Going to Extremes

Now this could be interpreted in many ways, it is an extremely long time since I posted on this blog (Am I extremely lazy in updating and writing this) or the fact that I took on the Ride2Nowhere in September in extreme weather conditions (heat wave) or the fact that the day one climb(s) was extremely tough and that I was extremely under trained. It could also be the fact that two weeks later I took on the extreme 100km MTB challenge the Karoo2Coast with no significant training post the Ride2nowhere due to being man down for more than a week on anti-biotics. Then it could also be the fact that I took up the 107km PPA One Tonner Road Bike Challenge later with no significant trainer either due to recovery from abovementioned Karoo2coast, the sore back and working away from home and late commitment to the event. So possibly did not extremely feel like writing for extreme mental recovery after doing all the above-mentioned and more.

Some peddle assist was required up some of the hills. Fantastic team work and love riding with these two

I do sincerely apologise for any possible readers out there that may or may not have missed my cycling and training updates. I apologise to the both of you and endeavour to try and update more regularly. I won’t spend too much time on the event feedbacks (I think it might be a lie, read on to find out).

Fun was had as well. Dom and Andrew flying down (Not sure who went ahead to take the pic)

The Ride2Nowhere (still a must do event for everyone) was tough as Dom, Andrew and I took up the short route challenge of which day 1 does include a lot of climbing in the first half of the ride. Some, including myself, may not have been as prepared for a MTB ride, especially post a cold and rainy Cape Town winter. So day one took its toll and we laboured to the finish line. What we do know is that we found the location of the church in McGregor. Happy to cross the finish line we recovered and hydrated as one should with loads of wine and meat on the braai after a long tough day.

We debut in our Triptych Resources kit as well. Official transfer partner of the event. (Myself, Dom, Andrew and Trystan)

Dom was taking strain and the next day there was digging deep to be done after the character testing of day 1. As those that have done endurance races are well aware of and may have experienced the exploration of those deep dark places in your mind. A HUGE thank you to Andrew and all his support, helpful hands up the hills and supportive words. We found the church in McGregor again.

 

Well done to my fiancé as she took to the starting line the next day as we rolled up and out of McGregor for day 2, the start of the heatwave with a cool 36 degrees Celsius (and much higher in the mountains). The spirit was good and we enjoyed the trails until the heat got to us. Andrew had to go ahead as Trystan, his son, had a fall and had to be taken to hospital (Superman off the bike). Dom and I worked our way towards the finish. There is a saying that you are only one ride away from your next fall and someone, a female, not naming names, that rode with myself and Andrew, somehow got it right on a slight incline to topple over to the side. (Which foot’s cleat was out if the tumble took place towards the downhill on the right)? Glad you were not too hurt the unnamed one.

It was hard work up the hills

We ambled on, but eventually the heat took its toll and Dom wisely decided to call it the day after about 27km. She was left stranded in the middle of nowhere with only the blistering sun as company as I continued on chasing to catch up with Andrew and to find civilization. (Don’t fear she was with the route medic and at a known location to the event organisers. I would never leave her stranded without back-up and support knowing she would be safe, besides she’s has been stranded alone before. No too long ago left in the middle of the Krom river (not by me, although I was present). She knows how to look after herself. Riding on I could start to feel the effects of being out in the heat and ran out of water. Dehydration started to set in (Nothing to do with a runny tummy on Thursday, loads of anti-inflammatory or not drinking enough water) as I peddled on passing all the known faces that passed us earlier. I got to the last water point desperate for fluids, fighting off dizziness and a headache and could not even interact in a well-mannered fashion with everyone there, including Dom (whom I was very happy to see was not in the middle of nowhere anymore) and her rescuers. In retrospect I should have not continued.  The last 10km was extremely long as I pushed just to reach the finish and having to stop and slow myself down to ensure I stay upright to the finish. It was a long tough day and extremes were reached in a test of perseverance. I did however find the church in McGregor.

Kudos for Dom on day 3 as she took on the challenge to ride on all 3 days. We went well and Andrew joined up with us again after taking care of Trystan the previous day. Day 3 is always a great riding day at the

It was extremely hot out there

Ride2Nowhere and we took it easily and enjoyed the amazing trails and environment. Another wise decision was mad at the last water point as Dom decided she will stop as she enjoyed the ride up to then and pushing on would just be a bit too much. (It was 39 degrees Celsius in the shade). Seeing her wait at the finish line as Andrew and I crossed put a smile on my face and made me happy. More of this to be experienced two weeks later but for now we found the church in McGregor.

