I’m Selling My Bike Tomorrow…

Christoph Sauser (1st) during the 2017 Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge.
Photo by Ewald Sadie.
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The rugged terrain is part of the challenge at the Momentum Health Attakwas Extreme, presented by Biogen.
Photo credit: Ewald Sadie
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I’m Selling My Bike Tomorrow…

Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Words & Photos by Craig Kolesky.

These are the words we hear hanging out at the finish of what most say is the toughest 1 day race in SA… and in my opinion the Fairview Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge is just that.

It's tracks like these which are deceptively tough and add up across 121km to make the Attakwas really tough.  Photo by Craig Kolesky.

It’s tracks like these which are deceptively tough and add up across 121km to make the Attakwas really tough.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Every year I tell myself never gain and every year I find myself back at the start. From the first year just making cut off by 30 minutes to now finishing in the comfort zone, I seem to find that every year gets harder, or as someone told me today perhaps we are just pushing ourselves to go faster thus hurting more. Either way, if you win or just finish, you’re a winner.

The route is like a war zone, with riders collapsing all over the place, some turning back just after water points and others pushing through. To dig deep to finish takes a lot of mental strength, I thought of stopping a few times, but found it in me to dig deep to get to the finish.

This year I rode with Ashley Haigh-Smith who is a typical racing snake and 30kgs lighter than me. We had set a goal but 60km in I knew that would not happen. This race will take you out quicker than you think! You need to respect every kilometer you ride.

Craig's 2017 Absa Cape Epic partner, Ashley Haigh-Smith, taking photos at the top of the Attakwaskloof Pass.  Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Craig’s 2017 Absa Cape Epic partner, Ashley Haigh-Smith, taking photos at the top of the Attakwaskloof Pass.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

A lot call this race the “ACID” test for the Cape Epic. Many riders are out there training and testing where they are. This race will wake you up to reality very quick, but there is still time to save yourself and to work on the weaknesses.

Shout out to Dryland for stepping up the event every year, from arrival to finish we always leave happy even with the threats of selling out bike.

dory illustation1

Entries open March 2017…

See you at the 2018 Attakwas…

Early morning in the Klein Karoo. Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Early morning in the Klein Karoo.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Pushing is the smart choice. Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Pushing is the smart choice.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Bonniedale & home or back the way you came.  Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Bonniedale & home or back the way you came.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Everyone needs a helping hand in the Attakwas.  Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Everyone needs a helping hand in the Attakwas.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

It's not every ride which leaves you with blistered hands...  Photo by Craig Kolesky.

It’s not every ride which leaves you with blistered hands…
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

The small comforts, an ice cold beer and getting to take off a sweaty helmet and shoes. Plus of course the Attakwas medal. Next year it's the Ratel medal for Craig! Photo by Craig Kolesky.

The small comforts, an ice cold beer and getting to take off a sweaty helmet and shoes. Plus of course the Attakwas medal. Next year it’s the Ratel medal for Craig!
Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Celebrating the finish. From left to right: Craig Kolesky, Leith Steele & Ashley Haigh-Smith. Photo by Craig Kolesky.

Celebrating the finish. From left to right: Craig Kolesky, Leith Steele & Ashley Haigh-Smith.
Photo by Craig Kolesky.