Sunday, October 28, 2018

Back into the swing of things..

So winter is now officially over and the mornings are getting lighter and warmer each day. So we survived another year of riding in the cold and dark. Summer riding is awesome, really good to be back in the swing of things. We have had some good rides during the week before work and a few longer ones on the weekends. Benoni Rough Riders as usual are a fantastic group of people and make the rides more enjoyable, the group is constant with a few regulars that ride most of the time and then a few cameo appearances from a few riders that fluctuate between groups or sometimes grace us with their presence. 

Below are a few pictures taken over the past few months that will help store the memories of the fantastic time we have out in the open with our friends: 
Outride past the Brickyard
Avoiding angry farmers

Work conference - always take bike with
Infamous Spookhuis
Sunrise before conference =  awesome
This big fella would not move off the track
Bliss riding 
Becky's birthday ride
Teabagged by Mike in the sunrise pic
Becky's birthday ride gang at the airport track
Sentrarand tour outride
Airport track = Fridays morning rides before work
Wayne at Modder

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Winter rides 2018

Winter time is chunky time - less riding and more eating. It has been a colder winter than 2017 which has resulted in fewer mid week rides and shorter weekend rides. I have also been traveling for work again with a trip to Holland in June (at least I managed to hire a really small bike and go for a 35km ride in the country side). We also went for a family holiday to the Kruger National Park in July where I managed to managed to jump off a cliff on the Big Swing at Graskop, I know it is not mountain biking but it is at least extreme adrenaline provoking. 
Early morning rides before work where it reached a low of -4
Dark cold mornings and moonsets
Me and my crazy son and daughter before we leaped off the cliff

Weekend ride selfie with Becky, Wayne, Warren and Mike
The Rough Riders taking a well deserved break 
Ride in Holland with my mate Werner on a small bike called Delilah
What is riding in Holland without a photo of a Wind Mill

Monday, April 30, 2018

Further and further

So work has been interferring with my riding the past month or so with trips to Qatar and Pakistan, but that is behind me now and I managed to get some decent rides in. On the 8th of April I embarked on my longest ride yet, 155km to the petro port and back. The ride should have been shorter but we went the long way around via the Oxbow wedding venue first. It was a great ride with Sean, Wayne and Catherine. Racing snakes Ashley and Michelle joined us for the first 30km or so. 
There was a threesome when I hit a rut and fell; Wayne fell behind me and then Cat behind him. Wayne came off the worse with a cracked helmet and lots of scraps and bruises. Moral of the story is please do not ride behind me it can be hazardis for your health :-)  
Sunrise before my longest ride
Wayne went flying forward after hitting me, that is my bike in front
Cat was wasn't too hurt just shaking her head in amazement :-)
Sean taking a action shot on our way back from the Petroport
Stop at 125km, well deserved drink
Yesterday the 29th of April we did another long ride, 120km to Oxbow and back. I joined Sean, Claire, Greg, Tom, Doc and Paul for a decent ride out. I suffered on the middle section but after stopping for a coke and something to eat at MBT garage at 80km, I felt a lot stronger for the rest of the trip home. Stop for coffee at the Parks near the end topped off a great ride. I am really enjoying the longer rides, great to be out on the bike for 6 plus hours at a time. We have a great group of cycling nuts and it is always a pleasure riding with them. 
Lots of traffic on our weekend rides
April is Cosmos month - Von and Marius on one of our rides to Big Red Barn

Sunday, February 4, 2018

2018 Chunky's revenge....

So 2017 finished off on a low after a crash in late October, that left me with bruised ego and a few fractured ribs. I had to skip riding the 94.7 for the first time in 9 years, due to my injuries (and also I was flying overseas on business on that day). So a few weeks off the bike for injuries and 2 weeks overseas, over-exerting my drinking hand, the Kilos pilled on. I got the shock of my life when I got on the scale in mid December (105kgs), the heaviest I have been for a few years. The extra kilos and the lack of time on the bike seriously took a toll on my riding. I seemed to have regressed from sort of ok, to useless. There were a couple of rides in late December and early January where I really struggled and couldn't match the pace of the groups that I was riding with. 