 

The view from Paradise Found Guest House in Knysna

So enter more anti-inflammatory and not enough water to result in extreme urinary infection later in the week which resulted in antibiotics which resulted in no training for the 100km Karoo2Coast experience. Dom returned from Kenya after midnight on that Thursday before the event and were off to work 1st thing in the morning to get her event report done. We left for Knysna after work to stay at the amazing Paradise Found Guest House a must stay if you go in that direction. It must have been extremely tough for her as sleep deprivation is not a good thing for the De Lauwere and especially after a tough event week away from home. Rain was predicted for our ride and I optimistically tried to tell myself it will stay away. It did not! Not having done the event before I had no idea what to expect but knew I would have to dig deep to finish (Those deep dark places mentioned

Well done on finishing a tough ride Andrew Norman and fighting the conditions out there with me

before). We got up at 4am and drove 2hours to Union Dale for the start wh

Apparently it was wet and muddy out there

ich also makes it an extremely long day before you event started. A huge thank you to my brother in law, Johan Labushcagne and my sister Dirkie for arranging everything for us. The ride was in extreme conditions as it was bucketing down with rain, ice cold and icy windy combined with loads of climbing made it a bug challenge to keep going. Our average temperature for our 7h35min bike ride was 8 degrees Celsius with a max of 16 and a low of 3. It was F….xtremely cold. My back started giving me issues after halfway, which delayed our ride a bit as I had to stop to stretch it out and Andrew very patiently guided me to the finish. And here again we had our biggest supporters waiting for us at the finish line as Dianne and Dom braved the extreme weather to wait for us. Happiness, a warm heart and a smile on the face as our names got shouted and we saw familiar faces.

 

Enjoy the downhill, the climb is about to start

Not having suffered enough on the bike I agreed to ride 106km PPA One Tonner road bike with Andrew. Working away from home resulted in minimum training and especially also having to recover after Karoo2Coast as well ma

Put in the hard work to reap the benefits, but also take time out to relax and reward yourself

de the ride really tough. But we did it, 107km done and dusted back pain and all. Hopefully I can avoid going to extremes in the future to participate in events and get myself back to the training regime of a few years ago and be better prepared to enjoy these amazing events even more.

Keep on living healthy, get yourself out of bed, off the couch and active it really makes a difference in living, feeling better and happier.  After this is posted I’m hitting the couch to catch up on some weekend sport I missed.
PS: Looking to move your bicycle from door to door addresses or specific event transfers. We can help and you can find out more here: www.advwhaleeventsolutions.co.za or travelling to South Africa and need assistance with moving your bikes we have a solution for you

Falling Apart

Life has the knack of throwing curveballs and challenges at you just as you think that things are running smoothly. I think we all know what I am talking about, that unnecessary thing that happens to put you back in your place or to irritate you senselessly and you ask but why, why Larry, WHY!?

So no sneaky creepy spider in my pants taking a bite in my scrumptious nether regions, but that dreaded back hernia is back. Taking a vow of silence to not let potential athletic scouts know about my setback in my bustling cycling career, I have to come forward in public to face the scrutiny of why it happened again. The simple answer is; I don’t know! Supposedly not allowed to carry heavy stuff and then maybe doing that exact thing (define heavy if you feel indestructible) over a few months could have played a part, or maybe it was just inevitable after the first structural damage to the spine.

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Yes that is me in the background pushing my bicycle at the 2014 Absa Cape Epic. The day when you get published in a national magazine (Ride) and the focus was not on you but the guy (Reuben Van Niekerk) riding his bicycle in front of you (He is amazing for what he has achieved)

 

And no, my Fiancé had no part to play in my back deconstruction (Oops, did I type this out loud. Sorry my love). Dom was away in Zambia and I (currently working for myself as you would call it if you looking for a fixed employment space) was ready to go on an early morning bike ride. Everything was ready, tyres inflated to the exact pressure desire, lights fitted and charged, water bottles filled, clothing and shoes ready to just crawl into to be out of bed and onto the bike in 5 minutes. It did not happen that way.

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An Epic time with Gerrie Beukes and Mitas. Did some marketing activation work for Mitas Tyres, Official Tyre Supplier of the Absa Cape Epic and realised again what a massive operation this is (One I hope not to have on my back)

My cellular device, that also doubles as an alarm clock, rudely shouted at me at 5:15 am and determined to go burn off all the beer and pizza reserves rolled over towards the edge of the empty, lonely bed to get up for a nice short 3 hour ride. Feeling not entirely mobile and in a little bit of pain I got up and headed towards the cycling clothing pile sat out in formation to crawl into. During the sloth walk I realized that cycling were not going to happen uncomfortableness in the lower back and pain messages slowly made its way to my mushy brain.

