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

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)

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.

Now what!?

It has been 5 tough weeks of getting up very early to get in a cycle and stay up to speed with the Virgin Active Epic Battle challenges. Seeing that I am not really partaking in any significant event other than the 109km Cape Town

This initiative by Virgin Active has been brilliant. When is the next one?

This initiative by Virgin Active has been brilliant. When is the next one?

Cycle Tour and 55km Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB, I grabbed the opportunity to follow some specific riding goals when Virgin Active announced their Cape Epic Strava / API based challenges and to stand a chance to win a 2018 Absa Cape Epic entry.

Or maybe I just missed coach Alasdair Garnett from The Practice telling me what to do each day in the lead up to the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. Perhaps I missed the suffering or got tired of aimlessly wondering / riding through the streets and trails of the Western Cape. Anyway, I think the concept is brilliant and it certainly helped me to get focused and sort of fitting into my clothes again. (PS: some feedback of the ‘fight’ with the Fashion Police at work – they are apparently slowly but surely getting my dress code

Fortunate to have the Table Mountain Trails & Greenbelt open for us for riding in Cape Town and played a part in getting that altitude required in the challenge

Fortunate to have the Table Mountain Trails & Greenbelt open for us for riding in Cape Town and played a part in getting that altitude required in the challenge

up to their standards).

 

Over the 5-week period there was a speed, 100km minimum, once off elevation, total distance and total altitude ride with different criteria in each to achieve to qualify for the draw of the 2018 Absa Cape Epic

Well done Dom. Conquering Chappies from Noordhoek side. Ready for the Cape Town Cycle Tour!

Well done Dom. Conquering Chappies from Noordhoek side. Ready for the Cape Town Cycle Tour!

entry. After 48.7 hours and 919km all these goals were achieved. Now we wait and see.

 

As a general aimless wanderer with most things in my life it great to have ‘someone’ tell me I need to achieve this and that and it just shows that when training it helps to have goals and plans. One is more focused to achieve something, well I am. Tell me what to do and I will go out and do it! (Probably in my own way)

Early morning in Camps Bay meeting Mr. Andrew Norman for what turned out to be an awesome ride in the rain.

Early morning in Camps Bay meeting Mr. Andrew Norman for what turned out to be an awesome ride in the rain.

 

What challenge is next, I’m not sure. This weekend I am doing the mountain bike leg of the Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw Lite as part of the Drug Free Sport / I Play Fair team of South African Institute of Drug Free Sport CEO, Khalid Galant and prominent Drive Time KFM Radio Presenter Rob Vember. So, no pressure in me performing. Just kidding, we are out and out going to have some fun and create awareness for Drug Free Sport. Let see how my 14km MTB Sprint goes. Good luck Khalid with the swim and Rob with the run (hopefully you don’t wait too long for me). Thanks Nikki Ferreira for putting this all-in place, as they say: Just Add Milk (Let’s see that Social Media happening)

 

The Trainee - There will be no wind on the 12th of March and you will complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour Dominique

The Trainee – There will be no wind on the 12th of March and you will complete the Cape Town Cycle Tour Dominique

Now back to ‘student’ Dominique de Lauwere and her journey to her 1st Cape Town Cycle Tour. Over the last few weeks I took Dom on parts of the route for her to experience the different climbs and descents to realise that she can ride it. Riding the Cycle Tour does not have to be a sprint and one should manage your expectations and the goal of the 1st one is to finish and not worry about time, especially if training time has been limited and work interfered with the training program.

I’m sure Dom will be fine a she has shown the determination and will

The Riding Group, coach, trainee and Nairo Quintana (what are hills Jacky McClean?)

The Riding Group, coach, trainee and Nairo Quintana (what are hills Jacky McClean?)

to do it, whilst also enjoying the cycling (And we miss our other riding partner – you know who you are Jacky M). One day of grit for 109km and getting as much time as possible on the bike in the next two weeks before the ride on the 12th, whilst also not overdoing it with too much exertion of too long and tough rides. Now Dom has been keen for training rides no matter how hard the wind is blowing and or the daunting tasks of going up Chappies and Suikerbossie climbs for the first time. I believe this will and determination to do it will stand you in good stead Dom and get you to the finish line. (If not I will retire as a cycling adviser and go back to talking about front row play in rugby)

 

In a previous life at work we discussed targets and goals and Mr. Shane Colloty was always adamant that a target is something one hits and a goal is something you want to achieve.

The Virgin Active Challenge is finished, so now what!? What is next? (No Thinus! I am not doing a triathlon). The search is on for the next set of goals….

