2 years ago

Dirt and Trail Dec 2019

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South Africas Enduro, Adventure and MX magazine.

Battle of BasaltIt’s

Battle of BasaltIt’s awesome to see that the guys up North are busy with motorcycles. Mercia Janssen recentlywent along to an enduro event hosted in Zambia. She sent us the story...Livingstone is better knownas a tourist destination. Weare proud to have the ZambeziRiver on our Southern Border.This river carves its way fromWest to East flowing overthe scars in the Basalt rockcreating the mighty VictoriaFalls and the gorges belowthat are famous for some ofthe best white water rafting inthe world. With the advent ofBatoka Gorge Dam being built anew road was built to the damwall site allowing easy accessto otherwise treacherousterrain,that is if you drive a car!This incidentally hastened theway to some of the best enduroterritory in Zambia. Welcometo Battle of the Basalt. This isthe new Livingstone Motor Bikefestival circuit.As with all new events,there are heaps of planning,changes in plans, unknownsand finance issues. Motulstepped up to the plate andwith its generous donationshelped make this eventhappen. A huge thank you toMercia Jansen and her team!Last but not least is the courseitself!Carving out this coursefrom virgin land was by nomeans easy. It was timeconsuming, very, very hot attimes requiring numerous visitsresulting in damaged bikes,tired and sore bodies and atthe end a fantastic course. It isa very testing course which allof the riders will concur with.To the EventKicking proceedings off wasa mass ride comprising ofenduro bikes, touring bikesand classic cars. The ridepassed through the main streetof Livingstone towards theVictoria Falls. The whole ridecrossed the mighty VictoriaFalls Bridge and then returnedover the bridge to the VictoriaFalls Waterfront which is thehost venue for proceedings!The route passed throughthe Mosi-O-Tunya National78 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

Park where animals have rightof way. Participants wereprivileged to be stopped by aherd of elephants crossing themain road. Not many riderscan boast seeing elephantswhen on their bikes.Saturday morning saw theriders actually get onto thecourse after scrutineering. Asthis was a brand new courseit was agreed that riders wereallowed a siting lap.The Livingstone MotorbikeFestival welcomed riders fromall the four corners of Zambia,Zimbabwe, Botswana and asfar afield as South Africa. Weespecially welcomed TravisTeasdale and Darren Gray.During the siting lap Travisgave some invaluable pointersto riders and was an inspirationto all.Sunday Race DayAll the riders took off withenthusiasm having had thesiting lap the day before.The top ranked Zambianrider Thomas Reeve whowas leading the race on lap 2suffered broken clutch coverand DNF. Travis Teasdaleunfortunately also had toretire. This left the field wideopen. This was a 2 lap race,with 32km per lap. Winners ofthe A1 Category were JesperLublinkhof, Dave Reeve andDarren Gray. We alwaysfocused on the winners butit’s all the rest of the riderswho make up the numbersultimately making the eventpossible. One person inparticular stands out! LamiaHepplethwaite - a teenage girl!She was overwhelmed by theterrain, physically exhaustedbut persevered to finish therace, and she was cheeredacross the finish line byeveryone.We should not forget ouryoung ones; they had their ownlittle track, and it was awesometo see the determination andgrit in their little faces.Check out our website, follow us on facebook andon instagram.See you all at next year’sevent.Quote of the race - JoStallman - DON’T STALL MYFRIEND.DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 79