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Look I made it to TV at the Cape Epic Grand Finale (The bigger portioned person on the blue shirt on the left)

The pain in the right hamstring burned its way to me hopping back to bed as it felt like I torn every muscle in that hamstring and the pain in the back kicked in. All this suddenly felt familiar to that day in October 2017 when my back decided to do the same on the day Dominique left for Durban for a week of work. As Alanis Morissette would say in her beautiful voice: “And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think”

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So awesome to have my Fiancé at the Grand Finale with me

This Tuesday has become unforgettable in my life as I were confined to nearly no movement the whole day and using every kind of pain pill and/or anti-inflammatory available in our house. Nothing worked and don’t event bring up trying to go for a wee. Firstly it would take like felt like an hour to try and get upright from the loving couch absorbing my pain as I lay in the fetal position (or anyway that did not hurt), then having to hop and sloth slowly towards the bathroom. Reaching this short term goal, standing like a canine to do number one whilst biting down on all your resolve to try and dissipate the pain hoping that the release of build-up water in the bladder goes down and out quickly. It was not pleasant, neither was trying to stand or be upright anywhere. But enough of relaying my painful story and chasing away my potential athletic sponsors and back to reality. Life throws difficulty at us all the time and things we may not want or expect. The way we move on and handle these hazardous obstacles will be what define us and I will be back out riding as soon as I can. This Monday is D-day as the qualified doctor paid highly to use a knife for fun, I mean work, will determine my path forward post the MRI review as the machine will reveal my deepest secrets. Hopefully I am not falling apart too much.

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Legend at the Absa Cape Epic and former Springbok tighthead prop, Marius Hurter with former Protea Netball star, Adele Niemand making sure our nerves worked throughout the week as the pushed the cut-off times to the limit

Watch this space and hopefully soon we can go on a cycling journey towards fitness again with my Fiancé riding the path with me. Catch us soon.

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The start of my 2014 Absa Cape Epic. The week at this years’ Cape Epic brought back a lot of memories

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The finish of my 2nd Absa Cape Epic in 2016 with Thinus Crafford. Who knows, maybe a 3rd one is still achievable; bad back and all. Hell of a story 

We will see you at the Walkerbay Xtreme (working) and the Ride2Nowhere (hopefully riding)

Tsunami in the Klein Karoo

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Tsunami in the Klein Karoo

I’m not sure if I lost a friend or not. Imagine you are away for the weekend with all your mates chilling next to the pool and catching some rays in peace and quiet. Then suddenly out of nowhere in the middle of the Klein Karoo and enormous wave of water splashes unexpectedly over you. Drenched in the remnants of the tsunami you see the Adventure Whale bobble out of the water, what would you do? Yes, the cause of the tsunami was me as my current big massed body displaced the water from the pool onto my friends. No choice words were verbally heard, but I do have a suspicion that some may be utter inside their minds. Sorry my friends (especially Nikki), but I could not resist…SPLASH!

We visited the guest farm, 360on62 as a group of friends supporting our friend, Nikki Ferreira’s friends, Brendan Connellan and Dale Fraser which subsequently now also became our friends. The set up on the farm is amazing, the hosts went out of their way to make us all feel welcome as we utilised the swimming pool and Lapa to the max.  Besides the pool, Lapa and more than enough braai wood (which is the measuring tool myself and Evert Ferreira rate places at) the outside shower and the beautiful scenery, the whole farm getaway is fantastic. Simple and clean accommodation, the quietness of nature with a million stars overhead at night makes your stay pleasurable.

Going away does not mean one does not have to train and the host were more than accommodating in taking us on a MTB ride in the surrounding area. Have to keep working on that fitness and to work off the beverages consumed the night before. Some of us rode both days as others deemed rest in bed the better form of recovery from the night before…enough said. Some others had the intention of running, but only it stayed just intentions as the one and only Toby Murphy took to the trails without the likes of athletes in training Matt Bush and Evert Ferreira.

I also were fortunate enough to be at the Knysna Bull this past weekend and discover a gem of an event, unfortunately I was not riding but supporting the sponsors invited guests with bicycle and people transfers. Next year we will be riding it Mr. Andrew Norman…finding that workers we need. Here we also managed to fit in two rides, one up the Phantom Pass and the other through the local schools’ purposely built single track. Again amazing to stay at Paradise Found Guest House and the hosts, Johan and Dirkie, were amazing in going riding with us as well.

Back home and another tsunami hits – hello back and pinched nerve. At least I hope it is all it is as at this stage it looks like no Cape Town Cycle Tour for me. Numbness, pain and immobility in the back and leg makes one appreciate the times you had where you could go out and ride, i.e. at 360on62 and at Paradise Found with my family and friends.

 

I might have to fall back on the words of 5 time Cape Epic winner, Karl Platt; Eat less, train more – if only I can get this broken body training…and perhaps stretch and strengthen the core…sound so easy.

 

See you all soon on the bike again!

Broadening the Horizon

A new year and the same challenges; get fit and stay fit whilst checking the ever expanding body weight in check. It is tough when one is still growing and require/enjoy food so much. (I will get to the broadening horizon later on.)

The holidays are over and we are all back in to reality of what the human race currently is, work, eat, sleep and work again and most of us try and break this habit through throwing in some exercise (or other recreational activities) into this mundane life schedule. We had an amazing holiday as Dom and I embarked on a road trip through South Africa (close to 5000km travelled) catching up with friends and family.

