“The Santa Cruz Syndicate are proud to announce Greg Minnaar as the new 2012 Downhill World Champion.” That was the official line from the team. Sitting with a bunch of mates and watching it all unfold, I can say that none of us could be more proud for Greg. What an achievement! We’ve been waiting for this since 2003 when he last won a World Champs. Greg – being Mr Consistency – has been so close, so many times in the last 8 years, but not on the top step.

Photo: Sven Martin Photography

Photo: Sven Martin Photography

“This was a team effort”, said an elated Minnaar afterwards. “From Marshy (mechanic) to Roskopp (teamowner) and everyone in between…. THANK YOU! I’m honoured you have supported me on climbing to the top of the podium and receiving Gold on behalf of you all.” Read More →

…in South Africa

I don’t read a lot, but when I do, I read mostly “how to” stuff, and I just started reading a bit of Guy Kawasaki‘s blogging lately. He was one of the very first evangelists of the Mackintosh Way. He helped to spread the word, that there was more to life – for people who wanted to use computers – than MS Dos and that PCs could be user-friendly. He and the other folks in the Mac division at Apple Computers must have been onto something, look at Apple today.

Anyway this whole reading thing has warmed up my brain, and I am starting to question whether the lessons learned by Apple and their ignores can’t somehow translate to the cycle industry. Do people really just need a better experience, or is it still all about price? Can you grow your user base, or customer base in our case, by creating trends, instead of just going with them? What is the next curve and should we go looking for it, or just keep fighting it out on the one we are on.

And – I guess – most importantly for me: Will South Africans take to new thinking? More to come…

…and with No Spandex Required.

So it’s been a bit slow as far as racing goes this last while, although I have spent quite a bit of time on my bike. I have to say that between getting things ready for our new arrival and trying to get a new section built on the DH track in the back yard, I really haven’t been very focused on racing my bikes. But a few months back, the friend that I rode last year’s sort Ama Shova with convinced me to enter the 106km race for this year.

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The first DH race of 2011 was the Greg Minnaar/Mongoose Regional at Cascades in Pietermaritzburg, and by Friday, I was super amped. The event was to be run on a completely new track that Tim, Morne and a few of the PMB locals had cut, and all I’d heard was that it was really fun and really scary. The rumours of a huge step down toward the bottom of the course were scaring me a tad, but I just decided that it was best to head up there with an open mind and just take it easy.

Race weekend started at around 12:30 on Saturday afternoon. I’d done the Maverick Saturday 6:30 ride that morning and it had turned into a bit of an epic morning, with the group only getting back to the shop at about 10:30 (and I was worried I wouldn’t get my full 12 hours in on the bike last week). SO with 4 hours in my legs already, I was keen to just take a few gentle runs down.  So after helping Alisdair get his Kona CoilAir set up, I caught a shuttle up the hill to have my first run. Read More →