No Speedy Beans Here – Ride2Nowhere here we come!

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

See everyone in McGregor!

Below a few selective photos from my Ride2Nowhere journey since 2012

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

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

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