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