Fully catered riding weekend at Montusi Mountain Lodge. A great opportunity to connect with friends and family in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains. All the social vibe of a race without all the hype, added expense and fuss.
Includes the following:
2 nights accommodation at Montusi Mountain Lodge
All meals from dinner Friday to lunch on Sunday
Guided rides daily on the Drakensberg Trails network with refreshment stops enroute
Inspiring talk on the history of the Drakensberg Trails from trails founder Chris Mecklenborg
Sundowners on Saturday evening
Cost: Individual: R5,460 per person sharing in a Garden Suite Group of 3: R4690 per person sharing in a 2 bedroom Garden Suite
Group of 5: R3,360 per person sharing in a 3 bedroom Garden Cottage Fully Booked
Non riding friends and family are welcome to come along. The charge will be R4100 per person sharing for the weekend. This price includes meals and accommodation.
BOOKING AND CANCELLATION POLICY:
Bookings are confirmed on receipt of full payment
Cancellation must be received in writing.
A 5% handling fee is charged on all refunds.
25% of total cost is charged if cancelled 16 to 30 days before arrival.
50% of total cost is charged if cancelled 8 to 15 days before arrival.
100% of total cost is charged if cancelled 1 to 7 days before arrival.
The new Ingwe Trail offers spectacular views and a sense of flow on the Drakensberg Trails and Ridetheberg’s highest point.
In our last issue we explored how RidetheBerg, allows us to achieve the flow state through our like-minded social connection. This week, we explore the trail factor and how it accelerates that journey to where our bikes and trail merge as one.
Of course one’s physical preparation and a finely tuned, big tyred, full suspension bike, can get you rolling over the toughest trail, but it is the art of the built track that allows one to fully transcend the ordinary into that extraordinary state of biking bliss. The new Ingwe Trail is one such track:
The Ingwe Trail is named after the Ingwe Cabin. Like the its name sake (Ingwe is the Zulu word for Leopard) Ingwe Cabin lies amongst the dense ravines and rocky koppies of the Nook Road Loop Trail. With more interest in cycling in the Drakensberg, the challenge arose of how to ensure the wild peacefulness of the cabin, without losing access to the Nook Road Trail.
Exploration for a new route revealed some of the most stunning views we have ever seen. Sbu and his trails team seized the opportunity with both hands. The time frame for the project was limited – just 5 days, and the location remote – but the 9 man team merged into one rhythmic force that carved 5km of sweeping turns and berms that connect the dramatic rock and yellowwood formations that dot this high alpine environment, creating a trail that flows like no other.
Ridetheberg 2019 incorporates this incredible new trail – Come and be part of a unique slice of the Drakensberg that is not often glimpsed!
I got back onto the tar and worked our way back to the starting with a major smile on my face, dusty and happy, charging! Not believing I could do this, and there it was … the finish line chute! As I was alone outpacing the toppie, I sprinted alone to make it look like I too was chasing the race snakes of the A Batchers and bunny hopped over the line! I air punched and realized that I had finished! Finished? Yes, finished!
As I dismounted and collected my beer and boerie ticket I started to cramp, but I didn’t care, all I wanted was that craft beer and a boerie roll and to have my Flashy cleaned and ready for the second day. I pushed my baby to the wash bay and she got a well deserved wash as she had done what she promised me … delivering me to the finish line in one piece. I sat on the grass and uploaded my Garmin ride on Strava while munching on my boerie roll and drinking my craft beer! I started to cool down and watched as other riders came through the chute one-by-one some recognizing me and congratulating me on finishing and others just happy to have crossed the line. And finally, 30 so odd minutes later the father-daughter duo came through with smiles dripping from their faces and a proud daughter to have helped her father cross the finish line. The kind lady came to me and gave me a fist pump on completing and told me to stop doubting myself as she took her bike in for washing. An hour or so went by, as I thought I would see Johan , the friendly bike sweep to cross the finish line, but he didn’t. I packed my stuff and collected my Flashy to carefully mount her on the car and drive back to the resort for a nice cool shower and poolside chilling. An orange reflector jacket came through, and there he was, just before I turned the car keys, Johan had just swept two happy lads through the finish line! I took the key out and went over to greet him and tell him that I had for once finished my ride, and like always he smiled and congratulated me for such an awesome achievement, we had a little banter, but because he was in a rush he ran out and I drove away. Back to the resort I showered while singing to Billy Joel’s Vienna knowing I had held on and nothing slowed me down. Now it was just to get my mind and body ready for the second day that came ahead, as it was a route I had never ridden before. I knew after today nothing would stop me for the coming day ahead! Before leaving the race village I looked at the race results and noted I was 50 something overall and 3rd in category while 1st and 2nd overall were the race leaders. Saturday was complete, the Sandman was prepared to sweep me away to the land of sleep and rest.
