Out there, in the lessor known upper Sedgefield valleys, some humble folk are building an expanding zig zag of suspiciously flowing single tracks that cut through the (indigenous?) forests. Now the way these things work is that any buck can start cutting some lines through a piece of land, but eventually these lines start generating some word of mouth.
To the finely tuned, these mysterious murmurs are the fresh scent of spring pollen. A bumblebee knows when the season is right he is going to have a good time. Problem is these days the season ain’t right that often, especially when you want to pull the local lads together. As fortune would have it, with the summer solstice looming, a rare flower bloomed somewhere afield and the boys caught a whiff in the winds…
Que a couple of days of old fashioned gravel cruising, hellish amounts of fun, excessive sloth-like tendencies and you have the makings of a truly fine time.
Ooo la laa, the simple bare necessities. You will notice the pure commercial poison that powered our ride, a mix of degenerate anti-soul foods was the only way to keep awake during the sleepiest ride I have had in years.
Call the cops, Jim, we found paradise.
As legend has it, a pump track prodigy (PTP) would emerge from old age (late 20’s to be specific, but when are legends ever specific?), only to discover that there is no exercise as savage as pump trackin. Unfortunately the PTP never tires, never rests and sets the bar impossibly high for us lowly scrubs unlearned in the ways of momentum.
The trails have an incredible backdrop. This was the top end of Forest Frenzy and it has the essence of flow dynamics down to a tee, setting up numerous tag races down the hill until your lungs are bashing into the brain-blood barrier.
Its not a journey with me until you get super lost and take the worst possible route, which coincidentally may have lead to the birth of Rashman, the alter-ego of PTP.
In the other frame we see the lads purely perplexed by the ridiculous size of The Step Up. Although in temporary disuse (probably because only a handful of madmen are willing to ride it) we were told there are some ridiculous expansionary plans in place…
Lazy afternoons, what a lifestyle, mates.
The local residents, the most playful, huge furbags you will meet, until they catch a whiff of your premium snacks and assault your conscience with cuteness.
Maybe it was the excruciating heat that gave birth to the Pump Track Renegade Master, but whatever the origin nexus of this character, the result was pure pump track transcendence. Sporting only inners and a backwards helmet, the Renegade was caught in an enduring battle with the PTP that ended in some very unscrupulous tactics. Surely such a sun rises more than once, so we look to the East with hopeful eyes!
Different techniques and styles are the undercurrent of any athletic pursuit. Here we see the PTP using brute force to transcend an old foe, whilst the Renegade uses the finesse of a delicate dancer to supreme effect hahaha…
Smacking the launch pad. No matter what some ultra talented bike sensei tells you, racing at a big launchpad remains a stomach turning moment and this was the perfect practice ramp.
The top end of G-Flow is pure, nasty, fun.
Flow dynamics in work. It’s a joy to ride a trail that has been prepared to sprinkle stardust all over your senses, leaving you unable to suppress the most stupid grins you can share with people.
The days of my youth will be etched on the roads of this land, for they lead to it’s energetic heart.
- Garden Route Trail Park – What a glorious venue. Located in the hills behind Sedgefield, bordering with the logging town of Karatara. Rob has put a lot of effort in creating these trails, along with his team, and the way they ride show the level of thought that has gone into them. This is a great venue for a weekend expedition so that you can sample the majority of the routes. Daily prices are quite expensive and an annual pass will be a better option if you plan to visit a few times during the year. The restaurant there makes some fantastic food and beverages. (The pictures are all from the Pump Track, Forest Frenzy and G-Flow)
- Giant Reign 2013 – My trusty steed. A very capable bike in all conditions.
- Giant Trance 2015 – More or less a reconfiguration of the old Reigns, with bigger tires. Rolls well with the knocks and hucks of the dirt empire. I definitely get envy at the extra rolling speed of the tires.
- Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 2015 – This baby is such a treat in a multitude of terrain, the only drawback being the kidneys you had to part with to afford her. Lighter and more nimble than the 2014 version of the same bike. Very much a trail bike as it is quite difficult to get into the air, but the big tires destroy rocky trails and roll so fast that your pals on their fancy enduro bikes will have a hard time escaping you.