W2W – Going for number 5

It seems like a lifetime ago when I first was crazy enough to attempt riding Wines2Whales on my 26” KTM Score Prestige with in retrospect having had no idea what laid ahead and what I was doing.  What was the longest day (s) of my life on a bicycle just inspired me to become better, healthier and fitter to not have to go through that again. I am still grateful for my mate Evert Ferreira who started on this journey with me and stuck it out as I walked down single track that today I could ride without even flinching. From those early days I am about 30kg lighter a living a healthy balanced life with exercise (well mountain biking mostly) playing a big part in my weekly routine.

Pictured on the left is myself and Evert finishing Wines2Whales with the Sweeps Errol and Matt - Great bunch of guys and I'll always be thankful for their patience and help. Pictured right is myself and Thinus Crafford finishing in 2014

Pictured on the left is myself and Evert finishing Wines2Whales way back in the day (just before sunset) with the Sweeps Errol and Matt – Great bunch of guys and I’ll always be thankful for their patience and help. Pictured right is Thinus Crafford and myself finishing in 2014 with smiles.

 

I must thank Michael Meyer and his Stillwater Sports team who has been encouraging and supportive since I ensured their days of the 2011 Wines2Whales were much longer than they anticipated, the patience they had and the support to have me back the next year to race it again and through their initiative helping me with training and guiding me on the path to cycling and discovering the enjoyment of mountain biking. (Also the following year the event introduced cut-off times, I’m sure that had nothing to do with me and my endurance ride of chasing the sunset on the bike each day)

FNB Wines2Wales is a signature event for me and hopefully it can remain on my riding calendar for many years to come as I am super chuffed to be able to attempt to finish the event with for the 5th time. I am really looking forward to the event as the Stillwater team always puts together a well organised and enjoyable event and every year there are more and improvements. Please don’t tell them my training is not where it should be.

I just had to share this pic from my early toxic fluid cleansing ride outside Robertson this weeken

I just had to share this pic from my early toxic fluid cleansing ride outside Robertson this weekend

This weekend saw me out camping, something I haven’t done in ages and what a great experience it was. Forget about sleeping in a tent and all the other non-apparent glamorous stuff as just being out with great people with loads of fun made for a fantastic weekend. Well done Nikki on surviving your first “glamping” (Glamorous Camping) experience. Rich and Diana thanks for the organising of everything and all the arrangements, I’m sure Toby, Anna, Matt and Liesl will support me in saying that it was great and we need the abovementioned four to ensure we visit the best farms for great wine tasting. Speaking of which, this fits in perfectly with the upcoming Wines2Whales adventure as instead of riding my bike and training, I tasted wine instead and the good food enjoyed (even my potjie as edible) worked towards adding to my whale weight. It was a great weekend and we had so much fun and laughs that the one bike ride on Saturday morning might as well been seen as just body cleansing of toxic fluids. Let’s go camping!

 

I can’t wait for the weekend to catch up with all my mates and people one has befriended at W2W over the years. Thinus travel safe and let’s make this one and event to remember and make sure Rob and Marius does not get to taste that tub of ice cream of success!

As at most camping trips cold liquid was enjoyed

As at most camping trips cold liquid was enjoyed

Fire and a potjie as we waited for the wind...

Fire and a potjie as we waited for the wind…

The yummy contents of the potjie (No it was not banting friendly)

The yummy contents of the potjie (No it was not banting friendly)

A Zebra was spotted in the campsite #NoComment

A Zebra was spotted in the campsite #NoComment

A plan was made to watch the rugby (and then we lost)

A plan was made to watch the rugby (and then we lost)

Don't worry Evert, only the adults went wine tasting

Don’t worry Evert, only the adults went wine tasting

It finally happened

Now I’ve been meaning to get on my bike for ages. Sounds familiar? I’m sure it does and as for me I have been meaning to start riding in the week before work for ages, months at least. But somehow could never get myself to go out in the cold and dark and either ended up in gym or on the couch in front of the TV. Having recently completed the Ride2Nowhere stage race I thought that would jump start myself to commit to that tenuous early morning training routine. Didn’t happen! So a bout of flu and a Braai (Heritage) day recovery done, I finally got myself to dress up (warmly) and hit the tar road pedalling and that ONE DAY too late to see the Blood Moon in full showing, dammit! Next weekend is Berg and Bush and two weeks later Wines2Whales so I might need to keep on going – to keep on going and going and going … (Only wish summer would arrive in Cape Town soon)

 

I recently had to see two mates leave Cape Town, one that is moving to the Land of the Long White Cloud and the other one to the City of Gold  (Well somewhere between the City of Gold and the Jacaranda City). Victor, to you, Tammy and Blake – Kia Ora and all the best in the new chapter of your life. To Thinus, Lolla and Thiaan (Yes the cats too) will miss my weekend short visits after our mountain biking excursions. Make the most of life in Gauteng and see you soon and we have a few days in March to spend together on the bike.

