A Rap Over The Knuckles

Yes I am guilty, guilty of many various things, one being not regularly updated this blog and the other not training as disciplined as I should be. (If you were a cannibal and on the Banting diet (Low Carbs, High Fat) my body currently have the fat required for fitting into the dietary requirements). When in primary school (in the previous millennium) we had a maths teacher and as they tended to do is try and teach their pupils the multiply tables. We got tested weekly and for every mistake you got rapped over the knuckles (now fortunately I was great at maths and rarely had to feel this pain – yes I am boasting – but it was some way of motivating us pupils to study and learn what was required, but enough said of that method of teaching where mistakes was punished with pain.

I went out riding this last Saturday and my research has confirmed that the current Table Mountain habitual conditions were conducive to the successful relocation of Polar Ice Bears

I went out riding this last Saturday and my research has confirmed that the current Table Mountain habitual conditions were conducive to the successful relocation of Polar Ice Bears #BlockHouse

Anyway I had a real deep look at myself as the pants slowly started to fit a bit tighter and after reasoning with myself concluded that it was improbable that they (the pants) would be shrinking and thus only reason was that my body mass must be increasing. Queue the guilt and commitment to settle in to force oneself to face the brutal cold and darkness of Cape Town’s winter to get up early and start training. Okay I’ll confess, on 2 week days I’m still heading indoors to Virgin Active to punish myself on the WattBike. It seems I did not have enough of that torture in the build up to the Absa Cape Epic. (They are forcing me to do 2 sessions on the WattBike after for some unknown reason they cancelled our 6am Spinning Class – yes I am moaning)

 

I am riding the Ride2Nowhere (Presented by WeChat) in McGregor in September and the aim during this current dark and cold period is to maintain the fitness levels post the awesome summer riding days to be in shape for this amazing event. Fortunately Coach Alasdair Garnett is always helpful with advice and thus the two high intensity sessions (that’s why I miss the Spin Class) in the week, finished off with riding over the weekend and the fitness levels should be able to be maintained. Well I hope so! Anyway watching the diet when it is cold and dark also presents a challenge and let’s not talk about comfort food and the mental challenges to try and not do that impulse purchase. Be strong (Not very successful at being strong as it is impossible to walk past Biltong and not buy some, it is just too tempting).

 

It is the 5th year of the Ride2Nowhere and it will be the 5th year I will be riding it and still remains one of my

Sunday was road bike day and to be all by myself on top of Chapman's Peak was surreal. (Polar Bears could relocate there as well)

Sunday was road bike day and to be all by myself on top of Chapman’s Peak was surreal. (Polar Bears could relocate there as well)

favourite events of the year and I don’t want to be stone dead last like in year 1, thus the training. What Eulogy van Dyk and Con Viljoen has achieved with the event is fantastic. To have seen it grow so much, whilst still keeping that friendly, relaxed  and community feel is just great. Everyone I know always enjoys this ride and the whole event and the warm, friendly and festive atmosphere of McGregor. If you are looking for an event to do in September, to shake off that winter legs, enter now rap yourselves over the knuckles to get out there and training to be ready to enjoy the tranquillity of McGregor and the beautiful scenery in the flowering season of the Karoo. And what is extra super cool is that you get a R1000 back in your Wallet if you enter through WeChat!

 

Here’s to taking my body features of the Banting Dietary list with loads of training. #NoMoreFat

PS: There are super awesome wines in the McGregor area. #JustSaying Bring all your friends!

Some views one gets whilst facing the cold but actually still riding your bike. Check out the awesome Mitas Tyres

Some views one gets whilst facing the cold but actually still riding your bike. Check out the awesome Mitas Tyres

Gravel and (Fermented) Grape(s)

This last weekend it was back to stage racing and back on the bike was my mate Evert Ferreira with whom I started my cycling journey with back in

The stunning view from our Slanghoek Villa at Goudini Spa

The stunning view from our Slanghoek Villa at Goudini Spa

2011. How things have changed as back then it was me who started cycling and now Evert is one trying to get back into mountain biking after not doing that for more than 3 years. He felt the pain and climbing stairs this week will still be painful. What made up for the grovel on the gravel was the fermented grape- aka wine tastings we worked into our trip.

 

The Gravel and Grape race is hosted by The Breedekloof Wine Valley with Iqela Events and this valley is a gem when it comes to, not only great wines but also awesome mountain biking. The routes are a combination of some gravel roads, farm roads through the vineyards, jeep tracks and some fantastic technical single track. This was a true test of proper mountain biking, which although some sections might have been tough for beginner riders the overall routes everyday made for great views and great riding.

 

Like way back with my 1st Wines2Whales we again came to know the Sweepers (Alex and Riaan this time) really well as we struggled on Day 1 up to the 50km mark, before Evert decided that sense would prevail and there was no need to punish his body any further and called it the day. Off I went pushing hard the last 23km’s to make sure I would make the 6 hour cut off. Grinding it out and pushing harder than at the Absa Cape Epic I actually managed to come in with half an hour to spare. The route was amazing and the combination as in the name of gravel roads, vineyards and testing single track makes this a must return to event.

 

After the punishment on the bike we decided to explore some wineries in the area and as per our Google search the previous night, off we went to Jason’s Hill Private Cellar. We were fortunate enough to meet the winemaker Ivy and just had to taste all the cultivars on offer. (Marius Hurter we can definitely go there for the Sauvignon Blanc, well for all the wine as Evert and I walked away purchasing stock for consumption when back in Cape Town).

Evert sampling some of the finest at Jason's Hill. Think this was the Cab - to go well with cigars #JustSaying

Evert sampling some of the finest at Jason’s Hill. Think this was the Cab – to go well with cigars #JustSaying. Heat stroke might be an explanation for the England jersey or perhaps because he is Mr. CCC

From there we went on to Slanghoek Cellars and again just had to sample most of what they had on offer and again we walked away with stock for later consumption.  What more does one want for a Saturday, great mountain biking in the morning, wine tasting in the afternoon and a braai (barbeque for my non South African friends) (2nd one) in the evening – the Perfect day….

