Trail Blazing in South Africa

Photos Eric Palmer
Date Apr 23, 2016

What do you do when you think mountain biking has gotten too serious for your own good? Break out the jokes, and take mick out of it. A group of riders from Cape Town have exactly the right idea, and put together a little shindig to share called “Trail Blazing.”


Get away from the serious side of MTB & come have a laugh with the Trail Blaze Crew!

Get away from the serious side of MTB & come have a laugh with the Trail Blaze Crew!

A few of the boys in CT decided that MTB is getting taken way too seriously these days, with everyone worried about the latest trend and looking sexy in their new kits. So Trail Blaze was born. After lots of discussion and banter, the boys; Duran van Eeden, Roman Kumpers, Theo Erlangsen, Justin Novella, Thomas Sandell and I decided that the awesome trails on Helderberg would be our first stop to blaze on their trail bikes!

Trail Blaze HQ, Duran's hut is on the mountain, so was a perfect meeting spot. Almost too perfect, so much so we made the meeting time 8am and only made it to the trails at 11 haha.

Trail Blaze HQ, Duran’s hut is on the mountain, so was a perfect meeting spot. Almost too perfect, so much so we made the meeting time 8am and only made it to the trails at 11 haha.

After lots of bike fixing, waiting for stragglers and procrastination, we eventually got to the top. Chilling with the best view and the best guys... doesn't get much better!

After lots of bike fixing, waiting for stragglers and procrastination, we eventually got to the top. Chilling with the best view and the best guys… doesn’t get much better!

Duran is chief builder at Helderberg and transformed into chief Rasta to blaze the trails extra hard! Being careful not to get stoned in the rock garden!

Duran is chief builder at Helderberg and transformed into chief Rasta to blaze the trails extra hard! Being careful not to get stoned in the rock garden!

Dust, trains, roost and laughs... The recipe for awesomeness.

Dust, trains, roost and laughs… The recipe for awesomeness.

“Bringing the fun back into MTB in the super serious times of Enduro, lightweight, wheel size, matching kit, with the biggest shredders!” – Justin

Doobran smoking a corner!

Doobran smoking a corner!

At the end of summer the trails turn to talcum powder! Roman getting stuck in and finding landmines with his metal detector.

At the end of summer the trails turn to talcum powder! Roman getting stuck in and finding landmines with his metal detector.

Theo getting a bit loose testing the limits of his Capra... look at that fork!

Theo getting a bit loose testing the limits of his Capra… look at that fork!

Sometimes you just need to throw stunts mid corner! Justin's pump tuck practice coming in handy.

Sometimes you just need to throw stunts mid corner! Justin’s pump tuck practice coming in handy.

Justin smashing out a beaut of a one-foot table for all the babes in Cape Town.

Justin smashing out a beaut of a one-foot table for all the babes in Cape Town.

Trail Blazin'

Trail Blazin’

As the sun started to set, the wind dropped almost completely. Back to the jumps for the last light. Justin loves synchronized shots and I always get scared, because we often do them in the best light and they can take a while to get the spacing dialed in and I don't want to waste light. With the boys it's never a problem and after doing three in the last few years with him, we have a clean second go success rate and this was no different.

As the sun started to set, the wind dropped almost completely. Back to the jumps for the last light. Justin loves synchronized shots and I always get scared, because we often do them in the best light and they can take a while to get the spacing dialed in and I don’t want to waste light. With the boys it’s never a problem and after doing three in the last few years with him, we have a clean second go success rate and this was no different.

“Just a couple friends getting together to roost turns and send hucks for the love of riding bikes, with the best photographer and videographer to document the radness.” – Justin

A bunch of lunatics, riding the right stuff on the wrong bikes is the best time you could have. Thanks to the boys for shredding and thanks to cSixx for their support and helping with shuttling, parts and sending their driver/mechanic, Alex (Gini please!) to help our silly ideas come to life. To Duran for making such epic trails and jumps for us to play on. Hope you enjoyed and stay tuned, there is more where this came from!


Not a bad way to spend the day!

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