 

In short, I need to get my, you know what, into gear to get into the prime shape my pristine athletes body was in way back in early 2014. So focus, start eating right, try to not drink beer (Evert, I said try, not succeed) and get back into that habit of training and having fun on the bike, and apparently if I stick to the previous training programme, some swimming updates aka perfecting the doggy paddle.

 

See soon and keep Balance in the Force. (I probably need to blog more often)

Time to start pushing myself to get back into that training habit and disciplines

Time to start pushing myself to get back into that training habit and disciplines

 

PS: I have a colleague that at the age of 28 weighs 154kg’s (yes he is close to 2m’s tall) – how do we get him active, healthy and to quit smoking….#AdventureWhaleChallenge

The Ride2Nowhere and new water bottles

This year has been my 4th year of riding the Ride2Nohwere and I’m afraid the secret is out as we had the largest field ever, close to capacity which I’m sure will make this an even more desirable event when the entries open soon (www.ride2nowhere.co.za).  What a gem of and event this is, fantastic riding which encompass the true soul of mountain biking fun in the mist surreal of settings of the tranquil town of McGregor.  Well done to Eulogy van Dyk and Con Viljoen for putting together this amazing three days of riding, which is actually much more than just riding as the whole community of McGregor jumps on board as the town is filled up with like-minded mountain bikers and family.

One just have to stop on the ride of Ride2Nowhere to take some photos or take in the scenery.

One just have to stop on the ride of Ride2Nowhere to take some photos or take in the scenery.

With “less” training on the bike than previously I wasn’t sure what to expect from the body for 3 days of riding after the beating it took at the previous Sunday at the Feadhelath MTB Challenge at Meerendal Wine Estate over the Tygerberg MTB Trails – Let’s just say pain and suffering on the massage table. Anyway back to day 1 of Ride2Nowhere. This was a real tough day as we rode 61km with 1700m’s of climbing over rocky and technical terrain that brought back Absa Cape Epic memories. What made it even more challenging were the wind, rain and ice cold conditions on top of the mountain, but there was no quitting as we toughed it out to the finish line.

Day 2 was slightly longer at 68km’s (and perhaps due to some awesome red wine i.e. Lords Shiraz) with the same

As always Lords Winery were at the order of the day

As always Lords Winery were at the order of the day

amount of climbing but with some beautiful riding and in the words of Event

All over the race villages were these and similar motivational/inspirational poster - and I mean everywhere

All over the race villages were these and similar motivational/inspirational poster – and I mean everywhere

Director: “It’s always very difficult to explain why McGregor or why come and do this race, but it is only once you are here and experience it that you understand why we love it here.” No truer words spoken, the changes to day 3 were phenomenal and I will be back in 2016 to experience the Ride2Nowhere and McGregor for the 5th time. Hope you will join me in what is a wonderful weekend of more than just Mountain Biking.

 

We stayed at McGregor Backpackers (www.mcgregorbackpackers.co.za)with the Norman family (Andrew, Dianne and Tristan) that arranged the accommodation and on their recommendation, it was super fantastic and owners Dorothy and Geoff were friendly and accommodating and please check out their website and if you thinking of visiting McGregor – this is the place to stay! Well done to Andrew Norman as well for finishing his 1st stage race and sorry Tristan that you unfortunately fell ill, next year a must do again (No waiting for dad 😉 ).

Well done on completing that 1st stage race Mr. Andrew Norman!

Well done on completing that 1st stage race Mr. Andrew Norman!

Although I missed my mates there from last year, it truly was another magnificent weekend that we are privileged enough with to experience through the association with mountain biking and the sport.  Thanks to Jan du Toit that helped me with my KTM activities at the event and always there to help and support us at the water points.

 

All and all once of the penned in dates on my calendar and hopefully in 2016 my other mates will be up to it and join us.

Part of the climb on day 1 ...

Part of the climb on day 1 …

On another note, I came to realise that the water bottles I am currently using on my bike (as pictured) is a bit dilapidated so I decided to ride the 2016 Absa Cape Epic for some new ones.

At this time of posting the blog, I hope my riding partner Thinus Crafford is out training….