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The holiday started off with a catch up ride with Rob Kucera all the way from Turkey (Weiss Bier were consumed post ride and nice to have met Andrew McLachlan

We had some fantastic experiences from swimming and braaiing in Stillbaai with Willie and Belia to Sushi supper with Dom’s gran in PE. From PE it was into survival mode as we travelled through the old Transkei to Leisure Bay (Port Edward) to spend a few days with Jaco and Elmarie Maritz with the bonus of catching up with Elton Murison, great times with great friends in reliving old times and creating new memories. (We did do a cycle here at Clearwater MTB Trails through the banana and coffee plantations)

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Enjoying the sun and warm(er) water at Leisure Bay (Port Edward) with Jaco and Elmarie

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Riding at Clearwater Trails with Jaco (Pictured) and Elton (Too fast for the photo)

Next stop Pretoria with the sister, brother in-law and kids (Magriet, Dirk, Dian and Marzanne) as the next survival exercise took place in going Christmas shopping in the malls… Also managed to get a ride and a visit in with Andrew and Angela Rogers whom I haven’t seen in ages and had a braai and quick catch up with legend Hugo Kemp and family (Michelle, Muller die Riller and Mila)

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Having MTB Fun at the Red Barn Trails in Irene (Andrew, Dom and Magriet)

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Time for a brandy and coke in Pretoria with Hugo and Dirk

Off to the mother (Marie) in Brits for Christmas/Birthday celebrations and experiencing the fumes out of Satan’s but c…. Yes, it was during the heat wave and Brits was a cool 40 degrees Celsius. Off to Dube Private Game Reserve and riding with animals and spending time in the pools and water slides (these are dangerous if you weigh 116kg and pick up speed that may or may not result in taking you over the edge of the slide)

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Driving over 2500km to taste that Van Gaalen Cheese Farm Schnitzel again. Treating the mother for a day out

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Game Riding at Dube Private Game Reserve – what heat wave?

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Giraffe spotting. “Don’t look now, but there is something behind you Silly”

Next stop Johannesburg to catch up with Dom’s mom (Marianne), sister (Danielle aka Noodle) and Matt, introducing them all to Yahtzee. We had loads of fun and Marianne kicked our butts in Rummikub and dominoes. We did not cycle here.

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We discovered a new love for games. Marianne kicked out butts though

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Is that Humansdorp I see? Chasing dad Chris into the Northwester 

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Something special about a braai on the Kromme River

Next stop Kromme River (St Francis Bay) via PE for New Year’s Eve with Dom’s dad and Sanette. The surprise is that Noodle and Matt joined us for the few days we spent there on the river, fishing, swimming, vacationing and one windy cycle. From here we road tripped further for a one night stay with my sister, Dirkie and Johan (Labuschagne) who owns Paradise Found Guest House. Here we did cycle and ‘assisted’ with assessing the best wine to stock. And that was that, we headed home for clothes washing, cleaning and resting after an amazing road trip with too many great memories made to list in this blog.

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‘Sampling” to find the best wine to stock at the guest house #view

 

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Riding in Knysna showing Swiss tourist around and practicing my on bike photo skills

This is where the new horizons start: Having to work off the holiday food stock built up and refreshment liquids retained, training is high on the agenda. Now besides the normal cycling routine our aim is to mix it up and do different training stuff. Dom having done kick(ass) boxing and loving it we decided to partake at the rumble class at Virgin Active. I think we are both still stiff and it is nearly a week later. Dom loved it and that makes me happy that she is able to enjoy this type of exercise again after having to give it up after our move from Stellenbosch to Cape Town and any exercise is good for me even if I do it in a manky way. And tonight we off to Aqua Splash at Virgin Active, also known as water aerobics or something and I have a suspicion we will bring down the average age at the class. But it might just be what we need to tone our bodies and build up strength in our muscles to compliment the cycling and training for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

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Wishing everyone a fantastic successful 2019

So here is to broadening horizons and trying out new things in 2019!

(Looking to move your bike or any other event solutions, visit my website for more details www.adventurewhaleeventsolutions.wordpress.com)

A show of tears

Adventure Whale Blog LogoYou know there are some things that just upset you more than others, for me it was the crack that appeared on my bicycle frame out of nowhere. Debatable as to who is to blame for this. Me being overweight, the drop-off I went down that appeared out of nowhere or when the guys they were trying to get my stuck shock out to be serviced. Let’s just say my mate, Richard Coram at Freewheel Cycology, helping out to get my bicycle fixed are not used to me giving him so many calls in a year. I won’t admit that I nearly broke out in tears when the crack was discovered; it seems that I care a lot for my bicycle. Strange as lately riding it has been associated with lots of pain, the lack of fitness and all. But all said, with the mountain bike in hospital now for repairs I’ve resorted back to the Wattbike and road bike for the time being in training for the Race2Nowhere. (Don’t stress, I won’t be on my road bike in the mountains. I should receive it back just in time to join Andrew Norman on the adventure in McGregor whilst the female of the species will explore the wine farms while we suffer up and down the hills carrying over 100kgs each (Sorry Andrew) – could be more than 110kg’s each, but who is comparing. The fact is my baby will be back and in one piece. Thanks for help Rich and going that extra mile to make sure I can ride again.

