No Speedy Beans Here – Ride2Nowhere here we come!

Two more days and back on the starting line for my favourite 3-day mountain biking event (Ride2Nowhere) and this year the team is complete with my fiancé, Dom able to ride and joining Andrew Norman and myself as we endeavour on a weekend of mountain biking fun, loads of wine, friends and great food. Not necessarily in that order.

Crossing the finish line for the 1st time at the inaugural Ride2Nowhere in 2012

I love this event and it will be my 8th year of participating (in its 8th year of existence) and what makes this even more special for me, besides the amazing trails, fantastic race village vibe, like- minded participants (racing not a priority) and awesome event organisers (Eulogy van Dyk and Con Viljoen) is perhaps the fact that I in some sort of manner have been involved since the inception of this bucket list event. Just love the whole concept and have come to know most of the community involved in making McGregor a destination every year in September.

 

My biggest fear this year is that I do not, for some unknown reason, cycle in hiking boots. Surely common sense should have prevailed by now. I am probably in my worst MTB fitness shape to take up the challenge since that inaugural experience in 2012 (And having to fight off a bout of flu last week did not help the last minute dot com training). But, hey we will be out in the middle of nowhere to have fun, enjoy the beautiful Karoo spring flowers (after all the rain) and make Paul Valstar wait for us at the finish line. Keeping him away from red wine as long as possible, if possible at all. Paul here’s to catching up with a few bottles of the red fermented grapes in the mix as per R2N tradition. (Does anyone know how to add cleats to hiking boots, would Duct tape hold it in place?) Did someone say muscle memory?

 

But seriously, so looking forward to this weekend, guiding and riding with Dom on the trails doing something we love together, suffering and up hills included on our mountain biking journey. (Patience Andrew, we will reward with cold beers). Staying at McGregor Backpackers again and our hosts Geoff and Dorothy are the best (even though they sprayed us off with ice cold water last year after the mud slide on the bike)

 

We doing it for the love of the ride! Andrew and Dom, are you excited yet!? I can’t wait.

See everyone in McGregor!

Below a few selective photos from my Ride2Nowhere journey since 2012

Help me support the McGregor Young Warriors. Raise fund on my GivenGain platform

Out in my office and Standing up!

Now I have picked up a few comments from my friends that seem a bit envious that I am out and about on my bike, as it seems to them, all the time. Yes, this has been a week of note training wise. After the (wait for it) Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Mountain Bike Challenge I haven’t had a break with loads of hours training in this week. Yes, I am tired as I am typing this and you might see some drool on your screen. Monday started with a 4 hour ride, Tuesday some hill repeats, Wednesday a 3 hour ride in Tokai and yesterday I was fortunate enough to join the 2014 Cape Rouleur Festival ride, another 5 hours on the bike and ended up this morning at the Cape Town Westin for their Movement / Activities launch and filming by KFM. Average wake up time for this week past – 4:30 and through all this I still need to make sure that I do my actual job and things don’t lack behind. So yes, it has been great being out on the bike, but it’s also tough to keep up with your work and sleep. But it’s all worth it!

Myself with Jeremy Harris of KFM and Rob Kucera of The Cape Town Westin (Who is also mad enough to want to ride the 2015 Absa Cape Epic)

Myself with Jeremy Harris of KFM and Rob Kucera of The Cape Town Westin (Who is also mad enough to want to ride the 2015 Absa Cape Epic)

Joining the 2014 Cape Rouleur Festival Ride

Joining the 2014 Cape Rouleur Festival Ride

I officially have no clothes that fit me anymore…everything is just too big. Any females out there keen for a shopping experience in the men’s department?

The Mountain Bike Challenge was a fantastic experience as it was one of the few times I got if my bike at the finish and were smiling without wanting to curse the route designers for some ridiculous parts thrown in as some route designers like to do. And then I experienced the roadie thing by siting in a bunch with the 2014 Cape Rouleur Festival Ride, a different type of cycling experience to be on other than my usual of training by myself. I felt lost between all the roadies as I missed my single tracks; just kidding it was an amazing experience to be part of this race.

With 15 days to go, the nerves of riding the Absa Cape Epic has caught up with me as whatever can go wrong runs through my head and please tell sick people to stay away from me! Mentally and physically that is.