Apparently I have the official right to use this ;)

Apparently I have the official right to use this 😉 oh and hopefully get some new water bottles

That Rude Awakening

Welcome to the harsh reality of mountain biking without proper training, that is the message I received from my body as we fought through the 60km Fedhealth MTB Challenge, hosted at Meerendal on Sunday. Those lazy mornings of rather going to the spin class then face the cold and dark riding your bike, or the infamous snooze button that kept you lying in a bit later finally caught up with me – Extreme suffering! Now the buck stops here and the training will go into full motion again. Although I enjoyed the ride I had to dig deep at stages to keep on going, missing that base endurance. All said and done it was a great ride and the event organisers (Stillwater Sports) really created a whole family weekend of mountain biking and growing the sport with young and old. I’ll be back next year and the event will surely be bigger and better (if only I had a T-shirt)

My riding partner (Thinus) and I did pretty well I think as I’m pretty satisfied with the time (although on his own Thinus would probably be an hour quicker) we took to finish. We have an adventure coming up, so watch this space…If only my partner stopped when I fell over and had to rely on the 5-10 cyclists I was holding up on the single track climb to extract my body from the side of the road. Just saying – why ride alone…

Anyway Ride2Nowhere is coming up this weekend and I am really looking forward to it as this event has always been penned in on my cycling diary. Not sure how the body will react to stage racing after the reaction from the 60km one day race. I think the images in the blog says it all – suffering.

So for all of you that haven’t embraced the spring weather (well supposed to be spring) to get active again, do it now or face the suffering I experienced once you get back on the bike again. Apparently I still have quads and they work, I promise you as I can feel them right now. For some reason when you climb for days on end your back doesn’t appreciate that either and neither does those hamstrings, that when they have had enough they send out cramping signals – Try peddling now with us, you masochist they screamed at me. So thankful there was only a few kilometres left…

Enough of that – on the bike we climb!

Apologies for not posting during winter hybernation

Up and down and up and down and up and down and up and up and up

Up and down and up and down and up and down and up and up and up

Did I maybe suffer on the day...

Did I maybe suffer on the day…

Speed

Speed

 

Falls and Friends

Now falling off your bike is never a good thing, but there is some stupid saying in the mountain biking community; that on your next ride you are only one ride away from your next fall. This proved to be true as my next ride was this last Saturday as I reunited myself with Mother Earth.

So you go riding with your friends, as most of us do from time to time, with introducing a new friend, Eben Nel, to our riding clan. Although Eben weighs probably the same as my left leg, he is still fairly new in the sport so we took it relatively easy although pushing the distance barrier of his prior individual rides.  Welcome Eben and hopefully we will see you on more rides in the future, it was great fun. Now back to that other thing of falling off your bike.

 

KTM Bicyles on display. Great to have ride with us Eben Nel. We will see you at the next Ride

KTM Bicyles on display. Great to have ride with us Eben Nel. We will see you at the next Ride

After dredging my light body on my KTM Scarp up Dorstberg at Meerendal we catch a breather as we wait to reunite the group as Eben makes it up to the top. The compulsory photo taken and being deemed as the faster ‘downhiller’ in our group I got tasked to go down first in the single track. (Normally I’m happy with obscurity and getting stuff done and in mountain biking getting to the finish line). Anyway so off I go concentrating as hard as I can without thinking of the Bulls’ poor SupeRugby performance of 2015 and knowing that Rob Kucera is behind me, chasing and trying to catch me. Flying down and having fun on a perfect Cape Town day, so the what I unconsciously decided to do is get my front wheel stuck in a rut and dive off the bike just before the track ends in a steep corner turning left, with spectators (without  flashing cameras fortunately) observing my graceful tuck-and-roll over the handle bars.

 

Now to describe what was going through my head is easy as everything seemed to happen in slow motion like the irritating slow motion of the balls heading to the posts or teams running out the tunnel in SupeRugby by Supersport’s production crew. As I found myself going off line and into the rut I realised “Hier kom k@k” (I am in sh!t or parental guidance way, I am in serious trouble) as I knew I was heading over the edge and started to brake. Needless to say braking and turning in the rut did not quite work out as momentum took my slight body over the handle bars as the bike suddenly came to an abrupt stop – tuck and roll was all I thought.

Really enjoyable trails at Meerendal Wine Estate. Just watch out for Matthew in his Landrover ;)

Really enjoyable trails at Meerendal Wine Estate. Just watch out for Matthew in his Landrover 😉

 

The dust settled, I removed my hand and glove stuck from the handle bar and stood up from the crater at Meerendal, created by my body thumping into the ground. This was all still happening in irritating Supersport slow motion and as the broadcast caught up with the live feed I realised that Rob is behind me and I should probably get myself out of this high risk corner for my friends to at least enjoy the last bit of the single track and also not crash into me. So Rob arrives: “Did you crash? I few words are exchanged in banter and all are good again.  What made me feel slightly better, hope it is not too sadistic, is that another rider fell at the same spot as I did. He is okay though and this time the spectators of my fall caught it on their GoPro. No, I unfortunately don’t have the footage.

