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Wynand van Zyl

Hello 2016! Fare Well!
The New Year came with a bang! Or was it a heat wave?

Unless you were on a skiing holiday somewhere, you sweltered with the rest of us. Eventually even the swimming pools got so hot that the only cool options were shopping centres or the sea. And both of those were full of holiday makers!  Aah, well, such is life. As I write this, we have had a bit of rain, and things are cooler for the moment.  It is a welcome relief, not least because the potential for fires are reduced for a while.

On the club front, around 1000 people have registered as members for 2016 already.  Registrations are running at about 30 per day and showing no signs of abating. Boards are pre-printed again this year, so you can collect yours as soon as you have paid.  We expect membership to reach 2000+ this year, up from 1600 in 2015.

Along with Petie Viljoen and a couple of other members of our regular Tuesday Whatsapp group, I ended up on Jan van Schalkwyk’s Steilte trails the other day.  Generally I am not in the mood for such a lot of climbing so early in the morning, but the trip was well worth it.  They have put a lot of effort into the trails.  The climb to the top is not too hard, and the view from the top is spectacular.  The trip down is a bit technical, though, so be careful.

As you can see, the smoke from the fires at Simonsberg were still filling the sky to the North…

They offer day permits and discounted membership for Wannabee members. Go and try it out.
Then I took part in the Oak Valley 24 Hrs relay this past weekend.  We entered a social team, and there was definitely more social than relay happening.  Nothing came of the much anticipated night riding – everyone went to sleep!  In the end I did 3 ‘official’ laps, and 3 more just for fun.  The single track was lovely, and racing down them with 3 other members of my team in hot pursuit was a highlight.

Soo!  If my calculations are correct, this is my last Buzz contribution as chairperson of the club.  It has certainly been an interesting year.  I am sure the club will continue to go from strength to strength. For the most part, it has been a pleasure to be involved. Hope to see you soon on a bicycle somewhere.

Tot dan. Laat die wiele sing!

Dawie Venter

Harvest time
The backdrop to our trails is truly beautiful, consisting of lush vineyards, at this time, weighed down by dusty bunches of grapes. Remember, it is about the grapes, NOT the bikes. As club cyclists, we are merely privileged guests on the farm yards. The grapes need to be harvested and it is harvest-time at the moment. Harvest-time is the busiest time on farms in the Boland. There will be a lot more traffic and activity in the vineyards and around the farms. Club cyclists are again reminded that farm traffic always enjoys priority, and you are obliged to ride the trails in a polite manner. Always observe the direction of the trail arrows, listen out for farm vehicles, and go slow when you cannot see the trail ahead. If you are totally absorbed by watching your, King (or Queen) of the Mountain (KOM) segment, or your Fitbit, or whatever, you stand a good chance of careening into a stack of grape trays, a trailer, a tractor or the Wannabees Disciplinary Committee. You have been cautioned; please don’t ruin it for everybody, you included.
New to the club, members; aka New Bees
The 2016 enrolment to the Wannabees Cycling Club is progressing at a brisk pace, and dealing with 70 registrations on one day was the club secretary’s busiest day. MTB board number 1000 was issued a day or two ago. There are many completely new members to the club who have not been out on our trails at all. To introduce new riders to our trails, the MTB Committee will endeavour to announce at least two New Bee rides per month, departing from the Lord Charles Hotel’s parking area.

Only the parking area to the left (up the hill after entering the main gate at the guard house) is open to club members over a weekend. Please check the club’s Facebook group for dates and times of our New Bees rides. New Bees should at least be able to maintain a pace of about 8km/h and do a distance of roughly 23km on gravel and some gnarly bits. If you are a less proficient, I would recommend getting some MTB saddle time at the Southey Vines Bike Park in preparation. If you can accomplish three laps at the bike park (please do bypass the jumps and drop-off bits) you will be good to go on the trails.
MTB WhatsApp groups
I am aware of a number of WhatsApp MTB Groups, where riders of similar proficiency and time-availability co-ordinate their out rides on the trails. We will post more information about the various groups in due course. In the meantime, Slow Bees are welcome to link up with the EscarGOers group, posts are available on the club’s Facebook group for contact details.
MTB Committee needs your help
The MTB Committee has identified a few portfolios requiring willing helpers to make these a reality. Some of the vacant portfolios are: themed night ride events planning and props; club MTB event – The Monster, plan and stage; school-group chaperone on weekends; New Bee trail introductory ride chaperones on weekends; and more. The available portfolios may be expanding following our 2016 strategy planning and the availability of volunteers. Please contact the club’s secretary if you are able to assist, and I will be in touch.
Night ride
The club’s popular fortnightly night ride, starting at Somerbosch, kicked off this week. By all accounts it was well attended and really pleasant to ride in the cooler night air. Future night rides will be announced on the club’s Facebook group. To stay in touch, you may request to be added to the Fireflies WhatsApp group. Night rides are free to club members, visitors pay R20.
Lost on the trails? Scan your MTB board
The 2016 MTB boards have a small QR code on the front. If ever you find yourself lost on the trails, simply scan the QR code and you will be taken straight to our trail maps.

