2019 Rider Feedback

“It was once again an unbelievable experience! Thè toughest 100 miler!! I will be back next year!! For the following reasons: It is very well organised. The water points are well stocked and the people at the water points are one of a kind!! They just want to help with whatever you need. ” – Erna

“This was one of the best organised events I have done, ever. From the entries to actual event, water points and finish – everything were in place, not to mention the beautiful scenery. I personally can encourage any mountain biker to it, if you have not tried the event in the past or in 2019, do yourself the favour and enter 2020, even if it’s for the shorter routes – this is a must do and a race you can tick of your bucket list. Lizanne and myself will definitely enter 2020 (maybe we’ll be on the top step next year) and I’m sure everything will be as good as in 2019 if not better. Thank you Trans Elands for a life changing experience. You guys rock! ” – Eugene

“I decided to come down from Bloemfontein after Christo and Tanya told me about their experience with last years race. I must commend you and your staff on all aspects of the race, but I will single out the following:       1. Your attention to details must be applauded.                                               2. The water points was actually more than just water points, it was more of a oasis with refreshments and friendly people.                                             3. Coming from the “flat” Free State, I was in for some serious climbing. This is however what sets this race apart from the rest. Once again, congrats on a great event and I will try to be back next year.” – Gerhard

“Trans Elands was a race to remember. A race I will always cherish. Not only because it was my first win but because of the people and the spirit of the race. I am new to the mountain biking community but I was welcomed with open arms from my very first training ride. Training rides that were planned by the race director to ensure participants would finish if they did the hard work. That’s impressive and it shows heart and true organizational skills. A plan for everything from the very beginning.               – So for me the race started on my first training ride and it just got better from there. Admin sorting out my entry, was super helpful and then our goodie bags were awesome with a T-shirt! That doesn’t happen anymore, the race route was tough- a true challenge but beautiful and well marked, the water stops were fit for a king- a scrumptious feast every time. You could see folk had gone over and above to ensure the athletes were well taken care of and had a good time: from the very first training ride, to the extra bar ones on the tables to removing all the markers when the race was over. A genuine love and care for the race, the land and it’s people shone through and it really showed. The Trans Elands breeds a certain type of person – you have to know how to dig deep to finish the race. It shows character. A never give up attitude by all who participated. Folk who enjoy a challenge and conquering their fear. The best type of folk in my opinion.                                                                                                                – And then there is the legacy of Lex. I never had the privilege of meeting the man but you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. And Lex held some great company, who I have had the privilege of meeting. He would be proud and you can feel the spirit of Lex out there through his friends. A spirit of true grit, authenticity, genuine friendship, constant encouragement, great sportsmanship and unwavering support. A true passion for the sport and it’s people. This is rare. But it’s also what the Trans Elands race means to me and what it embodies. A special race, a special people and a race to always remember. ” – Juanita

“Dear Leon and Trans Elands Team 2019, I hereby want to thank you for having hosted a truly magnificent event on 8 June 2019.    As a recreational rider I hardly ever feel nerves when I am on a starting line, as my only objective is to enjoy the day on my bike, but this year was a bit different as TTE 2019 marked my fifth year of riding marathons and my fifth Trans Elands event. I needed to finish this one                                         – As I stood on the starting line I looked at the sea of cyclists chatting, checking water bottles, eating a last snack, setting their equipment. I thought about my meeting with Lex Holmes, the founder of the Trans Elands Extreme and  how much he taught me about mountain biking. I also thought about Leon Claasen giving the race briefing and the journey he and his wife, Christine had to make after Lex, a few weeks before his untimely passing away, asked Leon to take over the Trans Elands event.  Leon, true to his character, fulfilled Lex’s last wish.  That brings me to why I want to thank you:                                                                                                 – Leon, not only were you loyal to your friend’s wish, but with your passion for mountain biking you have shaped the Trans Elands into a top class event.  This year I stopped at 4 of the 5 perfectly situated and well-stocked water points and realized that big effort was put into working out the menus for each point to support a tiring marathon rider.  I counted four photographers on the route and unlike many other races where one must pay for the photographs, riders can simply download the photos they want. How awesome is that?                                                                                   – The presence of PEARS (Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society) was a big plus to the event. They cover events like Iron Man SA, Trans Baviaans, and the Volkswagen Rally and ensure communication where cell phone reception fails – a big plus for the safety of the event.  It was also now possible for the public to track riders via PEARS’ joint operational center.     – Although it is each rider’s responsibility to familiarize him- or herself with the route, I found the route marking excellent and reassuring. The additional orange tape helped in moments of doubt.                                        – As I was pacing myself this year, I had more time to take in the scenery.  We first rode through Loerie with aloes and a lake filled with flamingoes livening up in the morning sun. Then we climbed Lex’s Monster (a 12 km climb, named after Lex) through the Longmore forest with its deep kloofs and exotic, quiet feel. A technical section led to the Elands River Valley and the mountains and farm scenes were beautiful. Soon the climb to the Mast, with the ever watching Hanekam Mountain was done and dusted and an approximate 20km of descent to Patensie followed as a reward.  In Patensie, with its beautiful orange trees heavy in fruit, I joined 3 riders, Pierre Deysel, Marius Erasmus and Niel Louw at the water point and we started our climb up the Never Ender.  We did not talk much, but it was good to have company and hear the shifting of gears as we made turns to ride in front. We made Zuurbron within the cut-off time! Marius, being the stronger rider, opened a gap and from there Niel Louw, Pierre Deysel and I kept together and enjoyed the  jeep track, knowing that we are heading home.                                                                                                                          – Nothing can describe the feeling when one crosses the bridge to the Ferry Hotel and know that you have made it! The historical Ferry Hotel was buzzing with riders, family and friends enjoying the beautiful evening. The Ferry Hotel offered clean bathrooms and showers and the meals in the restaurant were affordable and delicious.  What a stunning venue! (Please convey my thanks to the management of the Ferry Hotel. I saw the couple tending to their staff and visitors and their professional presence made a big impact on how smooth everything ran.)                                                            – At the prize giving I was surprised to find out that there are prizes for the age category winners as well. This is a very rare, but thoughtful touch and once again shows the passion you have for keeping people on their bikes.                                                                                                                         – There is so much more I can praise you for, but to me the cherry on top was to receive the most beautiful trophy I have ever seen, as well as a specially designed long sleeve top for completing my fifth Trans Elands!” – Llise