 

In the aftermath of the 7.9 magnitude crash my handle bar was parallel with the frame post the incident. The front tyre slipped off the rim and small rocks got stuck between the tyre and the rim, which tested our tyre re-inflation skills but my Mitas tyres were all good again and with the minor adjustments to the abovementioned realigned handlebar and remote lock-out off we went again to the jump track. No holding back when pride is at stake between friends. One bent derailleur hanger later and we are looking forward to another great ride this weekend with friends, one ride closer to the next fall…

 

I all seriousness a fall can happen quickly and while I can joke about it as myself and the other rider came off not hurt there is guys out there that have fallen badly. I don’t know Jaco Veldsman who has fallen really badly recently and the mountain biking community of Tygerberg Mountain Bike Club came together in raising funds to help him with his hospital bills. Please contact them directly or Shaun Peters if you want to help further.

 

So be careful on the trails and be considered to others and if you don’t have the skills don’t try and be a hero. If you can’t ride a horse, don’t be a cowboy!

 

On a personal note to one of my friends that have been going through a tough time these last couple of months. My thoughts are with you and your family and know that you have my full support and I believe that things will work out and going forward will only be better to what the past was. New opportunities will arise. Once you have fallen the next step is to get up and get going again!

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Just a cool pic that would hopefully convince Willie du Plooy, Evert Ferreira & James Medcalf to join us. Plus all my other mates that we have endeavoured to go on a ride with us

Just a cool pic that would hopefully convince Willie du Plooy, Evert Ferreira & James Medcalf to join us. Plus all my other mates that we have endeavoured to go on a ride with us. Chantel Rall you better know what you are in for training for that event in March 2016

The Granny Gear Conundrum

First of I need to state what a fantastic weekend at the Arabella Hotel and Spa for the Arabella Challenge over the last weekend. Great riding, great facilities and great people and friends around made this a most memorable weekend in 2015. The Arabella Challenge includes a 1 day and 2 day Mountain Bike event as well as 11km and 22km trail run over the weekend and brings out like-minded people loving the outdoors and being active and to be able to do this in the scenic area of Arabella Hotel and Spa is a real privilege.

 

The Hurtenator, myself and the 'Windhond' - "These two guys are just trouble" - is that what the gesture means?

The Hurtenator, myself and the ‘Windhond’ – “These two guys are just trouble” – is that what the gesture means?

Thanks to Angela Rogers for organising a world class event and hosting us with Arabella Manager Wayne Siepman and team. Thank you guys for a great weekend and platform to showcase our KTM Bicycle brand. This event is already written in the diary for 2016, I won’t miss it!

 

After my realisation of my washing powder shrinking my clothes the last few weeks I have been disciplined and changed my diet to be nearly as healthy as when I trained for the 2014 Absa Cape Epic – yes nearly because enjoying an ice cold beer now and again is a given, but other than that trying to cut out most carbs and cutting down on portions and slowly getting myself back on the bike. For those that read the previous blog would know that I was living it up with travel and so forth and alas all trying to change that in the last few weeks to be 100% prepared for Arabella was never going to happen. Weight and gravity would play a role in my performance as the Arabella Challenge is known for loads of climbing. (I worked it out, average climbing of 26m over 1km on day 1 (1190m over 45.8km) and 26.4m over 1km on Day 2 (1252m over 47.4km). Coupled that with too much red wine (Thanks Alexa Cunningham), mixed with some brandy and then Spiced Gold (Thanks Nikki Ferreira) and the normal beers with the mates and riding partners Thinus Crafford and Marius Hurter my day 1 was not that great. Someday I will learn.(I could have posted photos of someone dancing wearing a red belt, but I won’t. The supper with all was great and I haven’t had so much fun in quite a while and the sufferig on day one was worth it)

Thanks Marius for sticking with me on Day 1, it was an awesome ride, although it took some time for this body to function properly and well done CunningHAM! For your 2nd place and keeping the ‘Windhond’ aka Thinus away from us so I could utilise my granny gear as much as possible (Even though Marius did mention to me that I should find some other gears than granny, and that’s where it all started).  The best invention in cycling is the granny gear to keep us big boys active and going upwards, just saying.

I blame the one in the black kit in the front for forcing that awesome red wine down my throat for climbing at granny speed. Well done on your 2nd place Alexa!

I blame the one in the black kit in the front for forcing that awesome red wine down my throat for climbing at granny speed. Well done on your 2nd place Alexa!

 

With day 1 done and dusted we were far more well behaved, and although we still enjoyed the rugby Stormers vs Bulls (well nearly enjoyed it) with some beers dished up by Evert Ferreira moderation was the order of the day. A biohazard zone was declared in the bar area where we were watching the rugby as a gas released by an associate had all of us running for masks and fresh air. I will not name names but he rode with me on the second day of the challenge and gave me lots of stick for trying to propel my heavy and tired body forward on day 2 as we started the day with 600m climbing over the 1st 12kms. Now for this person, Thinus, who gave me so much stick on having to find another gear than granny, which forced me to use profanities and obscene gestures towards him, I do apologise and say thanks for enduring the 3h57m with me on the bike. It was great fun and you know I am working towards a leaner and meaner me again. Soon I will be fit and most importantly lighter again, or alternatively I could add a 30kg bag for you to carry with when we cycle again – just kidding, looking forward to our next ride.

