MTB Classic & Enduro Media Release
Written by: Dave Macleod
Howick MTBers rally around local youngster
Howick - Sbu Vilakazi's budding mountain biking career
received a massive boost this week when he took delivery of a competitive
mountain bike sponsored and assembled by a passionate group of local
With the Sappi Howick MTB Classic weekend just around the corner on 4 and
5 March, the Howick local has been working for the Howick MTB Club, but
has not been able to get involved in the sport because he does not own a
Members of the Howick MTB Club took up his plight and soon the key
components of a competitive bike were being sourced, and Rod Boden at the
Howick Cycles agreed to assemble the bike for the excited youngster.
All smiles, Vilakazi has quickly got to grips with the bike and promises to
take on the 20km ride at the Sappi Howick MTB Classic on Sunday 5 March to
mark the racing debut of his new MTB.
"Sbu has been a star, working on the trails for the club," said Gavin
Ryan, trail designer for the Howick MTB Club. "He knows the trails better
than I do!
"Working on the trails is actually much more than just the physical
clearing of the vegetation and grooming the track. To do this really well
you need to understand how the trail flows and how to cut it best to
provide a special riding experience.
"I suggested to Sbu that he should start riding, and his eyes lit up,"
Ryan started by donating a frame, and soon fellow club members were
chipping in components, and the local bike shop owner Rod Bowen of Howick
Cycles agreed to assemble the bike professionally.
"It was great to see his face when he collected the bike," said Ryan. "He
couldn't stop saying how beautiful it was. It reminded me of when I got my
first bike." he added.
"I am really excited about riding my new bike for the first time at
the Howick MTB Classic!" said Vilakazi.
"I have been doing some training for the race and I am really grateful to
everyone that has helped me."
Vilakazi was keen to take on the tough 40km ride at the Sappi Howick MTB
Classic on Sunday 5 March to mark his racing debut but Ryan has persuaded
him to aim at the 20km intermediate ride instead.
"I told him not to get ahead of himself, that 40km ride is pretty tough" said
Ryan. "He is super excited, and I hope this is the start of a long and
happy MTB career for him."
The 20km intermediate ride will take the big field of MTB enthusiasts on a
new network of trails that Vilakazi has been helping Ryan prepare, between
Curries Post and the N3.
The Sappi Howick MTB Classic takes place on Sunday 5 March and consists of
a 40km Marathon, 20km Half-Marathon, and a 10km Fun Ride, with a five
stage Enduro on Saturday 4 March. All entries are through ROAG.
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
Sappi Howick MTB Classic
Logo SQUARE - JPEG
MTB Classic Logo HORIZONTAL - JPEG
Local MTB enthusiast Sbu
Vilakazi (right) gets to grips with his new bike sponsored by local riders
and assembled by Rod Boden (left) of Howick Cycles.
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