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When you bicycle suddenly develops Paget’s disease (weak bones) you need to find a doctor quickly #carbonrepairs

So not having something that is so part of your life available of the fear that you might lose it, especially if you don’t have something or are able to replace it can make one tearful. It might sound stupid but we all have things in life dear to us. And the fact that cycling changed my life for the better, makes the idea of not having one of the things that make me happy available and in one piece, sad. But this is just material and not the be all and end all.

Oom Dries

We will miss you dad. You taught us to have integrity, be loyal, considered, truthful and humble. You will be missed – 11 April 1945 – 17 November 2018

Sadness has recently struck on a personal level as I lost my dad suddenly. Knowing that my dad was always around gave me that assurance that everything will be okay and you could always count on him for sound advice and support. The passing of my dad also made me realise that one has to go out and grab opportunities and do what you want to do and achieve it while you still can and have the opportunity. My dad had two back operations of which the surgery success eventually deteriated and it made his mobility very limited which restricted him being out and about and active in his garden or out fishing. This mere fact drives me now to go out and be active, get on my bike and ride. Go out and do the thing you love before you can’t anymore.

I miss you already dad!
PS: Looking to move your bicycle to an event or anywhere else or for any event solution; visit www.adventurewhaleeventsolutions.wordpress.com

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Freewheeling Uphill

Getting back into cycling, or for the matter any form of exercise is not easy as my girlfriend/partner/__?__  Dominique (Dom) has recently discovered (The WHAT now!?). Andrew Norman and I are currently in training for the Race2Nowhere taking place on the 8th of December in McGregor and as we are of the bigger built human variety, we do need all the training we can get. Needless to say we planned a ride last Saturday and Dom willingly joined us for the ride. Now information on the ride may have been relayed to her slightly incorrectly. I love with her and enjoy every moment we are together, on and off the bicycle, and spending time riding is something I look forward to.

As the Cape Town Cycle Tour team reunited and we encompassed on our ride the realisation soon set in for her that this won’t be an easy ride for the first time back on the bicycle on quite a (long) while. We rode from Sea Point in Cape Town to the top of Chapman’s Peak and back (Only 54km with 723m of climbing where the ride was sold to her (I won’t name names) as an easy 40km ride).

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The Three Must Have Beers at Chapman’s Peak summit. Some were smiling and some were smiling a little less (It was windy)

Needless to say we weren’t very popular as the tiredness set in and especially on the return having to conquer the infamous Suikerbossie climb. Let’s just say freewheeling uphill were on the cards whilst others might had to peddle harder and working on their bike skills steering one handed uphill. And this after the wind towards the top of Chappies forced a certain member of our group to a stand still having to walk through the hurricane strength wind to the top resulting on no sort of freewheeling uphill and full on peddling downhill. But Kudos to my love as she persevered to the event even through experiencing Whale spotted hallucinations in the ocean, road curb brushing/bashing and non-church going language to complete the ride in one piece, but with a smile on her face. The rest of the day was subsequently taken as a rest day. Some might say I planned the ride in this manner to pacify any planned activities in order to be able to watch all the international rugby on TV that afternoon. I vehemently deny that! (Watching all that rugby was awesome:) ) Andrew and myself did do another ride on the Sunday to keep the legs going before doing the manly thing and attending a Christmas Craft Gift Market with the female of the species.

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We had a post work ride this week which was great and now just to continue with the trend. Apparently we are riding the Cycle Tour again in 2019.

I jest, but when getting back into training the only thing is to keep on doing it as it will become easier the more one does the specific activity and the recovery of the body also becomes quicker and in my case it means I might have someone being able to watch the rugby with me. There is no such thing as freewheeling uphill, unfortunately one has to put in the effort and train for those uphill obstacles on and off the bike. It’s great to have Dom back on the bicycle and enjoying being out there riding. I just love it and it makes me happy.

 

I had an unforeseen challenge with my mountain bike as my remote shock connector on the shock broke and as a result had to get it fixed. In doing so the mechanics were unable to remove my shock as the bolts seems to have bent. (Don’t call me fat). Long story short (to quote a friend) the threat was there that my frame could break as the last resort was to hammer out the bolts. It was quite a stressful time as I waited in anticipation for the guys to attempt this delicate thunderous process. Should the frame break my only recourse would to go back to running, which was so 1980’s for me.

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Happy to be back on the mountain bike and be able to enjoy the Constantia Green Belt Trails after work. Thank you for all sorting out my shock.