I rode the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour MTB stage race recently and realised that every extra kg on the bike makes a difference - no more Pistachio ice cream

I rode the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour MTB stage race recently and realised that every extra kg on the bike makes a difference – no more Pistachio ice cream

Just thought I'd share and early morning sunrise on my way to work

View 1: Just thought I’d share and early morning sunrise on my way to work

View 2: Always great scenery riding over Chapmans Peak, especially on a beautiful that like this one was

View 2: Always great scenery riding over Chapmans Peak, especially on a beautiful that like this one was

View 3: The view from behind of the R304 outside Stellenbosch

View 3: The view from behind of the R304 outside Stellenbosch

The facial expression says it all with nearly 1600m of climbing on the 55km route of which most was single track at the Simonsberg Contour Ride - eina!

The facial expression says it all with nearly 1600m of climbing on the 55km route of which most was single track at the Simonsberg Contour Ride – eina!

Sexy legs. Especially the one with...with the Wines2Whales socks on

Sexy legs. Especially the one with…with the Wines2Whales socks on

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

Mental – Songs in my Head

As a result of having entered the 2016 Absa Cape Epic I am forced to spend numerous hours on my KTM mountain bike and as I mostly ride alone one has plenty of hours for your mind to go to wonderful and weird places. Don’t worry, I think I am still sane and of the right state of mind.

Taking on an endurance event does take a lot of mental aptitude from the discipline in the months of training to the determination to finish during the event. Thus focus is required with clear set goals or you could just numb everything out in your head through songs in your head – there you go, one song already that is on the head playlist: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd –“I have become, comfortably numb…”

Great day out in Bonteheuwel with the JAG Foundations JAGRiders programme as we got to experience their self-built Cross Country Track

Great day out in Bonteheuwel with the JAG Foundations JAGRiders programme as we got to experience their self-built Cross Country Track

During the months of training one follows a rigid training program (The Practice), and if you are like me you want to follow that to the T (possibly to the frustration of coach Alasdair J ) to make sure everything is done as it should be. Having set goals really helps to stay focus and working towards your end goal. Back to all the time spent training – one will experience variable weather conditions (Especially in Cape Town) from gale force winds, to extreme heat to rain and even cold with some stunning days in between.  Now when I first got onto a mountain bike I made it quite clear to all that I am a Fair Weather Cyclist and will not go cycling in even a mildly strong breeze.  Things have changed since those days in 2011 as the philosophy now is (especially when training for an event such as the Absa Cape Epic) that you can’t control the weather at the race, go out and do what you need to do, you will reap the benefits should you experience similar circumstances in your endurance race. You can’t choose the weather at the Cape Epic, you have to ride each day and thus this mind set saw me train through 3 weeks of a howling gale force South Easter, not only cycling in the morning but going for a short run in the afternoon, it saw me got soaking wet doing hill repeats up Constantia Neck, it saw me sweat out litres of sweat when riding in 40+ degree Celsius heat and I am still here able to blog about it. This brings me to another song in my head: No Pain No Gain by Scorpions.

Fighting off "racing snake' instincts Willie du Plooy rode the Meerendal Ultra Marathon with me. Thanks Willie (Pictured here we are at Witsand on ride the week prior)

Fighting off “racing snake’ instincts Willie du Plooy rode the Meerendal Ultra Marathon with me. Thanks Willie (Pictured here we are at Witsand on ride the week prior)

I recently did the Ashburton Ultra-Marathon at Meerendal Wine Estate (I won’t say too much about this event as I don’t want to bitch and moan to much here and rather remain positive) where my substitute Cape Epic rider for the day, Willie du Plooy, fought off his Racing Snake instincts to ride with me as we took on the 101km challenge. We didn’t quite make the cut off at the 65km mark with an insane average speed required of close to 15km/h (Too fast for this F(Ph)at Boy). That did not stop us as we decided in no uncertain terms after some rude and explicit language (Directed at no one but venting our disappointment) to continue our ride on our own as the coach had 100km on the schedule and that is what we will do. Kudos Willie for continuing with me on the extended ride in the heat and wind, hopefully this pain will be our gain when we in the next race situation.