I flowed and flowed and flowed oh and did I say it flowed? Got to the first water station, feeling fresh and stopped to have a quick chat with the nice ladies and gaze over the scenery. Clicked back in and pedaled up the school with cheers from the locals and chocolate asking, I just wonder where they got that idea of asking for chocolates from. I climbed and slowly drifted to my granny gear while riding on the edge of the mountain with my heart in my pocket, having been disrupted from the trails to the amazing views of the Drakensberg outback. At one moment I almost fell off, something slipped and I heard a rock fall, but kept it together and continued riding until I was completely solo on the road, climbing way up to the second water point, legs still rock solid, no hints of cramping and fatigue. I grabbed a few sweets, two Farbars and a slukkie coke to feel awesome; stocked up with cold water and descended gently not to bail on the same spot I bailed the year before. Beautifully flowing and yet again my breath was taken by the greens and the winding trails ahead of me and then all of a sudden Nature decided to get nasty and begin a headwind! Being as big as I am, I knew I had a challenge ahead of me, well the final 10 kilos to the finish line. I caught up with a toppie on a red Spez bike pushing up the nasty snakey climb before the farm place with the headwind hammering me back to my granny gear and decided … “no shame in pushing” I unclipped to save energy and pushed along with the toppie and had a quick chat and realized I was riding with the A Batch because he noted to me that he was part of the few that started first. I then had a moment with my legs and heart to deliver me to the finish line as I was talking to this toppie. After climbing that, we immediately mounted on our bikes and continued riding up until we could see AllOutAdventures within our views and it had just hit me …. I had nearly completed my first day of my RideTheBerg with some few fuel left in the tank….
Poof! Chris fired the gun and then we were off … C Batch with their bikes were off … I gladly waved and noted that I will be back here, on my bike a few hours later! We rode and got to the first major climb on the tar, and I immediately put the hammer down to set up a pace no one could match and it worked as I caught up with the father-daughter duo whom I met the evening before and just joined their train up until we went off the tar onto the trails where we flowed before I decided their pace was just too slow for me and overtook them before the lekker downhill by Tugela River. Flowed down, and as I was about to touch the river going to cross it, a few guys were pushing across the river and I thought … hmmm maybe I don’t need to push over this river, possibly I could ride over it. I rode it right! Until a rock came in front of me and I went over my handle bars right into the water, cooled down a bit but was hilarious for those around me and forced me to lose my gloves as they were wet. No one around me could believe a bloke on a hardtail could go swimming during a race. For a moment I thought my race was over and then I realized all was still well, bike was still well; body was okay … no damage was done.
I pushed out and managed to get back on the trail and started to pedal on the flat-ish Tugela side and I met a very nice lady wearing Sufferfest gear who recognized me from the year before, didn’t recognize me for my smile but for my crying in agony, so she requested I cry a bit so she could remember me more properly. So strange but I agreed and cried in agony a bit and she cracked and chuckled until she choked on air. We had a conversation for a while until she decided to stop and take a selfie. I told her that I couldn’t and that I will meet her again on the finish line for a beer and a quick banter if she finds me. Off again I rode … caught up with the father-daughter duo again and chilled with them, admiring the scenery and taking turns in the front with this train. When climbing out the Tugela the views of the river were breathtaking, somber and something out a sci-fi movie. The duo I was pacing with also gazed up and were so taken by it that the toppie almost fell over a rock. Now back to the course again, we climbed up and were met by local children politely asking us for chocolates and waving at us for climbing out the Tugela successfully and after that moment I decided to blast away from the duo to find another pack I could keep up with at higher speed as I was feeling just mighty amazing.
The Saturday alarm went off, still yawning and wishing not to get up. I stood up, knowing I had a mission to complete. I went on and played Eye Of The Tiger to get the blood running and get Flashy warmed up and so the shower was awesome and headed again to the kitchen area where I was again met with a bouquet of bikers with arm and leg warmers. They were indeed freezing and I wasn’t, still had no idea why I wasn’t cold. Went in the kitchen, grabbed a bowl of oats and a cup of coffee (since I heard oats and coffee are a good pre race food choice).
