouds had come over once again, the racing turned back up to 11 and everyone was pedal to the metal all over again.
Being around many events in my line of work, I can say for certainty events don't just happen without amazing sponsors that put their hands up to support events no matter how big or small! Was great again to see so many loyal sponsors jump back on board this year to sponsor such a truly unique event. From Tate, Nolan & Knight, Hi-Q, Callans Bike Tech, Burg Wheelers Cycling Club of course and many more, it was great tp see such a variety of brands and companies jump on board to promote such an unique and inspiring event.
After many an hour on a bike, and enough laps around the track to make you feel like you training to be on the space shuttle for a trip to space, everyone ended up with a huge smile on their face; except Hayden who thought it was a silly idea and was in protest as he wanted to do another 12 hours or something.
It was awesome to be part of such a great event again, even if it was half the time it was still a great day out.
So in that case, I hope everyone has their diaries booked for next years Burg Wheelers 6 Hour Cycling Challenge.
A few weeks back, I once again had the awesome opportunity to cover another year of the Jump City Challenge at uShaka Marine World in Durban. I have lost count to how many I have covered over the years, but it's always just as exciting every single time! A truly unique event, nothing like anything else out there.
Was also great to see it well supported by so many athletes, either taking it seriously or just out to maximise as much fun as possible.
The Jump City at uShaka is generally quite a challenging event to shoot; with the majority of the event taking place in the pitch dark, but I thrive on a challenge and it makes it that much rewarding at the end of the day.
The challenge takes place in and around the uShaka area, making use of the beach, the aquarium as well as the wet and wild section of uShaka. It's always great to capture so much enthusiasm and people just having a good time. Registration as well as the start took place in and around the shopping area of uShaka; where competitors could socialise and get ready for their events to start, before venturing onto the Durban beach from where they would start their obstacles.
The organisers compiled a variety of obstacles on the outside of uShaka before they even entered the gates of the uShaka play ground. This complied of but not limited to, some sand crawling, monkey bars, a rope maze, car pull and many more. It was also great to see, especially the fun teams, the comradely between everyone! Everyone was encouraging, helping and looking out for each other, it was great to see. Was great to capture so many smiles, with the majority taking it not a serious and like I mentioned, were more there for the fun evening out.
Once within the walls of uShaka, the competitors made full use of the aquarium and wet and wild. It's always quite the unique experience running through the aquarium at night, everything is dark and much different to how it's usually experienced. Was nice to see some taking it a bit slower to stop and just soak in the experience. After the aquarium the majority got VERY WET AND WILD! Loving the unique opportunity to play around at uShaka at night and have free rein to the fun activities they offer. Was great to capture the fun and excitement on everyones faces.
In the end it was another successful Jump City event that I was very honoured to be part of! congratulations to everyone who took part, I hope you all had as much fun as I did out there!
Last week I had the awesome honour of following a few Unitrans Teams; that consisted of employees and clients, as they took on the KAP Sani2c Adventure.
The KAP Sani2c is one of South Africa's most iconic mountain bike stage races, that takes competitors from the foot of Sani Pass in Underberg all the way to the coastline at Scottburgh on the KZN South Coast. The race is ridden over 3 days with the 2023 edition consisting of the "race" starting the day after the "adventure".
After collecting the majority of the Unitrans riders from King Shaka International airport in Durban, we all ventured inland so that they could all get to registration for day 1 the following day. Once arrived at Glencain farm (the registration venue and home to founder Farmer Glen Haw), I was pleasantly surprised by the sounds of some familiar voices of Max Cluer and Doug Bird who would be commentating on the 2 editions of the 2023 KAP Sani2C respectively.
It was great to see and capture so much excitement for the event, what an amazing vibe and atmosphere that was created at the farm.
Day 1 and well actually every day, cyclists were treated to some great weather! No rain, thats always a bonus on sugarcane tracks.
The excitement was buzzing as all riders were gearing up for their various starts. Not all riders stayed on the farm the night before so it made for quite a busy morning as riders were arriving as well as leaving on their respective journeys.
A huge shout out to the Unitrans crew for carting me around the entire event! Sadly, that been said we were in a car so we only got to certain areas, but we did make the best of the situation we were in and I loved every minute.
It was great to see the smiles and joy as the riders crossed the end of stage one line, by the sounds of it, it was quite the tough one.
Day 2 was Unitrans' day to shine! With the Sani2c iconic climb or walk sponsored by Unitrans it made a very memorable day for the team. With all riders treated by another spectacular sunrise; giving you all the motivation you need to get going, riders ventured into the Umko Valley, but like they say, what goes down must eventually come back up at some point.