So many good wines, so little time to taste them all

So many good wines, so little time to taste them all

With Ev’s body aching a bit after being back on the bike and he claiming his new MTB shoes are great for walking we endeavoured to take on stage 2 – 68km with 1100m of climbing. We started off through the vineyards and quickly onto a short technical single track and through the vineyards again past Du Toits Kloof Cellars onto some amazing trails that looped into the mountains and also where the Gravel and Grape Riders caught up with us: “pass, pass, pass…and so we let them pass”. With the undulating single track taking its toll on my partner, but him hanging in there enjoying every moment of being out on the bike, suffering and all, we reached the 2nd water point and regrouped with refuelling the bodies (the water points were amazing). From here we starting climbing onto a very technical switchback climb into the mountain and the strains of mountain biking started to take its toll again as the hard work and technicality proofed a challenge to my mate. We reached the split on the route where the long and Lite went its different ways and as Ev remarked” Castle Lite for me” and our ways parted and sense prevailed again and good choice by my mate because what followed was a proper technical climb and descent, followed by another climb onto a ridge and technically down a

Riding besides the scorched earth Evert roaming across the single trail towards the on route photographer, aka me

Riding besides the scorched earth Evert roaming across the single trail towards the on route photographer, aka me

valley – routes that were made for mountain biking and I loved it. It helps being fit and in shape as one can enjoy it so much more. I really loved day 2 of Gravel and Grape as we got properly tested again on our mountain biking skills, I did fail once however as I decided to take a dive off my bike and broke the fall with my quads on a rock. Not the best place to land as the dark blue / yellow mark on my leg would confess to. Still it was a great day out.

 

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Riding through Slanghoek Cellars, my partner still in sight. So much wine…. The guys from Slanghoek and Breedekloof really did a great job in putting the route together and hosting a great event with Iqela Events

Another braai in the evening with watching some sport on TV whilst enjoying the local fermented grapes and another super day in Africa IMG_8944done. One should really look at doing this event next year; it really has a lot to offer on and off the bike. Day 3 was shorter with more single track on offer and the local Breedekloof Winery guys have really outdone themselves with some amazing trails that were built. Again one had to work your way upwards to enjoy it and in-between they took us onto the local Cross Country track that was built (on which our KTM sponsored rider, Johann Trotzky, trains a lot as it is in his backyard. Al the best to him and good luck to dad Hennus and the committee in getting a race hosted there shortly). I’m glad I am doing marathon riding as going up that XC track was super tough. From there we went up the mountain on single track again and Ev had to work hard again, but in good spirits and pushing forward, we arrived at the Lite and Long split. “See you at the finish Ev and make sure there is a cold beer” and we

Our lead out vehicle - we thank you for making sure we have wine

Our lead out vehicle – we thank you for making sure we have wine

parted ways and off I sped again to catch up with the guys in front.  Again, super trails and great single track for our pure mountain bike enthusiasts, you have to get yourself out there and ride these trails. Big kudos for Evert that was willing to ride with me and reunite the original Phat Boy combination for this race. Huge respect for attempting it just as you entered the Vets category of cycling. It was great to be out on the trails with him again, always fun and we always keep on going.

 

Besides the coldish weather and cold water river crossing this was really a great weekend away for a boy’s breakaway or taking the whole family with to enjoy the facilities at Goudini Spa. Make sure you put this race on your calendar for 2017.

 

After the Cape Epic is has been really tough to keep self-discipline and stick to the healthy and right eating regime. I managed to get some training and events done, but how does one keep everything on the straight and narrow with temptations that were out on one’s path that started on the 2nd of April with a bachelors. No need to elaborate. This was followed by the wedding on the 9th that was followed by a 40th on the 16th. See where all this is heading as it did not stop there as the following weekend was the Cell C Arabella Challenge where good friends met and Wildekrans wine was on offer, there was some mountain biking as well and then after that on the 30th another epic 40th birthday party of abovementioned friend Evert and then of course this past weekend Gravel and Grape in the wine country with some 3 days of braaiing and so forth.

 

Needless to say that at this stage I am as reluctant as the other gender of the Homo sapiens specie after they have just turned 30 to climb onto a scale after showcasing your body weight…

 

Until the next adventure and be su

It really was beautiful out in the mountains. Much better than being stuck in an office

It really was beautiful out in the mountains. Much better than being stuck in an office

re to be on the lookout for the Cederberg 100miler in September, entries are open.

Some hills were just too much and a welcome breather to quickly recover before it is back on the bike and forward again

Some hills were just too much and a welcome breather to quickly recover before it is back on the bike and forward again

Some great images from Chris Hitchcock at the event galleries can be seen here

Again my Mitas Tyres were superb and I had no hassles and handled the technical route with ease

Some of the gravel from Gravel and Grape #FastMoving

Some of the gravel from Gravel and Grape #FastMoving. See you all at Cederberg 100miler Evert Ferreira, Willie du Plooy, Rob Kucera, Richard Coram (Thinus Crafford & Andrew Rogers?)

The image says it all. Thanks Chris Hitchcock

Some great images from Chris Hitchcock at the event galleries can be seen on PhotoSport’s website

Always in good spirit no matter what the trails dished up

Always in good spirit no matter what the trails dished up

Caged Animal – where’s the Vet?

It has now been nearly two weeks since the completion of that 8 day mentally challenging MTB race aka the 2016 Absa Cape Epic and I have done no exercise of any sort. Now before you start judging me and thinking that I have thrown in the towel of have become lazy and so forth, here are all the excuses.

My super "love the steep climbs' partner Thinus Crafford and myself on the "podium" after finishing with 2 other guys. Apparently the beat us by beat us by 415 positions on the last day

My super “love the steep climbs’ partner Thinus Crafford and myself on the “podium” after finishing with 2 other guys. Apparently the beat us by beat us by 415 positions on the last day. Manuel Fumic & Henrique Avancini of some other bike brand Factory Racing Team

Common sense dictates that one should at least take a small break after riding 647km with 15,000m of climbing over 8 days and that was the plan for the first few days. Take it easy, body not feeling too bad and able to still walk without too much pain or effort, all was looking good for a quick recovery and with Easter Friday the ideal day to get back on the back the plan for the week was set.

Then I made the fatal mistake. I met up with a friend at a well-known establishment in Cape Town where I got exposed to celery juice. To protect my friend and the establishment they will not be exposed but I have made contact with my lawyers. Now I don’t like celery, but I thought I would give the juice a try, living sort of healthy now you know and how bad could it be? It actually turned out to very tasty and I even contemplated having a second glass, but that might have been too healthy.

