Sunday, November 22, 2015

94.7 x 2 for the Apricot Tree

2015 is a milestone year for me as I have raced in some awesome new races and also not been in hospital once :-) It was also the first time that I also did the double in the 94.7 race - doing the mountain bike race and then the road race in 2 consecutive weekends. It was my first 94.7 MTB race, as I have normally avoid this  race because of the bottlenecks and bad routes etc... This is one case, when the organisers have learnt from their previous mistakes (unlike the Nissan series) and this event was extremely well run and the route was awesome. There were 2 completely different routes for the 30km and the 55km distances so you never had to worry about other slower riders not doing the same distance. I was pleasantly surprised by the route and the amount of purpose built single track that was in the 55km route. 
Me kicking up some dust followed by Hansie
I did the race with Hansie one of my fellow Benoni Rough Riders which was a great experience. Below is a video he took on his Garmin of a me following a female rider and stopping when she fell down a short drop off. She really came down hard and landed on her face. We stopped to help her until her boyfriend came back to assist her and wait for the medics. There were quite a few nasty falls in the race, given the hot, dry conditions and all the loose soil. 
video

I also had the misfortune of wiping out. I rode into some thick river sand and my bike came to a sudden halt ejecting me over the handle bars. Unfortunately I landed on my front wheel buckling it so badly that it couldn't rotate anymore. I thought my race was over when this happened 15km before the end  of the race. Fortunately, Hansie came to my rescue and took the wheel off my bike and managed to sort of straighten it on a tree stump so I could finish the rest of the race. This worked out to be quite costly as I had to buy a new DT Swiss rim as it was impossible to straighten out my old one. I enjoyed the race even though there were plenty of hills and it was very hot and dusty.   

Hansie and I at the end of the race, trying to cool down...
The next Sunday, I finished my 7th Momentum 94.7 road race. I once again did the race on my mountain bike which is a lot more fun (and safer) but just a bit slower. I also did the race with a friend (and fellow Rough Rider) Wayne and it was great sharing this experience with him and to have someone to chat to for the 95km route. I rode for The Apricot Tree  which is a Public Beneficiary Organisation (PBO) and is involved in the stimulation and development of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was a privilege riding for them once again, as it really is a great organisation with some incredible people involved in running it and raising money. I managed to raise R25,000 after getting sponsorships for the 94.7 race from my friends, family, work colleagues and the company that I work for MultiChoice. I was pretty chuffed with the money that I raised and happy to see that it be put to good use to offer more to the children that they help. 

Selfie with Wayne and I shortly before we set off on the race
Start of the Momentum 94.7 road race
Benchwarmers get out in the cold and wind. Today I managed to get Paul and Greg out for a chilly and windy ride. They have been warming the bench on the sidelines whilst the rest of us have been riding. It was great to have them back out there and hopefully we will see more of them as winter is long gone and the excuses have run out ;-)

Greg and Paul on a cold and windy 'summers day'