It was great to see everyone taking on the iconic climb in their on stride, either by walking or riding they all made it up eventually!
Unitrans' involvement in the community was also very evident with the sponsorship of the green mile as well as the sponsorship of schools in the area.
Was so great to be involved with a company thats giving back to the community that needs it most, to make their lives safer and better.
The final stage of the adventure was a downhill fly by to the coast.
Everyone was excited to get to the finish and to see their friends and family again after an awesome adventure on the KAP Sani2C.
I had an amazing 4 days at the event, and I look forward to being back in the years to come. Well done to everyone who took part and finished one of South Africa's most beautiful stage races.
Over the weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to head up to Sugar Rush Park; in Ballito, to cover the first edition of the North Coast Challenger.
The North Coast Challenger is a 3 day MTB or 2 day trail running event, that hosts a variety of distances for every family member to get outside and enjoy.
I had the privilege of working with a pretty talented media crew, Anthony Grote Photography covering the MTB side things, as well as Tyron and Jenna from Flight Film Productions covering all the video content from the weekend.
Other than the Friday, the event was graced with ideal weather conditions. Nice and warm but nothing that was unbearable. On the Friday, the cyclists had to contest with extreme gale force winds, but luckily that all subsided on the Saturday and Sunday.
It was so great to experience and see so much excitement by everyone before their respective events, always makes photographing such a pleasure.
I had an absolute blast exploring the North Coast Sugarcane over the 2 days I was at the event. Only getting lost a handful of times, but thats all part of the adventure right?
well done to everyone who took part, looks like a lot of fun was had and I look forward to this event next year.
Not so long ago, I had the privilege of heading into the Umkomaas Vally to cover to 2023 edition of the Still Umko Canoe Marathon.
It was my first time covering this particular race, which always brings its new set of nerves but also a great deal of excitement.
Dustin Weber(videographer) and myself departed from Durban at around 4am to make sure we got to the start and to have enough time to scope out the situation for the weekend.
This years event brought some new and exciting changes, with the addition of a trail run. A small but brave group of runners gathered on the start line whilst the canoeists were getting ready to head down the river.
There were 2 clear sides that I noticed for the competitions, the side which saw excitement about what lay in store and the other which showed absolute nerves after hearing how big the rapids would be.
The day went off with a bang! lots of laughter and smiles by many all the way down the river. It was great to see the majority of paddlers arrive safely at the end of day 1, a lot exhausted, but absolutely loved the thrill and adventure.
The athletes got a taste of some local entertainment in the evening as well as a spectacular sunset, which allowed them to relax and detox from a great day on the river.
Day 2 brought a whole new adventure, where paddlers needed to depart from the camp up river as they would be finishing where day 1 had started. Made from another early morning but it was great to see so much enthusiasm from all the athletes.
The river on day 2 was a bit more of a challenge, as a lot of it was totally inaccessible, or if it was it would take you ages to get there and by the time you did the action had passed.
This been said we made a plan, and made the most out of what we could! Was so awesome to see so many finishing the race and even some wanting to go back for more! Congratulations to all the winners and finishers.
Not so long ago, I had the amazing pleasure of heading into the beautiful KZN Midlands, to cover the Compendium Burg Wheelers Road Race that was held on the Kakloof Road in Howick.
An event that is traditionally held this time of the year, as a warm up for the riders heading down to the Cape Town Cycle Tour, it was a great opportunity to see how prepared they were for the event.
The weather couldn't of been more on point; Sun out, nice and cool and not a breath of wind, an absolute contrast to the afternoon before where the heavens opened and created a mud festival nightmare for the organisers. A glorious sunrise greeted all riders that arrived early for registration, some even grabbing a coffee and relaxing to take it all in.
It was great to see and feel so much excitement from all the participants for the event.
Riders came from all over to take part in the beautiful race; even as far as the North West, thats dedication!
For the Elite riders, the racing was intense from the start. Was full gas all the way, with was a bonus for me as I got to capture some awesome facial expressions! Also luckily for me, the main 80km event, was 2 laps of the same route, which gave me more than 1 opportunity to grab a shot or 2 of the riders!
It was not all pain, sweat and gears, a lot of more social riders came out and smiled and joked all the way home! was awesome to see so many people having such fun on their bikes.
A massive well done to all the participants, winners and especially the organisers for pulling off an amazing event! was such a pleasure photographing it and I look forward to it again next year.
Over the last 2 weekends, I have had the pleasure of covering the opening 2 rounds of the KZN Trail Running Coastal Series that took place at Rocky Bay at Zululami Estate respectively. It was great to be behind the camera capturing such dedicated runners that got up before the crack of dawn to punish themselves. WHAT DEDICATION!!