Miss the dirt and the grind #OfficeHater

Miss the dirt and the grind #OfficeHater

Anyway I digress, the point I’m trying to bring across in my rambling is coming back to the no exercise and that all being due to flu – herewith the Wikipedia description of the flu: “Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks”

Thursday night I still felt strong and actually consuming my first beer (lite) since finishing the Cape Epic with my good mates Willie and Belia making burgers with the legend Henties de Villiers visiting from Oudsthoorn. Moderation was the key as I had that cycle planned for Friday. Good morning Good Friday and good day man down de Ridder. Now you have read the definition of flu and saw that symptoms typically begin two days after exposure…and the conclusion – blame the celery juice as it was the only thing I did out of my normal habits. Happiness engulfed me as I spent my entire Easter Weekend feeling sorry for myself and under the duvet in front of that square box showcasing glorious sport. That was just great.

Super Supporters Willie du Plooy and Chantel Rall with us showing our support in wishing Chantel all the best #FuckCancer #LoverChanty I think I might have a shaved head shortly

Super Supporters Willie du Plooy and Chantel Rall with us showing our support in wishing Chantel all the best #FuckCancer #LoverChanty I think I might have a shaved head shortly

Always fighting the fight against that extra weight the slightest amount of food consumption adds to my big boned bodily structure, I endeavoured each night after Easter to go exercise the next day. That has not happened yet as I only feel close to 100% human again today, I did however go shower at the gym to keep up my monthly visits. The things we have to do…

Stuck in the office for the week without physical activity and the pressure applied by the boss man post Cape Epic made for a wonderful few weeks as I felt like a caged turtle -wanting to break out at speed with the mind but the body just not responding in a Tasmanian devil way.

So my Cape Epic blues has been a great experience and I would rather be riding the Cape Epic every week than be stuck in the office. I actually miss the structured training regime from coach Alasdair Garnett and it was super cool to see him and wife Gretha at the finish, if I do attempt a third one for that Amabubezi title I already know who my coach would be and thank you to KTM Bike Industries SA and Mitas Bicycle Tyres SA for making it possible for us to ride this year (we had no tyre or bike issues) as well as all our awesome supporters lead by Loriaan aka Lolla Crafford.

Super cool to see these mad people at the finish - miss it

Super cool to see these mad people at the finish – miss it

Back on the bike for me and I should also maybe run a little bit as I do have the FNB Cape Town 12 OneRun on the 15th of May but firstly I have to keep in shape for the Cell C Arabella MTB Challenge on 23 & 24 April followed by the Gravel and Grape MTB Challenge 6 – 8 May 2016.

The one thing I know is that I will stay away from the celery juice.

PS:  We still have not found that Cape Leopard on route, hopefully in one of my next MTB Challenges – come now show your support for the Cape Leopard Trust we need them to survive!

 

Phat Boys – Nowhere to hide

Thank G… arnett that I don’t have to be on my bike today J

Will i be able to survive 8 days of courage with this bloke on my left...looking forward to a tough and great week Thinus

Will i be able to survive 8 days of courage with this bloke on my left…looking forward to a tough and great week Thinus

A few days left before the start of an unforgettable adventure and I know my riding partner Thinus is super excited and also nervous, and so am I as well. To finally get to the starting point of 6 months of disciplined training and sacrifices to friends and family is daunting and that drive to finish all 8 days exhilarating. I think the biggest challenge on Sunday would be to hold back Thinus from not shooting out of the starting blocks like the Greyhound (“Die Windhond”) we know that he is from the excitement of being on live TV for the first time (Supersport 6 from 09:30 – 14:00) oh! and of course to have gotten to the start of a life dream and bucket list event could also play a part. For those that want to follow our adventure, our prologue start time is 08:11 on Sunday 13 March, our race number is 321 and you can follow the race live through Tracker.

 

From a form point of view I should be feeling confident as I completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour of 109km’s in a personal best time of 3:30 in my 5th attempt at this race. Taking 23 minutes of my previous best time in 2014, I am also confident that Thinus is in top shape, which could spell tough times for me trying to keep up with the speedster. Here is where we have to say thank you to coach Alasdair Garnett from The Practise, keeping us focussed and well trained, we appreciate your input and effort and we both wish that you and Gretha could have been in the race with us. That would have been fantastic; we wish you well and know we will be thinking of you, all the best for your personal challenges ahead, we sure all will go well.

Not too a bad time for a Phat Boy at the Cape Town Cycle Tour... now I can retire from this event

Not too a bad time for a Phat Boy at the Cape Town Cycle Tour… now I can retire from this event

Live well, eat well and play hard, so after the race on Sunday some great company at the Westin Cape Town as we consumed some Burgers and Beer for recovery

Live well, eat well and play hard, so after the race on Sunday some great company at the Westin Cape Town as we consumed some Burgers and Beer for recovery

 

To KTM Bike Industries and Mitas Tyres for giving us the opportunity to ride the event and for all the support through all the relevant persons involved here, Johan, Greg, Willie, Pavel and Morné from The Bicycle Company sorting out and handling our numerous outrages requests. Thanks Morné and team, your support has been fantastic. To all my family as well from backing me and following my journey and putting up with me (all my sisters will know). To my mate Rich from Freewheel Cycology and crew for sorting my bike out with a proper pre-epic service and making sure I’m all ready and set up to go.

So my partner had this brain wave to thank our supporters through doing some special for them - great T-shirt TC

So my partner had this brain wave to thank our supporters through doing some special for them – great T-shirt TC. Thanks for the awesome shirts Canterbury (CCC)

To our mates in our cycling group thanks for all the support so far and backing us even though some of you support the wrong rugby teams. Kuc thanks for all those weekend rides, always a pleasure and great fun and next year is your turn. Wikkelspies for always having my back and eager to join in the riding over the weekends and getting me on a bike in the first place. Andrew we’ve missed the riding all the events we did in the past thank for the support and always encouraging words to keep us going. Eben I know would have loved to still be riding with us over the weekends and riding Camels in Egypt is just not the same as mountain biking, we know you miss it, hang in there and thanks for the support. Ev, my partner in crime and for months supplier of free beer at the braai, you have done so much for us with regards to apparel and always eager to help and sort things out, we need to get you back on the bike, sure Nikki can handle the tribe over weekends 🙂 Thanks for all your support Nix. Marilize we haven’t forgotten you, we know you always there to make things happen. Vik, Richard and Rodney from Creative Workshop – just saying lunch is on me after the epic and there will be Tequila, you guys are legendary.

