Friday, December 24, 2010

Andrews first fall

Andrew is at last a real mountain biker!! He joined Greg and myself for a nice Xmas eve morning ride, we did 50km's mostly off road. It was a really awesome ride and Andrew was a natural, he manged to keep up with us and made us really scared on how strong he will be when he gets his new bike.

He has now officially joined the  MTB riders club by having his first fall. He was going over a mound of building stones and hit a rock on the other side that sent him over the handle bars. It was a classic fall and as with most falls comes when it is least expected. He shot up, dusted himself off and gingerly remounted his bike. Here he is a few metres later full of smiles - welcome to the club Andrew.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Andrew comes of age

Great to get Andrew out in the early morning (his second ride this week). We did just over 31km off road, before my last day of work. After loads of rain the past week the route was very very wet and in some places overgrown. This was ended up being Andrew's initiation ride into real mountain biking where you come home looking like you have been standing in front of a big fan and some has thrown mud, water and other s**t into it.  It was good to ride with Andrew and he handled the stinky water that we rode through ok, hopefully the next pic of him he will be in new kit (as I am sure what he is wearing will smell a bit ripe).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday 19th December 2010 ride

Armed with my new toys (29er and Garmin) I joined Greg, Gary and Justin for a great dirty Mountain Bike ride in the Benoni outback. It was good to ride with the boys again, at least this time I could keep up. We had a good ride past Dunblane and then into the plots (route shown below), the pace wasn't to fast and there were a few stops to navigate the water hazards.
I took a nice tumble riding through some thickesh mud, I was behind Greg as he always chooses the best line when I couldn't keep up the momentum and took a dive in the mud as pictured below.

At least it gave the boys (as pictured below) something to smile about.

Great ride, almost 70kms loads of water, mud and a few more horse fly bites to remind me that this sport is not for sissies.

Friday 17th Dec ride

First ride with my new Garmin Edge 500 (early xmas present from my wife). Really awesome little gadget (thx to Greg for helping set it up). Now I can monitor amongst others my heart rate, cadence, ascent, calories burnt etc really love it.

Greg and me did a dirty 48km ride, after a few days of rain the paths and roads were very muddy. We had to wash them off in the river at once stage as the mud was really ruining our chains and cassettes. This was where the horse flies struck, I got bitten 5 times and Greg once.

Some of the roads were completely flooded and were not ride able as pictured below.

 No more bling on the new 29er

Back home a lot dirtier then I started.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

First 100km up on the 29er

I did a few rides this last week on my new Giant Anthem X1 29er, wow what an awesome ride. I had a few early morning rides before work with Greg (just under 30km each) and a longer ride on Saturday with the Procycles team.

The Saturday ride was very memorable, we met at 05:30 at Procycles at Northmead, Benoni totalling 9 riders (including Paul, Ian and Glen from Procycles) and ventured out towards the mine dumps. Paul was the leader and really took us on an incredible route that I had never been on before. Some parts were technical and I struggled initially but the open single track and drop offs were incredible.  My sense of direction was really confused and I am not sure I would be able to assimilate the route that Paul took us on, when I thought we were almost back at Benoni we somehow ended up in Brakpan.

I had one classic fall - head over heals over my handlebars. I only realised at the end of the ride after Greg alerted me that my brakes were on different sides to what I was used to on my Trek MTB i.e. I thought I was putting on the back brake and instead pulled hard on the front causing the fall. These have now been swapped around and I won't be able to use this as a excuse anymore. It was really cool to ride with a big group of riders I think I will be doing this often in the future.

Monday, December 6, 2010

New 29er

After a dodgy week or so after my fall, life has taken a real awesome turn. I have purchased a new Giant Anthem X1 29er mountain bike (courtesy of a tax refund). I am fortunate to have Greg as a friend as he has immense technical knowledge about mountain bikes which really came in handy when choosing the right bike. After shopping around for a few weeks I think I got a really good deal with this new baby:

I couldn't wait for my first ride, unfortunately my front tubeless tyre didn't bead properly and with Greg's help we put in a temporary tube. Greg was awesome in helping me setting up the bike with the shock pressures, greasing the bearings etc. The first ride was incredible, much better then I would have anticipated -  I could actually keep up with Greg for a change.  The bike rolls very well and the upgrade in components is noticeable when changing gears and braking etc. I know I am going to have many years of fun on this baby.