I've enjoyed the increasingly scarce privilege of flying abroad twice this year. Both times with my bike to beautiful places to ride it.
What made the deepest impression on me was the scarily large number of people i engaged with in the boarding queues who were leaving SA permanently or to "try life on the other side".
There was only 1 commonality between the individuals and families involved and it was not where in SA they came from, not their age, nor colour of their skin. It was that they didn't really value life outdoors.
We all wish there was no loadshedding, no government corruption and no dangerous criminals walking the streets, but us mountain bike riders tend to focus on the incredible trails, weather and people of the best country to live in, if you appreciate life outside.
I loved the litter-free landcapes of Europe and lack of fear of attack by robbers in Namibia - but once again i returned home each time with renewed appreciation of the incredible life we lead here at home.
A big feature of this edition is the Winelands Trails which once again blew us away with joy at the sheer volume of high quality, scenic, single track trail riding we have on our doorsteps. We are often too spoiled for choice to bother to stack our bike racks and head further than we can ride to, but every time we do we're beyond grateful for the adventures. Winelands network have 1600m of marked, accessible trail - check out where you can plan your next ride then 'kuier' with mates or family. A real highlight was the massive, feature-laden skills park at Polkadraai bike park, next door to the famous Zettler strawberry picking farm. Yes that wall Zandri Strydom is making looking easy on the cover was shot there. Go when you can.
Another serendipitous discovery was the journey up to the history-rich Kzn Battlefields. If you're interested in history and enjoy exploring new remote spaces, read all about a new enlightening stage event in an area you need to visit at least once with mountain or gravel bike.
The 2023 Cape Epic once again served up some insane racing and dramatic stories that unfolded as the gruelling 8 day battle for global glory wore on. Learn about the podium riders and what they had to say. Check out the high spec weapons they rode, plus a bunch of other cool new products to purchase some winter motivation.
If you're compiling a global bucket list you'll definitely want to add Lapland when you drool over the 10 page travel feature. We only live once.
We explain why stage racing is alive and well here and we dive deep into 2 of the best with a Sani2c ride guide and a look at why PE>>Plett has become one you need to try. Then our regular comprehensive race calendar features stacks you can choose from to keep you amped through the cooler months.
All of this and heaps more motivation and edutainment in our 150 page Autumn issue that's now on shelf nationwide. If you can't wait and prefer digital to print you can download it right now, right here: ***digimag link.