Local lingo of joberg2c

All sports have their own quirky terminologies, and mountain biking is no different. There are berms, switchbacks, singletracks, drop-offs, dropper posts, table tops, dual-sus and more.

But over the course of a nine-day event like joberg2c, an entire new conversation style develops – not quite a new language, but a very particular way in which words are arranged in sentences –  with sub-styles developing depending on where you ride in the field.

These sentences become the go-to phrases for your nine days, a way of permitting ecomony of lip-movement and brain function while you concentrate on completing your daily ride.

Leaders in the Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category – the main event at this year’s joberg2c, where the winners will take home R100 000 – Mike Posthumus and Amy Beth McDougall are “bombing” down the trails. They did so again today, on day four’s rampaging ride from Sterkfontein Dam to Em’seni near Winterton.

Leaders in the Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category – Mike Posthumus and Amy Beth McDougall

It was a 91km assault on the senses, and the top riders as well as the bulk of the field all enjoyed a day of “proper mountain biking” that included trails like Kirstenbosch, Bone Crusher and Long Drop Pass. Included for free in the day’s riding, crystal clear views of the Drakensberg from every direction.

Along with Phil Buys, Matthys Beukes, HB Kruger, Andrew Hill, Shaun-Nick Bester, Luke Evans and Craig Uria, Posthumus and McDougall are flying through joberg2c.

They’re probably being careful not to “burn too many matches” on the long days, while at the same time riding sensibly in “busses” to conserve energy.

Meanwhile, in the middle and the back of the field, the local lingo of joberg2c flourishes. It all starts when you greet a middle-aged man.

Great Wall My China (look carefully to spot the riders)

“Hey man, nice ride, hey. Great day to be on the bike,” you say as way of engaging with your fellow rider.

“Jeez bru. Great day. But ja, you know. I should have been in B batch,” says the man with a derailed master plan. “Ja, you know. Kids. The wife. Work. Just haven’t been able to train hard enough; that’s why I’m in E.”

You nod back politely, having heard this story many times before, from the other riders and the man who looks back at you in the mirror each morning. The best response to this comment is the universally accepted verbal pat on the back – an understaning nod of the head accompanied with barely a whispered, “it is what it is, my man.”

Moving along the field, be it up or down, you move on to the next conversation piece – Mr E Batch having stopped to “check his tyre pressure” – the art of blowing.

Blowing is quite different to its second cousin, bonking. Bonking implies some sort of training has occurred before the event, and on any given day a rider runs out of steam due to a faulty nutrition strategy. Blowing, on the other hand, is closely related to time mismanagement during training (“the wife, the kids, the work”) and an overestimation of one’s ability on the big day.

“Jeez Dave, you were going nicely there, but you totally blew in the last 10km,” Pete might say with a hint of concern, but fully aware Dave has been slack in his preparation.

A “spectacular blow” normally involves the “blown” stopping dead in his tracks on the slightest incline, emitting lamentable winces when looking at the distance to go and, if the blown can muster the energy, a grunt of acknowledgement directed towards Pete. “Nghghg,” Dave might say in response to Pete.

Naturally, when regaling these tales of mountain bike endeavour to fellow riders in the race village, most will simply nod sagely, offering a sympathetic “true story, bro” in the ultimate act of MTB camaraderie.

Results day 4

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 03:23:36

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 03:43:41

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 03:59:57

Solo Men

1. Hendrik Kruger 03:11:18

2. Matthys Beukes 03:11:18

3. Mark Vennix 03:32:01

Solo Ladies

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 03:46:56

2. Monica Glover 04:00:39

3. Yvette Roberts 04:09:47

Mens Teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 03:11:15

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 03:19:08

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 03:19:08

Ladies Teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 03:34:54

2. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 04:09:46

3. Marlene Andersen and Kirsten Engsig Jensen (Team Hakuna Matata) 04:19:31

GC after day 4

Amabokke-bokkie Global Mixed Category

1. Michael Posthumus and Amy McDougall (Dormakaba) 16:35:17

2. Ben Melt Swanepoel and Yolandi Du Toit (Team Garmin) 18:03:18

3. Corinne Overney and Vincent Flueck (Ekibike Dupasquier Sports) 18:34:13

Solo Men

1. Hendrik Kruger 15:49:42

1. Matthys Beukes 15:49:42

2. Mark Vennix 17:17:37

3. Riaan Weideman17:22:20

Solo Ladies

1. Sandra ‘t Hart 18:14:13

2. Monica Glover 18:57:27

3. Yvette Roberts 19:35:38

Male Teams

1. Andrew Hill and  Shaun-nick Bester (Team Darkhorse wheels insured by TIB) 15:58:24

2. Luke Evans and Craig Uria (Sage Racing) 16:30:25

3. Gavillet Julien and Ecoffey Sylvain (Cycles Passion Bulle) 16:31:28

Ladies Teams

1. Sarah Hill and Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk Ladies) 17:22:07

2. Marlene Andersen and Kirsten Engsig Jensen (Team Hakuna Matata) 19:45:17

3. Auralia Edwards and Gina Wills (Seattle Speed) 19:46:10