Moving on

May 17, 2007 by Rich
Well, Epic has come and gone and I'm slowly picking up the pieces - bike's been repaired (2 new chainrings, new chain, new cassette and new headset - not pretty!) and wrist ligaments are back in shape. Yep, there's been an absolute dearth of postings but at the same time there's been no rides. In between all the concentration on training for Epic and the intensity of the event itself, I think I've kind of lost the whole enjoyment factor of things... The Epic becomes an all-consuming affair, taking up all of your concentration and energy in the build-up and more than a month later I still find myself feeling very bored and unmotivated. Post-event depression? Who knows...

Anyway - getting back into running, which feels completely unnatural after so much cycling, as well as some swimming... preparation for the next challenges... triathlons! I've always been keen to give these a bash and I suppose there's no time like now to start, given that my next big goal is to do an Ironman.

Coming up?

27th May - New Balance Duathlon at Gansbaai
this time round I'm not underestimating just how difficult it can be!

3rd June - Robertson Winery Wacky Wine Weekend MTB Challenge
(phew... that's a mouthful) - PPA event but what the hell... gonna be at the wine fest anyway!

7th-14th July - Good ol' Knysna Oyster Festival!
A return to my favourite town and will be doing both the mountain bike and the marathon - both awesome, awesome times (check in the archives for my previous experiences).

After that, who knows?

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Bugger this...

March 13, 2007 by Rich
Ok, enough promises about making updates! The Hell and Back writeup's half done but I just can't drag myself to finish it all off... Here's a quick wrap instead:

Hell and Back: lived up to the hype and vibe from 2005's outing.... Do yourself a favour and get an entry to this year's event! It's a fantastic 2 days and the descents are insanely fast....!
24 Hours of Wiesenhof: My first experience of 24 hour riding and night-riding and boy, was it fun! We entered a 4-person mixed-team and did damn well while still having a blast in the process. Helluva tiring but a great vibe - definitely to be repeated.
Boschendal MTB: An awesome route but this was one crap ride for me - had no strength, bonked badly towards the end and to top it all, bent my derailleur hanger with 25kms to go... eugh. Muddy as hell which at least made things a little more fun!
Cape Argus: My first big road ride since the shitty Tour d' Winelands and it was an absolute hoot. Nick and I rode together (well... he rode, I held him back!) and we spent the morning cruising at a great pace. Issues with his chainring saw Nick going up Suikerbossie in his big gear and it wasn't fun trying to keep up...

And now... the big Grand Daddy of them all is coming up... The ABSA Cape Epic! Yep, Nick and I are in the final stages of preparing for this. 10 days to go and I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm nervous as hell. It's been a long, hard 4 months of training with countless hours of lost sleep and early sunrises on the mountains. Follow the race progress at http://www.cape-epic.com!

We haven't really given much thought to life post-Epic, but the Knysna Oyster fest - both the marathon and the MTB - are on the cards. Be patient.... We might even get around to updating the site!

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Updates are coming...

January 15, 2007 by Rich
Apologies for the lack of updates! I would blame work and holidays but it's more sheer laziness than anything else. Expect a report on 2006 Hell and Back coming soon.... I won't even bother to report on Tour d' Winelands - that has to be one of the most miserable experiences I've ever had on a bike. Wind, rain and unfriendly roadies combined for one shitty morning.

At the other end of the spectrum lies the just-completed 24 Hours of Wiesenhof. 7.5km of some of the most awesome singletrack, ridden hard by a campsite packed full of adrenaline junkies makes for one fantastic weekend - report coming soon! (that's a promise)

In other news, Nick and I have been training full-time for the upcoming Sani2C classic, as well as the Cape Epic (although still looking for entries for this!). It's been a lot of early mornings and accordingly, the social life has all but disappeared (along with budget). No complaints though - part of our preparation involved great riding in the Summerveld area up in Natal, as well as a fantastic two days in the Cathedral Peak region of the Drakensberg along with Ruth, another Epic trainee.

Amazing scenery, fantastic times... truly taking it to the max!

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Upcoming (3 December) - Tour d' Winelands

November 23, 2006 by Rich
Where: Stellenbosch
When: 3rd December
Who: Inky, Rich, Nick
Why: Good question. Who really cares about an Argus seeding??

The final seeding race for next year's Cape Argus, Tour d' Winelands is coming up... but the question is: do we really care? I ain't a roadie, dammit! The route is "approximately" 112km (just goes to confirm my beliefs on PPA and it's organisational abilities...) Still, it should be a fun ride and be a good opportunity to get some base riding in... and hit a wine farm or two on the way home...

More info: http://www.pnptourdwinelands.co.za/

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Upcoming (11/12 November) - Animal Hell & Back

November 08, 2006 by Inky
Die Hel, otherwise known as Gamkaskloof, is in the middle of nowhere - it's bloody hot and dry and to get there you have to go over Swartberg pass... fabulous! A two-day stage race, you ride 60km each day, climbing over 1900m per day. Nuts.... and awesome!!

Where: Starts at De Hoek, near Outdshoorn and the Cango Caves
When: 11 & 12 November 2006
Who: Inky, Rich, Thamar
Why: Cos we're suckers for punishment...!

Check out last year's race writeup here.

Details can be found on the EcoBound.co.za website.

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GM 180° Cederberg MTB Experience

October 31, 2006 by Inky
“Sun, Sand and Good Vibrations”
This could be describing a fabulous day on the beach in Cape Town. But no, this is my summary of three fabulous days of Mountain Biking in the Cederberg.

Good Vibrations? Well, perhaps not quite. At race briefing on Thursday evening, Martin Horn, Race Director, said “Those guys who are riding hardtails will still be bouncing up and down for 3 weeks to come.” I am one of those unfortunate souls on a hardtail, and we did cover a fair distance on rather corrugated gravel roads. So, ‘Good Vibrations’ weren’t really that great after all...

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Seweweekspoort

October 21, 2006 by Rich
After a frustrating 3 months sidelined by injury I was itching to get going again.... amazing how you forget about the tough parts! It was off to Ladismith to take part in the well-known Seweweekspoort race - the verdict? Crumbs, it's a fast ride...



Pics in the gallery!

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My first marathon - Caltex Voet of Afrika!

October 09, 2006 by Inky
The Voet of Afrika, otherwise known as "The toughest marathon, with the warmest heart" was run this past weekend and was a great success. Located in the centre of the Overberg and only 40km from Cape Agulhas, you don’t find a more southerly marathon in Africa.

I've been on a mission recently to get my first full marathon under my belt and chose the Voet because it was the first one coming up. Only after I entered did I hear how tough it is, and then I saw the route profile...

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Otter Trail! - Part I

September 11, 2006 by Inky
The Otter Trail is rated as one of the top 10 trails in South Africa, and is popular to the point that one has to book almost 2years in advance. Inky was asked 18 months ago if she wanted to go along, hardly knowing what she would be up to so far down the line. And it was well worth the wait!

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Otter Trail! - Part II

September 11, 2006 by Inky
The second part of the Otter trail experience...

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