So it all came down to this, the realisation that I had to start training for 8 day Mountain Bike race in March next year and low and behold this was the week it had to happen. The first part of the training is all about base building, which meant I had to go dig out and dust off the road bike from the garage (When will we get road bikes with dual suspension please!?) . Now some of my mates say that I live the idyllic life as to where I stay in Cape Town with regards to the numerous opportunities for activities and the closeness to work. I won’t mention names but he does travel from Irene in Pretoria to Sandton everyday… Anyway that idyllic life with regards to cycling routes has somehow change due to numerous factors and finding suitable routes to ride is not as easy as when I trained for the 2014 Absa Cape Epic.
Firstly we had the unfortunate fires in March that destroyed most of the mountain vegetation in the Southern Suburbs which resulted in the closure of Tokai forest, my mountain biking haven from my front door. It was so easy to go riding the glorious single track or climb to the Mast before or after work. Not anymore. It seems that only by the end of 2016 the forest will be open to the public again. Further that is the closure of Silvermine and Noordhoek Peaks and Ou Wapad, which hopefully will be open in December to at least give some option to force my body uphill. I also miss my rides along the coast through Kalk Bay and Simons Town as they are busy with road works and have a stop/go scenario that is not cycling friendly, which brings me to my point of idyllic lifestyle as I had to be creative in finding alternative routes inland to keep going on those long rides. I do miss the convenience of just getting on your bike and knowing which scenic route you can go on to get the distance or times done that is required.
Having sussed out a few routes I started on Tuesday with my first steady ride of 2 hours on the road bike, followed up by a gym session in the afternoon. Why I pushed myself so hard, I don’t know as firstly it was mayhem in the gym in the afternoon, way too busy for my liking but what can one do? Commitment is commitment and this depressed overweight body needs all the training it can get, as post my Discovery Health assessment the realisation of the weight that snuck back onto my pristine body was heart breaking. So day 2 arrives with a slightly scheduled longer ride and boy was it a struggle to get out of bed. Aching muscles from that unnecessary gym session contributing to the lacklustre roll out of bed, with strong mind control the only thing preventing my hands to swiping the snooze button. I knew it would be tough to get back into training and getting used to that early morning out on the bike. I do hope my riding partner is at least getting in some rides as this first part of base building through easy state sessions on the bike is crucial in laying the endurance foundation. Hopefully I hear from him before 13 March 2016. The result of these training sessions meant that Wednesday evening saw me passed out on the couch the time a 7 year old would be send to bed, way too early and fortunate for PVR I can go back and watch what I evidently missed.
Day 3 arrived and that bloody alarm went off again at the unholiest morning hours. Again that thought of suffering for 8 days in March kept my willing hands from pressing snooze and going through the motions I got back on the road bike for the longest road session of the week. Once out there one forgets about the torture of waking up and getting ready to ride. I am a bit pedantic and do ensure the night before (before I fall asleep on the couch) that everything is ready to just put your kit on and ride. Make sure tyres are inflated, lights charged and on, kit set out to just squeeze into, shoes ready, water bottles filled and Suunto Ambit fitted on the bike. It makes life so much easier if everything is organised and ready the night before and all you have to do is fight off that urge to sleep further and just get out there and experience the beautiful sunrises in Cape Town.
Now the Absa Cape Epic is an expensive exercise and myself and partner Thinus Crafford might soon be standing at traffic lights begging for some cash or hopefully some of our friends, poor and wealthy will give us some cash to help us on our journey to suffering in March. Watch this space for the begging to begin shortly.
Thanks for everyone’s support thus far and everyone that has attempted a major sporting event knows the commitment one has to have to keep the discipline in sticking to your training regime, the strain it takes on one’s family (the snails in my garden are not too phased, not sure about my partners family as they will need some patience and understanding as he would be occupied for hours on end sitting his not currently so skinny behind on a bicycle) and friends , work and giving up on the extreme consumption of ice cold beers…