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Author Topic: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)  (Read 7559 times)

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Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2015, 08:26:26 pm »
My car is free of dings, dongs and flashing lights that annoy you to the point of buckling up.
Don't worry though, I quickly put it on when I see law enforcement officers...  :thumleft:
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 08:27:43 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2015, 09:48:38 pm »
The roads from North/East, South and West funnels together at Maseru bridge where we queued with travelers
from all over the country and beyond. At the fancy hotel on top of the hill, former Lesotho Sun, it was clear that
we were in for business. The Factory Teams had gazebos up and bikes on display with famous faces all round.
Alfie and the rest of them were there looking busy with final adjustments. I even saw a few of our new friends
we made during the last year while doing all those "roof training" events.



Registration takes place at the Hotel so it attracts lots of people to chat to. I felt like a dog at the park.
Inside there are different tables with very friendly and helpful ladies guiding the entrants through the stages
of registration. Christopher and Losper standing at the table where we collect our, so called, Yellow Bricks.
These are GPS locating and emergency beacon devices. All competitors must ride with them for safety purposes.





By the time I got my goodie bags and Roof T-shirt I climaxed with excitement! Janine, Christopher's wife,
commented I looked like I just went shopping. In truth the bags were mostly filled with useless stuff but
the sum total still produced satisfactory results.

Back outside again more sniffing, barking and tail wagging commenced. We haven't even ridden our bikes,
yet I felt like this was already my monies worth.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 11:02:58 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2015, 11:57:02 pm »


Christopher says: "It feels like yesterday I went to spectate the final Race Day of 2014 Roof of Africa.
At the time I just had to go see for myself what the hype was all about. Little did I know that this day
will be etched into my memory for then is when my Roof dream began. With a little encouragement from
Michiel I committed to ride the next race. Training for the Roof was half the fun, an excellent excuse to
ride more often than usual. But like anything else in life overdoing it takes the specialness away again.
I can remember that around a month before the event the fun faded away for I overcompensated on bike
preparation. This quickly turned into a very expensive exercise and frequent burning of the midnight oilÖ



I am fortunate though to have a good friend and partner in crime, Riaan Venter, who gave time to help.
The advantage of the bike being in pieces, literally, was that no riding happened during the weeks leading
up to the race. By the time we finished registration I couldn't wait to get on the bike!

Riding the Roof is no easy task logistics wise. A lot of work goes into planning and packing. Thanks to Janine
(my better half), Riaan, family and friends like Losper that bought into my dream and the part that they palyed
because the whole experience wouldn't have been possible without them."

Getting to registration was exciting. We were delighted to see friends we met throughout the year at Roof training
events like The Impi. The atmosphere was electric. A good vibe that cannot be explained. Graham Jarvis, what an
awesome guy, humble and friendly he didn't mind posing with another one of his big fans. Gerhard is Riaan Venter's son.

Though we knew Mr. Jarvis was racing in Gold Class, it was cool never the less to think we were to compete in the
same event as this living legend! What an awesome experience!

« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 12:16:33 am by Michiel »
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2015, 09:21:15 am »
My car is free of dings, dongs and flashing lights that annoy you to the point of buckling up.
Don't worry though, I quickly put it on when I see law enforcement officers...  :thumleft:

Sounds like your bike is worth more than your car? I excellent priorities!! 👍

Loving this report. Races like this or Amageza are over so quickly and there's so much planning, dreaming and preparation that goes into it, it's great to slowly relive it and savour it over time.

Hopefully when we're old and grey this forum will still be alive and we'll be able to come back and live it all again.

Offline Mr Zog

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2015, 10:15:31 am »
My car is free of dings, dongs and flashing lights that annoy you to the point of buckling up.
Don't worry though, I quickly put it on when I see law enforcement officers...  :thumleft:

Hijack  :deal:

You'll wear a helmet, gloves, body armour, boots, goggles when riding your bike.

A simple seat belt will save your life. I'm a paramedic, I've seen it more times than I can care to count.

Please boet. Don't just wear it for the cops.

Hijack off.


Now tell us more about the roof!!!  :ricky:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2015, 11:32:21 am »

Sounds like your bike is worth more than your car? I excellent priorities!! 👍

Loving this report. Races like this or Amageza are over so quickly and there's so much planning, dreaming and preparation that goes into it, it's great to slowly relive it and savour it over time.

Hopefully when we're old and grey this forum will still be alive and we'll be able to come back and live it all again.

The bike, I call him David, cost me R90 000 all in all. The car, I call her Ta-Mart, I paid R8 500 for.
David is just about 10x more valuable, in monetary sense, than my next most valuable belonging,
my computer. Yes, I guess we all do have our priorities...

