The third leg of the Dual Bike Challenge – that took place at KTM’s RAD Moto in Rivonia last Saturday – had competitors battling it out in an urban environment. Things couldn’t have been more different than the previous leg which was a complete washout, dominated by cold and rain. This time around, warm temperatures and clear Gauteng skies set the tone, as riders worked up a sweat negotiating the tight, fast course in their heavy protective gear.
Last Saturday’s third leg of the Dual Bike Challenge 2017 was all about having fun and showcasing one’s urban riding skills. Just before the start, the DJ cranked down the loud festive music, giving organisers a chance to explain the riding agenda for the day. Here’s how it went: “Imagine your wife’s just berated you for forgetting to buy milk, so you put on your riding gear and head out to the shops. However, along the way, you get sidetracked…” Everyone laughed, even the women competitors, giving the impression that everyone present – regardless of whether they decked their bikes out in pink or not – had experienced humorous scenarios just like this before.
The course was tight, mixing up the kind of riding you’d expect to encounter when taking shortcuts across town and playing along the rough verges of suburban roads. As soon as the start horn blasted for each round, riders first had to put on a backpack and their helmets before walking over to their bikes and rushing off on their fun domestic adventure. Time was of the essence – the moment they reached for the backpack, the clock started ticking.
Riders were immediately forced into a tight 180-degree turn, before heading under the NavWorld arch and up the ramp that takes you to KTM’s fancy RAD Moto foyer. To make things more interesting, the ramp was strewn with cardboard boxes and oil drums, which riders had to weave through to get to the top. Another 180-degree turn had riders heading downstairs on their way to the next obstacle that required an immediate 90-degree turn at the bottom – a trailer they had to ride on to at the back, then immediately exit again over its right side via metal steps. After another tight turn, competitors negotiated a narrow tunnel constructed out of large bike packaging boxes, weaved through a few bikes blocking their way and then headed off to the outdoor leg of the course.
The outdoor section of the course was exactly what you’d expect to encounter when throwing a bike around along the grassy verge of a suburban road. In fact, the course was laid out on the strip of rough ground that separates KTM’s Rivonia showroom from the N1 highway. It started with a sharp left turn and steep incline that took them over four bumpy railway sleepers. After a quick turn to the right, they then traversed a narrow mud gully scattered with sleepers and tyres. Then it was a sharp hairpin bend to the right that led the way over tyres and onto the see-saw jump. From there, the only real obstacle left was having to ride up the steep embankment, hit a hard right and head down again on the cambered single track. The rest of the track was a relative breeze in comparison.
All competitors had to complete two rounds, which doesn’t sound like much. But the heat of the day and tight, fast circuit made things pretty deceiving. Taking off her helmet after completing her round, Lisa Linkmeyer, riding a heavy Triumph Tiger XC and one of iRide’s Instructor Development Program students, elaborates: “Phew, that was tough! With one obstacle after anther, it was as if I was doing a fast gym circuit. When trying to move something weighing 200 kg plus, you’re not just working the throttle. I feel as if I’ve just run the comrades!”
Near the end of the second round, all riders had to get off their bikes, grab a pressure hose at the cleaning station and quickly wash down their wheels before proceeding to the finish line – presumably to remove any evidence from “their wives” that they’d had a bit of fun along the way. – (c) 2017 NavWorld