The first event took place at Rocky Bay, thats on the KZN South Coast. After a week endless rain, it was great to be greeted by a stunning sunrise over the Indian Ocean that set the tone for a lovely morning out.
Was awesome to capture such enthusiasm from all the runners that just could not wait to get out on the trails. The Coastal Series has a distance for everyone, making it a whole family affair.
All in all, everyone had a great day out, with loads of memories and laughs to share no matter how hard it was out there.
The following weekend we traveled up the KZN North Coast, to Zululami Coastal Estate for the second round of the series. Unlike the first round, where the sun graced us with glorious weather, the sun came out with vengeance, turning the heat all the way up to maximum.
None the less, all athletes departed their various distances enthusiastically and with a huge smile on their faces.
Everyone had their own story to tell, from the heat to the hills, but all having a great time.
Both events were truly unique and offered something completely different. it was so awesome to be part of these 2 awesome events!
Towards the end of last year, I had the pleasure of being a part of and taking photos of the amazing initiative; sponsored by Specialized Bicycles South Africa and Greg Minnaar Cycles, Soil Searching.
Soil searching is a day, where cyclists come together and give back to the trials that they ride on. They help maintain, build new ones and have a great social time with other athletes.
It was great to see such an awesome turn out at the event. Everyone was excited and enthusiastic about what they came to achieve. It was also awesome to see world class trail builders, such as Nick Floros; who has designed many olympic and world championship courses, guide and enlighten everyone on why and how things are build. The day also ended off with a social braai, where everyone got rewarded for their hard work they put in that day.
The very next day, Specialized Bicycles South Africa hosted a demo day at the Cascades Trails. Anyone could come along and try out some of their latest and greatest bikes.
A few trail builders from the day before even had the chance to ride some of the trails they had build, even if they weren't quite finished yet.
It was great to see such huge smiles on everyones face, dreaming of the next bike they could possibly purchase.
The entire weekend was a great success and enjoyed by everyone involved. it was great to see so many cyclists giving back and excited about giving back. Such a great idea!
Towards the end of last year, I had the pleasure of covering another round of; the fun packed event, Stadium Dash.
The KZN Stadium Dash, is an awesome obstacle event, that tries to rope in as many world class stadiums into one event as possible. This years addition saw Kings Park Athletes Track, Kings Park Stadium, Moses Mabhida Stadium as well as the Kings Park Swimming Pool all roped together to create an awesome race for everyone.
Not only was the event a challenge for the athletes, but it was also for the photographers. We had to find the quickest ways to get from point to point while navigating the ins and outs of the world class infrastructure.
But, I do thrive on a challenge and I loved every part of it.
The athletes started at Kings Park athletics track, jumping right into (well hopefully over) some hurdles. After that they found various obstacles in their path to get the blood flowing for what lay ahead. It was great to capture the smiles and laughs this early in, as I knew a few km's down the road they would be replaced by sweat and a puzzled face of what did I get myself into.
After venturing out of the athletics track, the athletes then stumbled into Kings Park Rugby Stadium. All I can say is, THERE WAS A LOT OF STAIRS. After climbing over some monkey bars and tackling a few other obstacles, athletes climbed stairs, stairs and some more stairs inside the stadium. But, it did look like everyone was enjoying themselves, well most of them at least!
After exiting Kings Park Stadium, the athletes crossed the road to enjoy the ins and outs of Moses Mabhida Stadium. From a trip through the gym, to climbing some more stairs, climbing over lots of bars and finishing it off with a car pull. Was very interesting to see how each athlete tackled each obstacle differently. Some tackled it in teams, while others just gritted their teeth and managed to do it alone.
To finish off the awesome event, athletes took the plunge into Kings Park Swimming Pool off either the 3 or 5m diving platforms. We had some real entertainers as well as some that were terrified, but that been said was great to see those tackle their fears and smash their goals. Last but not least it was a sprint lap over the pool, with a select few making it all the way over and the majority taking a splash, everyone looked like they had tones of fun.
It was great to be back at this amazing event, and I look forward to the next one!
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing the local PMB leg of the Greg Minnaar Good Vibes Tour brought to us by Rush Sports.
Was great to be part of a special event that was traveling the country, celebrating one of South Africa's most talented athletes.
It was great to catch up with some familiar faces that I haven't seen in a while as well. Was great to capture so many people of all ages just having fun and enjoying the evening together. It was also great to see Greg share his time over the entire evening, chatting to everyone, which shows was a true gentlemen he is.