2018 Rider Feedback

“Trans Elands is defnitief een van die moeilikste wedrenne wat ek nog gery het. Ek het al 3 keer die vol 36ONE gedoen, eenkeer die halwe, 3 keer Trans Baviaans en ook hierdie jaar die Swartberg Gran Fundo, maar die Trans Elands is die moeilikste. Fantastiese roete en puik georganiseer. Miskien het die stormsterk wind dit ekstra moeilik gemaak.” – Erna

“Thank you for a great event and for continuing Lex’s legacy.  Both Steve and I thoroughly enjoyed the race and it certainly was a highlight for both of us in our racing calendars. My decision to enter the lite event was very last minute (20 mins before the race start!) but I’m super glad I did. The route was a nice combination of jeep track, district road and some tar, making it challenging in sections with short, loose, rocky climbs. Route markers were effective and water points super friendly. ” – Andrea

“Thank you once again for a great event loved every minute. ” – Tracey

“Trans Eland Extreme is exactly that. The overall elevation does not seem to bad but considering that 2000m is in the first 80km with a headwind is no joke at all. If you want to finish the race with a smile on your face, train and then train some more.This really is a bucket list race though with a great atmosphere, beautiful scenery when you remember to look up and look around. ” – Bradley

“This was one of the toughest rides I have ever done and I’ve done Trans Baviaans and some other long ones.  The headwind from The Meadows to the Cheese Farm nearly broke me, I was getting myself through 1km at a time in 5km batches.  There were many moments during those 30km where I had decided to give it up at the Cheese Farm.  For some reason, just before the Cheese Farm my mood shifted 180 degrees and I made an inner decision that I was going to try and finish; that the organizers would have to physically pull me off the road to stop me from finishing whether I was within the cut off times or not.  At the Mast the view was spectacular and so worth the pain, I knew there had to be some downhills and boy did I enjoy them especially with the wind behind.  At Patensie, I knew I could do it within the cut-off times and so even though it was not plain sailing and the legs were screaming there was motivation to keep going to the end.  In the mood of Jens Voight #shutuplegs.  Thank you for organizing the opportunity and I will certainly promote the race up in Gauteng. ” – Chandre

“Just wanted to touch base to say thanks for a truly exceptional event on Saturday. It all came together right at the end for me to take part and I am so pleased that I did. We are a dof bunch so I think most of us have by now forgotten how damn hard it was trying to get down the Elands Road. Hopefully now only the good bits lingering in our memories. Like getting to the top of the tower climb. That view of the rolling mountain tops from who knows where? Not to mention the last 4km of tar and the well stocked water points. A big thank you and will be back next year.” – Craig

“Our friend and founder of The Trans Elands mtb race, Lex Homes, would have been so proud of the Trans Elands race and organizers this year. We lined up on the start line on Sat 9 June on a chilly, but lovely morning in front of the Ferry hotel, very excited to start with our 60km short Trans Elands. The atmosphere was festive and everybody in a good mood and anxious to start. After a few kilometres on the tar road, we turned onto an undulating gravel road, beautiful among some farms, so refreshing after a bit of rain during the previous few days. At the watering points we were greeted with big smiles, enough nutrition and lots of encouragements. We had to endured a few challenging climbs, just to add to the fun!! Then after the 2nd water point, it was all the way back to the Ferry hotel with a bit of a cross wind to remind us that we are around the Windy City. Then the last few kilometres on the tar road took us back to the Ferry Hotel to the end. We were received with huge support of all the organizers and other supporters!! What a lovely race, atmosphere and turnout! I know that Lex Homes would have been so proud and happy!! We will certainly enter again next year! This is worth every cent we paid for this event, hope to see even more people next year!” – Salome

“Once again, this year’s race was as tough as it gets. I was so thankful for all the pre training  rides that were organised by the KID group. This year was my 3rd TTE extreme and I was surprised to have done so well, but I could not finish at my set target of the 8 hours or better. Unfortunately I had picked up a sinus infection prior to the race that compromised my performance. Well then I will have come back next year to have another attempt at the 8 Hour target.  Well done to all in keeping this event going, definitely going to become one of the year’s top MTB races. The best Trans Baviaans preparation rides around.” – Ian

“Me and Christo definitely will do the race next year again. We will be more prepeard though. It is definitely a race to be ridden and is testing every part of you throughout the route. I think with the wind and the climbing it makes the race unique and interesting. The waterpoints are fantastic and the people who are helping there is so friendly and kept us motivated. Its a race we will definitly promote for you on this side. Thank you for all the effort that you put into it.” – Tanya

Photo Galleries

160km "extreme" 2019 @ Lex's Monster KOM point, photos by Richard Pearce
160km "extreme" on route, photos by Amucia Buchner
160km "extreme" 2019 - finisher photos, by Chris Scott
60km "lite" 2019 - finisher photos, by Chris Scott
30km "mini" 2019, photos by Chris Scott
"mini" "lite" and "extreme" Prize Giving 2019, by Chris Scott