Sabie Valley Rider Academy Sand Riding Course – Kosi Bay 2021
Riding sand is a skill that divides Adventure Bike riders into 2 categories- those that are terrified of sand and will avoid it at all costs, and those that want to ride sand but will always have a healthy respect for the loose stuff. Even the most advanced sand rider will secretly tell you that you must always respect the “Sand Monster” as with no notice you can get a serious wobbly when you least expect it.
Sabie Valley Rider Academy offers Sand Riding Courses in Kosi Bay in the winter months when it is relatively cooler in that hot part of South Africa. The 3-day course starts with a session in a prepared field, where participant get the opportunity to practice foot peg inputs, vision, use of throttle and rear brake to become masters at riding in sand. After a short out ride, the participants and instructors give feedback as to successes, and where improvements can be made, followed by good food and discussion around the fire pit.
The following day the sand field is revisited with improvement becoming apparent as the skills required to ride sand become more natural. After breakfast, the group ride a route via the Kosi Bay lakes with the terrain alternating between soft sand and hard pack, giving the riders the opportunity to recover after each sandy section. “Heart Break Hill” always offers an interesting experience with riders having to keep momentum with plenty of throttle while maintaining steering through foot peg inputs, always challenging. After visiting a viewpoint that overlooks the lakes the riders head back to the lodge for a refreshing swim and lunch. The afternoon is spent in a more relaxed manner with a guided tour to the Kosi Bay Lagoon where the local traditional, sustainable fish traps are explored and explained. The excursion culminates with sundowner beers and a swim on the beach overlooking the mouth of the lagoon.
The last day consists of a ride skirting the Isimangaliso Park to Lake Sibaya, offering a mix of hard roads, faster open sand sections and slow soft section between the gum tree plantations, giving the participant ample opportunity to hone their newfound sand riding skills, with confidence paying off when the sand is ridden a bit faster, the bikes become more stable. But also, the riders have acquired the tools to ride slow through thick technical sand by using correct body posture, throttle, and rear brake. Lunch is a braai on the banks of the stunning freshwater lake Sibaya with ample opportunity to swim in the crystal-clear water. The ride back to the lodge is pure bliss with riders commenting that the cementing of skills during the outrides is what makes the course such a valuable learning experience.
The naysayers always insist that Adventure Bikes should not be ridden in soft sand, Sabie Valley Rider Academy will show you that it is possible and rewarding, once you have acquired the skills. Visit rideracademy.co.za for more info.