Monday, January 31, 2011

To Heildelberg and back

Saturday 29th Jan 2011 - I had a great ride with the Procyles group on Saturday morning early (a good 50km dash to the plots and back). Ok with the exception of a puncture that had to be plugged near the end and the overflowing sewer that only the brave rode through (me not being one of them).

Sunday 30th Jan 2011 was another turning point in my short mountain biking experience. I got to do 2 decent rides in a row, my longest MTB ride and first trip up decent hill (without stopping that is).

Greg and me were fortunate enough to join the seasoned professional Ian from Procyles to take us out to Heidelberg and back. It was very misty on the way there so my bearings were totally whacked but we made it there in no time. Ian put the challenge out to go up the hill at Heidelberg where the TV masts and water reserves are. Hesitantly I took up the challenge and found it wasn't too bad spinning up to the top in granny gear. We raced back down for a well deserved coffee and muffin at the Wimpy at Heidelberg before making our way back to where we parked our cars in Boksburg - 72km distance, ascent 541m, 3hour 33min, ave speed 20.6km/h.

Awesome ride thanks Ian it was incredible.
The route we took from Boksburg to Heilderburg and back
Naah! Ian the machine doesn't need to rest
Picture is diceptive it was pretty steep
The view would have been better if there was no mist

I am trying out my new head camera and managed to edit a few shots of the ride in the video below - excuse the quality (its my first one ok).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday Ride 16th Jan

Wet ride on Sunday. Andrew, Greg and me were joined by Steven - a roadie for the last 17 years and taking his first try out on a mountain bike. We did a similar route to last Sunday except with a bit more mud, water and uneven ground. Except for Greg we all took a few falls (this is not unusual for me) and rode the last 20 kms in a light refreshing drizzle. I am sure this was a different experience for Steve and hopefully we will get him out there again on a mountain bike....
Steve grinding through the mud
Greg showing Steve how it should be done

Andrew not impressed with the mud and water that I led them through

Mud was so thick there was no way of riding through

Andrew as if the plants really need watering after all this rain....

In the Dumps - Saturday 15th Jan

I had an incredible ride with the Procycle guys on Saturday morning. We met outside the shop at 05:30 and headed to the mine dumps between Benoni and Brakpan. Paul took us on a great route (besides the bundu bashing near the end), lots of single track, a few drop offs and of course loads of water. It was fantastic to ride through the mine dumps - mostly deserted (except for a few 'illegal' miners panning for gold). Great bunch of guys (9 of us in total) and the riding was slow enough to take in the beautiful surroundings.

There were a few obstacles in the way

Beginning when the legs were still fresh

Big machines...
Paul a real man would have bunny hopped that ditch....

Alistair still smiling near the end

Ian passing on some of his wisdom

Yours truly

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday MTB ride - 9th Jan 2011

Last ride on leave for Greg and myself, Andrew also joined us and now really looks like a seasoned mountain biker with his new bike, gloves, Camel Bak etc.

We did the same 60km route that Greg and me did on Friday. The weather was overcast almost threatening to rain at any minute. It was really awesome to be out in the open space and this new route is really incredible, challenging at times but as always in the East Rand not too difficult because of the lack of hills (only 300m ascent over 60km's).

This was supposed to be Andrew's first (slow) long ride, but he was stronger then he let on and we ended up averaging 20km per hour which is pretty quick for  us old timers.  
Half way snack

Greg and Andrew tackling urban single track

Ride of numbers - Friday 7th Jan 2011

First ride of the new year with Greg after his annual sabbatical to the beach.

This 3 hour ride turned into a 4 hour ride because of 3 punctures (only on my bike), which needed 3 bombs and 1 visit to a petrol station, 5 plugs to fix the punctures, 2 horse fly bites whilst fixing the puncture no 3.

Also on this ride we saw some "wildlife' - 1 running hare, 1 angry crab and 1 lazy rat.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Andrew's new ride

I think every mountain biker can relate to the pure adulation of when you finally get the bike of your dreams. After weeks of deliberation Andrew took the plunge and brought a new mountain bike. Andrew finally settled on a KTM Score Master -  really awesome bike. Now both Andrew and Greg ride carbon bikes - guess I will have to shed some kgs' to keep up with them.

We took Andrew's virgin out for her first taste of the Benoni outback, we did a quick 43km's past Dunblane and Andrew's new bike was put through its paces with a fair amount of single track mixed with water and mud.
Single track heaven

Andrew putting his foot down

Ask no questions tell now lies

Pig in the mud 4th Jan 2011

Second ride of the new year, 43 kms by myself tackling the mud and puddles after days of rain. It was a lekker ride except hearing the grinding of the components on my new 29er as the mud got dispersed. I came across some of our fearless protectors the South African Police force having a merry time trying to get their police van out of the mud. It was quite amusing to watch but they seemed to have it under control. We had our bikes clog up here before from the black clay like mud - wasn't pretty.