Ladies mountain bike weekend – Arabella Hotel & Spa

December 16, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

On the 6th of December, a bunch of fun-loving outdoorsy woman, made they way to Arabella Hotel and Spa in Kleinmond for my ladies mountain bike weekend. On the shores of the Bot River Lagoon, with panoramic views of the Palmiet mountain range, Arabella Country Estate is renowned for tranquil estate living in the magnificent surroundings of a World Heritage nature reserve… the perfect spot for a mountain biking weekend! Mountain biking is quite an intense and highly technical sport to master, which makes it intimidating for women and most perceive it to be a dangerous sport. When I first started mountain biking, I was thrown into the deep end! Not many women were mountain biking at the time either. I didn’t acquire the much-needed skills until many years later & I found myself a bit isolated within a mostly male-dominated sport. To ensure other women do not go through this, I decided to organise a few mountain biking weekend specifically for woman. Ladies booked in throughout the Friday afternoon and then gathered in the hotel bar in the early evening to meet one another. At first a bit shy, by the time we headed to our rooms after dinner and a […]

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Ladies mountain bike weekend

Ladies Mountain Bike weekend at Arabella Hotel & Spa

October 22, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Mountain biking is the fastest growing sport in South Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, with exponential growth specifically in the woman’s market. Ladies want to get a piece of the action too!  Mountain biking is, however quite an intense and highly technical sport to master, which makes it intimidating for women to master the sport in this mostly male-dominated arena. Enter Vanessa Haywood – internationally and locally known as the leading lady in the film District 9 and also a top model – Vanessa has moved into the extreme sporting world of endurance mountain biking with perceived ease, including completing two ABSA Cape Epic’s and the Leadville 100 miler in Colorado.  “When I first started mountain biking, I was thrown into the deep end! Not many women were mountain biking at the time either. I didn’t acquire the much needed skills until many years later & I found myself a bit isolated within a mostly male-dominated sport,” explains Vanessa.  So to ensure other women do not go through this, Vanessa has organised a mountain biking weekend specifically for woman at the beautiful Arabella Country Estate from the 6th to the 8th of December 2013. It […]

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Leadville 100 miler & Ride to Nowhere

September 21, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

I’m not even sure where to begin! The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of fun, massive altitudes, mountains, rad people and miles of cycling.. the way I like it! Half way through July, we left the cold, wet embrace of Cape Town and flew off to Colorado, the US of A – one of my favourite places on earth! Colorado is one of those special places with incredible landscapes, interesting little towns and friendly people. Ryan and I were both there with a mission in mind – the Leadville race series. After 3 weeks of adjusting to the altitude, a bout of flu and lots of training, I was ready to kick some mountain butt… well, sort of. Coming from sea level and performing at 3100m above sea level, climbing to a magnificent altitude of 4000m, is tough. Really tough. Imagine sucking air through a thin straw whilst running or cycling, and that that tiny stream of life-giving air is your only source of oxygen. That’s what it’s like. Add a bit of asthma to that equation and you basically have a wheezing 95 year old…me! 😉 Never-the-less, come race day, I put my big-girl panties on, jumped […]

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I'm number 621!

Leadville 100 miler here I come!

August 09, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

WOW! The last month and a half has been a whirlwind of note! Just a few weeks ago I was at the Knysna Oyster Festival taking part in some of their sporting events, judging various culinary competitions, MC-ing events and then of course… the ENGAGEMENT! The week marked Ryan and my 3rd anniversary and he popped the question on one knee, on the beach, sun setting over the horizon, with champagne… I’ve been on cloud 9 ever since! Only a few days after we got back from Knysna, we were packing for another epic adventure to the US and to one of my favourite places – Leadville, Colorado! We were here in 2011 when Ryan ran (and won!) his first ever 100 mile trail run and hopefully he’ll have another stellar of a year this time. We’ve been here for the last 3 weeks training, taking in the sites, visiting nearby villages, eating LOTS of Mexican and just enjoying this awesome little town and it’s rad people. I was super blessed to get an entry to the 100 miler mountain bike race taking place this weekend… in a few hours to be exact. I can quite easily say that I […]

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3 day mountain bike stage race in McGregor; 13 to 15 Sept

Ride to Nowhere – McGregor, 13 to 15 Sept 2013

July 29, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

In September last year, Ryan, Thandi and I made our way to the beautiful little village of McGregor for the “Ride to Nowhere” – a 3 day mountain bike stage race. Having never spent any time in McGregor, I was really intrigued by everything I had read about it and was really excited about what lay ahead! The race and weekend as a whole completely outweighed my expectations! The race route offered a bit of everything that both the beginner and experienced mountain biker would enjoy,  the entertainment offered by locals was spectacular, the food was wholesome and yummy, and the people (both local and out-of-town) were loads of fun! Honestly one of the “funnest” mountain biking weekends I have ever had and so family-friendly! Go to http://vanessahaywood.com/sports-and-lifestyle/cycle-tours-ride to read my blog and see photos from 2012! This year, Cycle Lab Tours will be hosting the Ride to Nowhere from 13 to 15 September and spaces are filling fast! Don’t delay as you’ll be missing out on a wonderful weekend away and not far from Cape Town at all! Go to http://cyclelabtours.co.za/ride-2-nowhere/ to enter!

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