Sunday, January 19, 2014

Good week of riding...

January 2014 is rocking, the last 2 weeks have been really great with over 620km ridden already. Last weekend I did my longest ride so far of a 116km, when I joined the Checkers road group for a ride to Midrand, Sandton, Sylvia's Pass and Bedford etc... Nice big group of 20 riders, led nicely by Clint for a hard but very rewarding ride. Click here: for the stats of the ride.
The next day was my birthday and we went for the short ride to a new MTB track that they are busy establishing at the Benoni Country Club. Nice short technical track with lots of twists and turns. Great turn out for a trial ride of the route established by Cliff.

Group ride at the Benoni Country Club MTB track

4 early morning rides before work this week, teed me up for a great weekend. Saturday I was fortunate to share my mountain biking passion with my ever patient and understanding wife. We went to Modders together (on one of hottest days of the year - Garmin recorded a high of 37 degrees) and had an awesome ride together. She is riding really well and will hopefully be doing her first 30km MTB race soon. 
Better half...
Today was a chance to do a different route from the normal spin out into the Benoni mielie fields. I was fortunate enough to be joined by 2 stalwarts of cycling Rebbecca and Juan for a +90km ride out to Heidleberg and back. I have done this route before and it is never easy as it is fairly flat and you have to constantly pedal with no respite. After the long downhill to Heidleberg there is a tiring spin up to the radio tower hill, over looking the town. Great to get up there, enjoy the view and then replenish the energy levels. The ride back home was very wet as we got caught in rain for most of the ride back. It was a very light rain and and a lot better then the sweltering heat of the day before. Here are the stats of this ride to finish off a really great week of riding.
Juan and Becky on the top of the 'radio mast' hill
Hill top selfie
View of Heidleberg from the top of the radio tower hill

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bring on 2014

So after 351 Hours of riding in 2013 and over 7,638.2 kilometers traversed, I cant wait for 2014 so I can see how longer and faster I can go. Nice first few rides in 2014, all on the MTB (skinny wheels are hanging up in the garage for a while).
It was a great pleasure in having my mate from work Pierre (one of the guys who got me to start cycling all those years ago) to come from Northcliff and come ride with us. I organized a group ride from the BP and we did a similar route to the one I took the group on the previous weekend. I know that this route was pretty flat and slow compared to what Pierre is used to (given that he lives on top of Northcliff  hill and has completed numerous multistage races like the ABSA Cape Epic, JHB2C, Cape Pioneer Trek etc...) but it was great to ride with him all the same. Here are my Strava route and stats of the ride...


Nadine, Pierre and Adam
Bevan and Ashley
Adam, Nadine and Jeff
Mark, Jess and Dee opted for a shorter ride and turned off before the brickwork's (haven't heard from Mark since, hope the ladies didn't leave him for dead on the Cell Tower Hill).
I had my first fall for 2014 when I  hit (T-Boned) a big rock and went flying off my bike, the impact was so hard, my front tyre dislodged and unbeaded from the rim. I subsequently had to replace this tyre with a new one, as there was a permanent wobble on the tyre (after taking the wheel to the bike shop to check that the spokes were still true and aligned). A few more scars to the elbow and my pride dented a bit, here's hoping 2014 will be an upright year.  
Feel like your crashing game is stuck in a rut, same old, same old? Need a little inspiration? Here are 75 new ways to crash your mountain bike, you're sure to find one or two things you can try on your next ride in this link! (courtesy of a tweet by Tony Huglin @tonyhuglin)