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The second Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge will be held on 29 and 30 April 2012 at Klein-Aus Vista, the Gondwana lodge near Aus in south-western Namibia. Participants can choose to compete in a marathon of 110 km or a half-marathon of 60 km with 60 percent of the route consisting of single tracks. It follows that marathon riders have to cover 55 km per day, while a day’s stage for the half-marathon is 30 km. There are four water and marshal points along the route. The categories, for men and women, are Elite, Master and Junior.

Monday, 16 April 2012 is the final day to register for the Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge. The registration fee is N$ 175. 

Piet Swiegers

The demanding route leads through a unique landscape of granite mountains, rugged valleys and meandering dry riverbeds. Many spots along the way afford grand views of the Namib plains – for safety reasons participants will probably not be able to appreciate them, however… Sections of the route follow a historic path which the Schutztruppe used during the First World War for transporting water with mules and ox wagon to their entrenchments at the western foothills of the mountains. The fortifications on the mountain slopes can still be seen today.

Naturally the scenic beauty of Klein-Aus Vista can be explored by mountain bike at any time other than the weekend of the race as well. There is a choice of three routes: two long ones (30 to 40 km) and a short one (about 5 km). The longer trails are a real challenge, as they mostly consist of narrow single track paths through the scenery of bush and rocks.

Martin Freyer was the winner of the Junior category in the Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge 2011.

Guests need to bring their own mountain bikes. If you would like to rent a mountain bike for your roundtrip through Namibia you can contact Cycletec in Windhoek. The bikes easily fit into a car when their front wheel is detached.

For those who prefer to explore the fauna and flora of the Succulent Karoo on foot there are six different trails to choose from. They are well marked and take hikers through the wildly romantic scenery of the Aus Mountains.

Track profile of the Klein-Aus Vista Mountain Bike Challenge 2012.

Klein-Aus Vista also offers guided drives through Gondwana Sperrgebiet Rand Park for guests to familiarise themselves with the fascinating plant and animal world of the Succulent Karoo.

Links
Mountain Bike Trails at Klein-Aus Vista

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The two Namibian mountain bikers Frank Snyman and Piet Swiegers both achieved excellent results at the Trans Andes Challenge from 23 to 28 January. Swiegers, the manager of the Klein-Aus Vista lodge business (Gondwana Collection Namibia), crossed the finish line after just 28 hours 51 minutes, coming in 22nd out of 40 participants in his class (men under 45). Frank Snyman (Toshiba Namibia) took an hour longer but with 29 hours 57 minutes nevertheless won 7th place in his class (men over 45). The two bikers were supported by their wives, Sophia and Christine, as well as numerous Gondwana fans on Facebook.

Frank Snyman (Toshiba Namibia) and Piet Swiegers (Gondwana Collection) before the start of the Trans Andes Challenge. Photo: Sophia Swiegers

Frank Snyman (Toshiba Namibia) and Piet Swiegers (Gondwana Collection) before the start of the Trans Andes Challenge. Photo: Sophia Swiegers

The demanding six-leg race through the heart of the Patagonian Andes in Chile was driven on single tracks, off-road vehicle tracks and open terrain. It started in Panguipulli and ended in Pucón. The challenge was not posed by the distance that had to be covered per leg (50 to 82 km) but by the altitude that had to be negotiated: differences in altitude of between 1,780 m and 2,500 m had to be overcome every day. Of course there were plenty of downhill stretches as well, but the mountain bikers had to ‘climb’ 12,250 m in total.

Piet Swiegers (Klein-Aus Vista/Gondwana) and Frank Snyman (Toshiba Namibia) came thoroughly prepared for the event. The grounds of the Klein-Aus Vista Gondwana lodge near Aus in south-western Namibia were ideally suited for training: The mountain bike trails in the Aus Mountains are a mountain biker’s paradise. The first Klein-Aus Vista MTB Challenge was held there on 30 April and 1 May last year; the next one is scheduled for 29 and 30 April this year.

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