Errol Derrick & Kowie Strauss

What's happening on the trails?
This is the first version of what we hope will become a regular update to our members regarding the activities on our mountain bike trails.
One of the club’s primary concerns is the relationships that we have with our landowners. We have access to private land for MTB trails only due to the goodwill of the landowners. Each of our landowners has somewhat different concerns regarding their land and their business, but a common theme is liability and insurance. The indemnity that the Wannabees members sign to become members and ride on the trails, our IBMA trail markings and our affiliation with Amarider all help to keep our landowner relationships in top shape. During January we visited the majority of our landowners (or their representatives) to hand over Trail Sponsor boards and a small present. This process will be completed during the next 10 days.

We urge Wannabees members to support the wine farms on whose land we ride. A few members drinking coffee or buying wine at our farms will go a long way to keep the goodwill of our landowners.

The most annoying issue on the trails is rogue riding. Despite the potential dire consequences for the rogue riders and all the paid up members of the club, selfish people still entitle themselves to free access to our trails. They endanger the relationships with the landowners and steal from the club members and day visitors who do pay. One unfortunate accident by a rogue rider on our trails could sink the mountain bike section of the Wannabees. In very broad terms there are two types of rogue riders. The first are nice people that either took a chance or are from out-of town and are just ignorant about our trails. When we stop people like that we take a lot of time to explain the situation carefully and encourage them to buy a permit. The parting is always amicable and with lots of goodwill on both sides. Unfortunately the predominant type of rogue rider is arrogant, self-righteous and mostly they lie or offer lame excuses. (We have found two guys at Somerset College that were just riding the trails to Somerbosch where they “will buy permits”!) Up to the present we have also been very courteous towards these people but this year we will have to start reporting people who rogue ride. We just cannot afford to jeopardise our land access due to a few shysters. Every member should please assist to root out rogue riding.

On a lighter note – we have been very active with regards to trail maintenance. Errol has spent some time replacing missing and broken signs, clearing trails and weeding alien plants (especially around the Vredenburg and Graham Beck dam walls). The devil thorns next to the Somerset College fence and on Billy Visser farms have been cleared as best as possible as these were endangering our trails.

The “over and under” bridge near the water works was removed by the landowner for the duration of the grape harvest season, so we ask members to please be careful in this area. Errol is preparing a new single track near the cell tower and we are also working on access to a new area of bush land for single tracks.

On 6 February Somerset College is having a fun day on our trails. We encourage our members to support the school. Please see their website for details. We had to get special permission from all our landowners affected by this event to hold this fun day and have been met with a very positive response. The club is not generally in favour of holding events on the trails except when it is in support of our local community. This policy is also supported by the landowners.
Hannes Slabbert
Time trial Wednesdays are back! See you at Southey Vines. Remember your tag. Tags available for R100. Timing from 17:30. Offical start at 18:00.

Penny Olivier

From the road
The weekend club rides have increased in numbers dramatically as members prepare for Argus, which is now only 6 weeks away. Good turnouts on the Tuesday & Thursday 05h30 hill training sessions are reported. Again a reminder to diarise 7 & 20 February for the pre-Argus club rides. We will start from Kalk Bay on 7 February & Green Point lighthouse on 20 February. Both rides will be around 3 hours. See the Cycling Program section below.
With regards to club rides, please ensure that your green ID band is clearly displayed around your road bike seatpost. Committee members will be on the lookout for them from now on and unfortunately from 1 February... no tag, no ride. Club secretary, Esme, is feverishly working through the 2016 membership renewals, which are around 40 per day, so please be patient  with regards to your 2016 club package delivery, but on the same token, please do not leave it to the last minute.

Brian has been hard at work arranging following vehicles and we now have 3 vehicles on Saturday & Sunday rides leading up to Argus, so the fast, medium & social groups are all now covered. Thanks again to Brian, as well as Kelfords Motors, Rola Motors, Clayton Hindle & Es-Marie le Sueur for vehicles and drivers/ driving. The medium group was even provided with ice cold water from Clayton's back up vehicle on this weekend's ride to Franschhoek. Each vehicle also carries a first aid kit.

