Mountain Biking Weekend – 17th and 18th July 2010

As a rather bold move, Fugitives’ Drift decided to host a mountain biking weekend. What a wonderful occasion it turned out to be. Thanks largely to the efforts of David Evans and Francois Reyneke the Lodge and Guest House were full.

Craig Gillies, true to form, was beautifully organised. He arrived in a helicopter; his bicycle kindly transported by Gillies Senior and Evans Carriers. Little wonder Craig had the energy, along with Craig Carter, to pedal all the way up a demanding ascent at the end of both days’ rides.

Saturday morning saw the cyclists departing at 8.00am with the temperature at 3°C. We all warmed up quickly, particularly Craig Carter who towed his 6 year-old son, Aidan, up all the hills! There were four “casualties” before the 7km mark – some riders opting to return to the Lodge.

Once the group left the gravel road, the cycling was glorious, passing through farmland. David Creasy, who had come all the way from Nelspruit, had a pin fall out of his suspension. Fortunately, we were able to find the pin, secure it with cable ties and resume cycling. David Evans cycled off alone at this point and put in some serious extra training for Tour de Tuli by taking a long circuitous route back to the refreshment vehicle. Needless to say, we were all very relieved when David finally turned up!

All in all, a 43km ride and great fun was had by all.

On Sunday we cycled 25km through the Isibindi Game Reserve, thanks to the kindness of the owner, Dennis Gehren. Wonderful game viewing and some demanding descents through valley thorn-veld. Special thanks to Craig Carter and Francos Reyneke for their help in plotting both our routes.

It must be a testament to the difficulty of the riding the most cyclists chose to return home via the road?! The atmosphere around the dinner table was fantastic with a great deal of banter and recollections of a wonderful weekend together.

A sincere thank you to all involved for a magic experience.

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