Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Toyota MTN Cycle Park

Ok, I think I'll get the embarassing end result out of the way first. The score, jump 3, roland 0.

Since all my riding partners are away having lazy holidays I thought it would be fun to go and try out "The Toyota MTN Cycle Park" located where Main road goes over the N1 so I put all the kit on and chugged off to see what gives. The entrance fee is R50.00 which is pretty steep but unlike Northern Farm which charges R10.00 the Toyota MTN cycle park really does put a lot of effort into enabling you to have a whole bunch of fun. Fun in this instance means that you have at least a chance of breaking something, most likely your bike but there is a indemnity form you have to sign before you get in to take care of liability in the event that you break yourself instead of your bike.

There is a perimeter jeep track with well marked entrances to to the single track which eventually exit back onto the perimeter track. All single track is one way which is great and hopefully nobody is going to meet someone going the wrong way. The single track is graded into green, blue and black like ski runs and like skiing, black is to be taken with caution. There are tons of arrows but I think it would have been better to have made the arrows the same colour as the grading.

I started off on some greens, then blues and finally some blacks which I found to be pretty challenging. A note on the establishments use of "caution" signs; they really mean it! It would really be best to get off and have a good look at whatever one should be cautious about and going slowly doesn't work as often you need some speed to be safe.

Next to the BMX track there are several drop off's which were great fun but there was one I didn't do because I think I would have been arse over kettle. For the record it was the one with the roots half way down. The first drop off I did was exhilarating but the first jump at the bottom caught me by surprise but no problem, a quick jump and I flew over it and almost landed straight on top of the second jump which would have been a spectacular stop. As it turned out I just used the compression from the landing from the first jump to launch me over the second one; I must have looked like a kangaroo bouncing over the jumps. Great fun!

On to the jump that I couldn't get right pictured below. The problem with this jump is that you need some speed to clear the 1.5m gap but the S curve before the jump means that although you can get the speed it puts you on a path to the bushes. Landing a little short is not an option on this jump unless you don't mind buying a new back wheel each time you visit so speed is vital. Direction is unfortunately also vital. Hmmm, eish and eina!

Note the caution signs, they aren't joking! I think that the line to take would be starting at the left of the path and take off should be just to the left of the black stump. That way you ought to land in the middle of the right curving path after the jump. I think, but not having successfully negotiated this I can't say for sure.

Note the expropriated pavement waiting to buckle some back wheels; I think the bike shops may have had a hand in constructing this jump!

First attempt I wasn't going anywhere near fast enough, being cautious and all that and the back wheel caught the pavement and I took a sideways dive into the bushes on the left. Second time, a bit more speed so I cleared the pavement easily but the aim wasn't so good and I ended up doing a forward roll over the handlebars in the bushes. Third time speed was good, direction better but landed very hard and lost it taking a dive into the bushes on the right. This is going to take a few more visits I can see. Anyway, nothing broken but I think that I'm going to be a bit sore tomorrow morning! I can however confirm that the bushes to the left and rights of the path make for a pleasantly soft landing should one get it wrong!

1 comment:

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