Hey Holla: Q&A with Legend Les Warr

At Holla Trails we have a good incentive for you to stay fit when you get older. You get a discount when you are over 60, but it gets even better when you are over 70… it’s FREE! You may say that is cheap marketing as there is hardly anyone over 70 that is still riding a bike on a trail. Actually 5% of our members are over 70 and hit the trails regularly. 15% of the legends are female, which is the same ratio as in the other age groups. This month we talk to Les Warr, one of the legends that is as passionate about cycling today as when he started riding.
How long have you been riding for? I started riding bikes to get to school but the bug really bit when my son Andy started racing mountain bikes. I started riding mountain bikes, then racing and have been involved with all aspects from organising races to building trails.

Are you still racing? My last race was at Karkloof in 2016, but I may still enter a race, especially if it is at Holla Trails. 

What is your favourite route? I like to mix it up but I tried the new Pink and I really enjoyed that, well except for the steep climb, but I am sure I will nail that on my next ride. My route choice also depends on if  I am riding alone. in that case I choose a less technical route. 

Most people from your age are playing bowls or golf, what keeps you going? It keeps me fit and keeps me stay connected with people and the world of cycling that I am passionate about.  

Do you have tips for older riders? Cycling keeps you healthy but it takes discipline and a healthy lifestyle too; stretching, a bit of weight training and a healthy diet with chicken and fish, veggies and fibers. For riding, the most important is that you sit comfortable on your bike. Your body changes over time and your bike should be adjusted accordingly, so a proper bike fit is money well spent. Make sure your bike is well maintained. Confidence on a bike is important when you ride an obstacle, but if you are not sure, walk it first. Also very important: stay well hydrated. 

Lastly, what is the secret to keep riding until over 70 (younger riders pay attention)? For the younger generation it should be easy to keep on riding until they can claim their free membership. All is available to make it possible: healthy food, medical knowledge, training plans and of course great trails, you just need the discipline to make all of this part of your life style.