 

The moral of this long ramble about weight and granny gear is that it is important that one sticks with the disciplines that work in your diet and try not to stray from it and as with most things dedication and hard work is important and for now, after the HouwHoek Tour this weekend, we will be back to the training regime.

 

I hope that next time we will have our friends out there again, those that couldn’t make it this year, we really missed you guys! Thanks for all the photos and Facebook updates Marilize van Niekerk and to all the friends that were there and the new ones we made.

To Du Toit Botes and Evert Ferreira for giving me so much stick – and they will know what I am talking about. Thanks for all the help and support Jan du Toit, it is appreciated.

 

Now for HouwHoek and to find a way to stay out of granny gear and grinding my way up the hills…

Room with a view. Always great to stay at Arabella Hotel and Spa

Room with a view. Always great to stay at Arabella Hotel and Spa

Spotted at 1st water point with no KTM PhatBoy is sight. Thanks Marius for at least waiting for me. Grinding in granny

Spotted at 1st water point with no KTM PhatBoy is sight. Thanks Marius for at least waiting for me. Grinding in granny

Did someone say helmet hair?

Did someone say helmet hair?

Life happens…

Dear Diary it has been 4 weeks since any physical activity in the form of exercise that includes cycling and or cardio in the gym and I can only blame life. Having packed my bag for gym the previous night I tossed and turned this morning, I’m lying, I only turned and the decision was made that I did not feel like going to gym this morning – and yes my clothes are fitting a lot tighter than before. I will have to investigate the washing powder I am using as surely it has nothing to do with living the dream from entertaining clients at the Absa Cape Epic, flying to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike Show and or being sick with flu for the last week and a bit. Nothing I tell you.  Before I continue I would like to apologise to the readers I might have on this blog, as per the exercise I have been neglecting the writing as I need to find that inspiration again for both instances.

 

Riding with the JAGFoundation and the Ride4Change campaign with Stefan Sahm and Timo Cooper

Riding with the JAGFoundation – JAGRiders programme in Bonteheuwel – and the Ride4Change campaign with Stefan Sahm and Timo Cooper

Spending the day at Absa Cape Epic registration representing Mitas. Pictured here with David & Johan Labuschagne, Janka Stevkova, Pavel Nosek (Mitas Czech Republic), Yolande de Villiers and myself. Janka and Yolande from SasolRacing went on to finish 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic

Spending the day at Absa Cape Epic registration representing Mitas. Pictured here with David & Johan Labuschagne, Janka Stevkova, Pavel Nosek (Mitas Czech Republic), Yolande de Villiers and myself. Janka and Yolande from SasolRacing went on to finish 3rd in the Absa Cape Epic

Anyway no excuse as around the corner is the 4th annual Arabella Challenge followed by the Houwhoek Tour a week later, so needless to say gravity and fitness might play a factor as to how I perform at these events. These events are a must on my calendar and I won’t miss it for the world, so join us if you can. With winter encroaching us slowly here in Cape Town riding in the early mornings are becoming more and more challenging due to the cold and especially the darkness which plays a major factor in safety on the bike obviously. So finding that inspiration and digging deep to go out there has been a real challenge, I do blame the flu I picked up coming back from Taiwan though. No I did not wear the ‘mask’ as you commonly see out there. I did try the beer and some of the local cuisine. No factor in shrinking clothes. (Now if only I didn’t donate all my ‘bigger’ clothes after the 2014 Absa Cape Epic weight loss saga. Fortunately Lycra stretches)

 

The sights and sounds of Taipei at night

The sights and sounds of Taipei at night

Spending some time at the Taipei Bike Show meeting up with KTM HQ Austria and KTM Asia

Spending some time at the Taipei Bike Show meeting up with KTM HQ Austria and KTM Asia

To some up my life the last four weeks: Last bike ride 12 March with the JAG Foundation and Ride4Change, and then the Absa Cape Epic activation and sponsor hosting of Pavel from Mitas until the 16th at the event that did involve some cold beers and eating out. Fly out to Taiwan for the Taipei Bike Show on the 17th and return on the 22nd, and of course eating out and having a cold beer or wine with the KTM guys and traveling colleague. After nearly 24hours traveling time; land on the 22nd at 16:00 and be at the Absa Cape Epic after party at 16:30 till late followed by wrap up day with Mitas and the family to ensure everyone is on their planes. Tuesday 24th break down KTM Bicyle display at The Westin Cape Town, Wednesday and Thursday catch up with some old friends, which meant Tequila was involved and still fighting off jet lag. Friday and the flu hits to have me man down the whole weekend and week to follow and withdraw from the crazy idea that was running the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon and then finally get back on the bike Easter Friday with Eulogy van Dyk from the Ride2Nowhere (Event not to miss as well), still flu-ish and then mechanical after 7km which meant organising another bike for the Saturday ride, with the 22km ride ending in the wind and rain encouraging the flu to stay longer. Easter Sunday potjiekos with mates and Monday lunch at The Toad in the Village and here we are…life just flew by in a few weeks.

