joomla statistics

Spanafrican Adventures's Blog

The latest news on Spanafrican Adventures operations.

Collars and Tails

And on another dog note, the hounds of Mfakathini reminded me so much of the hounds of the himalayas - hardy, affectionate and friendly.... will be meeting more of those soon!

You may wonder what dogs have to do with bicycles, well its always easy to make a link with something you like! In this case a few weeks ago I forewent my routine sunday cycle to attend the SPCA Township Dog Show at Mfakathini between Mphopomeni and Boston. It was a real collar and tails affair as 180 odd mostly happy hounds, turned up with owners and tails wagging for a collar, lead, rabies injection, de-worming, de-fleaing and entry into the dogshow for R5! Initiatives like this really do make a difference as over the past 8 years the SPCA have been working in the township, the general welfare of the animals has improved.

Continue reading
228 Hits
0 Comments

Pre-himalayan training

Lately sunday rides have become really social, today 10 of us set off to explore the karkloof with an added incentive of stopping at Trebadore coffee en route. Our garden looking like car park.

Another glorious winter midlands day. This 65k Himalayan training ride took us stereotypical rolling landscapes that typify the area. Pinus plantations, lush dairy farms, grassland patches and views of the Karkloof, Nthalzan and the snow-covered Drakensberg way off in the distance. I am always in awe of the fact that despite cycling extensively in Karkloof we still get lost, like today - just goes to show you don't have to go far to have a bit of adventure and enjoy some stunning scenery and trails.

Continue reading
141 Hits
1 Comment

What I do at lunchtime

The favourite view of the valley. I usually ride the 14km loop along the main access road into the reserve and then skipping down onto the single track 'dwarfs dawdle' that runs along the top of a dolerite cliff.

This years winter has been particularly freezing, the coldest in 20 years so they say. And I believe them. Daily, Anisa and I have to cope with more than just work issues but keeping warm in an office that faces north and feels like a fridge to any visitor. We have blankets, drink bottles of boiling water, use hot water bottles and reluctantly turn the heater on (yes, being the environmentalists we are ;-)) when we border on hypothermia. Lunchtime is my one opportunity to finally warm up - so its either a 9km run or 15km mtb ride in our lovely Umgeni Valley reserve. It takes exactly the full lunch hour for me to finally feel my toes... but there are the other benefits of course.

Continue reading
145 Hits
1 Comment

Dusty days: Mt Gilboa and Lebanon descent

A steep climb out of Mbona reserve brought us to the burned grassland and forested approach to Mt Gilboa (1800m) offering unsurpassed views of the midlands

Sunday morning rides are a fixed event on most of our calendars, and is usually the day we choose to explore and check out more of the seemingly endless cycle route options we have right at our doorstep in the KZN Midlands. This day we decided to explore the back end of the Karkloof venturing out from Mbona reserve and up the back of Mt Gilboa - a fair climb and good training ride for our imminent trip to the Himalayas. An epic day it was. A fabulous mix of forestry roads, grassy tracks and slick pine forested trail descending Lebanon. Expecting to be back at midday we trundled in at 4pm exhausted and out of steam. A great day out none the less.

Continue reading
171 Hits
2 Comments

Ringdahl Riders

Elaine (a dancer) came breezing up 'Greg's' track, stumps and roots did little to perturb her.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of having my niece, Elaine and nephew, Royd to stay for 3 days during their holidays. Coming from Jozies, there aren't many opportunities to cycle safely, let alone ramp along winding shoelace-like single track. They had already resigned themselves to the fact that sooner or later their uncle and aunt would insist on getting them onto a bicycle. I knew it wouldn't take much coaxing to get Royd enthused, but Elaine needed a little more convincing.... happy to say that without any prompting after the 2hour loop, she said it was much more fun than she expected, so much so, that she was keen for another ride the next day!

Continue reading
138 Hits
0 Comments

Lucky Bike

Lucky pup!

Lucky pup!

Lucky knows all about bikes - from the pumping up of tyres to replacing broken spokes,  but a bike is bad news in Lucky's mind - it generally means a morning or afternoon at home alone: just him and Impi dog.  A welcome back he's chuffed and delights in jumping on the table and perching his paws on the saddle. I just love this picture!

Continue reading
111 Hits
4 Comments

A ride in our back garden

Karen, me and Cath. Photo: Vaughan

 

We always seem to stick to our immediate back door rides so today we decided to start our ride out a little further away from home (10km). Starting off at the Karkloof Polo Club things were a tad bit nippy even though it was 9am, just above 0 degrees to be precise as frost iced the way. But hey what could we complain about with winters like this – blue skies all round and none of us riding in winter kit. We chose to combine some of the Karkloof Classic bike race route so that we could re-ride some of the fabulous single track. This together with undulating jeep tracks and secondary roads passing through grasslands, plantation and indigenous forest ensured we got all the best scenery in. Enjoying crystal clear views of the Drakensberg and the rolling midlands, what more could we ask for.

Continue reading
145 Hits
6 Comments
Find us on Facebook