|Here goes: (track report from Brett Stevens – Vikings Extreme Enduro)
Firstly it’s a great honour to be hosting both the Powasol Extreme event along with the National Enduro, knowing that we will be compared to some of the best riding in the country/planet (Natal/Mpumalanga) adds additional pressure so we have made a huge effort to put together a loop that will provide a suitable test for all riders combining speed, tech and fun whilst being conscious of safety. Our hope is that riders finish the day tested but looking forward to returning some day!
On to the routes:
65cc – There is always a sense of fear for juniors especially when “National” comes into the equation, as a club based on our Juniors we are paranoid about ensuring that no Junior is overwhelmed by the occasion, the loop will be 85% separate to the National loop with combination of riverbed, twisties, some very short technical sections and some lovely enduro style track around the old farmhouse. The Viking Juniors who have moved up to the Pro-Mini Class have been tasked with setting the loop as they are more in tune with what works for the rest of the Juniors.
At no time will the juniors be further than 500m from the pits so there will be awesome spectating and support opportunities and they will get to see their pit crew a number of times, that said we are setting a serious track and not afterthought so every Junior will be tested and feel proud when done. The loop should total out at around 8km – Juniors don’t miss this one!
The loop totals out at 25km excluding the flat track special section in front of the pits which will be awesome for spectators so expect to finish at around 28km. Piesangkloof is known for its extreme tech however in line with National Average Speed Requirements we have removed all hike a bike, ghosting, walk a ledge and bush bash sections in favour of a flowing enduro style track. You should not have to get off your bike, in fact there is a rumour doing the rounds that a BETA actually made it around the loop – in the dry, hearsay for now but could be possible!
We start with a 2km flat track special section directly in front of the pits which leads out via single-track, a short riverbed and a loose Jeep Track climb before turning right to head out towards the 1st set of technical sections, we move through a forest section and then follow an off camber single track to the start of Tourette’s, Tourette’s is a 400m climb on steep slabs of sandstone with intermittent steps every 50-100m, everything is rideable but we suggest looking ahead, planning your lines and being aggressive… At the top of Tourette’s we turn right towards the rock pools and turn right again down “SlipnSlide”, we stay on the cattle tracks on the side down a fairly technical rocky section and then an off camber single track to the bottom of Americo. Turning left you start the long climb up Americo which consists of big slabs of off camber sandstone offering plenty of grip and 3 short tech sections of steps and slippery rock, the water flowing down the right is very pretty and it can be tempting to move down to that line – if you have a day job and need to be at work on Monday, don’t..
There are plenty of overtaking lines up Americo so by the time you reach the single track that takes you around down the off camber section called “Longdrop” the field should be more or less settled, we doubt bottlenecks will come into play. At the bottom of longdrop you turn towards one of the signature PK climbs called “Church” unfortunately/fortunately due to the extreme nature of this climb we only go up through the twisties and back the other side where we climb a shaly single track that takes you over to the top of “Sibanda” which we will be going down, this descent is big chunks of solid granite rock, roots, Sandstone and banks, one of the favourite parts of the loop and drops you down to the marshal point where you will turn left to head up KungFu, again in the interest of speed and sanity you will keep to the cattle paths going up the left side of Kungfu instead of the main gully which has broken a few spirits in the past.
Once through KungFu it you have 10km of fast single track mixed with short tech sections all having multiple lines, overtaking here needs to be done with caution – bravery and stupidity usually hang out together and if you let them loose out here you’ll become an expert on hospital food – but it’s a great section!
Approaching the end of the loop you drop down “Omkeer” which is very technical for the 1st 300m and then opens up onto a 400m long sandstone slab descent, you can go down here very, very fast or take your time, don’t over estimate your talent here, getting a runaway down Omkeer is going to leave scars – both physical and emotional.. Chicks may dig scars but it’s pointless if your nuts are sitting somewhere in the Northwest.
The last 2km is a river section with banks, roots, off-camber and steps, if is 600m from the pits and has plenty of shade to expect to have spectators in this section, it is designed to be fast enduro special style and will be a lot of fun.
A short single track and twisty section behind the pits takes you back to your crew to prep for the next lap!
The Tyre and Mousse combo of choice is the Dunlop Geomax AT81 Gummy with a 110/100-18 Dunlop Mousse.