Sunday, January 24, 2016

Begin again...

Another year has started and time is flying so fast its seems all down hill. 2016 has been a great year of riding so far, with some fantastic rides in the early mornings with the Benoni Rough Riders (usually involving coffee) and a few longer rides on the weekends. My goals for this year are to emulate last year to stay away from hospitals and spend some quality time in the saddle. Major races for 2016 - at the moment it is Sani2C, Bielie Mielie, 94.7 and to do a few more races hopefully with my wife and/or son.

We did a awesome ride out to SentraRand earlier this month check out the ride filmed and edited by Hansie click on the YouTube link here: Benoni Rough Riders Sentrarand MTB

Below are a few photos of the ride, on the route, we came across a deserted track cycling stadium, sad to see but interesting to ride around. 
Sunrise over the highway on the way to meet the group
Paul the winner of his own race..
Rough Riders checking out the track
Blauwpan dam on route to pre work coffee
Rebecca's action shot of some of the Benoni Rough Riders
Sunday the 17th of January we went for a fantastic group ride out to Rosemary Hill bike park on the outskirts of Pretoria East. Nice big group starting off with around 20 mountain bikers (some riders peeled off early or were scared off by Alistair :-). The route to Rosemary Hill was fast and very flat with more downhill than uphill. It was only 75km there, so it was a lot shorter then originally planned and I also did a 20km loop there on the trail, finishing on 95km total ride. Nice track at Rosemary Hill and looks like a awesome venue to go and ride with up to 56km of trails. Wayne, Micheal and me were joined at Rosemary Hill by - Greg, Paul, Hansie and Juan, so we had a lift back whilst the rest of the group Becky, Sean, Alistair, Ashley, Michele, Ross, Anton, Milton etc...rode back to Benoni (finishing on between 150-170km ride). Next time I will get a return ticket instead of only a one way.
Sunrise on the way to Rosemary Hill
Nice big group on a great ride
Railway bridge group photo
Babelas Becky
Mike and I 
January is my birth month and that normally involves a MTB related present, this year my wonderful wife bought me a professional bike set up with Cyclefit. One of the best things I have done, this involves the optimum setting of the three points of contact on your bike: the pedals and shoes, the saddle and the handlebars. I spent over an hour and 15min with Richard Baxter (ex professional cyclist) checking and correcting my bike set up. My cleats in my shoes had to move right forward, my saddle up by 2.5cm, my handlebars brought forward and shortened by a 1cm on each side. My rear shock was 60PSi too soft and my from shock 5psi too hard (bike was sagging). The before and after videos show a remarkable difference - my back is much straighter now and I am not slouching over the bike. I have had a few rides already and the difference is amazing it is like riding a new bike. Well worth it.
Richard cutting my handle bars
Testing after changes have been made
January = lots of rain = lots of mud. We had to resort to urban MTB one Sunday which involved finding all the hills in Befordview and Bruma. Almost 1000m climbing in 80km, great new routes up and down Sylvia's Pass, cobbles and switch backs up to the tower by Linksfield etc...

Top of Sylvia's Pass 
View from the cell tower and beyond

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