 

Local cuisine at KTM dinner, can't quite remember what this was

Local cuisine at KTM dinner, can’t quite remember what this was

Also local cuisine as it was bought in Taipei. Has nothing to do with my experience currently of a heavier gravitational pull from Mother Earth

Also local cuisine as it was bought in Taipei. Has nothing to do with my experience currently of a heavier gravitational pull from Mother Earth

I think all of us have different challenges in life for different reasons and that does play a factor in ones state of mind and behaviour. The only thing we know is that life goes on and it does not wait for you and you need to go out there and make things happen to what you desire and belief that you want out of life, i.e. a washing powder that does not shrink your clothes.

Now that is enough preaching from me as I have some big decisions to make and the first being will I go to gym after work. The bag is packed so I might as well go see if I can still survive the super circuit and then go charge those cycling lights.

 

Hopefully I will be back on track and be able to give some feedback on the next challenge and life adventure and Chantel Rall I’m still not totally convinced Iron Man is for me…#Swimming

 

View from the top of the Taipei Garden hotel

View from the top of the Taipei Garden hotel

As South Africans do we found a pub, even if it was English it was the closest to home and even had Super Rugby on the TV, and of course cold beer

As South Africans do we found a pub, even if it was English it was the closest to home and even had Super Rugby on the TV, and of course cold beer

 

 

 

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The MRT is a bit busy on a Saturday in Taipei and maybe I should have worn the mask to fight off the impeding flu

The MRT is a bit busy on a Saturday in Taipei and maybe I should have worn the mask to fight off the impeding flu

A bit more of Taipei City, also known as a enormous flea market

A bit more of Taipei City, also known as a enormous flea market

Recovering at Stage 9 of the Absa Cape Epic, the after party. Best way to combat jet lag i thought.

Recovering at Stage 9 of the Absa Cape Epic, the after party. Best way to combat jet lag i thought.

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Unfortunately Marius Hurter was nowhere in sight when I had to break down the KTM display at The Westin Cape Town

Unfortunately Marius Hurter was nowhere in sight when I had to break down the KTM display at The Westin Cape Town

Energy Management

11053516_10152591360285951_926697713234113573_nThe theory and implementation of energy management – more about that later, let’s start off with the challenging week of devastation for so many in the Cape Peninsula region with the Cape Fire raging and destroying over 4000 hectares of vegetation and so forth. When I got up early last Sunday morning for the Cape Town Cycle Tour Mountain Bike event I saw this orange glow on the mountain and thinking to myself, shucks, fire on the mountain. Little did I know or think about was damage this little orange glow on the mountain would cause over the next few days. It is really sad to see this beautiful landscape being destroyed, and yes fires are a common occurrence and good for the vegetation etc. (Fynbos and fire) as stated by one of my friends on Facebook, it is just sad that the effect of this fire were on such a large scale and so to my friend living on the other side with a view of

Fire raging above Swaanswyk in Tokai

Fire raging above Swaanswyk in Tokai

Smoke from the fire in Tokai on Wednesday

Smoke from the fire in Tokai on Wednesday

Table Mountain, people were making a big hoo-ha about the fire as they were affected by it personally and not looking from afar. BIG KUDOS to the fireman, volunteers and all emergency services for doing their utmost to try and contain these runaway fires fuelled by the howling South Easter. You guys are all true heroes and I will ride the shortened Cape Town Cycle Tour out of respect and admiration for all you have done and solidarity shown in caring for your community and environment. (#‎Showyoucaresolidarityride)

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M3 was standing still and the whole of Tokai cover in smoke

 

Now a lot of people and animals were affected by this natural (or un-natural) disaster and your support is needed and required to help those affected. And myself getting along with most of the animal kind creatures, except snakes, spiders, crocodiles, house cats, mosquitos and some homo sapiens please pledge and support to Four Paws South Africa. Here is to the human spirit in never giving up!