The event was held at Greg's local bike store; Greg Minnaar Cycles, in Pietermaritzburg. A truly unique bike store with memorabilia as far as the eye can see that represents Greg's glittering career.
The evening ended off with the raffling off of a signed Greg Minnaar racing jersey for charity. Was great to see so many people get involved for the great initiative and it was also great to see small little Pietermaritzburg hit one of the bids of all the stops on the tour. It was an awesome evening enjoyed by everyone, and it was a great pleasure to be part of it capturing the moments.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to cover the final KZN Tinman Tri Series for 2022. After covering the first one at the beginning of the year, it was great to be back behind the lens capturing such a unique event.
The final race changed things up from their normal program. Instead of doing the swim at Suncoast and heading straight onto the bike, the organisers changed the swim to Ushaka beach; which meant athletes needed to run to transition before they started their bike leg of the event. This brought a whole new dynamic to the event and it looked like the majority of the athletes welcomed the change.
The swim at Ushaka Beach, also brought slightly calmer waters, more inviting for the whole family. Its always a challenge photographing swimming unless you on a boat close up to the action, but none the less was great to get close to the shore and grab some images.
With athletes now competing in 2 run legs, gave me a great opportunity to capture more moments. It was great to see such a great family turn out, with parents running and cycling with their youngsters and the brave youngsters competing by themselves. Shows that triathlon in South Africa is healthy and growing.
The cycle is always the legs that I see athletes enjoying the most. Lots of smiling and laughing but at the same time some intense concentration from the racing snakes. The cycling route was the same as previous renditions of the event, with the amount of laps completed depending on which event you were taking place in. I always try to get new angles where I can, trying new things and making some of the more casual riders look like racing snakes.
What a great event it has been in 2022, and we can only look forward to see what 2023 brings! Exciting to hear that Tinman is also expanding to the Cape, which I'm sure is extremely exciting for the athletes based down there. Feel very honoured to be part of such a unique event.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling up north to cover the Nedbank Tour De Tuli. The Nedbank Tour De Tuli is a unique event, where riders traverse 3 countries and enjoy their surroundings rather than race against the clock.
What also makes the event truly special and unique, was that its all about giving back. The event organisers; as part of Mandela day, donated a library to one of the schools in the local community. Not only that, they donated other essentials to other schools in the community along the way.
I have huge respect for the event organisers, who managed to pull off such an amazing event with what can only be described, as a logistical nightmare. Covering 3 countries, all with their own unique requirements and laws, as well as, keeping all cyclists safe over the 4 days of riding.
Everything was immaculate, from the village set ups in the 3 different countries to the registration process, it was done with absolute precision.
All athletes had the pleasure of riding among some of Africa's Magic. With, in my opinion, Botswana taking the prize of having the most amount of wild life! Riders had the chance to get up close and personal with some of the big 5, with regular interactions with Elephant and the odd lion. It was truly a very unique experience and I'm sure every rider cherished every moment of their ride.
Each morning riders were generally up with the sparrows, this did mean the media crews needed to be up even before that! This gave us a unique perspective, seeing the calm before the storm. Watching riders packing their bags that would be transported to their next stop as well as grab some breakfast and that quick cup of coffee (or 2) before they set off.
We were blessed with pretty decent weather, and a few days of some absolutely beautiful sunrises.
One of the aspects that made this event truly unique, was the fact that riders, and crew needed to traverse through 3 different countries. As I mentioned this was a logistical nightmare, but made the border crossings quite entertaining when riders needed to either swim through rivers or push through fine sand across the Shashi river. The Shashi river is the natural border between Zimbabwe and Botswana, it only has water in during flood, which luckily it didn't! I think every rider had to push their bikes across, numerous vehicles got stuck but we all made it over in the end. Crossing the Limpopo river was a bit less of a dramatic affair, with the majority of riders pushing over and catching a refreshing swim in the process.
The majority of day 1 of the tour, as well as the beginning of day 2, was situated in Zimbabwe. Lots of dust, not as much wild life as other regions but very friendly locals that cheered on the riders are the cycled by. Zimbabwe was an entertaining day for our media van, as we some how managed to grab 2 punctures that made us use up both our spare wheels (not the greatest way to start the tour). None the less, we all found transport back to camp and a plan was made for the remainder of the tour with alternative transport arrangement.
At this point I should just give a massive shout out to the Landy Crew! They sacrificed their pride and joys to be part of the event!
Along with the Landy Crew, another vital organ in the event was the Samills. The old military vehicles transported everyones gear to every single stop. The crew behind them worked tirelessly to get everything done and it was great to see these machines in action.
