Sunday, September 1, 2013

Enough now - get out of here winter

So just when I thought summer was on its way we have had some really crappy weather the past 2 weekends. Last Saturday I took part in the 66km Auto Alpina Springs Mountain Bike Challenge. The race took place just outside Springs and Nigel and we started in freezing and windy conditions. Besides the weather this was a great race, the route was fairly flat with a few hills that surprised me. 20 odd kms into the race, with the wind being really hectic, I made friends with 2 guys - Greg and Kev and we took turns riding in front shielding the other 2 from the wind (well some of the time). We passed Renier a couple of times as he had a few punctures but he quickly caught up and passed us again. The three of us stuck together for the rest of the race and the chirping/banter made the unpleasant conditions bearable.
Renier being 'safe' while riding
The only issue that I had with this race is that we had to use our 'road bike' timing chip (Champion Chip) and I saw some people did not ride with one (even though they told you at registration). This is unheard of in MTB races and normally you have number boards that either have chips in them or they scan them when you go over the finish line. Fortunately I brought mine with (after being alerted via Jacques on our MTB group) and ended up finishing in a time of 3:15. What shocked me was the results afterwards, I was recorded as finishing in 16th place overall and 3rd in my category. Not sure what to think, it is an awesome result (my best ever) but I keep wondering if there were any people ahead of me without Champion Chips.
Roy with Jacques eating his dust behind him :)
Yours truly gun-ing against the wind
Today the weather was even worse, with temperatures plummeting to lows of around 0 degrees. I went on a nice solo ride out into the farmlands. Sometimes it is nice to ride by yourself as you can explore and play around a bit. I managed to find a few new tracks that I had not ridden before and also when exploring into a farmers field I got chased by 2 very irritated dogs. I managed to do 60km in slightly cold and windy weather - well what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Come on summer I miss you so bad. Below is a lovely sunrise I took on one of my morning rides - nothing better then watching a great sunrise when others are sleeping boy I love cycling.

2 comments:

  1. Well done Richard - great result in Springs!
    Sorry we didn't ride with you on Sunday, but Jess and I are nervous about going out in small groups after all of the hi jackings.
    We had a nice ride at Modder - it warmed up nicely and we managed to get a good rhythm going on the single track.
    Doing the Eqstra Spring Classic on Sunday,so probably will be out for a short one on Saturday. Hope to ride with you soon! Becky

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    1. Thx Becky, I am not too fused about riding in small groups (or even alone) as long as you avoid the areas that could be troublesome i.e. next to the R21 highway etc. Unfortunately your route planing has to change depending on the size of your group. It is really sad that we have to worry about stuff like this in this beautiful country.
      Good luck for your race on Sunday, dont think I will be riding this weekend as I have family birthdays on Sat and Sun. Rgds Rich

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