Hey Holla: Q&A with Toni Pedro

This month we’re chatting to a long-standing Holla Trails member, Toni Pedro (regulars will know his face). Read our Q&A catch up with Toni…

Where do you live? I was born on a small farm on the south of Portugal called Palma, and came to South Africa at the young age of 14, I now reside in Westville!

How did you get into riding? was fascinated by the bicycle at a young age and started riding on the farm roads at 8 years. As I was a small kid and my Uncles bike was big, I fitted myself between the frame and peddled sideways to get the bike going… and that is how the love for cycling and bicycles came about!
How long have you been riding at Holla Trails for? I have been riding at Holla and Sugar Rush since the start of these beautiful trails… I still remember the first time i rode here, it was what is now the Silver and Blue mixed trail (I think). It was THE trail:  technical single track, rocks, drops, it had everything, so I got hooked! I loved it then and even more now 😉

How have the damages from the floods affected your riding? I came here the Friday before the floods and had a fantastic time in the forests around Holla, and even took a video. The following week I was here and could not believe the devastation, the same places I rode a couple of days before had disappeared, but we have to turn a negative into a positive action. Which means, there will be new and revamped trails, new experiences and new challenges on the trails. I just love it.

What is your favourite trail at Holla? I don’t have a favourite because I mix and match the trails to my mood or the skill and fitness level of the groups I take out riding, but if I had to choose I would say Purple.

I believe you are into your classic bikes, tell me more about this? How did you get into it? How often do you ride? I love bicycles, all aspects of them, but classic bikes have a special place in my heart. I have been collecting, restoring and riding them for many years. I love the components, the colours, the way they ride and feel, and most of all the history and stories they come with. I ride them often and even here at Holla. I can remember once riding an 80’s racer on the Pink trail just before the contour and 2 mountain bikers stopped and asked me “Are you lost? The road is on the other side.” I said “no, not lost, just loving it!” and continued flying down hill, they must’ve thought I was a crazy old man. There are a lot more stories but time is short.

Do you have a group of riding buddies and who are they? I have a lot of riding groups, here are a few I guide and ride with: the Love2Ride MTB group, the Classic Steel and Vintage group, the Vintage MTB SA group and EMBA!

What do you love most about Holla Trails? There is more than one thing I love about Holla, here is a few: the way the Trail Head staff greet you when you arrive, always fun, helpful and smiling, you just feel at home and welcome, the way the routes are kept, a big thank you for their hard work, also you can link most of the trails to make a totally new ride for an amazing and funtastic experience.

What is your most memorable ride? If I have to go back and re-live my most memorable ride at Holla it has to be the 1st Vintage MTB ride in KZN (maybe even in SA) held here after Covid, that was something I will never forget, especially peoples faces when they looked at the bikes and us and must have thought these old nutters are bonkers man 😉

Any tips or advice for others wanting to get into classic bikes or mountain biking in general? I always tell people, the best way to enjoy nature is by bicycle, but it’s even better when it’s on a classic…

Parting words of wisdom? 
Veins and arteries
are the road maps to my heart
but the gravel and trails…
are the roads to my happiness