Really hard ride to Heidelberg 2 Towers and back, extreme heat and fatigue. At one stage, I had Sean, Alistair and the Tandem (Greg and Claire) all pushing me. Gee, I really struggled, it was a dark time and fortunately I had good mates to assist in my time of pain. The next weekend went slightly better, when we did a ride from the Home of the Chicken Pie to Hartebeesport Dam and back. This was a incredible ride, pretty hard with all the climbing and extreme heat (39 degree high) but very beautiful scenery. Awesome bunch of people led by Ashley and we went through a Game Park and saw lots of game and the views closer to the dam were awesome. I survived this ride and made it to the end, really glad that I did it. 
Chunky puffing up the hill... 
Group photo at the top of the hill over looking Harties.
Dam nice view
Sticking her neck out 
Awesome views 
Extreme Awesome
Chunky and friends
Chunky climbing Bedford Hills
Heidleberg hill, Chunky was not in the photo as he was still coming up the hill...
Wimpy Heidelberg, feeding the beast...
So there have also been a few other longer rides to Big Red Barn and back that were getting easier as I was getting fitter and shedding a few kilos. 2018 is when Chunky gets boot and I regain my dignity by not being the last person on the group rides.

Morning rides before work - sunrises and coffee stops

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The wheel still goes round....

So long time no blog. Still riding though, at least 4-5 times a week. Summer is on its way and it is warmer and lighter every day. Rough Riders morning rides have changed to summer times for the mid week rides - meeting at 04:40 in the dip. I have had some great weekend rides over the past 2 months - we have had a few rides out to the Big Red Barn by Irene and back (breakfast stop at the Barn), Heidelberg, Suikerbosrand and other great rides out to Sentrarand or sticking with the roadies (Apricot Tree 94,7 group training rides).

I also managed to get my wife back on her bike (which has tubeless tyres due the expertise of Sean Brown). We did a race a few weeks ago - 10km  but it is at least a start. We also went to Wattle Spring Trails MTB track and Linda had her first experience on riding over a floating bridge (she also got 3 QOM crowns on Strava :-) followed by Big Red Barn track the next weekend.
Linda coming out the forest
New floating bridge at Wattle Spring Trails
Heidleberg ride - Telkom Tower, Wimpy and headwind home 
Best breakfast in town at Have Java after a Sentrarand ride
Apricot Tree 94,7 training ride - Wayne, me and his outlaws
Start of the 10km TVL Galvanizers race

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Just another random collection of events.....

So winter is in full swing here in South Africa and my riding companions have slunk off into the warmth of their beds (besides a few dependables'). To be fare it has been a very mild winter with the temps very seldom getting below 2 or 3 degrees. The dark is what really gets to me in winter, not so much the cold, leaving home in the dark for a mid week rides and getting home before the sun rises. We still manage to do a least 3 mid week rides - leaving home at 4:30 to meet who ever is up for the ride that day. The only common factor in these rides is the compulsory stop for coffee. 

On the weekends we normally have a long ride on Sunday, I have had some great rides the past few weekends, but these have been laced with a few technical issues that have made it interesting. We did a ride out to Big Red Barn (BRB), which was our coldest ride this year with temps reaching -4 in some parts. After a breakfast at BRB, just after we left, the bolts on my big chain ring snapped and left the chain ring spinning around the crank. We zipped tied (thx Mike) the chain ring to the crank and I had to ride/spin 50km home in my small chain ring. Fortunately the best bike mechanic in the East Rand was at home so I could drop the bike off at Sean's house and have a coffee with him an Becky until my wife could pick me up. Sean's service is really awesome anyone who does not use him in the East Rand does not know what they are missing. Brown Cabs
Frozen Silhouette before Dunblane
Darrens Garmin swing the almost -4 temp
Stopping to thaw the frozen feet and hands
The next weekend was a ride out to Sentrarand Michael had to come to my rescue again with his tools as my gear cable slipped and I had no gears. Marius and Mike had to do some make shift adjustments in order that I could peddle on in relative comfort. 
Marius and Mike carefully pulling my wire (that is gear cable)
Today was a great outing in the South of Boksburg with Greg, Claire, Catherine and Inati. It was really refreshing to do new routes, Greg was the route director and took us on some really cool routes. We even climbed up the big mine dump that I always wanted to try and ride up. This was very interesting as it took us awhile to find the way down, after a few attempts we finally found the path less traveled that took us to the bottom. 
Great shot next to the train tracks
Amazing views from the top of the mine dump
Claire scouting for a easy way down 
Greg and Claire
Yours truly in the dumps
Great views
Catherine almost on track
 Lastly on our Friday coffee ride - Darren managed to snap his frame. Fortunately it was just around the corner from Craig's shop so he could walk there and phone his wife for a lift home. Good news is that Pyga will replace the triangle at no cost to him. As a Rough Rider he should try and be more gentle with his bike :-)