Sunday, April 28, 2013 are always on my mind

So the last few months we have been building up to one of the greatest mountain bike races in South Africa. Our focus every week is what rides we will do that will help us manage to survive this three day event. Our progress has been relatively good, I reckon Greg and I are stronger then we were last year (even though we have not done 2 big rides in a row) and this time we know what to expect, so it is going to be awesome, I can't wait.
Last Sunday Greg and I went to Suikerbosrand Nature reserve after a few days of heavy rain (good to see they kept the rates the same after our social media intervention), click here for the ride stats. The route is all tar so there is no mud and washing of the bikes afterwards. We managed to see loads of game and had the odd jackal run in front of our bikes.
After a few rides in the week, we went on an epic ride to Modderfontein Central Park Trails Mountain Bike park and back. This was a great 101km ride with 950m climbing and I did it with Greg, Adam, Mark and Marco. Nice to be out on the saddle for over 5 hours, fantastic ride with some good people. Click here are my stats for the ride.
Adam, Mark, Marco and Greg at our 85km refreshment stop..
Morning rides normally end with some great views when going round Korsman Pan

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Breedts Nek and more

Wow!! our Sani2C training got a massive boost today, we had an incredible ride from Sterkfontein Caves, up Breedts Nek and back to the Caves via Hekpoort pass. Click here: for the ride stats
After hearing about the infamous Breedts Nek climb from many mountain bikers over the years, we were fortunate enough to be able to go there today. It was quite a drive from the East Rand were we live and we left really early before 5:00 to get there by 6:30. We then met my friend Pierre at the Sterkfontein Caves car park (he had riden there from Northcliff). Pierre I must mention is a absolute mountain biking machine after doing a few Epics, Joburg to Seas, Cape Pioneer Trek etc. His weekend riding was a total of 250km - so this man knows his way around a mountain bike. Pierre was kind enough to take us on some awesome routes through to Breedts Nek, his knowledge of the area after many years of riding is enormous, we went on some fantastic tracks that not many people know about. This ride was incredible, the scenery was out of this world and the route was pretty tough at times with some big hills which is vastly different from the flat tracks we are used to in Benoni. 
Pierre and I on the top of Breedts

Greg was grateful to be at the top..

Mission accomplished Breedts has been conquered

Pierre and Greg

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Now on Strava

So it has been a relatively good week of riding: 76km on Monday with Renier, 42km mad dash in the rain on Wed with the youngsters, 30km recovery ride on Thursday and a 86km ride out into the farmlands on Sunday with Greg.

I have recently discovered Strava - this is a online record of all your rides and you get to see what your friends are also doing. What is also interesting about Strava is that your ride is split into segments, that other riders have ridden in the past - these segments normally are hills, straights or certain sections of your ride and have each been given names i.e. I am currently the KOM for the Bredell Dam single track North . There is a leader board of each of these segments where the fastest riders are displayed and this makes it very competitive. So even if you are riding alone you really give it your all in certain segments to try and move up the log. Hence the picture above - if I collapse, please pause my Garmin so I can not loose my place on the leader board. It is really fun and you should give a try if you have a compatible device that can upload your ride stats onto Strava.
P.S. Seems like our protest about the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve fees increase has worked and they will be only increasing the fees by 10%.

Happy riding...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Suikerbosrand shocker

So Adam, Mike and I went to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve on the weekend to get some proper hill training in for Sani2C. We had a great ride beating my best time by 20 minutes. Most of the ride was in the rain and we were very very soaked by the time we got back to the car park. It really is an awesome place to ride, the landscape is challenging for us cyclists (1200m ascent in 57km) and the scenery is out of this world. You can see lots of wild game and occasionally have to dodge a buck dashing across the road. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed to be told as we were leaving that the entrance fees would be going up on the 8th of April. Not that I should be shocked by the fact that companies increase their fees, this is a natural economic activity that occurs every year in order to at least keep up with inflation, but this increase is ridiculous.
To put things into perspective it cost Adam and I a total of R50 to ride today (R20 each and R10 for the car).  After the 8th of April it will cost R420 for the 2 of us to ride (R50 each, R150 per bike and R20 for the car).
PLEASE assist by signing this online petition to make sure these exorbitant fees are not implemented and ruin a great place bikers, hikers and nature lovers by clicking on this link:
New fees that have caused much dissension