This was probably the best it got... That is near half a million Rands worth of HPN being towed by Ta-Mart.  ;D
That little car pulled the load, including full luggage for two people for a week and HPN builder Dustdevil's fat
butt, from Middelburg, EC to Cape Town and back!



You are absolutely right. This forum may be all that outlives us to tell of the adventures and happy
days. I do hope its future is secure. There are truly some excellent write-ups, comments and thoughts
of wisdom on this forum in its totality. A monument to mankind, good and bad. I can't help to think
of one topic in particular that touched me to be found in Religion and Politics. Right here you can see
humans at their best and worst, the stupidity, the enlightenment, the love and hate and of course the
humor! Its quite long and there are a lot of white noise to wage through but still an excellent piece.

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=71891.0
« Last Edit: December 26, 2015, 09:53:26 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Rooi Wolf

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2015, 08:01:46 am »
Lekker Michiel.

Waiting for the rest  :sip:
 

Offline Eben.E

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2015, 08:29:21 am »
 :sip:
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2015, 09:52:03 pm »
Race brief was held at the other Hotel in Maseru. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures there to go with
my report but imagine a lot of very exited and maybe some slightly nervous riders all bundled together in
a conference hall listening to the organizers talk us through the next 3 days. Basically the Time Trial was
to be the most difficult yet in Roof history and we were warned about very hot and dry conditions out there.

Back at the lodge I suddenly felt extremely tired. All the excitement turned out to be too much for one day.
Meanwhile I also sank into a state of light panic. The reality of the task ahead has now sunk in. Losper, my
main man and pit crew guy, was to take some friends out for a private ride of their own while Christopher
and I went to Round the Houses and raced the Time Trial so there was no one to hold my hand the next day.
Being a first time Roof rider I also had lots of uncertainties milling around in my head. Where?, when?, how?,
who?, what? ex ex. I gave up and just went to sleep with the hope that the rising sun will shed light on all.

Up very early on our first day of Roof. The bikes need to be at the impound in Maseru by 8AM. Last minute
finishing touches were quickly added. Race tags on helmet and front mud guard. Race number and decal.
Our race numbers reflected our qualifying positions earlier in the year. My number be 311. 300 for Bronze
Class and 11 for I qualified in 11th place. Christopher has an interesting story to tell here...





Christopher.



Losper having breakfast all the while keeping an eye on the newbies.


« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 10:33:57 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2015, 10:15:09 pm »
Round the Houses I suspect has always been an advertising gimmick. A stage for the race sponsors
to put up their banners and obviously a chance for the spectators and general public of Maseru to
have a piece of the fun. For the riders though I think not so much fun. Racing on the streets of Maseru
with people crossing the street and the dynamics of knobbly tires on tarmac just sounded too much
of an unnecessary risk. The real reason we were here was to ride in the mountains and screwing it
all up on the streets didn't make sense.



With David safely parked in the designated area by 8AM I had lots of time to kill. See, the race around
the houses of Maseru takes place every 30min and the riders are grouped in bundles starting with Gold
Class. This meant I only got my chance to get this done after 12... I wasn't looking forward to hanging
around in the blazing sun.

Fortunately the time flew by as there were stacks of new people to chat to. The Revvit boys were also there.
This one was franticly busy making last minute preparations to his brand new bike.



Once done it was a scramble to get the bikes in.



Seeing all these bonies lined up like this made me real exited! It was indeed happening!





Meanwhile there were some welcome distractions.





Then the big guns started lining up for the first race of the day. First there is an observation lap and then all
hell breaks loose for another 3 laps.



The curious crowd.







Viewing lap for the top riders almost done.





Dead halt and a moment to get the line-up right.



Jip, I'm a secret admirer. Got a good shot of them blasting off the start line but you'll have to wait for
the video to see that.



Then it was my turn. It just so happened that I actually enjoyed the whole experience and wouldn't have
wanted it otherwise. Round the Houses added another interesting angle to the whole event. In fact, it sort
of reminded me of what the road bikers call a "mass ride" into town at them rallies I used to go to back in the day.



Christopher looking on as I made my way to the start line. It was to be another hour before he got his turn.
These two pictures are compliments of Janine Style, Chris's wife.



« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 10:44:15 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2015, 11:01:44 pm »
After dusting the formalities in Maseru it was a dash to the Mountains to start the real racing. Unfortunately
I don't have a single picture to share. I was in a hurry to set up a good time for this is the position I will start
in on our First Race Day. See, starting high up in the ranks means little to no bottle-necks during the race which
is preferable if you want to finish the route before the time bar.

The Bronze Class had a slightly shorter route for Time Trial than Silver and Gold but Bronze had to ride down
Spiderman Pass which was murderous! For the rest the route was superb! The very first 5km included some
of the best supertube riding I've done in Lesotho. Stunning!

My video will showcase the Time Trial. I'm done with the edit. Just need to upload it to my YouTube channel.
Can't wait to share it with you.
 

