Natty Newbie episode nine: 15 things to love and hate about mountain biking

Join Natty Newbie as she tries mountain biking for the first time. After six weeks in and out of the saddle, Natty has formed some strong opinions about her new sport. Here’s her love and hate list. Don’t forget to enter the fabulous competition to win a starter mountain bike and kit worth R19 000.

My stronger legs and firmer butt.

Cycling into a headwind.



















The bike wash at CycleLab. It leaves your bike with that same squeaky clean, pampered feeling you’d get from a tour to the hairdresser.

Cleats that get clogged with mud and won’t release your feet.

Endorphins cruising through my veins after a strenuous ride.

Air vents in my cycling helmet  – it’s midge season now and the little blighters get into the hole and bite my head. I can’t scratch without stopping and taking off the helmet. Of course, air vents will be great when the midges are gone and my brain starts to boil in the summer heat. But for now, they’re a pain.

That triumphant feeling when you successfully negotiate a difficult piece of terrain.



















Feeling stupid when I have a silly fall (like yesterday and the day before and the day before that!).

The days when my legs feel strong and are working efficiently. The feeling of power on the pedals is great.

People who cruise past me when I’m giving it my all – and they aren’t even panting!




















Splashing through puddles.

Wiping out in puddles.

My 29er (Merida Big Nine TFS 300).

People with lighter, better bikes than mine (even though they probably paid much more for theirs).

Bombs – quick fix air.



















Tyre slime on my work clothes, carpet, car … everywhere thanks to a totally pap tyre.

Well, that’s it for now. Feel free to add your own loves and hates in the comment box below. In the meantime, please enter the competition to win a Merida Big Nine TFS300 29er and start up kit worth R22 000.

Till next time, pedal on…

Natty Newbie

Contact CycleLab for a great selection of products in the online store, advice, tours, online race entries and details of the stores round the country.


Natty Newbie gets into mountain biking

Natty Newbie starts mountain biking episode two: Bike set-up

Natty Newbie episode three: Six things Natty learned about mountain biking   

Natty Newbie episode four: Mountain biking first spills 

Natty Newbie episode five: Weight watching techniques

Natty Newbie episode six: Stretching her limits in a yoga class for cyclists

Natty Newbie episode seven: How to fix a puncture

Natty Newbie episode eight: Expanding the mountain biking family

WIN Ride, Sanlam Reality and CycleLab are giving one lucky reader the chance to win the full starter kit as described in this blog. All you have to do is follow the series and answer the question below.

Click here to enter the competition. Closing Date is 31 October 2012. The items on the prize equipment list may be exchanged for similar goods of the same or lesser value to cater for individual fit. Click here for the full equipment list for the prize.

  • Naomi

    Dear Natty
    Love reading about your adventures and discovering the joys of MTB.
    Love : riding my bike, and the free feeling you get from being outside in the mountain.

    • Natty Newbie

      Thanks Naomi – so glad you’re enjoying my mis-adventures 🙂 Don’t forget to enter the competition. Luv Natty

  • Pierre.H.Scholtz

    Hate: faster MTB riders who go past you whilst training without saying hello – I thought only roadies do that…
    Love: The fact that some guy on a Makro R599 mountain bike in work clothes can sail past me on an uphill with a smile and a wave – keeps me humble

    • Natty Newbie

      Ha ha ha – thanks Pierre. That’s beautiful. Luv Natty

  • Hi Natty,
    Hate: The midgies and things that sting…
    Love: The feeling when I have finished a really hard ride with technical bitd, and not fallen off once.

    • Natty Newbie

      Oh yeah – and now the horse flies are out too. Uuugh!

  • Raine Barter

    Haha..LOVE knowing that i’m not alone in these adventures. HATE the Cape Winters that keep me indoors when all I want to be doing is riding!

    • Natty Newbie

      Thanks Raine. I have my eye on an indoor trainer for next winter. Propped in front of the TV for watching re-runs of Come Dine with Me. Luv Natty

  • Mags

    Love my axis a70 hates the people treating me like shit cos I got a cheap bike…bring it on single tracks

    • Natty Newbie

      Hey Mags – don’t be shy to show your bike you love her! But if you want a new one, there’s still a chance to enter the competition to win a Merida 29er and all the fabulous kit that goes with it worth R22 000. Today is the last day for entries. Good luck

      Luv Natty