Day 2 to the morning of day 4 we were in Botswana (the land of the baobab tree! A truly breath taking country with a variety of scenery, wild life and friendly locals. I'm pretty sure most riders would have found this their highlight of their trip. The camp in Botswana was truly putting you one with Nature. Getting woken up at 2am in the morning with the sound of Lions roaring in the area, or the high pitched laugh of a hyena, it was truly something special and slightly terrifying at times knowing they on your door step and all thats between you and them is a tent zip.
Every night we were blessed with great entertainment, from the local marimba ladies, to world renown talents Schalk Bezuidenhout and Matthew Mole. Was an honour to photograph such talents our Country possess.
The final day of the event brought the riders back to where it all started. A lot of them were overcome with emotion with the goals they had achieved and the stunning adventure they had been on. I'm sure all of them will have memories that will last a life time and I'm pretty sure many of them will be back for the next one.
I had an amazing time covering the event, making some new friends and witnessing some people smash their goals they set out to achieve.
It was a real once in a life time experience that I would love to be part of again if the opportunity arrises.
Last week Friday and Saturday, I had the amazing privilege of covering as well as participating in the inaugural Burg Wheelers 24 Hour Track Relay Challenge.
And yes I didn't miss spell anything, 24 Hours on the bike, what a crazy Frankenstein idea.
Being able to participate in the event as well as be part of the 'crew' I got to see a bit of what it takes to put such an awesome event together. All the way up to the final few hours of the event, lights were being triple checked, the track was being cleared and ultimately everyones nerves were trying to be kept in check.
As mentioned, I had the pleasure of being part of an awesome team myself when out on the bike. we didn't win anything, but I feel like anyone who took part was some form of a winner in the end.
I had tones of fun, riding at all hours of the day, from the evening sun, to the freezing midnight hours and lastly getting baked in the afternoon sun as we approached the final few hours of the event.
Like any event, I loved watching each participate on how the would tackle the challenge at hand. Some went out guns blazing and paying the price later on, while others played the long game, where slow and steady wins the race, using the world slow VERY LOOSELY!!
But it was great to see so much excitement and enthusiasm on the bike at such a unique event.
Of course any event cannot take part without such generous sponsors! From google bags and prizes sponsored by various sponsors, to nutrition, coffee and sustenance provided by others! Thank you to each and every one of you for playing such a vital role in this amazing event.
It was a bit of an unknown what would happen when the sun went down; would everyone go home? would anyone be riding? was this idea just to crazy? well I can report, during the midnight to day break hours there were a few dedicated ones out there (myself included I must add ;) ), with temperatures approaching 0 degrees at times, it was more of a case of keep moving forward or freeze standing still.
A massive well done to everyone who took part in those crazy hours, we all worked well and everyone appreciated everyones efforts when they came to pull on the front.
In the end, it was all fun and games, but some games do have winners! Massive congratulations to the winning team (pictured Centre) and even more massive well done to those crazy individuals who rode 500km + (pictured left).
I really had a great time on the bike and behind the camera, here's to the next one!
Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to try something new! I was off to Dalton to photograph my first Cross Country Nationals for KTM South Africa and Husqvana South Africa. Its always scary doing something for the first time, but at the same time its also really exciting knowing that I'm going to learn some new tips and tricks.
With the weather leading up to the event being rather unpleasant and the predicted weather for the event looking just as bad, my mind just thought of mud fest here we come! After photographing many cycling events in the pouring rain, I at least knew what to expect! The key difference was, in cycling, cyclists don't spray you with mud as they pass by, but it was all great fun.
It was great to see some familiar faces, such as Brad Cox; who sadly didn't finish due to a knee injury, as well as meet some new faces who made the day pleasantly entertaining. A massive congratulations to everyone who took part and managed to finish in those tough conditions!
With all that said it was great to go out and try something new, I thank ZCMC for giving me the amazing opportunity to get out there. Here's to hoping this is the start of many more.
Over the weekend, I once again had the pleasure of traveling down to Cascades MTB Park, to photograph the Cycling South Africa Downhill Championships.
After pouring rain on Saturday; during the KZN Enduro Series which I will do a blog for at a later stage, The sun came out to play with temperatures venturing above the 30 degree mark at times.
With the rain gone, it had left Cascades in a muddy mess, something riders had to contend with. Riders had to constantly adapt as if they practiced in the rain they would need to now adjust to the dry, and also with the trails slowly drying through the day, the dynamics of the trails would slowly change.
I personally find this quite fascinating to photograph, to see which riders adapted best and took into consideration the ever changing conditions.