Mountain Biker of the Week – Heleen Els

Heleen Els IMG SugarRush 2013How did you get into mountain biking? Strange story. I use to be a squash player but was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2011. I got told to get another form of exercise because squash cannot be no more. So I chose mountain biking. After much deliberation the Dr agreed and then it all started

How long have you been riding? First race was in November 2011

What is your favourite distance to ride and why? I have been limited with the distances I could do so far. At this stage the longest ride was a 25km. That is quite nice and my favourite so far but I would like to do at least a couple of 40’s. I think that it tests both physical and mental strength

Who is your biggest mountain biking inspiration and why? All these small kids who participate in the 10kms events and finish it! I think that is incredible.

What is your biggest or best mountain biking achievement? What are you most proud of? My biggest achievement – never gave up in a race as yet. Finished each and every one I have started so far. My proudest moment was actually finishing my very first race. That was the Lynford Classic and I thought I was going to die….

What is your favourite mountain biking quote? Pain is weakness leaving the body

Where is your favourite place to ride and tell us why? I love to ride in nature reserves. One cannot get closer to nature than that. And if you happen to look up and be lucky enough to see game then it’s so much better

Why do you ride? To not become a weak pitiful old woman who sits at home knitting

What has been/is your biggest mountain biking challenge and how did you/ do you overcome it? Again this was to complete my first race. We were not sure how my heart would react to this type of exercise. The only way to find out was to get out there and get the job done. It was awesome

What is the biggest life lesson mountain biking has taught you? Nothing in this world is impossible. It is only impossible if one makes it so

What race/s  is/are on your bucket list? Desert Knights in Namibia & Dusi2c in SA. Both are stage races and I absolutely have to do them

Who is your dream mountain biking partner and why? Isabel Moolman. In her age category she is one amazing cyclist. And I think she has the ability to pull one up with her

What do you love about mountain biking? Getting out in nature, meeting lots of like-minded people and getting some exercise at the same time. Jackpot

How do you deal with disappointment or injury from a mental perspective? It is very hard for me. I am nursing a calf injury at the moment and I’m going nuts sitting at home while everybody else is having a ball out there

What is the number 1 tip you would give to a brand new mountain biker? If I can do it, so can you. Just get on your bike and do the distances you are comfortable with, regardless what other people say

Do you use any mountain biking apps or gadgets? If so what is your favourite and tell us a bit about it? I am a fool for optional extras. So my Xmas gift to myself will be a Bryton 500. It looks feminine and nice and I am sure it works equally well J

Where can we find you on socials networks? (Twitter/facebook/blogs) Everywhere.   and  . The blogs will only come when I am rich and famous…

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