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

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