Fortunately the bicycle shop got it out, the shock got serviced and I am back on the bicycle to create the next challenge for the bike shop as my bigger built physique adds more strain on all the pivot points of the bicycle. A big thank you to team at (Richard, Sean and the boys) Freewheel Cycology and Steve at Omnico (Fox) for making sure I can go riding again and keep myself and Dom on the bicycle and out in nature.

See you all at the Race2Nowhere (only doing the 68km) in December.

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The ride that bought me rugby watching time

IMG-2897PS: In the market for moving your bicycle anywhere or to an event, check out my new service offering here: www.adventurewhaleeventsolutions.wordpress.com

It’s Like Swimming

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When you take that initial plunge…

Yes, I am guilty as charged. I have been neglecting this blog and updating the happenings in my ordinary life and the challenges of getting myself (and Dominique de Lauwere) to spend time in the saddle again. No going back to the sore back analogy and excuses as I have accepted that the lower back pain will be there forever and just need to keep on moving and as some have suggested and instructed – stretch and core strengthening.

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Top of Chapman’s Peak in 38 Degrees Celsius Heat. On the way up someone stole my legs as there was nothing to power me up to the top. 

Those that know me know that I am not the keenest person on swimming and always state that I will swim and get into the water if the temperature is 28 degrees Celsius. So I have been recently coerced to taking the first ever swim in our pool at home during the recent heatwave that is blazing down on Cape Town. Now if it is close to 40 degrees outside it does not necessarily mean the water temperature post the winter has risen to acceptable temperatures to bath the body in at all. Now my love swam the day before and the second day of the heatwave the expectation was there for me to take the plunge and apparently swimming is good for recovery post exercise. This does not take away from the anticipation of diving in and the unknown temperature of the water caressing all the tender bodily parts inclusive of the heart and lungs. That ‘chill’ on the body that makes one gasp for air and shiver away into the depths. Well I approach it differently in trying to move in slowly into the pool, step by step which did not do much for acclimatising to the temperature (not 28). Eventually after probably acting like a little baby in my reluctance to get into the pool and being convinced by Dom that the water is beautiful I finally decided on the best way to get in.

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Spring is probably the most beautiful time to be riding around the Western Cape. Yes I have been able to go riding a little.

Stop mucking around and just take the plunge. Yes it is a shock to the sensitive bodily system, but is the only way to get into the water without hanging around in the swallow side should I or should I not get in and delaying getting in for that refreshing swim. (Yes, the water was still wet). I have now taken the same philosophy in getting myself back to training – just take the plunge. The only way to get back into it is to just take the plunge and do it. Yes there will be a shock to the system as per the cooler water on the body as one dives in, but the more you out there riding your bike or training, the easier it will get and the shocked system will adapt to know what the norm is again. So if anything is holding you back, just take the plunge and do it, even if the water is wet and not at 28 degrees. Nothing comes easy and it won’t become easier and more enjoyable (aka fitness) if you don’t put yourself out there and do it.

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Just outside my front door – #fortunate

I recently had an amazing ride with Andrew Norman (Triptych Resources) as we rode last Sunday and ended of the day with the better halves (Dom and Dianne) at Signal Gun Wine Farm. This ride really inspired me to get out again and enjoy every moment I am on the bicycle, whilst also reducing my presence to be much less than the current 120kg’s. I know it will be tough as we battle the post back hernia issues, but I’d rather be doing something than doing nothing and just complaining that the water is not 28 degrees (you all know what I mean).

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I sometimes go soft and take the road bike out as well. Love this bike and love the Peninsula route around the Cape.

Now to get my Silly into that “cycling/training” pool and to rediscover the love of the ride and hopefully I can more frequently update all on this new journey. See you all on the trails and at the Race2Nowhere in McGregor on the 8th of December.

PS: Need your bicycle or bicycles for a group transported anywhere in South Africa, contact myself or Triptych Resources and we will facilitate. From point A to point B or to selected events across the country.

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We were lucky enough to have tickets to the Springboks v All Blacks at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. And amazing day with my Silly. Just a pity about the end result for South Africa.

Miyagi Son …

“Better learn balance. Balance is key. Balance good, karate good. Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up, go

Mr Miyagi or Homer Simpson's Life Philosophy or both?

Mr Miyagi or Homer Simpson’s

home. Understand?”  – Mr. Miyagi

 

Quote significance: Balance is a double meaning word, you need balance to stand up and not fall, but you need balance in your life areas, or else your life will become unstable.

 

As some loyal readers (the one or two of you out there) might have noticed that I have not posted anything on this blog in quite a while. I have no excuse other than laziness in creativity and exercise. I am still trying to find that one new event to train towards but also wants to add some balance to my bachelor life in doing more ‘other’ stuff and not just train. To find the balance, that is the question.

