It's hot outside, the days are longer and most of us have some time off as the year winds down. Yes please! - nothing screams an invitation to get on your bike more than the festive season down South. It's pretty and snowy with reindeer up North, but we save that cold time of year here for legs up watching le Tour de France.
This first full year of unrestricted travel and lots of loving hugs gave us the chance to spread our wings and ride. And ride we did, we only have one life and so many trails. We get so amped choosing images of trails at home and around the world, it makes us realise how short life is and to make the most of every day. A peak at our 4 page summer race calendar alone makes you wish for more weekends.
Over the past few months as days stretched out and temperatures rose we short listed our features to the best offline stoke we could squeeze into almost 150 large format pages. From bike rider gift ideas to trail taming weapons like the double world champs winning Pinarello Dogma, deep offline conversations with global and local fast-rising stars Alex Miller and Tyler Jacobs, a world cup series round up, and our trademark photo rich travel features of dream destinations near and far - creating a fresh edition of Mountain Bike is a soul enriching process. We hope this big fat holiday read does the same for you as you head into 2024.
Our writers have gone far beyond the boundaries of what we traditionally believed was possible to explore places they spent years of research and planning to ride and share with us. You will love Miroda Otto's wild mountain discoveries in Peru, she's a maverick who knows no limits, living her life in full colour. Martin Bissig, our famous foto geanius captured superb scenery in Slovenia which will certainly find its way onto your bucket list. Lifetime legend Hans no way Ray takes us spinning through charming italy while back home we joined interesting saffas like Dr Catherine Hannauer among many foreigners who love Craig Wapnick's trademark gees cruises through the remote hinterland at Go2berg, what a jol.
Speaking of home, what started as a dirt track through the ancient desert dunes near the charming historic seaside town of Swakopmund grew into a fascination and a fully fledged 14 page feature on our western border neighbouring Namibia. The ease of accessibility and unique landscapes on offer, just a short flight or long drive from home, is the reason our team opted to make this our cover feature. And yes before those who recognise me behind the wide grin and look-me-back shades, that's me - stoked atop a massive dune, so happy to still be alive and able to climb to the top of the world. Some of us like Andre Piehl who we remember in this edition are not as fortunate. After 30 years of publishing it's the first time I've been the cover shmodel and I promise I did resist :)
Copies are now on shelf nationwide at leading newsstands including Woolworths, Exclusive Books, Spar and selected others. If you prefer digital reading access you can download this edition right now at the LINK. It's the most MTB motivation, inspiration and education you can buy for R100. Let us know what you like or think we can do better. Wherever you ride, take pics and share the stoke with us by email or on our Mountain Bike Fans SA Facebook page.
Ride safely and try to pick up a piece of litter each time you head out - we can be the change we wish for.