Having fun at the (wait for it) 2014 Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Momentum Mountain Bike Challenge

Having fun at the (wait for it) 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Mountain Bike Challenge

As a former and soon to be again Fair Weather Cyclist I can’t say that I am looking forward to riding the (wait for it) 2014 Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour in the wind. They are forecasting some strong winds for the weekend and that has nothing to do with a high bean intake. But tough it out I will have to as all the hard work and commitment has brought us this close to the start of the Absa Cape Epic that I can’t let it slip now. Keep up the training.

I will be riding the Absa Cape Epic for the JAG Foundation and the focus will be on creating awareness of the JAG BullyProof campaign. Why not like the JAG Foundation Facebook Page and find out how you and or your kids’ schools can get involved. It’s free and simple – Stand Up, Don’t Stand By. You can Create the Change – The JAG Foundation uses sport as the medium to teach children to engage in physical activity, absorbing its values and benefits, in order to produce holistically healthy individuals who believe in themselves and their future.

Hope to have your support and watch out for number 137-2 at the Absa Cape Epic and riding partner 137-1, Greg James, we’ll mostly be in purple. You won’t miss us!

To my envious friends – nah nah nah nah nah nah and get on your bikes!

PS: I hope my friends Evert and Nikki has the Boerie Rolls ready by the time I get to Hippy Valley (aka Sun Valley / Noordhoek) Sunday at the Cycle Tour (Would I be allowed to have a beer at 9am?).

Pictured from left; my 1st attempt at W2W in 2011. I was dead last and all the crew at Stillwater Sports had to wait for me to get to the finish. 2nd from left, W2W in 2012 went much better with the help from Swen Lauer and Stillwater. 3rd from the left the mud wrestle at the 2013 W2W race and then what I looked like last week on the bike at the Mountain Bike Challenge. (I should get some new kit)

Pictured from left; my 1st attempt at W2W in 2011. I was dead last and all the crew at Stillwater Sports had to wait for me to get to the finish. 2nd from left, W2W in 2012 went much better with the help from Swen Lauer and Stillwater. 3rd from the left the mud wrestle at the 2013 W2W race and then what I looked like last week on the bike at the Mountain Bike Challenge. (I should get some new kit)

Naked exclusive, see me just in my Skin…

…s, sorry I carried the s across by mistake, should have been Skins. Anyway my good mate Evert Ferreira sorted me out with some Skins apparel. Really dig the stuff and tried out the recovery, what would one call it, pants? I presume they call it skins because you might as well be naked if you walk around just wearing the tight fitting apparel.

Don't have the physique of a cyclist yet and hopefully will never be THAT skinny, but love my new Skins!

Don’t have the physique of a cyclist yet and hopefully will never be THAT skinny, but love my new Skins!

But hey they say it helps with recovery so I am in, especially after this weekends’ riding, or was that mountain climbing as Thinus Crafford pushed me to my limits again climbing up Noordhoek Peaks the ‘wrong’ way. That was quite a workout, but good fun to ride with Thinus again. No photographers around so we managed to stay on our bikes and not on the ground like at the Ride2Nowhere. Back to the Skins, it is quite a process to squeeze my slender body into tight fitting material. I am still getting used to wearing Lycra in public and now this as well (No I was not black mailed to publish the Skins pics of myself, I think).

My mate Thinus Crafford on top of the world after we finally conquered Noordhoek Peaks

My mate Thinus Crafford on top of the world after we finally conquered Noordhoek Peaks

Finally someone that rode with me to take a photo of me to proof that I am riding and not just Photoshopping my bike into images

Finally someone that rode with me to take a photo of me to proof that I am riding and not just Photoshopping my bike into images

Leading up to Attakwas this weekend I am slightly nervous to go out there and test the results of all the training. I have also realised the importance of a proper diet, ensuring one eats right to train and compete. What makes it more difficult is that I am also trying to lose weight. Look at my skins pics, am I skinny yet?

Anyway, blender bought for smoothies, watching those carbs and trying not to snack on wrong stuff, living the healthy life. Trying to blend in a smoothie after each ride as they say that apparently a high protein smoothie assists with muscle recovery, I can only imagine how sore my muscles would have been was it not for high protein smoothies and Skins recovery apparel…

2014 being a new year I ventured out to Jonkershoek to go do my LSD (Long Steady Distance) ride. What awesome riding, I really enjoyed it and the single track is fantastic. I will definitely drive there again to go ride. Riding up and up just to come down with endless single track – thoroughly enjoyed it. Next time Craig Kolesky, and Thinus you must join us.