 

Thinus also have so many people that are supporting him (us), I might not know all so if I miss someone I do apologise as all of you have supported Thinus and the Phat Boys in so many ways. First of all Lolla who had to be a Cape Epic widow for close to 6 months, your support has been amazing and we could not have done it without your support and involvement and encouragement . It must have been tough at times and the sacrifice made is appreciated. I’m sure Thiaan more than did his part in Thinus’ journey to the start on Sunday. Thanks to Loriaan’s family and the Lutzville Hotel for their support, Nolan and family from the Tyger Valley Cadence Cycling Performance Centre, André and the guys from Thinus’ work, Intaprop, thanks gents, much appreciated. Morajane du Plessis attorneys and Gerra with the support from Jo-Rie, Hannes and Paula and Pieter and Liesel, Riaan Gouws and everyone that Lolla has added onto the WhatsApp group that I might have missed.

 

I’m now tired of typing and saying thank you, if I missed anyone it was not on purpose and I apologise as I am still sulking after the T20 lost to Australia last night and might not be totally refocused on the cycling side of things.

My friend Chantel Rall were also supposed to be on the start line with us, but unfortunately her cancer returned and all my thoughts and wishes are with her. Hang in their Chantz and loads of love, we will miss you in the start chute but will hopefully see you at the finish line again. #LoveChanty

 

Let the adventure begin.

 

PS: Belia, if we (when) we make it to the finish line on the 3rd, please make sure it us Ultra Mel custard that is on that Malva Pudding…

Start of the 55km to be completed in 3:48 with a tumble or two

Start of the 55km to be completed in 3:48 with a tumble or two

Breakfast at The Westin Cape Town for the media launch of Columbia as partner of the Absa Cape Epic Pictured are Jeremy Harris of KFM, Rob Kucera General Manager and cycling training buddy and a Phat Boy)

Breakfast at The Westin Cape Town for the media launch of Columbia as partner of the Absa Cape Epic Pictured are Jeremy Harris of KFM, Rob Kucera General Manager and cycling training buddy and a Phat Boy)

Early morning selfie

Early morning selfie

Minglong with the who's who at the Columbia breakfast. Amazing journey by Fat Kid on a Bike aka Ron Rutland

Minglong with the who’s who at the Columbia breakfast. Amazing journey by Fat Kid on a Bike aka Ron Rutland

A great night at the cricket with some mates, pity we lost against the Aussies

A great night at the cricket with some mates, pity we lost against the Aussies

Riding through the burnt landscape of Simonsberg at the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge.

Riding through the burnt landscape of Simonsberg at the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge.

This is serious

With two weeks to go before I have to go to extremes to finish some 8 day mountain bike stage race with my friend Thinus I decided that it is time to become more serious and focused on the event. So from now on just seriousness in whatever brain impulse send to my fingers to type, I promise I have no control sometimes, the mind wants one thing but the body does something else. This is precisely what happened at the 2016 Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge as I was descending down a very sandy switchback, my mind knew exactly what to do, or not to do and then your body still go and do it. Make sure you have momentum, weight back, stay off the brakes and just run through the sane – but NO! Let’s think about the front wheel getting stuck and then making it happen and in the process providing a spectacular tuck and roll for the string of cyclist behind you. Serious stuff I tell you and being a branded rider makes it even worse and then you also know people that has caught up to you from the next batch, aka Mr. Speedster Craig Kolesky.

#HappyFace

#HappyFace

The last time I saw a leg look like this was when Thinus bought some land at the 2015 W2W Adventure race

The last time I saw a leg look like this was when Thinus bought some land at the 2015 W2W Adventure race

 

But enough of that, two weeks to go and I am sure Thinus has a few butterflies roaming around (i.e. flying and crawling out of cocoons) in the stomach, I know I can feel the nervous excitement and I have been through this all before. The commitment one makes when deciding to ride the Cape Epic is immense as you are committing to someone else to give it your all to be ready and fit to ride for 8 days. It is not just about the time to train and the financial burden in paying and preparing for the race, but that camaraderie of knowing that you and your friend are both in it and committed to finish a bucket list event. I hope I have trained enough. To Loriaan, Thinus’ wife, you will soon have him back and come Easter I am sure Thinus won’t be going out for a bike ride and be spending time with you and Thiaan. Perhaps I should arrange a men’s golf tour for that weekend….

 

On Saturday I went riding on the famous Jonkershoek MTB Trails with Pieter du Plessis from Iqela Events and what a fantastic day out. To explore the Jonkershoek are with great company made the time go by quickly and soon enough my scheduled 5 hours was done after some nice decent climbs and super single tracks. Check out Iqela Events’ calendar and join us at these super events. Thanks for a great day out on the bike Pieter, we would have to do this again and I am really looking forward to the Gravel and Grape stage race.

Jonkershoek top tier with Pieter du Plessis from Iqela Events

Jonkershoek top tier with Pieter du Plessis from Iqela Events

At the MTB Challenge on Sunday we did a lot of trails in Simonsberg in Stellenbosch area and to have seen the devastation post the recent fires were shocking. Where we rode through forest in 2015 was only wasteland left with no vegetation. If not directly affected by the fires one does not always take in the damage that was done, it really was scary to see the mountain landscape in its current state. Respect to all the firefighters.

KTM's on display in Jonkershoek - stunning view

KTM’s on display in Jonkershoek – stunning view

This weekend is the Cape Town Cycle Tour and I will be exchanging my mountain bike for my road bike. It will feel like I am cheating riding on something with such thin wheels. Now taking a dive off your mountain bike onto soft sand is slightly different from tuck and rolling onto tar – PLEASE everyone stay clear of me as I don’t want to fall and drop my friend Thinus a week before after training for close to 6 months. I will use my weight to push you away from me skinny cyclist – keep your wheels and handle bars far away from me.

