Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hills, sore back and mashed banana

April has been a good month for mountain biking (910km in total - which was about 800km more then Wayne rode) - I would have cracked 1000km if my back was not injured and there was a few days of forced rest. There have been some great rides, testing the limits and slowly getting fitter. We had a great ride out to Bedfordview with Darren, Alistair and some of his mates. Alistair found every hill and made sure we did it twice for good measure - over 1200m climbing in 80 odd km. 
Taking a breather at the top of the Linksfield switch backs
We went on a soul searching ride in the mist towards the Mushroom Farm with the 360one legends, the week before their race. Incredible feat by Rebecca and Sean finishing the 360kms in under 24 hours and being on the podium for the 3rd mixed pair home. Doing the Benoni Rough Riders really proud. Aiden was also amazing coming in 10th overall in just over 16 hours. Here is Beck's blog: and also Aiden's blog - both really interesting reads and highlights the incredible achievements involved. 
Sean, Becky, Alistair, Mark, George and Shannon (Darren is too skinny to make the photo :-)
A couple of Big Red Barn (BRB) rides happend in the last week, this entailed a ride out towards Irene (finding a few hills) and then stopping at BRB for a quick coffee or breakfast before making our way back home. Distance for these rides was 95 and 105 kms - I really enjoy this route and its nice when we mix it up a bit and piss Alistair off when you change the route home :-)   
Dangerous Darren train dodging during Mikes detour over the train tracks to BRB.
Last ride for April was a spin out to Modderfontein bike park with Paul. Also a good ride but a bit of a slog on the way home because of the hills combined with a headwind. I had a bit of a lie down when turning and not un-cleating in time. This annihilated the banana I had in my back pocket and I had to settle for mashed banana as a mid ride snack. 
Anyone for a banana split?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ezemvelo MTB race 01-04-2017

No April fool here, what a great race at the Ezemvelo Game Reserve. A nice representation from the Benoni Rough Riders with Michael, Wayne, Paul, Darren, Fabio and Dustin smashing it in the heat and dust. It was a really great race, smooth flowing tracks with a bit of loose sand on occasion. The only draw back was the bottleneck in the beginning at a river crossing. After a short queue and chance to talk a bit of crap with fellow riders the race carried on. A few more river crossings left wet shoes for the rest of the race. The scenery was spectacular being in a game reserve outside Bronkhorspruit. Not much game could be spotted besides a Kudu buck running across the track a few meters ahead of me. I handled the race ok, pacing myself for most of the time but really felt the lack of hill training and the extra few kilos that have snuck up on me, near the end.  
Fabio, Darren, me, Mike, Wayne, Dustin and Paul
Darren, Mike and Paul patently waiting a the first river crossing
The last (heart break) hill before the end
Sunrise taken in one of the early morning rides before work