On the other side

The Start of the FNB Wines2Whales at Lourensford Wine Estate (Very Early Morning)

The Start of the FNB Wines2Whales at Lourensford Wine Estate (Very Early Morning)

Now for last 5 years I have been riding the FNB Wines2Whales (Wines with a ‘S’ Ryan O’Connor 🙂 ). This year would be different as I recently left the world of the bicycle trade to step into the eventing side of it. So, what does that mean – If you work at the event, you can’t ride the event. Result – a serious case of FOMO, especially if you meet up with all the familiar faces.

Got some time out on the route to take photos and support some mates (Ashleigh Haigh-Smith and Doug Bird) Well ridden gents

Got some time out on the route to take photos and support some mates (Ashleigh Haigh-Smith and Doug Bird) Well ridden gents

 

The experience has been surreal as one gets exposed to what transpires behind the scenes of eventing and what all needs to happen to deliver the amazing experience to the FNB Wines2Whales riders. Obviously, it was my first event I worked at and there were a few curveballs thrown my / our way. Some bigger than others and one soon learns how to cope with what needs to be done to deliver the result as a team with the common goal of delivering a world class event.

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10 days became a very long time at the end but as a matter of fact time went by relatively quickly as there are always something to be done or people to interact with. Early mornings and late evenings and getting to know your colleagues better over a glass of ‘water’. I was the newbie, only with Stillwater Sports for a couple of months and still having to fit into the dynamics of it all.

 

Arriving at the event prior I knew I would be camping and not too sure what to expect I was pleasantly surprised as it looked more like glamping than camping. The tent only saw me absolutely when it had to for the few hours of sleep every night. To protect the (not so) innocent I won’t mention war stories (nothing untoward) of entertaining and socialising at events. Delivering professional work is what it is all about and the bigger picture of delivering a quality event.

Super excited when your friends come visit and some are riding only for them to be very inconsiderate by drinking beer whilst all you can enjoy is a cappuccino

Super excited when your friends come visit and some are riding only for them to be very inconsiderate by drinking beer whilst all you can enjoy is a cappuccino

 

As crew, we did have some fun to keep our sanity through the stressful days of the event, one must make it fun when spending 10 days with colleagues away from home. Hopefully the “Fashion Police” know me a little better now and have fewer questions or more, who knows. We also converted some of our colleagues to be in love with the sport of mountain biking. I hope they continue riding.

Back to the training part of my blog – there was no training at all! Over the 10 days my clothes have shrunk a little again and now it is time to get back into action and start training again otherwise I might just exceed my bike’s weight limit. Yes! The food of Food Lovers market at the event was just that good. I tried to dish up less but somehow your plate just gets so full.

We took some time out from the race to visit the Bot Rive crèches with Heidi from FNB. You can make a difference by supporting us

We took some time out from the race to visit the Bot River crèches with Heidi from FNB. You can make a difference by supporting us

It has been a great and tiring experience and I hope to see some of you next year riding the 9th edition of the FNB Wines2Whales. Maybe I will be lucky enough to someone get to ride one of the events…

Sarah and Agné about to test those Levo's (Nothing is said about any falls by anyone during these rides;) )

Sarah and Agné about to test those Levo’s (Nothing is said about any falls by anyone during these rides;) )

A new mountain biker - Dominique - the smile says it all

A new mountain biker – Dominique – the smile says it all

Spending time with Phiindi at registration whilst selling those sought after W2W bags

Spending time with Phiindi at registration whilst selling those sought after W2W bags

Saw about 10 of these early mornings in a row. Get up!

Saw about 10 of these early mornings in a row. Get up!

I have no idea where some of this artwork came from

I have no idea where some of this artwork came from

Ssshhh, don't tell the podium girl I took a photo. I might get smacked

Ssshhh, don’t tell the podium girl I took a photo. I might get smacked

Compulsory event selfie. This is my happy face :)

Compulsory event selfie. This is my happy face 🙂

We made some time to get George Marx on a bike, even if it was with pedal assist

We made some time to get George Marx on a bike, even if it was with pedal assist (Specialized Levo)

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