CrankChaos – Top Tips for Riding at Altitude

Photo credit: Dom Barnarnt

Want to know what it is like at the top? The real top. 3,222 meters to be exact. Then CrankChaos is the place to be.

CrankChaos is mountain biking festival extraordinaire that takes place at the majestic Afriski Mountain Resort, situated in the heart of the Drakensberg-Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, from the 31 October – 3 November 2019.

CrankChaos, one of the unique biking events on the continent, is quickly establishing itself as the ultimate test for enduro and gravity riding featuring some of the biggest and most experienced names on the Southern African riding scene.

What is it like at the top? As all previous riders of CrankChaos will tell you, once you start approaching the peaks of the majestic Maluti mountains, things start to feel a little bit different. The altitude has always been a part and parcel of the CrankChaos challenge and is just one of the things that makes it so enthralling.

Here are some tips on riding at altitude, so you can avoid the worst and maximise the fun: Drink Up – Your H2O requirements can actually be a bit higher at high altitude than they are at sea level. The reason? Super low humidity.

This means you lose more water out of your skin, your breath, and your sweat than usual. Make sure you get in those 8 glasses plus a day – even if you don’t feel thirsty!

Fuel Your Adventure – Make sure you are loading up on the delicious selection of carbs. You need more carbohydrates at altitude, because your metabolism is working faster. A little extra salt, to combat dehydration and extra iron rich foods to keep that blood and adrenaline pumping.

Take it Easy – With lower oxygen levels your physical abilities may get a little strained, a little earlier than usual. If you’ve done 20 runs and you’re feeling a little flat, take that break at the Gondola Cafe before heading back up.

Enjoy the View – If you find yourself pedalling uphill you’ll work really hard to ride really slowly! You should just take your time and marvel at the awesome scenery you’re riding in. The rewards at the top are well worth the effort.

Altitude is no playground, unless of course you are at CrankChaos. Those beautiful, Maluti mountains are the perfect backdrop for what is fast becoming a staple of the SA MTB calendar.

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