 

Maybe some day I will be able to eat again (12kg's down from beginning November, no too bad)

Maybe some day I will be able to eat again (12kg’s down from beginning November, no too bad)

See, serious stuff. I know coach Alasdair has said it from the start to ride with Electrolytes, which I have never done and on Saturday Pieter gave me some of his special mix as we filled our bottles with fresh and clean mountain water. (I will not divulge the secret Pieter but I will definitely use your mix and ensure I get my electrolytes in)

The compulsory selfie

The compulsory selfie. Thanks for 5hours of fun on the mountain bike Pieter

May there be no more sleepless nights and let the excitement build up to the 13th of March as TC (aka Thinus Crafford or “Die Windhond”) and myself line up on the start chute at Meerendal Wine Estate to start our journey of perseverance, endurance, pain and hopefully some fun. Hopefully next week I will still be typing with all my fingers and both hands as all road cyclist would have stayed clear of the orange flash on the Cape Town Cycle Tour Route. (Check out my new 2016 KTM Revelator 3500).2016 KTM Revelator 3500

Where is my mind…

In the words of the Pixies:  “Where is my mind”. After months of months of training for the 2016 Absa Cape Epic and also being back at work seems to be catching up with me as the body and mind seems a bit tired and not totally focussed.  It seems fatigue and the routine of getting up every day early is taking its toll (or the intake of minimal food to lose weight) as the routine of training and just working is testing the levels of commitment and discipline to stay the course towards the 13th of March.

 

Had a great start to the day as I send myself reminder emails at 3:30am and then trying to go to sleep again (Where is my mind?), only to be up by 5am to go to gym and the Threshold Crusher scheduled on the WattBike – the description says it all. It has been a week and a bit of things not quite going my way, but more of that later. Got to gym and raced to the WattBike section (The mass amount of 4 available of which 2 was non-functional on Tuesday and I had to ride without a monitor for power and time) only to be faced with only 3 WattBikes on the floor and to my joy all three were occupied. So, you are at gym, it is early what to do? Spin Bike is the next best (although these Spin Bikes and my Suunto Heart Rate monitor does not love each other in synching as on the monitor it spikes and falls all the time, 3rd world problem, I know) and so on ‘n hopped after adjustment my setup and sticking my Threshold Crusher notes to the screen, only useful for time in this exercise. As always there is a warm-up and 5 minutes in the dude on the 3rd WattBike is finished, not FINISHED by has done his 10/15min warm up and moved on to utilise some other gym equipment for its optimum usage.

If only I could show you what this would have looked like on the WattBike PowerApp

If only I could show you what this would have looked like on the WattBike PowerApp. Alot of hours have been spent on my KTM Scarp

Opportunity! Pause my watch and again race to the other WattBike. Setup done and still 10 minutes left for the warm up and then would you Adam and Eve it, Error whatever number: Sensor not connected – WTF (Remember – Will Train Frequently, no swearing). I do not believe this, so fiddling with the sensor cable and nothing is happening, restarting, resetting – nothing! Decision made and I stayed on the bike and will ride blindly with my trusted Suunto Ambit to guide me with time and riding on pure instincts on whatever Power Zone I think I am in.  Did the 10mins remaining of the warm-up and moved into the first part of the Threshold Crusher, and then it happened – WattBike number 2 became free. Time for another quick decision and I quickly raced to bike number two to secure it before I fetch the paper towels to dry the pool of sweat that has already gather around WattBike #3.

 

Now this is where the mind finally lost focus. In my Virgin Active Gym we only have 4 WattBikes as I mentioned and you can only connect the PowerApp to one and in my excited stage I was rejoicing in knowing that I could track my ride and report back to coach Alasdair so that he could judge me. Boy was I wrong. I started chatting to the lady next to me on WattBike #1, really nice and we chatted about the Cape Town Cycle Tour and why she and her husband is not doing it anymore, me mentally not well in riding the Cape Epic, generally a nice conversation and throughout this I am on my phone connecting the PowerApp to the WattBike. It says a session is already running on this bike, do you want to restart and of course I say yes thinking it is picking up the pedalling I am doing now when the nice lady says, something is wrong, my bike is resetting and starting over…WattBike #1 is the bike that can connect…#Idiot.  Numerous apologies later and explaining about the App I could finally try and focus on crushing my threshold.  Where is my mind?

A summary of my activities the last 30 days

A summary of my activities the last 30 days

At this stage of the lead up one starts to question if you have done enough, are you fit enough and slightly stressing about the few remaining weeks ahead. It is imperative not to slack off now after all the hours of training and fine tune that fickle mind to be strong and push through the next few weeks.

 

Back to the last week, on Saturday I experienced a pinch puncture on my rear tyre (caught between rocks) and for the first time ever had to use a plug to fix it (Thanks for Rudolf for stopping and helping me as my riding partner Rob disappeared into the distance). Thinking everything was cool we continued on our ride and caught up with Rob at the Shed to enjoy a coffee and set off to the next part of the trails. Not quite smooth from there as the puncture was very close to a knob on the tyre and a few times the plug came loose when that knob obviously got forced open on the rough terrain.  That was not all, as I firstly forgot to put on my heart rate monitor, then on the ride twice forgot to start my watch again after pausing it – where was my mind?

Being a weekend there was no way to change the tyre with bike shops closed in the afternoon, so the next day was much of the same when I rode with Willie, smooth sailing until you hit that certain area on the tyre. So after a frustrating weekend, new tyre was fitted and thanks to the patience of Rob, Rudolf, Craig and Willie on our rides. It was a good character test and preparation for the Cape Epic.

 

Now for you that don’t know what a plug is or how to do it; here we go (Plug it)

A good tool to get to plug tyres is the invention by our friend and former Team Bulls rider, Stefan Sahm – the Sahmurai Sword This came in very handy on Saturday!

Keep watching this post and we will let you know how to follow the Mitas KTM Phat Boys (Thinus Crafford and myself) at the Absa Cape Epic

Mental – Songs in my Head

As a result of having entered the 2016 Absa Cape Epic I am forced to spend numerous hours on my KTM mountain bike and as I mostly ride alone one has plenty of hours for your mind to go to wonderful and weird places. Don’t worry, I think I am still sane and of the right state of mind.