 

With only about 6 weeks left before the start of myself and Thinus’ epic adventure the time is now to keep focus and not let up on the discipline in the training regime. I would be lying if I say that I’m not slightly nervous. I’ve managed to get my weight down from 118kg at the end of October to 108kg currently and hopefully I can shed a few more kilograms in the next month to be as light as possible at the starting line. The pressure is there to not disappoint your friend who has been training for months and has the Absa Cape Epic as a bucket list event to finish, to not disappoint yourself and everyone that has vested in you and your journey to finish. There you go again – Queen: Under Pressure…

No matter the weather, I can't be a Fair Weather Cyclist anymore and has to go ride

No matter the weather, I can’t be a Fair Weather Cyclist anymore and has to go ride

 

For some reason I always seem to have the song: The Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel in my  head…”But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me…Yea yea yea oh”

And this is to keep my Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford motivated for the last stretch: Bryan Adams: We’re Gonna Win (meaning finish)

 

Mental toughness is…

…when you, your body, the competition, nature, or the environment has the best of you so that you’re physically tapped out and need to figure out how to pull something out of yourself… not in a robotic way—in a way that’s mentally aware and engaged. It’s not just the ability to keep moving but to keep doing it in a way that’s engaged and competitive in the environment you’re in, whether that’s competing against the clock or other human beings. It’s easy when you feel good physically. It’s when that physicality leaves you.

Playing photographic director and getting my friend Rob in a unique and uncomfortable position on the Blockhouse cannon. He might hate me for posting this :)

Playing photographic director and getting my friend Rob in a unique and uncomfortable position on the Blockhouse cannon. He might hate me for posting this 🙂 Happy birthday for the upcoming weekend Mr. K

Here are some interesting reads on the mental aspect of endurance events and training for it:

You all probably know that we will be riding with Mitas tyres in the Absa Cape Epic – herewith some more info:

Mitas Silant Salesman Jan16_Page_1

Mitas Silant Salesman Jan16_Page_2

Blown Away

Apologies for not having posted something more regularly but it has been holidays and we tried to stay away from the computer as much as possible, but not from training and working on that weight loss goal, and oh yes not quite away from the ice cold beer in the holidays as well.

 

Training is going well and everyone asks me if I am ready for the Absa Cape Epic, I don’t think one will ever be ready. You can only train as much as you can and cleverly (thanks to coach Alasdair Garnett from The Practice) to ensure you are as best prepared as possible covering all the bases from Endurance to strength and hopefully by sticking to the training regimen the mental strength to keep on going gets tough.

Top of Dorstberg with my Han(S)olo ride over the weekend in 38 degrees heat. Tough out there

Top of Dorstberg with my Han(S)olo ride over the weekend in 38 degrees heat. Tough out there

With less than two months to go I must admit that I am getting slightly nervous. But enough of that, the last two weeks were quite intense and hard training and living in Cape Town the non-stop 40km plus South Easter wind that blew did not make going out early mornings for training any easier. But as the saying goes you can’t choose the weather at the Absa Cape Epic so it makes sense to go out and ride in whatever the weather throws at you and do the training required on the specific day. I must confess the 1st two days of being blown away I chose the “easier” option and forced myself indoors to Virgin Active and time on the WattBikes, since then I made myself an attitude adjustment and decided the wind won’t stop me from getting out there and doing the training that’s required. Can’t disappoint Training Peaks and have a red block popping up.

 

The base 2 & 3 training, strength with endurance has been tough and the hill repeats I had to do painful as I sadistically chose Price Drive In Constantia (one of the steepest roads in Cape Town) to do my repeats on. I did come close to losing the breakfast I did not have before the ride. It was painful. Enough of that, too many things happened in training since I last Blogged so I won’t bore you too much but choose the easy way out with posting photos.

 

The legs are hurting and tired, today is an off day and I am really appreciating that and ironically with stunning weather predicted for Cape Town this week I am scheduled to find myself in the gym for a few sessions this week indoors. On the 30th I will be doing the Ashburton Marathon at Meerendal Wine Estate on the 30th, just 107km’s to go with a bit of climbing. Let’s see what happens! Glad to report that it seems that my riding partner and other PhatBoy is on track with his training and ready to put me in the hurt locker on the bike…can’t wait! Remember to follow us once the event kicks off, Team Mitas KTM PhatBoys for 8 days of survival.

Top of Chapman's Peak saw me a couple of times over the holidays. Thanks for a great ride yesterday Wikkelspies!

Top of Chapman’s Peak saw me a couple of times over the holidays. Thanks for a great ride yesterday Wikkelspies!

 

Riding with the family up in Pretoria over Christmas

Riding with the family up in Pretoria over Christmas

Enjoy the photos and wishing everyone all the best for 2016. Live each day as your last.

