Getting to know Louise Kotze!

    Who is …. Louise Kotze

    At 37 years old I would like people to look at me and see someone who wakes up in the morning with one goal in life... To fall into bed at night with a big smile on my face knowing I did my best to have fun today. Enduro/trail/Downhill does just that for me.

    Being a regular at the GP and KZN gravity races and on their podiums - What are your race plans and goals for the rest of 2018 and looking ahead to 2019.

    I believe in staying busy and the rest of 2018 is no exception. Let's see if I can remember the order of these races... Lol

    Gauteng has the two remaining Hakahana Enduros and two Dustin Rudmin Invitationals up here.

    But it's Ezelenduro in September that has me excited! This will be the first year I'll be racing. After Endurotech helped me with my entry for the Kingdom Enduro earlier this year I got so stoked to ride more gnarly, raw and natural trails. Can't wait! Woohoo!!!

    There is also the SA Enduro Champs at Karkloof! Going to be a toughie but Karkloof is magical

    For 2019 I have more of a prayer list than any big races confirmed.
    Kingdom Enduro in Lesotho would be wonderful to race again.
    I'd like to race one or two of the EWS qualifiers in Europe next year (holding my breath)I am of course going to support as many of our local Enduros as possible but my dream goals scare me a little... As they should!
    "If your dreams don't scare you they are not big enough".

    Does fast happen in the legs or the head – which is more important in racing and riding?

    Tough, fit and strong legs are essential in the mountain bike game but that is all for nought if you are heading in the wrong direction and off the track.

    What would you say are some of your weaknesses?

    Flat corners are my worst!
    My trail mates have teasingly called me a juggernaut because I start my runs so slowly and only build up speed towards the end.
    I do not sustain race composure very well if I start off in a rush, I usually overcook my ride like that. So I have adapted this style and although I might lose a second or two, in the beginning, my overall times have improved because I am smoother.

    What would you say are some of your strengths?

    I love Rock gardens and raw natural trail. Steep Off-camber gnarlies too...hehe. 
    Jumps and Berms... Oooh, love me some berms! 

    Do you have any advice for ladies wanting to get into the Gravity disciplines as some may initially be put off by the “danger” factor?

    There are always B-lines, no air time required.. Hehe
    Ride with other ladies!!!
    To tell me to 'just do it' does not have the desired effect. Ladies understand other ladies and our fears are real. Reach out to the gravity community in your area.
    At every bike park I have ever been to there has always been a few awesome ladies riding technical trails willing to show a newbie the ropes. Our MTB family is big and generous and our enthusiasm is contagious. Be brave and ask for assistance.

    Where’s your favourite place to ride?

    Hmmm.... That's a hard one
    Two places stand out in my mind that offers all the features and type of trail I love and that is Cascades MTB park (always with a shuttle if it can be helped) and any riding in Lesotho. Afriski and Roma Trading post have changed my life.

    What’s your favourite type of trail or track to ride?

    Raw and natural! I often go off track to find a donga or disturb a dassie as I track new lines across a hidden Boulder or Rockbed. 
    Not that I'm excluding the feel of a beautifully manicured flow trail sweeping my mind through the air or roosting berms (apologies Trailbuilders) of course.

    What rides/Races are on your bucket list?

    Shoh... When I sit in traffic shredding virtual trails in my mind Whistler pops up with a great neon sign!
    Northshore with its skinnies and wood features... Drool 
    Sorry got side tracked for a moment..
    Any Enduro race in BC Columbia please!

    What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

    I come from a marathon and Adventure racing background and have only fairly recently moved over to proper gravity riding. I have been blessed with a couple of results I'm proud of since starting racing Enduro and Downhill.

    Last year I was the Gauteng ladies Enduro champ. I also managed a KZN Enduro series win in my category (sub vet ladies) and finished as the Hakahana ladies series winner.

    This year I competed, finished and podiumed at the first EWS qualifier in Africa that was held in Roma, Lesotho, called the Kingdom Enduro. I was also on the Podium and received the category win in the Provincial and National Downhill Champs at Harties.
    I won the top step overall lady and category win at the KZN Enduro champs held at Giba.

    It's been fun so far.

    What’s been your luckiest escape?

    Oh boy!
    There have been so many, ranging from taking the shortcut off the mountain via sheer cliff or falling over in the parking lot. Lol.
    I keep my Guardian Angels, Charlie and Bruce, quite busy. (Yes, I named them! And yes, I need two. Although I think with Downhill they call for backup .. Hehe)

    What bike are you riding right now?

    With the help of Cogent Industries, I acquired a 2015 alloy Specialized Enduro with real beefy suspension recently. 
    The Kashima Fox 36 and Kashima Fox Float shock upgrade turned this stealth satin black beastie into something unreal. I reckon that by the time I stop letting Sniper (yes, it has a name too) run away with me we will become quite a formidable team on the Enduro circuit.
    It doesn't matter what bike you ride. 
    The only rule is; "if the wheels are turning you should be smiling"