Friday, March 25, 2016

Testing the boundaries...

Ok so the previous blog post was called 'the long one', well a week or two later on Human Rights Day (aptly named Human Rides Day) I put that ride to shame. A group of eight of us headed out to Rosemary Hill on the eastern outskirts of Pretoria from Benoni. A bit uncertain about the route we were lucky to have George McPhail riding with us, to point Mark (our ride captain) in the right direction. Incredible riding so nice to do a different route after flogging the routes around Dunblane/Serengeti for so many years. The route was mainly district track with a few small bumps on the way back. We stopped over at Rosemary Hill bike park for a coffee and breakfast roll before heading back. Unfortunately George's bolt in his headset snapped and he had to get a lift back 20km out from our halfway stop (he was hoping to do a 250km ride for the day so this dented his ambitions somewhat). 

Pit stop to check out George's bike 
Sean phoning for backup as Robbie was finished after 100km (Shannon having a welcome breather)
Mark and Robbie 
Michelle and Becky
So this ride ended up being the longest ride that I have ever done - a whopping 143km, click here for Strava stats of the ride. Surprisingly I was feeling ok and not to bushed at the end of the ride, I think it has a lot to do with the great bunch of people that I was riding with. The pace the whole way was perfect and I didn't have to redline to keep up with the group.  Was really great to test the boundaries of my body and do something that is a benchmark for further rides.
Me rolling in home after a 143km ride
Awesome photo capturing the sunrise over Blaauwpan on one of our morning rides before work 
Rough Riders at Blaauwpan 
Mark and I did a ride in the rain one morning, we still had time for a coffee stop. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The long one....

Sunday the 28th of Feb was a memorable ride. We started off in a big group 25+ riders with a support vehicle. We had a great opportunity to join the beginning of this ride by some crazy nutters that do a 200km mountain bike ride to Loskop dam (2 of them being Rebecca and Sean from our group). I was definitely not that brave (or fit enough) to take on this massive challenge, so a five of us (Mark, Wayne, Michael, Michelle and me) rode the first 50km with them and then did some route exploring.  
The first 50km was really crazy as it was a large group of really strong riders so the pace was hectic, we averaged 30km per hour. Once we hit Oxbow resort (where we were hoping to stop for coffee) we parted ways and had a chance to catch our breath. This ended up being my longest ride on a mountain bike 121km and was incredible on all fronts. The weather was perfect (overcast) and the company of my fellow Rough Riders was on top form as usual.  Here are the stats of my ride 

Action selfie - Wayne and Michael hard as steel
Long district roads - one of the few times I could ride in front of Mark
Not sure why Michelle is showing the peace sign, she takes no prisoners
Group photo after stopping for a drink at a 'local' shop
Wayne and Mike
Train tracks from hell
Great view and a well deserved breather..