My thoughts are with my friend Chantel Rall and her battle with Cancer, thinking a lot about you Chantz, be strong and keep on fighting. You know your # – F. .k

Always great riding round Cape Point

Always great riding round Cape Point

A quick stopover at our Creative Agency and friends

A quick stopover at our Creative Agency and friends

Caught up with Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford as we tackled Hoogekraal with maxed out temperature of 47 degrees

Caught up with Absa Cape Epic partner Thinus Crafford as we tackled Hoogekraal with maxed out temperature of 47 degrees

Showed the Joburger what the top of Chapman's Peak look like ;)

Showed the Joburger what the top of Chapman’s Peak look like 😉

Seen many of these - sunrises that is

Seen many of these – sunrises that is

Did numerous rides with these buggers. Thanks gents for spending time out on the trails. The compulsory selfie on top of Dorstberg with Willie and Rob

Did numerous rides with these buggers. Thanks gents for spending time out on the trails. The compulsory selfie on top of Dorstberg with Willie and Rob

View over Simon's Town from the top of Red Hill

View over Simon’s Town from the top of Red Hill

First time up Signal Hill with the bike and what a view

First time up Signal Hill with the bike and what a view

Always a great pic from the Blockhouse on Table Mountain

Always a great pic from the Blockhouse on Table Mountain

There was some time to socialise as well with actually 'watching' a Football match at The Toad

There was some time to socialise as well with actually ‘watching’ a Football match at The Toad

Enjoying that last holiday beer

Enjoying that last holiday beer

Cancer

Stopped over in Kalk bay to say howzit to my friend Hanli and have a look at the Ocean Deck Shop, home base of the I am Water Foundation

Stopped over in Kalk bay to say howzit to my friend Hanli and have a look at the Ocean Deck & Shop, home base of the I am Water Foundation

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

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

 

 

 

Taipei1

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.

Taipei10

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

Watt Bike?

So this morning I stroll into Virgin Active at Steenberg with the plan of spending an hour on the Watt Bike, you know because it is raining AGAIN outside. Well, first of all I don’t quite enjoy going to gym at the moment because every time I visit Virgin Active the scale tells me that I am slightly heavier than last time. I am convinced that since the Super Moon phenomena a week or so ago gravity sucks down on me even more, fact!

Well after the disappointment and resulted brought on depression I head over to the Watt Bikes, well it turned out to be Watt Bike. The other two apparently weren’t functional, anyway the bike is occupied so I settle for second best and go back to what we all used to use before the appearance of the Watt Bike – the spinning bike! Still depressed about the increased suction power of gravity I start doing my bike setup and then the friendly lady on the Watt Bike asks if I don’t want to use the bike, she is nearly finished with only 2 minutes left. In my best Vik Norval impression I say SURE. If not why not, the bike will be available.

Half a shelfie when one could actually go out and ride - look mom, no rain :)

Half a shelfie when one could actually go out and ride – look mom, no rain 🙂

So as time is running down on the two minutes and not wanting to stand around I sit on the spin bike waiting and then I see him approach. Now this guy I have seen every time I have been in the gym (which is quite often as it never stops raining) and I know he is heading for the Watt Bike – that is what he does. I have even encountered him moving from bike to bike as he could get his heart rate monitor working, with no regard to everyone around him that could have been contemplating using the bikes. Anyway, that particular day I stayed on the spin bike.

So the 2 minutes is up and the friendly lady looks over at me on the spin bike and says she is done, and then I pounce and get onto the Watt Bike for that extra effort, dry, indoor training. Unfortunately for the other guy I was first in line and I took up my right. Now this is where it gets weird as he is obviously disappointed, since there is only one Watt Bike available (And it’s mine!) and starts asking the staff to check if the other bike has been charged. No they say, it is also, not functional, like the other one. He starts going off that this is unacceptable and that how long does it take to fix and so forth. Not happy at all that someone else is actually suing the bike and not him, he says that he is training according to a program and needs the bike – really, and I am not. Anyway then he asks when the staff member when the gym is not busy and she tell him about 9-9:30 after the classes are finished and then: “Ok, I’m going home, I will be back then”.

Now I wish I could have been in the gym at 9-9:30 to actually see if the Watt Bike was available, because uhm – there is no guarantee it will be free and if you could train whenever you can , why be there at 5:30 like us normal working people. Good for him that he aims to stick to his training program but there was perfectly useable spinning bikes right there. So I am sorry that as a paying gym member I was first in line to enjoy the pain in my legs on the Watt Bike.

The whole incident caused a hoo-ha as the staff and fellow gym members couldn’t quite believe the guys reaction and behaviour as if it was his right to have a bike available to him in the gym. Well at least I did my hour on the bike and got my exercise in for the day, that is before Poker evening tonight which could result in the Watt Bike being available at 05:30 tomorrow morning (Although I suspect he will be there at 5am).

Now to stay clear of those carbs that crawled back into my life, no more rusks, biscuits or sandwiches – I will be lying if I say no more beer because that is just silly. Till next time and I am aiming to be back on the Watt Bike on Thursday – so beware!

Besides the weight gain depression my team also got smashed over the weekend in the ABSA Currie Cup

Besides the weight gain depression my team also got smashed over the weekend in the ABSA Currie Cup