Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best of both worlds....

Yes I have had the very best of both worlds this week - a couple of great road bike rides and a fantastic mountain bike ride today. OK I have been on the road bike a touch more then on the MTB and there are malicious unfounded rumours (started by Jess and backed up by George) that I am a roadie convert. Naah I reckon there is a place for both of them, the road group are a great bunch of people and it is always good fun riding with them. We did a 90km ride the day before Christmas and then a 70km ride on Boxing Day. These rides were fast and really awesome, I never knew I good enjoy road biking so much. On both occasions the group was larger  than 20 people and we did some great routes (led by George) with the occasional sprint for the top of a hill or coffee stop. Always competitive and always a good laugh afterwards. It must be noted that Milton rode a 40 year old track bike with no gears and brakes on Boxing Day and still kicked our butts. 

Day before Christmas ride - some of the group
Day after Christmas customary coffee stop
December 28th and it was time to venture back on the dirt. There were about 16 of us, that met at the BP garage at 05:45. Good bunch of people with the same goal in mind to ride, get fit and have fun. I led the group out past the quarry, brick works, sewage pipe and back via the roller coaster road. Here are the Strava stats for my 78km ride. Being out in the open spaces made me realise why I love mountain biking so much, the ride was fantastic, it was at a honest pace, with the occasional stop to help one of the girls out with a puncture. The vibe in the ride was always good even though a few people were suffering near the end.
Good week of riding so far - 3 rides and 240km in the bank and over 7500km for the year so far. Bring on 2014. 
Yup 4 of us to change a ladies tyre
Nadine, Gary, Renier and Jess

The gang at another tyre repair (rest stop)
Renier looking back after he took my KOM for the quarry segment
Yes another ladies tyre repair stop..
I took the group of some pretty overgrown tracks, was fun though...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Checkers Checkers ride up your street...

After a rather muddy ride on Sunday I opted to join the 'Checkers Group' for a relaxed road ride on the Monday. Due to a number of reasons I normally prefer to mountain bike but joining this group for a ride now and again is really awesome. The group was started by George and Clint some time back and leaves from the Checkers at Elizabeth road in Boksburg most weekends. Great bunch of people (16 of us on this ride) all with the same goal in mind to keep fit and have fun. George does a great job of leading the group and Clint helps the stragglers at the back.  The pace is normally pretty honest and there are a few competitive sprints for segments now and again. Really enjoyed this ride and will definitely be doing more of them (real bonus is that I don't have to clean my bike once I got home). Here are my Strava stats for the ride.  
Some of the Checkers group at the customary coffee stop at the end of the ride...

Early morning sunrises before work are breathtaking (with Greg and Chris spoiling the view)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mud and good laughs

After plenty of rain the last few weeks here in Benoni the tracks are pretty saturated. Today I reluctantly decided to join Roy, Mandy, Pieter and Milton for a ride out into the muddy blue yonder. Pieter showed us some new routes in the first part of the ride which was really great as I thought I there was little left in the Benoni outback where I had not laid my tread. We all had a few slippery encounters with some really muddy patches. There was one spectacular feat, when Roy saved himself from falling and inadvertently did a side swipe rooster (when you splash the person riding next to you) sending a shower of muddy water all over Pieter. But nothing beats Mandy's classic fall - avoiding a big puddle she went through the water logged grass and had a very wet and muddy lie down. Good laughs, great company and awesome coffee at the BP afterwards. 70km ride in total, here are my stats on Strava.

Hubby Roy showing Mandy how to ride the puddles
Pieter, me and Mandy at a quick refueling break
Early morning weekday rides have been really fun, great bunch of guys and yes we seem to be stopping for coffee more then we should, but what the hell it can't all be sweat and tears!!! 
Grant, Vossie, Mark, Marco, Paul and Ian (Greg and others MIA)


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hard Out Easy Back

Alarm goes off at 4:40AM - I peel those eyelids open slowly, wind is howling outside, my better half murmurs "you not really going to ride in this weather are you?". Yes I would love to go back to sleep, soooo tired - but then the thought of Mark waiting out there by himself kicks ride mode into action. 15 minutes later I am cycling against a howling cold wind towards our preordained rendezvous. After picking up Mark we go past the BP to see if there are any stragglers that did not join the other ride with Jess into the mine dumps (yes we dodged this one after all the rain we have been having). Dee is waiting there patiently and the three of us head off towards Bapsfontein road.
The wind going down the aptly named roller coaster road is really fierce and in our face. We take turns in the front, shielding the other two, thinking wow a short coffee ride is far more appealing.  Slow ride up to the radio tower mast, quick breather and photo and then back home with the wind behind us. A quick adrenalin rush when we get chased by 3 dogs, Dee got the brunt of the barking, snapping abuse, as the boys were better least it wasn't me this time :-)
The ride back was so easy compared to the ride out, the tail wind made such a difference. Great ride and good to be out there, as you feel as if you have accomlished something in life when returning from a hard MTB ride.  Total of 65km round trip, click here for the stats of the ride 
Dee and Mark at the top of the hill