Having spent most weekends preparing the venues for the Cape leg of the Nationals Trials, Brian and Michael decided to set up the monthly trial without doing any big cleanup. Zonnebloem is the perfect venue for this, and Brian laid out some new lines the day before the trial.
The weather was rainy the day before, and the forecast for Sunday was rain in the morning, clearing later. On the first lap we had rain, but subsequent laps were mostly dry(ish). The wet presented the biggest problem in section 3, where a slippery log at an angle cost many a dab and a number of fives.
A completely new section, over some gnarly-looking stumps, tight turns and a big jump through a tree fork for masters. Did I manage to stall and five this one? You bet.
An old standard around the big logs on the wall near the entrance to the bottom field. The experts and masters had to contend with an undercut log at the end.
Another variation on an old standard, with a sequence 3 logs, one of which is at an angle and slippery as grease when wet. Unnecessary stalls? 1
A short section at the stairs, going up the break in the retaining wall. The start involved some logs on the field, then a tricky climb starting with a tight turn, and for good measure experts had to step over a log. Michael just went straight up the wall via the felled tree.
A slippery, rocky long and twisty uphill climb. On the first lap I took the straight-up option, thinking it would be easier. But the lack of traction meant that I did not get the necessary momentum and failed to top out. On a subsequent lap my front wheel slipped out on a rock and I fell on my head. But all in all good fun.
Fortuitously a new section that I just happened to spend quite a lot of time riding on during Thursday afternoon practice. This is on the new rocky slope that we discovered after the fire stripped all the grass covering the rocks.
On the bank above the top left field. Some ups and downs, a log on muddy terrain and a finish with a floater. A lovely section that was tricky but quite safe and doable.
A new section, also ups and downs, and for clubmen a really tricky end that required you to skirt a small stump on a slippery steep slope and do an off-camber turn to make the exit gate. Experts and Masters had to manage a tricky section at the bottom of the slope in the ditch before climbing out.
(In no particular order...)
Stephen on his new Sherco, eager to get started!
Section 6 - the rocks somewhat hidden in the grass.
Walking Section 6.
Michael doing an undercut log on Section 4.
The view from the top of Section 5.
Stephen at the top of section 5.
Brian on Section 7 after crossing the slippery log.
|Mark Du Plessis||DNF|