Back to my bike pics. Riding in Jonkershoek for the first time - was great fun

Back to my bike pics. Riding in Jonkershoek for the first time – was great fun

Now Attakwas this weekend looms. In 2013 I attempted to ride this brutal race only to pull out after 47km with severe back pain as my setup wasn’t quite right. This year I have no excused as I will attempt the longest mountain bike ride of my biking career. Watch this space as I will update after the event.

It will be tough!

And tonight will be tough as well as I head off to a braai and will have to say no to beer and no to carbs – what a life 🙂

Out and about. Went to watch Bastille at Kirstenbos Gardens - awesome show and performance

Out and about. Went to watch Bastille at Kirstenbos Gardens – awesome show and performance

The crew at Bastille with me, Evert, Elana, Nikki and Rob

The crew at Bastille with me, Evert, Elana, Nikki and Rob

Near death experience in Tokai forest on Friday. Earlier that tree was not lying in the road

Near death experience in Tokai forest on Friday. Earlier that tree was not lying in the road

Post-Holiday Blues

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It was like Groundhog Day – I am at the Tokai Mast, I am again at the Tokai Mast, and again, and again, and again…

So back to the grindstone we go as work started for me today. After a relaxing holiday, sweating and grinding the gears on the bike, trying to stick to the professional training plan from coach Swen Lauer as far as possible, it’s now back to reality of working and training. It was fantastic to not be woken by an alarm everyday (not to say that it wasn’t freaking 5am everyday anyway) to be up in time to train before work, it was fantastic. I suppose all good things must come to an end and I haven’t won the lottery so back to the office and the everyday routine.

December is a crucial month in Absa Cape Epic preparation and I’m proud to say that I stuck it out, no matter how painful and long it got. Even during the Groundhog Day phase as the Tokai Mast was visited on numerous occasions (9 times in 8 days (5 rides)) I kept myself positive and focussed on reaching the top. At least some game watching was involved during the mast rides, saw a snake, dassie (did you know it is called a Hyrax in English – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax), baboons, Verreaux’s Eagle (Witkruis Arend), snails, ants, squirrels and homo sapiens all while carrying my light body up the hill in mostly granny gear. Forgot my helmet on the day I had to do it thrice and sported a nice head band tan for my efforts.

Now take 5 hours in the sun and then remove the sweat band...

Now take 5 hours in the sun and then remove the sweat band…

The words of Karl Platt; “eat less, train more” as advice to riders at the 2014 Absa Cape Epic Route launch still rings in my head as I somehow trained more and ate more to still be above the 110kg mark. It’s like my body just don’t want to make me less of a man. Stubborn fat, get off me now! Or was that traditional food over Christmas at home, or quality the lamb I bought from TheFarmersDaughter (https://www.facebook.com/TheFarmersDaughterSA) or the only 2 beers I had during the break at the Ferreira’s, not sure but a fat war has been declared!

But seriously it is crunch time now and next week I take on the Attakwas (http://www.atta.co.za/), 121km of gruelling mountain biking. I sit here in fear not knowing what to expect at Atta, and this week in Cape Town weather wise, it looks like training will slightly hampered with miserable weather, just like the Monday Blues of being back at work.  Now this past Sunday I did 126km on my Mountain Bike on the road, but from incompletion of Atta in 2013, I know it will be ten times tougher – Judgement Day is around the corner.

I think the toughest part of all this training has been the reluctance to make social appearances. The problem being that I have two rubber arms and normally when there is a social occasion there is beer, and ice cold beer is good. So, be safe and stay away which is not good towards your friends and family. It does take a lot of sacrifice and discipline to train for the Absa Cape Epic and to my friends and family, please understand this commitment and my social reluctance from time to time. I need my beauty sleep and alcohol and fatty food free lifestyle for now. But on a positive note, my couch has given me permission to be out and about, other than on the bike. See you soon.

Wishing everyone a fantastic and healthy 2014, to everyone doing events they have been training for (Chantel) all the best, I know you will do well!