Offline MaxThePanda

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2015, 06:26:33 am »
Awesome! What's 'supertube riding'?

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2015, 07:20:29 am »
 :drif: bitter jaloers, kan nie wag vir die res nie!
 

Offline Rossdog

Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2015, 07:31:49 am »
As always, superb report Michiel. Thanks!

Overall, in terms of difficulty, how would you rate the ROA compared to the last day of 2014 Sea to Ski (the infamous Pondo Gates)?
'69 Model.
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2015, 10:22:30 pm »
Awesome! What's 'supertube riding'?

I'll need to go show you to be sure you get the idea, but in short it is like a natural single track
through the landscape of Lesotho's mountains void of rocks, mostly anyway, and in the shape
of a supertube. Like a motocross track with berms, table tops, jumps, double jumps, triple jumps
and a water crossing here and there to cool you down if the wind in your face hasn't already.

There tracks are common along the foothills of Lesotho's big mountains but can also be found
sometimes right down the side of a huge mountain. Sometimes the "tube" is tight and flanked
by bushes and sometimes it is wide and open. Some of them you can literally ride up the walls
and leap from one to the other. I can describe it as deep, evenly eroded red or black soil tunnels.

These are best ridden at higher speeds with power slides, wheelies, drifting, jumps and general
playfulness being the order of the day.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 10:25:37 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2015, 10:27:01 pm »
:drif: bitter jaloers, kan nie wag vir die res nie!

Hey man! Lekker om van jou te hoor! Kom, jy is nog jonk. Nou is jou kans.  :deal:
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2015, 10:37:57 pm »
As always, superb report Michiel. Thanks!

Overall, in terms of difficulty, how would you rate the ROA compared to the last day of 2014 Sea to Ski (the infamous Pondo Gates)?

Ah! Good comparison. Sea to Ski obviously has to cover more distance to get the riders to the next
overnight destination but as far as technical difficulty I would say Day 2 at Sea to Ski compared well
to Race Day 1 of Bronze Class with Elephants Trunk and some of those mad downhills Mike made
us ride. Day 3 of Sea to Ski with Pondos and the other crazy stuff could be judged a wee bit more
difficult than Race Day 2 of Bronze Class.

Sea to Ski compares to riding a Bronze Class Roof but Sea to Ski has a lot more dangerous stuff
where if you get it wrong you are fucked stuffed. With the Roof I felt safe all the time.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2015, 10:59:01 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2015, 11:06:06 pm »
Here is a picture of me as I left to ride the Time Trial. Credits to Photographer Craig Barendsen
 

Offline Michiel

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2015, 12:13:42 am »
Christopher says: "Back in May this year I was still finding my way around the workings of a GPS.
As my luck would have it I broke the screen on my new GPS, meant for our Roof endeavor,
a week before the Qualifier. With a loan unit then I left the Start line. The first of two
different loops went well as we all just rode in a bundle and I needn't navigate. The
second loop stretched the field out a bit and by the time I sped from the bottom of
Belekomo Pass I was some distance ahead of riders still stuck on the pass.

I was now making quick progress on flowing single track when I made a stupid navigational
error that cost me dearly. A stones throw from the finish line I wrongly followed
markers that lead me back on to the first loop. Took me a while before I realized
my mistake and by then I got myself lost somewhere on the foothills of Bushman's Pass.
Two long and frustrating hours passed before I got back on track and crossed the finish
line in 157th position.



My Roof dream was shattered for only the first 120 riders was to qualify. I wasn't going
to give up that easily though. After contacting the organizers I had to wait in suspense
for all the qualifiers to enter first. Only if some of them decided not to advance will
non-qualifiers be allowed to enter. It seemed like high hopes but I didn't loose hope. I got lucky!

Training then started a bit late but in earnest. To avoid another navigation cock-up
Michiel threw me in at the deep end by putting me ahead at The Impi hard enduro.
Navigating was my weak point and Michiel reckoned The Impi will sort that out.
In retrospect The Impi proved an excellent training ground for The Roof. A Time Trial
and two days of racing in heavy technical and unmarked terrain navigating by GPS only.

Now Michiel is arguably a better skilled rider than I am yet gave me the opportunity
to ride in front and practice following the GPS, correcting me where I went wrong,
thus giving me the much needed experience to go and take on the Mother of Hard Enduro.
Long story short because of the above I found myself in the last row of the last
Round the Houses race which meant everybody was ahead of me on the Time Trial.
I had my work cut out for me!"

« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 09:37:55 pm by Michiel »
 

Offline 1ougat

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Re: Mother of Hard Enduro - Roof of Africa 2015 (ride report)
« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2015, 07:34:06 am »
 :sip:
Make mine a Boxer with a shaft!!!!
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