|Image by Jacob Stevenson, aged 6yrs at the time.|
It also bears mentioning that this was happening alongside 26" FS development in the 5" travel arena. These bikes were the focus of most MTB-entrenched brands yet at that time. Also, keep in mind that up until this point, the much ballyhooed 27.5" wheel size was largely missing in action. It had been introduced in 2007, but made barely a dent in the scene.
What we did not know, in the general public view, was that most companies were plotting the demise of 26" wheeled FS rigs and about to unleash the 27.5" "enduro bike" on the scene. When that happened, the brakes got slammed on 29"er R&D, and marketing dollars went toward the smaller sized wheels instead. Of course, that has since swapped positions in recent times.
The other thing I was mentioning was also a sea change, but a local one. At this time, the "South Side" of Camp Ingawanis became the preferred, or to be more correct, our only choice for trails not sullied by horses and destroyed by equestrian events. The Camp proper would still be the best terrain for trails, but as long as the Boy Scouts have it, that future is murky at best. But at any rate, it was in late 2009 when things got refocused on the South Side and much more trail development occurred there after this date. The North side?
Sadly, it fell out of favor due to the horse issues and hasn't been a thing in a decade.