 

Back to the energy management statement, so last Saturday morning I joined The Westin Cape Town, Rob Kucera and team for a breakfast ride with former Springbok rugby player and avid extreme endurance sport nutter, and a tighthead prop, Marius Hurter his endurance event participation. Now Marius does not stand back for a challenge and is once again taking on the Absa Cape Epic, this time with former Welsh number eight, Colin Charvis. During our ride some of our co-riders sprinted off and we started chatting about how some guys just go flat out and us bigger boys need to look after

Breakfast ride with Marius Hurter, Kirsten Curtis, Anthony van Schalkwyk, Caroline van Schalkwyk, Phat Boy, Rob Kucera & Grant Curtis

Breakfast ride with Marius Hurter, Kirsten Curtis, Anthony van Schalkwyk, Caroline van Schalkwyk, Phat Boy, Rob Kucera & Grant Curtis

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Turning at the top of Suikerbossie. If only we knew what would transpire we should have gone up Chappies

ourselves and reserve our energy to make sure we get to the end of an endurance event, thus the energy management application or theory to not over exhort oneself if there is no need to. Like at the Absa Cape Epic – get off you bike and push it up the steep hill, no need to try and ride it, still a long way and many days left for instance. No need to rush if you are just riding to finish, why get the heart rate up too high, just unnecessary energy wasting. Anyway, if only I listened to myself and wasn’t brave and confident at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Mountain Bike on Sunday and pedalled up those steep short hills. Bad decision making like the Lions in the final few minutes against the Stormers, the result could have been different and so the same for me – at 40km there was this sudden brick wall across the trails that I hit flat on! And that was it, trying to recover after pushing oneself to this point is futile and I struggled to get myself to the 55km finish line, but I did and probably ate a week’s food in one afternoon. Never again will I break the code and push myself beyond the energy management limits. Our big boys like suffering, but within our own a

The breakfast and talk by Marius on his preparation for the Absa Cape Epic and other endurance events as a non pro and bigger built person

The breakfast and talk by Marius on his preparation for the Absa Cape Epic and other endurance events as a non pro and bigger built person

If I'm not smiling on this photo at the finish of the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB it is because energy was depleted due to non coherence to the energy management principal

If I’m not smiling on this photo at the finish of the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB it is because energy was depleted due to non coherence to the energy management principal

cceptable levels and we need to keep our diesel engines fuelled.

Good luck to everyone riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour sprint edition this Sunday, know that there are bigger issues than riding a bike for 109km’s and appreciate the fact that we will be able to ride at all. To all those doing the 2015 Absa Cape Epic, know that I am suffering from some serious FOMO and I hope all goes well for you all.

 

No to refuel after all this typing, did someone say T-Bone steak …

The Nut House…

Stranded on the side of the road with broken chain not much fun, at least I got to say howzit to Dave Bellairs traing for the Unogwaja Challenge (www.unogwajachallenge.com)

Stranded on the side of the road with broken chain not much fun, at least I got to say howzit to Dave Bellairs traing for the Unogwaja Challenge (www.unogwajachallenge.com)

Stardate 92679.49, the day the world have changed forever. Not sure if it is something I ate, or all the bumps on my head from playing rugby or just plain stupidity. It seems that I somehow got myself into running the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon – more like half crazy – WTF. Talking about crazy, the reason I’m probably going to be running, well shuffling through it is because the mad hatters of Vik Norval and Richard Walker (The boys from Creative Workshop) are doing it, and I just could not let these two be out there alone. The world, in this case, the runners, need protection from these two individuals. Good on ya boys, now don’t pull out as you will then force me to do the same. Many years we worked at there, now we can be demanding afterwards. And no Vik, we will not start the run with a Tequila, on the other hand maybe I should speak to my mates at Red Bull….Tequila Red Bull to start with…

 

STOP, before you go that route; I won’t stop mountain biking. That is still my preferred choice of burning fat of this athlete in trainings body, the best way! Further details will follow as we will actually be running for a cause as well. Yes Shane Colloty, you might see the irony in that once announced – exclusively on this blog.

I know it is different running, but perhaps Ryan Sandes would have some pointers for me, because 21km would be a serious endurance run for me. Yes I know, just lose another 15kg’s. But seriously, any advice will do, as per a previous blog, I just started with 5km runs and that is still extremely painful. I have to use the Sklz foam roller intensively to remove the stiffness in those extremely powerful, and well build mountain bike calves of mine. Did someone say stretching…

 

On a lighter side, got back on the road bike last weekend where we started at The Westin Cape Town and did a circle route to the Southern Peninsula with Rob and Thinus. The weather was great, the company was great and the ride was going well, that is until, the abovementioned calves was also too strong for a road bike chain. Result – broken chain at the start of the climb on Chapman’s Peak on the way back to Cape Town. There was no ways I was going to miss the planned breakfast at The Westin with a Weiss Bier I could taste at 6am already when we started the ride (Thanks for the breakfast Rob) Thanks Willie for coming out to fetch me all the way out and for Belia to allow you to drive that far out of Camps Bay. Anyway, the chain break could also have been the result of my chain not having been cleaned in probably 6 to 7 months, or who knows since when.

