The fun-loving Fogg family is comprised of a powerhouse husband and wife duo, Devlin and Katie, as well as their two beloved children, Sophia (age 9) and Joshua (age 7). From their shared love of the great outdoors, to their passion for mountain biking, this local Midlands family are literal trailblazers!
Growing up amongst the beautiful natural surrounds of Hilton, Katie always knew that she would one day return to her Midlands roots. While living in Oxford, she met her now-husband, a born and bred Durban boy named Devlin Fogg. The couple lived in Oxford for a while before relocating to Durban, where their family of two soon doubled in size! Katie’s lifelong desire to raise her children in the lush, green Midlands countryside resulted in the Fogg family’s move to Karkloof – a decision which greatly benefited the entire family. Today, both Katie and Devlin run successful businesses in Hilton. As for the youngest Fogg members, when they aren’t on the trails with their spirited parents, Sophia and Joshua are diligent students at Howick Prep School.
- What inspired your family’s passion for mountain biking?
Devlin has loved mountain biking since he was 17 years old. Through his love for the sport, the rest of the family have come to love riding as much as him! The kids were on bikes in some form as soon as they could sit up by themselves!
2. Describe the individual roles you play in your business
We each run our own businesses. Devlin owns Yonda Finance, which helps people to finance bicycles (they are so expensive now!). He also runs “On the Trail”, which films biking destinations in South Africa and across the world. I (Katie) own the “BERG 100 MTB race”. Devlin started the race nine years ago and I took over two years in and I have been managing the race ever since. This popular mountain biking race draws nearly 900 riders every year, making it the biggest one-day marathon event in KZN. Together, Devlin and I have just launched our new race, “Highland 100” in Clarens, Free State. We try to do each event over a long weekend so that we can organise a beer tent and a live music festival in the evening. It is truly an incredible weekend away with friends and family!
3. As a family who loves the great outdoors, what do your weekends look like?
We are constantly in pursuit of adventure, and if our bikes can be involved somehow, our escapades become that much better! We love to take our kids riding on the weekends. Sophia, in particular, LOVES being out on the trails in Karkloof surrounding our home. Both kids have been riding “fairy-wheel free” since they were two and a half to three years old, and their respective skills are truly impressive.
4. What goes into the organisation of a mountain biking event?
We both have several years of event organising experience under our belts, and with Katie’s precise attention to detail, we have become a remarkably efficient team. I (Devlin) concentrate on the route design and work to ensure the safety of riders and runners on the trails. Katie handles all of the admin and sponsorships, but it is her unique personal touch and invested involvement that really transforms each of the events that we organise.
5. What is the most challenging part of your job?
Everything! Juggling many balls, being a parent, running your own businesses, taking on the risk of running your own business, etc. The buck also stops with us; there is no guaranteed paycheck every month, but the rewards and flexibility of our lifestyle is great.
6. Why is the Midlands an ideal environment to go mountain biking?
We are surrounded by the most incredible trails in the Midlands. Karkloof and Howick are renowned nationwide for their groomed, flowing trails, and we have the privilege of living with those trails on our doorstep! From easy gravel roads to fast flowing single tracks, it is all right here! Plus, we have amazing coffee shops and restaurants nearby to stop by afterwards!
7. What sort of skill, equipment and gear would the layman require if they were to embark on a mountain biking trail for the first time?
You don’t have to have the latest, greatest bike and gear to be able to enjoy riding and be out on the trails. It certainly helps, but that can come later. As a bare minimum, a basic bike and a helmet are all you need. But, remember: no helmet, no ride.
8. For people who have never attempted a mountain bike trail, what is the appeal of the experience?
There is nothing better than being outdoors while you exercise, the fresh air, the wind in your face, the unexpected animals you come across, the huge trees, the smells, etc. We love the outdoors, so being on our bikes in the forest is amazing!
9. What is it like to work together as a husband and wife team, in pursuit of your joint passion for mountain biking?
We each have our areas in which we are particularly skilled, and by focusing on those personal skills (without stepping on each other’s toes!), we have managed to make working together a wonderful and successful experience. Our goal in life is to travel, enjoy the outdoors and encourage our kids to do the same. We strive for the best, so that we can “travel” the best!