The 2014 Lowveld Quest was a 4 day stage race hosted by a bunch of passionate mountain bikers and overall awesome people. The stages took us from Lydenberg to Haziview via Mankele (Nelspruit) and Graskop. And a quest it was!!! The race had been something I was looking forward to for months. It kept me going through the last few weeks of my term at uni like a carrot at the end of a stick. As it drew nearer, however, the nerves built up and I began to stew over who I’d been paired with for the race and the reality of her superior skill and power… well the reality was 100% true but I got lucky.
The race began at Hoerskool Lydenberg . Crowds of students cheered as we raced out the school grounds and up the road. The neutral zone ended and the chasing began as riders charged into the dust… and mud. Amy McDougall and I started off strong and used the stage to find out how we could work together through the race. This is where I found my pot of gold… in my race buddy. From the beginning till the end Amy was like a rock and a real mentor. We unfortunately encountered a hairy decent from the wrong angle later on in the stage and Amy crashed hard resulting in a couple of broken spokes and some “loose toes”. But nothing too serious 😉 We came across the line at Mankele MTB park in 2nd after an interesting but truly beautiful first stage.
I woke on the final morning of the race and just didn’t want to see a positive gradient in front of me. After another fantastic breakfast provided by the NG Kerk, we lined up tackle the final stage of LQ from Graskop to Hazyview. I managed to take a head dive into the ground going down the first decent of the day and bent my handle bars and seat post skew. I got up and could feel my head pounding immediately. We straightened (sort of) things up and began chasing again. In the end we finished up in 2nd after a tough but fun 4 days of racing. Congratulations and thank you to Dalene and Vanessa on the win and for the great vibe.