Here is to an adventures (with one ‘s’ as an adventuress is: A woman who seeks social and financial advancement by unscrupulous means – and that’s not me) 2014

View from the Tokai Mast on a clear day - no helmet required

View from the Tokai Mast on a clear day – no helmet required

Top of Chapman's Peak, nearly halfway through my 126km ride this Sunday

Top of Chapman’s Peak, nearly halfway through my 126km ride this Sunday

Planes, trains and automobiles…well sort off

Uhm, had to try a selfie

Uhm, had to try a selfie, well half a selfie

Now spending a lot of time riding on your own training for that ridiculous 8 day stage race you do encounter some strange things on and alongside the road. For instance one gets to witness a lot of the wildlife that inhabits the Cape area, but not always the ones we see on a day to day basis, like riding in Constantia and you see this shape lying in the road and you start to s….. yourself, only to be relieved (excuse the pun) to see that whatever snake that was it no longer is alive to slither up your bike.  Then riding this morning up Black Hill you spot a furry eight legged shape (I go slowly up hills as gravity works against me and thus have time to look around, if you were wondering about that) of a formerly alive Bobbejaan Spinnekop (Any idea what this is in English anyone – Baboon Spider?).

Or witnessing a couple in passionate embrace whilst riding up Constantia Nek, very passionate, fortunately this is a family blog and I did not stop to take photos or video, I just kept on peddling. On the side of the road at 5:20am, really?

Ever been so close to a Hadida that you could bite the tip of its tail feathers with your mouth and its feathers tickle your nose. Well I nearly was, fortunately wearing lycra (still hate it) saves you some grace as last week when riding through Simon’s Town the Hadida appeared from nowhere over my left shoulder, hovering in front of my whilst screaming out their familiar voice. I nearly sch… myself and fortunately the Shimano XT brakes really works well.

But that’s not all having to dodge cars, and experience and witness reckless and stupid drivers on the road one is bound to have a close encounter at some stage. (touch wood it never happens and since Johan, my brother-in-law got hit I started riding with my medical aid card and is extra cautious on the road, but just one mistake by a driver…) Well this morning after exploring a new climb in Dal Park, only to be chased by a dog again (It was downhill and these legs were peddling super-fast) and barked at by some loose mongrels I eventually returned to a road more traveled in Hippy Valley (You know, where the Ferreira’s live – Sun Valley) only to nearly swerve over the pavement when suddenly a dog barked loudly in my right ear. F#@$#! My heart nearly stopped. It was a dog on the back of a bakkie that clearly does not like cyclist. Or is this bad dog experiences due to the fact that I was wearing my Lance for Live bib short again, mmmmm.

What I’ve come to realise on my training rides is that one sees so much of what the world is about and that squirrels and Guinea Fowl are stupid animals. I love the squirrels and am really sad when I see one ran over in the road, but they should start to think on their feet! If something bigger is approaching you at speed, GET OUT OF THE WAY! The same for Guinea Fowls, but they seem to scatter a bit quicker than the squirrels.

If a do the coastal route through Kalk Bay, I love the smell of fresh baked bread when I cycle past Olympic bakery (having dodged about 3 to 4 Golden Arrow busses by now) knowing that as part of my training diet the bread would be a no, no. The price one has to pay.

I think I saw more wild life on my rides than I saw hiking by Silvermine Dam. Just kidding, ever have the opportunity to go to the dam, please do. What an amazing spot.

Silvermine dam

Silvermine dam

I suppose back to training in the am following Coach Swen’s plan and I’m sure to encounter many different things on my journey, especially those funny dressed joggers. Like the man from oriental origin this morning that looked like he was wearing a sports bra – still confused about this one. (Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone).

Here’s to the rest of the journey and Vik see you on the next hike. (‘Punishing’ the kids by taking them up Lions’ Head) Just kidding, looked like fun.

 

 

 

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Click on photo for Facebook Gallery of my Silvermine Walk

Back on the damn bike ;)

It has been a fantastic week! No training, no exercise, nothing! Just being lazy and of course working and supporting at FNB Wines2Whales race. Supporting fellow KTM riders Johan Labuschagne & Yolande de Villiers and spending time with my sister (married to Johan, which meant I supported my brother in law as well) driving from water point to water point with Dirkie and Henties (Yolande’s husband). Always good to see the De Villiers family from Oudtshoorn and FNB Wines2Whales has become some sort of a tradition. Well done to Yolande and her partner (Jennie Stenerhag) who won the ladies at W2W. Johan and Gerrie Beukes just missed out on the podium finish 4th in the Vets category. But enough of that now…and the race guys had it easy anyway – NO MUD!

