Joined by thousands of adventure enthusiasts over the weekend, the Hollard JUMA & JURA took place through the 'greenways', 'waterways' and 'byways' of Johannesburg on the weekend!
The Mountain Bike Adventure, set in Johannesburg’s city parks, was an event like no other. The organisers had build an ‘obstacle course’ which took riders and runners on the previous day’s JURA running race, through the city parks, storm water drains, over and under roads & tunnels and the rocky ‘koppies’ of the city.
Quickest way across the Dam, by the bridge. Don't want to swim! (Image Action Photo)
I took part in the off-beat and separate category, the single speed competition, whereby the rule was: use a bike with just one gear. Starting 5 minutes after the first batch, we were a smaller group and less frantic than the hustle of the leaders, but never the less, it was competitive and funny to see, guys dressed in all sorts. Shirt and tie, ‘gimpsuit’ or is it a onesie? Julius Cobbett, renown single speeder, Alby Nel, previous SS SA champ, Paul, William and many others all in it to pedal pedal pedal.
The main goal, to enjoy the adventure of the city’s nether regions. We sped our way down the ‘spruit’, along the route most were familiar with, before turning off and heading onto the trails made up for the race. Some congestion, but mostly an enjoyable way to get around the city with no traffic! Over the bridges of the thorough fares, into the tunnels, it was a proper adventure.
in the waterways we were almost axle deep in fresh Joburg mountain water! it was refreshing to say the least on the chilly autumn morning.
The highlight for me or scariest part was the 700m traverse of the Anatomic Tunnel. Dark, lit with fairy lights and slippy. But if you thought slippy inside, then you were in store for more as entering the light afterwards where the algae grows, you had to be on guard. I had no time to react as my rear wheel over took the front and I was down into the water before I knew it!
The tunnels, many of them, ride... walk .. explore!
I’m sure not many were spared. Thank goodness for the medical assistance by RoadCover and Emer-G-Med. I hope they were not too busy.
I managed to give my competition the slip, as we found traffic on the start of the climbing towards Morning side. Maybe a little pass here and there, my lighter gear may have helped, or the depth in form from the recent 9 days of joBerg2c, but nevertheless, I got ahead and sped on. pedal pedal pedal!!
Joburg is not flat, especially with one gear, and the struggle into the Melville koppies was real. I had to walk over a couple of the rocky sections, but grateful I had the front shock on the Cube GTC Reaction I had rigged up as a Single Speed bike. I think that made my ride a lot more controllable than my rigid biked compatriots.
I cruised the final sections to take the first position as a single speed rider! Safely arrived on the sunny field of Mark’s Park. Shew!
Glad to arrive, walk across the finish and a congratulations from Big Al. (Image - Actionphoto)
The main race was hotly contested and the winner, Wessel Botha arrived ahead of Alex Pavlov and Henry Uys. I am sure it was a proper scramble for them over the scaffolding, under the tunnels and past the graveyard!
I am glad to have enjoyed the route without the pressure of a large group around me.
The Reaction, from Cube dressed for the part, Single Speed conversion, Front shock for control. Token wheels & Continental X-Kiing for speed.
Well done to the organisers for arranging super weather, constructing an exciting course, and I hope to take part in the event again.
Our men from RoadCover, dressed for the start of their adventure! Lights on, Camera.. Action!