Packed the mighty Flashy on the rack post breakfast and kitchen banter and fueled my lungs with rave music to get the blood running. Like in 2016 when I got to AllOutAdventures, I was met with the sounds of laughs, clicking derreileurs and free bodies whining as riders warmed up. I was a bit late so I couldn’t show my Flashy around that I too was part of the pack with a unique bike. I quickly ran to the race registration to pick up my number board and awesome long sleeved shirt! The kind lady who was just smiling after she saw me (maybe I blew her away, who knows?). Took my board, which I completely forgotten the number of, I think it was 239 or something like that… I had to run back to the car and get my race fuel ready and mount my board and pedal to the start chute.
On the way to the start chute, Chris mumbled, barely understood half of the stuff he said, but it was funny in a strange way, bumped into the orange reflector jacket hero, the mighty, mighty Johan Vorster, ever smiling like always who gladly commented on the new wheels and the choice of a hardtail as opposed to a soft tail and I explained politely that I haven’t found a rear shock that fits my riding ability. As we were having a quick banter at the back of the pack a lady came a snapped a pic of us and was glad to have us back for another year. As always, I forged a smile through my nervous teeth and made it. We shaked hands myself and Johan and told him I will Batch myself with the C group as they’re the more social guys and all I had to do was just to keep up with them to make it on the day.
I had set out a challenge to myself, to one day complete Ridetheberg , and there it was a year later and the weekend gazed into my eyes. Thoughts came into my mind whether I had prepared enough for this event. Were the intervals that were suggested to me enough? Was the rough climbing of Gustav Klingbeil tough enough to chisel me for the Drakensberg trails? Only the weekend that lay ahead could tell … (Photo Malose Sebata)
The Friday morning before, the alarm rang to notify me of the long drive ahead of me. I thought, maybe I should go out for a little chilled ride before I prep my bike for the long haul. I had gotten a newer bike, a better bike, my new wife, divorced the former 26inch in exchange for a 29er with a large frame! A Cannondale Flash29 with some upgrades here and there with a power meter mounted to measure efforts. Boy was the Flashy ready, if only it had a mouth to speak I’m sure it was up for the challenge. Came back from a morning spin and took her in for a wash and a chain lube and to banter with the bike shop lad of what laid ahead. Flashy was ready, gear was ready and the cup of coffee was ready and a Paddle Pop to keep the smiles running. Started the car and off I was with anticipation all over.
I had again booked in at Mont Aux Sources for the second time but with a bigger room to accommodate Flashy as I didn’t want her to camp outside with the cold weather. As I was busy checking in I bumped into Johan , Johan Vorster! The gentle sweeper was yet again back for another installment of what he said was a beautiful ride (in his words). He gladly introduced me to some few lads he was with and made a note at how I dramatically lost weight and how tuned up I was. I was happy and confident that someone had confidence in me. I slowly walked to the kitchen area to grab a bite and a drink and boy was it full with lots of biking enthusiasts, I felt at home, for a change, I felt at home! I had banter with a father and daughter team who the daughter couldn’t just get over how the Ironman was the weekend former to this. Very polite duo and looking very strong! I threw my cutlery onto the plate, wiped my mouth with the napkin at hand and stood up to have a quick chat with Flashy in the room. Flashy listened to all my requests to deliver me back home on both days!
Chris is a born Adventurer and teacher. He believes in discovery, especially in building experiences that help others break through their limiting beliefs to go beyond the status quo. Chris learns fastest when he teaches and has developed a culture of learning and teaching in all that he does. Chris is co-founder and director of All Out Adventurers, Drakensberg Trails, Royal Drak MTB, Run and Ride the Berg Events and spends most of his time learning from and teaching his staff.
Chris’s early discoveries centered on exploring his boundless energy and his love of riding bikes. At 8, Chris surprised his family and himself by peddling 160km around his Binghamton NY home. By his 20s, Chris, developed a long distance bike touring system and after graduating university; took off to explore the vast North American seaboard from South Carolina to the Canadian borders of Newfoundland and Labrador. After nearly 10,000 km, he returned to Binghamton NY in 1988, eyes and heart wide open to the fact that it is possible to make a living doing what you love and for Chris that was skiing.
During Chris’ 10 years of helping 1000s of students find their dynamic balance on their skis, Chris fulfilled his lifelong dream to master the art of flying through the snow while distinguishing himself as one Skiing Magazines top 100 ski instructors in North America. He also happened to attain PSIA level 3 Alpine and Nordic Down Hill Examiner status.
Moving to South Africa in 1999 and starting his own family, gave Chris the opportunity to bring a new way to recreate in the world. The creation of SA’s much loved All Out Adventure Park, gives thousands more the sensation of flying down mountains without the need for snow.
Chris’s inspired talks and workshops pack together 30 years of human performance experiences whose chief aim is a world where work is a place of healing and the cure is being paid to play.