Colourful on top of Chappies with Thinus Crafford, Rob Kucera and myself (the white is not flattering or flattening my stomach)

Colourful on top of Chappies with Thinus Crafford, Rob Kucera and myself (the white is not flattering or flattening my stomach)

No Phat Boys here to block the view

No Phat Boys here to block the view

Rookie mistake, so here it is: how to look after your road bike chain:

“When mechanics talk about lubing a chain, what we mean is adding lubrication in between the side plates and under the center roller. Lube any place else serves no positive purpose. Unless you consider a grotesquely embarrassing mess a positive. Anytime you lube your chain you should let it soak in for a few minutes and wipe off as much of the excess as possible. Then wipe the chain off again after your ride. And again after the next ride. There’s no need to add more lube until your chain starts squeaking.” http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/repair-maintenance/3-super-easy-things-your-bike-mechanic-wishes-you-would-do

No tar in sight!

No tar in sight on this KTM!

Momentum Grape MTB Ride – Bring out the family

SWF A5 MTB Flyer 2015 v11_Page_1So I was fortunate enough to start this week in the best possible way – and that of course is mountain bike riding as I got invited for an InstaRide (you heard me!) as a prelude to the Momentum Grape MTB Ride that forms part of the Stellenbosch Wine Festival.  The concept of the ride I think is fantastic and Meurant Botha did will in having the vision taking the riders from Coetzenburg Sports Grounds to the gate of Jonkersjoek and back, apparently the thing cyclist do in Stellenbosch (maybe the will realise they can go through the gate and onto amazing single tracks, anyway that is not what this ride is about, it is all about family and dad, mom and kids enjoying a morning out on the bicycle and taking in the beautiful surrounding on this not at all difficult ride with rolling road closures. There is one small bump in the road as you go towards Lanzarec Wine Estate, but if my 110kg’s could make I am sure with a little bit of effort everyone will do that with ease.

I don't need to say anything, bring the wife and kids, or husband and kids and come ride here

I don’t need to say anything, bring the wife and kids, or husband and kids and come ride here

So dusts off those bikes in the garage put on some lube and hope that your sons or daughters won’t embarrass you on the bike by dropping you on the abovementioned small incline in the road. A bonus, besides the beautiful scenery is a little bit of flat single track through the forest, some flat flowing gravel road and riding on the foot path back to Coetzenburg with some tar road in between.

Various section on the route you will be able to ride on the cycling path although rolling road closures will be the order of the day

Various section on the route you will be able to ride on the cycling path although rolling road closures will be the order of the day

Now I would like to join in the fun, but seeing this is a family ride and that elusive female wife has not yet caught me and forced me to commit, it might seem odd that a Phat Boy ride there alone. To all my friends with families, I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the Stellenbosch Wine Festival as by enjoying some outdoor time on the bike with the little ones – and the wife.

To keep it official here is the official press release”:

From 30 January to 1 February 2015, visitors to the Stellenbosch Wine Festival will again be able to experience the very best of what this popular wine region has to offer – the best wine, the most delicious food, great music and art and the breathtakingly beautiful natural environment of the Boland. The 2015 festival will offer an innovative family friendly format that for the first time will be held at the Coetzenburg grounds, a beautiful new venue that will serve to enhance this already well-known festival.

The Momentum Grape MTB Ride is an exciting new addition to the annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival presented by Pick n Pay, and promises a fun cycling outing towards Jonkershoek and back.  Most of the 18km ride takes place on local tar roads with small sections of easy dirt roads and tracks to make sure you do use the knobblies on your tires!

Heading out from the Wine Festival venue at Coetzenburg, riders head up Jonkershoek Road past estates like Lanzerac, Starke Condè and Rudera, up to the turnaround point at the Nature Reserve gate before embarking on the return loop via Assegaaibos and the Jonkershoek Road cycle path. The turnaround area is also the highest point on the route so riders can look forward to mostly freewheeling back home.

Although this ride is well known to any Stellenbosch local, an added feature is that special permission has been obtained from Cape Nature to utilise the more secluded Assegaaibos section to the route, which is not usually accessible.

All finishers receive a special commemorative medal as well as entry into the wine festival where a lucky draw takes place after the ride.

Registration can be done from 06h00 at Coetzenburg Sports Grounds for the ride that will set off at 07h30.

For entries (R100 online and R130 on the day), visit www.stellenboschwinefestival.co.za or contact Dirtopia at 021 884 4752.  All entrants to the MTB ride will receive Stellenbosch Wine Festival venue access. An additional cost of R75 is applicable if you wish to partake in the wine tasting experience.

– See more on www.endurohub.co.za

PS: Thanks Chantel, Tiaan and Meurant for a nice morning out
Surreal

Surreal

The ride promises to be so much fun

The ride promises to be so much fun

Stop and enjoy the view

Stop and enjoy the view

You can stop for an Instagram or Twitter photo but don't go cutting these flowers on the ride - #JustSaying

You can stop for an Instagram or Twitter photo but don’t go cutting these flowers on the ride – #JustSaying