The roads are now full of cyclists, not only WB club members and  the one problem that the drivers are encountering, is identifying club members. On a couple of occasions, the drivers have been unintentionally following non-members, which is frustrating for them.  We urge you to wear your club shirt on club rides, whether the old or new one. It not only makes life easier for the drivers, but also for the callers/ marshalls within the groups. Please help us to keep you safe.

It has been a busy cycling weekend, above and beyond the club training rides.Well done to the Audax riders Rob Walker, Tom Wittenburg, Henri Meier, Theunis Esterhuizen and Desiree Naude on completing 207km in temperatures up to 44 degrees celcius. Then there was the 126km Bouckaert-Soenen road race, luckily in cooler conditions, where we had 4 club members finishing in the top 20! Congrats to Rocco King, Scott Corry, Quinton le Seuer & Brendon Stevens.

Till next time, stay safe out there, please obey road rules, let us know of any race results and above all... enjoy the ride!

Annual General Meeting
Lord Charles hotel
17 February 2016
Please save the date.  Our AGM will be held at the Lord Charles Hotel on 17 February 2016 at 18:00. Keep an eye open for the RSVP forms that will be released at the end of the month.
Last Buzz to the 2015 mailing list
This is the last Buzz sent to the 2015 mailing list. As from February, only paid-up 2016 members will continue to receive the Buzz.
Club shirts
Place your order for club cycling shirts and t-shirts today. We have a few extra shirts available; contact Esme by sending her an e-mail to

You can also order shirts by following this link:

The grace period to cycle with your 2015 board expires on 31 January 2016. It takes a few days for us to process your order, check that the funds reflect in our bank account, assemble the registration pack and deliver to Campus Solutions for collection. If you have not registered by now, you will probably not receive your MTB board, road bike tag and membership card by the end of the week. That means that you may not cycle on the trails or with a club road ride until you have registered and received the goods. Remember: no board, no ride on the trails. No tag, no ride with the club road groups.

Register here:

We are encountering a number of people who register their adult children, relatives and friends as secondary members. Please note that the reduced subs are there to assist people who pay for their spouse/ life partner or people that are financially dependent on them and reside with them in the same house. Do not abuse this privilege. You might be the cause that we will have to rethink this benefit in coming years.
Helping our firefighters
We received a plea to assist the firefighters in Stellenbosch with refreshments. The club donated R5000 and Casper Labuschagne arranged with Foodlovers Market who kindly put a great package together at a reduced price. They added a further R1000 donation of goods. When Casper delivered the goods it was greatly appreciated since the refreshment stocks were very low. Thanks, Casper, for being our warm body with this community project.
Membership Gift Voucher
Should you be interested in buying a Wannabees Cycling Club membership voucher, kindly contact the secretary at or
We require both the names of the buyer and the recipient. The club will then provide banking details and a unique reference number to use when making the payment. Please send us your proof of payment and in return we will issue the electronic membership voucher. Instructions to redeem the voucher will be provided. Kindly note that there is an expiry date on the voucher.

Volki Bauer

Get ready for the Cape Town Cycle Tour
The Wannabees are organizing two Pre-Argus rides on 7 and 20 Feb.

On Sunday, 7 February we will ride from Mouille Point Lighthouse along the Atlantic Seaboard over Suikerbossie and Chappies. The faster riders are expected to carry on to Simons Town to give them a good 3 hours. Medium and slower riders can turn around at the Noordhoek Farm Village for a 2.5 hour ride. Due to the many short and long climbs it is a challenging but very safe route.
WHEN: 7 Feb, departure from Lord Charles at 5:45, meeting point at Mouille Point at 6:30

The second tour will be on Saturday 20 February starting in Kalk Bay along the Peninsula and to the top of Chappies. This is the true test of your race fitness, two weeks before the Argus, ahh, Cape Town Cycle Tour.
WHEN: 20 Feb, departure from Lord Charles at 5:45, meeting point at Kalk Bay, parking of the Olympia Cafe at 6:30.

Hope to see you on the road.

Road ride vehicles and drivers

Fireplace doctor
For all fireplace and braai installations contact

Rola Toyota
For all your Toyota needs, visit

We offer Figo services from R995.00. Visit


Copyright © 2016 Wannabees Cycling Club, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Wannabees Cycling Club
c/o Campus Solutions
Waterstone Village Centre
cnr Main Road and R44
Somerset West 7130
South Africa

Contact details:

Contact numbers should  you need to speak to someone urgently:
Road - Penny - 083 227 1975
MTB - Kowie - 076 676 0986
MTB - Dawie - 083 376 7364
Club - Esme - 082 321 2222

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