Taking on an endurance event does take a lot of mental aptitude from the discipline in the months of training to the determination to finish during the event. Thus focus is required with clear set goals or you could just numb everything out in your head through songs in your head – there you go, one song already that is on the head playlist: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd –“I have become, comfortably numb…”

Great day out in Bonteheuwel with the JAG Foundations JAGRiders programme as we got to experience their self-built Cross Country Track

Great day out in Bonteheuwel with the JAG Foundations JAGRiders programme as we got to experience their self-built Cross Country Track

During the months of training one follows a rigid training program (The Practice), and if you are like me you want to follow that to the T (possibly to the frustration of coach Alasdair J ) to make sure everything is done as it should be. Having set goals really helps to stay focus and working towards your end goal. Back to all the time spent training – one will experience variable weather conditions (Especially in Cape Town) from gale force winds, to extreme heat to rain and even cold with some stunning days in between.  Now when I first got onto a mountain bike I made it quite clear to all that I am a Fair Weather Cyclist and will not go cycling in even a mildly strong breeze.  Things have changed since those days in 2011 as the philosophy now is (especially when training for an event such as the Absa Cape Epic) that you can’t control the weather at the race, go out and do what you need to do, you will reap the benefits should you experience similar circumstances in your endurance race. You can’t choose the weather at the Cape Epic, you have to ride each day and thus this mind set saw me train through 3 weeks of a howling gale force South Easter, not only cycling in the morning but going for a short run in the afternoon, it saw me got soaking wet doing hill repeats up Constantia Neck, it saw me sweat out litres of sweat when riding in 40+ degree Celsius heat and I am still here able to blog about it. This brings me to another song in my head: No Pain No Gain by Scorpions.

Fighting off "racing snake' instincts Willie du Plooy rode the Meerendal Ultra Marathon with me. Thanks Willie (Pictured here we are at Witsand on ride the week prior)

Fighting off “racing snake’ instincts Willie du Plooy rode the Meerendal Ultra Marathon with me. Thanks Willie (Pictured here we are at Witsand on ride the week prior)

I recently did the Ashburton Ultra-Marathon at Meerendal Wine Estate (I won’t say too much about this event as I don’t want to bitch and moan to much here and rather remain positive) where my substitute Cape Epic rider for the day, Willie du Plooy, fought off his Racing Snake instincts to ride with me as we took on the 101km challenge. We didn’t quite make the cut off at the 65km mark with an insane average speed required of close to 15km/h (Too fast for this F(Ph)at Boy). That did not stop us as we decided in no uncertain terms after some rude and explicit language (Directed at no one but venting our disappointment) to continue our ride on our own as the coach had 100km on the schedule and that is what we will do. Kudos Willie for continuing with me on the extended ride in the heat and wind, hopefully this pain will be our gain when we in the next race situation.

 

With only about 6 weeks left before the start of myself and Thinus’ epic adventure the time is now to keep focus and not let up on the discipline in the training regime. I would be lying if I say that I’m not slightly nervous. I’ve managed to get my weight down from 118kg at the end of October to 108kg currently and hopefully I can shed a few more kilograms in the next month to be as light as possible at the starting line. The pressure is there to not disappoint your friend who has been training for months and has the Absa Cape Epic as a bucket list event to finish, to not disappoint yourself and everyone that has vested in you and your journey to finish. There you go again – Queen: Under Pressure…

No matter the weather, I can't be a Fair Weather Cyclist anymore and has to go ride

No matter the weather, I can’t be a Fair Weather Cyclist anymore and has to go ride

 

For some reason I always seem to have the song: The Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel in my  head…”But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me…Yea yea yea oh”

And this is to keep my Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford motivated for the last stretch: Bryan Adams: We’re Gonna Win (meaning finish)

 

Mental toughness is…

…when you, your body, the competition, nature, or the environment has the best of you so that you’re physically tapped out and need to figure out how to pull something out of yourself… not in a robotic way—in a way that’s mentally aware and engaged. It’s not just the ability to keep moving but to keep doing it in a way that’s engaged and competitive in the environment you’re in, whether that’s competing against the clock or other human beings. It’s easy when you feel good physically. It’s when that physicality leaves you.

Playing photographic director and getting my friend Rob in a unique and uncomfortable position on the Blockhouse cannon. He might hate me for posting this :)

Playing photographic director and getting my friend Rob in a unique and uncomfortable position on the Blockhouse cannon. He might hate me for posting this 🙂 Happy birthday for the upcoming weekend Mr. K

Here are some interesting reads on the mental aspect of endurance events and training for it:

You all probably know that we will be riding with Mitas tyres in the Absa Cape Epic – herewith some more info:

Mitas Silant Salesman Jan16_Page_1

Mitas Silant Salesman Jan16_Page_2

Blown Away

Apologies for not having posted something more regularly but it has been holidays and we tried to stay away from the computer as much as possible, but not from training and working on that weight loss goal, and oh yes not quite away from the ice cold beer in the holidays as well.

 

Training is going well and everyone asks me if I am ready for the Absa Cape Epic, I don’t think one will ever be ready. You can only train as much as you can and cleverly (thanks to coach Alasdair Garnett from The Practice) to ensure you are as best prepared as possible covering all the bases from Endurance to strength and hopefully by sticking to the training regimen the mental strength to keep on going gets tough.

Top of Dorstberg with my Han(S)olo ride over the weekend in 38 degrees heat. Tough out there

Top of Dorstberg with my Han(S)olo ride over the weekend in 38 degrees heat. Tough out there

With less than two months to go I must admit that I am getting slightly nervous. But enough of that, the last two weeks were quite intense and hard training and living in Cape Town the non-stop 40km plus South Easter wind that blew did not make going out early mornings for training any easier. But as the saying goes you can’t choose the weather at the Absa Cape Epic so it makes sense to go out and ride in whatever the weather throws at you and do the training required on the specific day. I must confess the 1st two days of being blown away I chose the “easier” option and forced myself indoors to Virgin Active and time on the WattBikes, since then I made myself an attitude adjustment and decided the wind won’t stop me from getting out there and doing the training that’s required. Can’t disappoint Training Peaks and have a red block popping up.

 

The base 2 & 3 training, strength with endurance has been tough and the hill repeats I had to do painful as I sadistically chose Price Drive In Constantia (one of the steepest roads in Cape Town) to do my repeats on. I did come close to losing the breakfast I did not have before the ride. It was painful. Enough of that, too many things happened in training since I last Blogged so I won’t bore you too much but choose the easy way out with posting photos.

 

The legs are hurting and tired, today is an off day and I am really appreciating that and ironically with stunning weather predicted for Cape Town this week I am scheduled to find myself in the gym for a few sessions this week indoors. On the 30th I will be doing the Ashburton Marathon at Meerendal Wine Estate on the 30th, just 107km’s to go with a bit of climbing. Let’s see what happens! Glad to report that it seems that my riding partner and other PhatBoy is on track with his training and ready to put me in the hurt locker on the bike…can’t wait! Remember to follow us once the event kicks off, Team Mitas KTM PhatBoys for 8 days of survival.

Top of Chapman's Peak saw me a couple of times over the holidays. Thanks for a great ride yesterday Wikkelspies!