Festive Season. Food. Fermented Beverages. Friends. Fun. Fatter. (Good fun at the girls'"book club"year end function with Matt,Toby, Rob and Ev

Festive Season. Food. Fermented Beverages. Friends. Fun. Fatter. (Good fun at the girls'”book club”year end function with Matt,Toby, Rob and Ev

Now since 2016 I have managed to let my eyes wonder over a few pieces of food and to be honest my secret ability of extracting nutrients, specifically fat, from food by just look at it is still very much active. I can either blame this super power of mine for the few extra kilograms I collected since last year this time or if I must it could have been my love of craft beer and good food over the festive season. But then I would have to blame my friends and I can’t do that.

Those beers again. Will miss my mate Rob on our weekend MTB rides and that compulsory beer stop. Good luck with the new venture Kuc!

Those beers again. Will miss my mate Rob on our weekend MTB rides and that compulsory beer stop. Good luck with the new venture Kuc!

It is scary how easy one can fall back into old habits in not watching and controlling what one eats. “These few beers won’t make a difference. I really feel like a chocolate. It is holidays after all, go for it. This is yummy, let’s have some more.” You get the picture. On the positive side, I have kept myself active and fitness is not a problem – only gravity…

 

My friend and weekly MTB riding partner Rob has taken up a huge

Proof that I did get out a rode during the holidays. Here with the Norman's, Trystan, Andrew and Rob Kucera

Proof that I did get out a rode during the holidays. Here with the Norman’s, Trystan, Andrew and Rob Kucera

working opportunity in Uganda and I would like to wish him and his family all the best with this new venture with the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. I am sure it would be a huge success Rob and we will hopefully come visit Kampala soon to try out the local beer and mountain bike trails (oh and Tiger fishing).

 

That all serious training ride post work with Dom and Jacky. Was super cool girls. Keep on riding

That all serious training ride post work with Dom and Jacky. Was super cool girls. Keep on riding

Now I am no expert in the ways of cycling and or exercise, but as regular readers and followers of my journey (the 2 of you) know is that I have been through a lot in my cycling and fitness adventure so I might have picked up some hints and tips along the way. This brings me to a new chapter in my journey, that as advise giver and helper (I would not say mentor) in the girls at the office’s training program towards riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour. It has been super fantastic to assist and give advice where I can to Dominique de Lauwere who is new to our cycling sport but very enthusiastic. It is super to depart

Spot the 1st timer on top of Chappies. Well done Dom and thanks for joining us on the ride Mr. Norman

Spot the 1st timer on top of Chappies. Well done Dom and thanks for joining us on the ride Mr. Norman

with the little knowledge I have, especially to someone appreciative and eager to learn and do well, working towards that goal of finishing the Cape Town Cycle Tour with training partner and colleague Jacky McClean, all part of our little office training group.  Keep going Dom and Jax – you will do great. Put in the time in the saddle now and you will be more than fine come Cape Town Cycle Tour time.

 

Now besides all that, training wise, and the return to early morning alarms to go outside and burn fat there is also still the unresolved issues with the in-office Fashion Police. It has been tough to keep up with what is acceptable and not acceptable apparel to clothe myself in. Contributing factors being the fluctuating body measurements due the

Apparently these #shoesmustfall Very scared that the Fashion Police gets a hold of my credit card

Apparently these #shoesmustfall Very scared that the Fashion Police gets a hold of my credit card

festive season activities and other external factors like good food and craft beer, has made it difficult to live up to the standards set by the Fashion Police, aka Sarah Marx and Lauren de Wet. I do feel the pressure, and acceptance within the social group and volatile office ecosystem, so a shopping spree is inevitable…

 

That being it, really looking forward to the next few weeks of training and riding my bike with Dom, Jacky and whomever joins us in the lead up to the Cape Town Cycle Tour. That whole balance thing of training to keep in shape and in the wardrobe whilst living live and eating healthy is quite a challenge…and to part with knowledge is stressful and dangerous, especially if you might not know much…

Kucera, looking forward to our next ride at the Tygerberg MTB Trails. In the mean time have a blast in Kampala with the new Radison Blu in Kampala, Uganda

Kucera, looking forward to our next ride at the Tygerberg MTB Trails. In the mean time have a blast in Kampala with the new Radison Blu in Kampala, Uganda

Christmas gift - these amazing rh+ gloves. Love them

Christmas gift – these amazing rh+ gloves. Love them

After that insane fall - great to have conquered the Cobra Kuc. #MTBFun

After that insane fall – great to have conquered the Cobra Kuc. #MTBFun

Craft Beer, so good! If only it was carb free ;)

Craft Beer, so good! If only it was carb free 😉

The View.

The View.