Congratulations to Yolande de Villiers and Jennie Stenerhag winning the ladies category at FNB Wines2Whales

Congratulations to Yolande de Villiers and Jennie Stenerhag winning the ladies category at FNB Wines2Whales

When my alarm went off this am I did not really feel like going riding as I enjoyed the week of

Johan at water point 2 stage 2 heading for the amazing new hanging bridges on track

Johan at water point 2 stage 2 heading for the amazing new hanging bridges on track

sleeping a bit later every day, immensely. But hey, apparently I’m doing some 8 day mountain bike race next year so I better get my arse lighter and in gear. So scrambling to get everything right off I went and the body ached and moaned at me, why am I doing this again? But as the ride progressed and I was climbing up Black Hill I was actually enjoying being out on the bike again and for good measure on the way home I threw in a Boyes Drive Climb. Better get the intensity up!

I’ve entered myself to ride the EAI Val de Vie MTB Challenge on the 24th and better keep in shape. Can’t go and disappoint Victor Gardiner by not being in top shape at one of the events hosted by the new company he works for (See Vic, no names named for the All Speed Go event)

And then the following week of for some altitude training at the Magalies Adventure where I will hopefully be Having Proper Fun again as guest of the hpf guys. So the pressure will be on to perform and I do think I need to arrive a wee bit earlier in Gauteng / North West just to acclimatise. My slender body needs all the oxygen I can get. But seriously, I am lying if I’m saying I’m not nervous about riding the 2014 Absa Cape Epic, because I am! In the words of Karl Platt: “Eat less, train more”, but I need my food. I digest again, sorry digress again.

Dirkie wanted to see whales again like in 2012, thus see turned from the ocean and faced me with the camera..

Dirkie wanted to see whales again like in 2012, thus see turned from the ocean and faced me with the camera..

See you on the trails and soon I will be following my training programme again,

Always good to see the Hurtenator, here with myself and Henties. War stories off the bike from Marius

Always good to see the Hurtenator, here with myself and Henties. War stories off the bike from Marius

tailor made for me by Coach Swen Lauer, legend! (Does anyone know how to get your resting heart rate, I never rest, please help as the coach is looking for this)

Till next time and then I’ll give some feedback on doing a VO2 Max test – eish!

This moment made my W2W Race - Mad Cherie the photographer always in good spirits!

This moment made my W2W Race – Mad Cherie Vale, Newsport Media photographer, always in good spirits!

Crunch time as W2W approaches

With less than a month the W2W it is literally crunch time, and no, not doing crunches, although that might actually also help, but fine tuning the months of training as the base building was done a long time ago it’s now pushing hard for the next 3 weeks. In the words of German rock band Scorpions – “No Pain No Gain!”

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Trainer partner and house guest Willie du Plooy and myself racking up the miles on the road bike last weekend

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Great to see Chantel Rall on top of Suikerbosse training hard for 70.3 (And yes Thinus, I am still not smiling on photos)

 

Having swapped the mountain bike last weekend for the road bike, as my house guest only had a road bike it was back on the mountain bike this week again. Over the weekend Willie and myself did about 80km on Saturday and Sunday respectively. It was good to see Chantel Rall (Follow her Blog) on top of Suikerbosse training hard for that Ironman 70.3 next year. Keep it up Chantz – #Respect.

So back on the mountain bike before work, up early and on the road chasing sleeping Hadidas, squirrels and stupid Guinea Fowl – really. If a mountain bike travelling at 20km/h bike approaches a Guinea Fowl and you are the Guinea Fowl, what would you do…? Fly, fly, fly away, up, left right to avoid approaching disaster…BUT NO! Keep on running (yes running, not flying) directly in the path of the approaching 29er wheel. Stupid Bird! (No animals were harmed during this training ride as the animal loving cyclist reduced speed and the stupid bird eventually veered left of the way). Stupid Constantia Guinea Fowl!

As normal I digress, in this phase of training it’s important to maintain and work in some tough sessions to build up strength, but make sure you have a balance. I blame my mate Jaco Maritz for the doubled sessions I did Wednesday after work for a ride with 591 meters of climbing in 28km (Price Drive and Zwaanswyk) and then 40km this morning, just because we went to the Toad and he still went to gym the next morning. Well should I blame Jaco or The Toad on the Road for not going riding Wednesday am…

The view from the top of Price Drive, hard work to get there, but worth it

The view from the top of Price Drive, hard work to get there, but worth it

Anyway having been committed throughout the winter with sustaining my training, spending hours and hours in the gym and on the bike building up to FNB Wines2Whales, I sincerely hope my partner is as ready and committed as I am to have loads of fun at the Adventure.

PS: All my clothes are too BIG for my and hanging on my body…I might have to source a female shopping companion to go clothes shopping – any takers (ha-ha) 😉

Huge Motivation

Huge Motivation