Top of Chapman’s Peak saw me a couple of times over the holidays. Thanks for a great ride yesterday Wikkelspies!

 

Riding with the family up in Pretoria over Christmas

Riding with the family up in Pretoria over Christmas

Enjoy the photos and wishing everyone all the best for 2016. Live each day as your last.

My thoughts are with my friend Chantel Rall and her battle with Cancer, thinking a lot about you Chantz, be strong and keep on fighting. You know your # – F. .k

Always great riding round Cape Point

Always great riding round Cape Point

A quick stopover at our Creative Agency and friends

A quick stopover at our Creative Agency and friends

Caught up with Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford as we tackled Hoogekraal with maxed out temperature of 47 degrees

Caught up with Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford as we tackled Hoogekraal with maxed out temperature of 47 degrees

Showed the Joburger what the top of Chapman's Peak look like ;)

Showed the Joburger what the top of Chapman’s Peak look like 😉

Seen many of these - sunrises that is

Seen many of these – sunrises that is

Did numerous rides with these buggers. Thanks gents for spending time out on the trails. The compulsory selfie on top of Dorstberg with Willie and Rob

Did numerous rides with these buggers. Thanks gents for spending time out on the trails. The compulsory selfie on top of Dorstberg with Willie and Rob

View over Simon's Town from the top of Red Hill

View over Simon’s Town from the top of Red Hill

First time up Signal Hill with the bike and what a view

First time up Signal Hill with the bike and what a view

Always a great pic from the Blockhouse on Table Mountain

Always a great pic from the Blockhouse on Table Mountain

There was some time to socialise as well with actually 'watching' a Football match at The Toad

There was some time to socialise as well with actually ‘watching’ a Football match at The Toad

Enjoying that last holiday beer

Enjoying that last holiday beer

Cancer

Stopped over in Kalk bay to say howzit to my friend Hanli and have a look at the Ocean Deck Shop, home base of the I am Water Foundation

Stopped over in Kalk bay to say howzit to my friend Hanli and have a look at the Ocean Deck & Shop, home base of the I am Water Foundation

Power Zones and Comfort Zones

Eish! Haibo! Bliksem!

If I could use proudly and traditionally South African words to express where I am at now with regards to my 2016 Absa Cape Epic training (Follow the links on the words of you are not a South African to find out what it means). I knew when my rubber arm(s) were bent and I buckled under peer pressure to ride the Cape Epic again that it would take a lot of hard work, dedication and training.

The training in the off season on Castle Lite with my mate Ev did not put me in the light weight category of cycling and in the greatest of shape once this monstrous decision was made (We had to finish the free cases of beer). But hey, I’ve done it before so I can do it again and this time from a stronger base and less weight to lose (until I got on the scale and it told me a different Fairy Tale – “Mr Adventure Whale, you have reached baby whale status again and I weighed in at 118kg in October, as per my previous post – WTF!)

The benefits of being out early mornings in Beautiful Cape Town #Sunrise

The benefits of being out early mornings in Beautiful Cape Town #Sunrise

The good news is that yesterday when getting my doctor to verify that I am medically fit (note: not mentally fit) to ride the event, I weighed in at 112kg. Progress made or does the Virgin Active scale add those extra kg’s to make us train harder, who knows but I feel progress are being made. Talking of ‘made’, going for that much needed sports massage made my, and all my aching muscles’ day. One must not under estimate the value of a good quality sports massage on a regular basis. Thanks Nicole (Advanced Massage Therapy) for sorting out all my niggles and also sorting out those stubborn muscles in need of stretching. My calves thank you, so does my hamstrings and my quads and my back and my shoulders and my…every aching muscle in my body.

 

Enough of being zoned out on the torture chamber and back to the other zones. Normally I get on my bike and ride and that was my training, but with what coach Alasdair Garnett (from The Practice) has thrown in, it has been very focussed. We are in the base building phase and phase one included endurance and speed skill, and base building phase 2 started this week that includes Endurance, Force, Speed skill and Muscular Endurance.

I was really starving on this ride and for some reason no one wanted to feed me

I was really starving on this ride and for some reason no one wanted to feed me

Well let me go back a week when I had looked at the 30min gym training scheduled for me post doing the Pennypinchers Origin of Trails (Which was tough but awesome by the way):  10 Burpees, 25 Vertical Jumps, 10 Push-ups, 25 Squats, 20 Mountain Climbers (WTH is this any way I thought!?), 10 Alternating lunges, 100 Jump Ropes, Rest for 1 min AND REPEAT! Haibo! Eish! How will this body ever be able to do that went through my head? Of the exercises that I have done before, those were probably done in the previous millennium and the ones I didn’t know how to do was just too daunting – Bliksem!

At first I was looking at the option to do this at home but then realised it won’t work, my duplex ceiling is just too low and there will be

Good to have had Pieter du Plessis from Iqela Events and KTM Ambassador out riding Origin of Trails

Good to have had Pieter du Plessis from Iqela Events and KTM Ambassador out riding Origin of Trails

jumping involved (not that I jump very high). So after some correspondence with the coach and some encouraging words that it will only be daunting the first time round, I did some research and saw that the studio 1 at my gym is not in use early mornings. The perfect place to hide away from providing the general gym members with some comic relief in my attempts at doing this routine, and it has all the equipment one needs – an exercise mat and a high enough ceiling. Fortunately no one was around to video tape my first attempts at these exercises. When last did you do Burpees or do mountain climbers and jump in the air 25 consecutive times – eish! The gym has no skip rope so fortunately I did 100 jump ropes with an imaginary rope and not once did the rope get caught in my feet, my perfect exercise from the list above.

Surfs up! The one thing I haven't attempted yet is surfing. Maybe my mates Ev, Matt and Toby could take me sometime (Would I fit in a wet suit?)

Surfs up! The one thing I haven’t attempted yet is surfing. Maybe my mates Ev, Matt and Toby could take me sometime (Would I fit in a wet suit?)