A Grande Cappuccino to start a Monday post Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort

A Grande Cappuccino to start a Monday post one of our events, Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort

When you climb up Tokai Mountain after a 116km road ride the previous day - it slightly hurts

When you climb up Tokai Mountain after a 116km road ride the previous day – it slightly hurts

Dominique de Lauwere - Keep on training/riding and you will have a super Cape Town Cycle Tour. #MustHaveFun

Dominique de Lauwere conquering Chapmans Peak – Keep on training/riding and you will have a super Cape Town Cycle Tour. #MustHaveFun

When there is just water…

Now those that know me know that over the last few months a have had some seriously bad luck with my geyser at home and seeing that this is Friday the 13th we can talk about bad luck. This week I attended the Absa Cape Epic sponsors ride and dinner at Steenberg Golf Estate and was ecstatic to be able to go for a mountain bike ride in the week and not be stuck in the office. Having my brother-in-law with Morné van Greunen from exxaro / Cycle Lab Pretoria on the ride, as well as the potential 2015 Absa Cape Epic riders of Rob Kucera and Andrew Rogers made this ride even more enjoyable. It’s a great bunch of guys and to spend time together on the mountain bike and in my back yard in Tokai made for a great afternoon of riding (And all of us are KTM bicycle rides, just saying).

Riding through Faerie Garden in Tokai with Johan and Morné

Riding through Faerie Garden in Tokai with Johan and Morné (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Now it being the rainy season on Cape Town there is water everywhere and the pessimistic (realistic) self, decided that I can’t risk not training on the day as I thought the ride might get cancelled after the endless rain we experienced in the lead up days. So 05:15 spin class for an hour, 40 minutes of weight training and then no ride cancellation and an hour 20 ride in the afternoon. A proper days training, I could have been a pro. So after all that the ice cold Castle Lite draught tasted sweet with abovementioned friends (And if only Craig Kolesky haven’t decided to break his chain).
Now being a lead rider was quite an unique and first experience for me as you all know of my exploits and taking my time to finish an event, at the rear end of the field (except when riding with Thinus Crafford and me chasing to keep up, just ask Marius Hurter). So I took the boys down the Tokai single track having to make sure I stay on the bike and for the non-Cape Tonians they are not used to the slippery roots in Tokai – so much responsibility to keep them save, I even broke a sweat. (That could have been because of all the layers I wore for the cold, always be prepared for the worse). Water was streaming everywhere in Tokai and it was a pity we didn’t have more time to take the boys to all the routes up in Tokai. This is if I could remember all as I haven’t been up there because of ALL THE RAIN. So much water and cold, as a potential pro athlete I should consider moving to warmer climates during the winter I think. I digress.

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Andrew and Rob’s first experience of Tokai Forest (Faerie Garden) and hopefully we can do another ride with them to show them more. (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Now leaving the Absa Cape Epic ‘after’ party I was saying good bye to John Smit (you know him as the former Springbok captain and now Absa Cape Epic finisher) and clearly the Cape Town weather has affected John’s mind, I say water on the brain, as told me “See you next year” – meaning riding the 2015 Absa Cape Epic (unless, miraculously Thinus finds us a sponsor), no pressure) . Madness I tell you! I came to this realisation when after a few glasses of red wine at the function my geyser decided to let me have a cold shower to bring me to my senses, no Absa Cape Epic thoughts – WAKE UP! I’m sure I will see John at some race in the future.
Talking about water on the brain, it is official I am riding Wines2Whales with Thinus, which means I have to keep on training and maybe in the rain. It seems that Thinus for fun go ride a quick 20km with 700m of climbing, for fun and do climbing loops – madness! And yes it forces me to keep on training. The infrequent training has helped my knee to recover (as a true sportsman you never reveal your weakness, in my case the left knee and oh shoot (nice word I used, could have used a different one), I just did. Having struggled with my back as well at the Darling Extreme a visit to the chiropractor and masseuse sorted that out for a bit. I still blame the bad knee for the lower back pain as I transfer my cycling cadence away from the leg and use my back or so they claim, maybe it is just old age and a hookers disease, NOT that kind of hooker, we are talking sport here – rugby.
Anyway with the following events lined up Die Burger Mountain Bike Challenge, Ride2Nowhere, Arabella Challenge, Grace2Grace, Berg and Bush Great Trek and Wines2Whales Adventure I am confident that I will keep and improve on my current body shape and I can’t let the Sedentary Sloth beat me in weight loss and fitness.
As an Aquarius I must just do my job and carry this water through the winter and keep on training.
And I won’t be Banting!

PS: I am suppose to do the Liberty Duo Challenge this weekend, but it looks lik

Look at that descending style. Swen Lauer will be stoked with my style!  (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Look at that descending style. Swen Lauer will be stoked with my style!
(Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

e rain…

Will we see these two at the 2015 Absa Cape Epic (I I could do it ....) (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Will we see these two at the 2015 Absa Cape Epic (I I could do it ….)
(Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Always beautiful and privileged to ride here

Always beautiful and privileged to ride here (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Yes there was bike pushing - to get up this hill (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

Yes there was bike pushing – to get up this hill (Photo from the Absa Cape Epic taken by Greg Beadle)

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