For the next couple of days, my muscles not pampered, stiffened up and my quads felt like after stage 1 of the 2014 Absa Cape Epic – don’t touch me or make any attempt to move at all – stiffness galore. But did I listen – No! The training goes on and onto the bike we went again, knowing that a second session of these functional exercises was around the corner. Doing this exercises that I felt daunting at first makes one belief you can actually do it if you apply your mind,  it does  totally push you out of your comfort zone but by just doing it, it does become easier and one realised when things look daunting just go out and do it, it might not be as bad as you think. Having broken through this comfort zone I do realise the benefits of these exercise in explosive power and total functionality and the benefits for me, so I’ll keep on doing it when required, but always in studio 1 away from the public. (The tremors experienced in the Westlake area recently is due to a jumping whale)

 

Last week I had to do 1 hour spin ups on the Watt Bike (just after the burpee episode) which really tested character to push on and keep going at the relevant cadence and heart rate. Up next on the Watt bike was Zone 2 to 4 with Single Leg drills, with the exercise broken down into the relevant Power Zones and not Heart Rate Zone. This was a first for me, I just always got on the Watt Bike and pedalled at whatever I felt comfortable at and at the required heart rate, no focus on power whatsoever.  Apparently the biggest advantage of training with power is that it is like lifting weights, it gives you a distinct workload or total amount of work done. So yesterday’s power zone exercise I think was to assist in getting that peddling stroke symmetric, thus the single leg drills as well as having to focus on staying within a certain power zone whilst at a certain cadence. Not as easy as it sounds and eish, it takes focus and endurance to stick within those parameters.

I like to be outside on the bike but the Watt Bike has it benefits and that is that it can help you get the specific training you need done in a relatively short amount of time each week, certainly less than riding on the road and more focussed. But Haibo! I have had to dig deep at times to keep up to the required cadence and Power Zones. Still though, hard as it has been with getting up early mornings, trying to eat less and right, going out and doing the daily exercise and also put aside some time for work, the journey thus far has been fun and knowing my riding partner is going through the same as what I am, helps a little bit in keeping that discipline and determination of not taking the easy road.

 

All I can say is that when you commit to training for a specific endurance event, know these words, Eish, Haibo and Bliksem – you might be uttering them at numerous time as you push yourself towards your goal!

Now that functional 30 minute training routine is waiting for me again this Friday – Bliksem!

Messing around on Table Mountain with the Flying Pharaoh (Eben Nel) before he leaves for Egypt and Willie du Plooy our pro athlete to keep us in check

Messing around on Table Mountain with the Flying Pharaoh (Eben Nel) before he leaves for Egypt and Willie du Plooy our pro athlete to keep us in check

Playing photographer to give Eben some memories before he departs SA

Playing photographer to give Eben some memories before he departs SA

Glad I am still able to lift my bike above my head. Love my KTM Scarp Prestige

Glad I am still able to lift my bike above my head. Love my KTM Scarp Prestige

The Orange brand dominating Table Mountain at the Blockhouse

The Orange brand dominating Table Mountain at the Blockhouse

Willie just showing off

Willie just showing off

FTP or WTF!

IMG_8212Now those of you that know me, and perhaps have had loads of spare time and read one or two of my posts, will know that I ride for fun and to finish and sprinting or pushing myself too hard is not often (or ever) on the riding agenda. Waking up yesterday I was wary of the new experienced that lied ahead for me, see I have decided to get on board with a coach again and signed on with Alasdair Garnett from The Practise that came highly recommended. Him being in Johannesburg necessitated a FTP test being done on me in Cape Town for him to assess where my fitness levels are at. You might not know what FTP stands for yet, but I sure you know the meaning of WTF, but we will get to all this just now. My 2016 Absa Cape Epic partner, Thinus also signed on with Alasdair and had to do the FTP test a week or so ago and phoned me post his torture, thus my reluctance to go put my mind and body through anticipated pain.

 

Back to writing something meaningful in telling you what the FTP tests involve; let’s start with what FTP is (WTF will come later). FTP is Functional Threshold Power or quite simply put, a measure of fitness, FTP is the maximum wattage an athlete can sustain for 60 minutes and according to some the single greatest determinant of cycling performance. So back to WTF, I mean the FTP test, there are a couple of ways to establish your FTP: a blood lactate test, a sustained 60 minute effort, or a 20 minute field test. No one told me about the blood lactate test! So off to the most common and easily accessible 20 minute field test, conducted by Mr. Watt Bike in SA, Steve Saunders who after the Double Century stayed on to do the test on me for Alasdair, which also meant no hiding away on the bike with the watchful eye of Adel making sure I stick to the cadence and program.TCThe Test

 

First, warm up for 20 minutes starting with easy pedalling and progressively building to more zone 2 endurance pressure on the pedals and some insane maximum cadence rotations, eish! Then the fun started as you need to go for 20 minutes at your maximum pace or power output at the whatever resistance you prefer – Eina! (For my English speaking friends, that means ouch!). That really hurt as I had to dig deep to keep on going for the full time at a pace I probably never ever rode a bike at. As you grind through the lactic pain barrier and you try and keep mind focussed on that smooth pedal stroke and even cadence to keep going on and on, with time seeming to stand still – you think WTF! Told you we would get back to that – mind out of the gutter now and think positive training thoughts, you all knew I meant: Will Train Frequently to not ever suffer like that again. Now from this 20 minute test one apparently takes 95% of the average power and uses that as your FTP. It seems mine is 231.8 for whatever that means. (Isolated time of last 8.5 minutes of the 20 where my average was output was 244). 231 watts was the average over the 20 minutes, perhaps I can bribe my coach to use this number (231 x 0.95 = 219.45). Just kidding Alasdair, I am very worried that you are coaching my riding partner to be even quicker than what he already is, and he likes chasing the clock as for me I just want to make it to the finish line in time.

movescountAnyway, now that your head hurts after trying to decipher all that here is some links to perhaps clarify all this FTP stuff and how it impacts on your fitness and training program:

·         Training Peaks

·         Watt Bikes

Check out the services offered by UCI Accredited coaching from The Practice that could assist you in your training goals. When training towards a goal in the form of a specific event or just for general fitness and health it does definitely help to have a structured plan to help you improve but also not losing the fun and enjoyment factor. (I believe a certain founder of a 8 day mountain bike race is also doing a FTP test this week, good luck KV, we can’t suffer alone)

 

One more tip to help with your core muscles and the ‘correct’ way to plank – check out this video

 

This week I am tackling the Pennypinchers Origin of Trails two day Mountain Bike event, really looking forward to it and be sure that when I start climbing the 1700m of climbing on each day, I will be saying, perhaps out loud – WTF!

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Great riding with the boys over the weekend Tygerberg trails and fortunately the photo was taken before the beers arrived. Miss my riding partner to take control of the hills as harsh words were spoken as two members of this group (one taking the photo) chased each other up a hill.