Friday, December 21, 2018

Airport Track 20th December 2018

Photo of the month - Sean trying to catch up with Becky (oh and an awesome sunrise)
Becky about to ride over Warrens hump (he had a bad fall here a few weeks ago)
Airplanes and single track
Becky, drop off, sunrise 

Benoni Rough Riders

So 2018 draws to a close and the Benoni Rough Riders have arrived with their own designer riding kit. After throwing a few ideas around we came up with a design for our own kit and I placed an order with Shannon from Activize Apparel for the people in the group that wanted. Below are some pictures of these awesome shirts.

First photo shoot
Friday team coffee ride at the Airport track (Paul the photographer) 

Terrors of 94.7

So the 94.7 road race of 2018 will be permanently etched in my mind forever and for all the wrong reasons.  This year I was riding for one of my work's satellite capacity service providers, Intelsat in support of Kids Haven (a worthwhile cause to give street kids a home and start in life). As always, I was under prepared after not enough training (with flu 3 weeks before this set me back a bit) but was planning on winging it for my 9th race. They changed the route this year, so all the hills were in the beginning. Wayne my trusty riding partner rode with me once again and moved back from his allocated starting slot to join me at the start. The route was a bit taxing in the beginning but I managed ok until Kyalami race track and then the wheels fell off. My Camelbak was frozen and I was not getting enough fluids in the 35 degree heat. After going around the track and filling up my Camelback, I had to walk some of the hills as I was not feeling too good. Ever patient Wayne was waiting for me at the top of every hill and pushed me a the last hill (he was an awesome friend waiting for me and nursing me home). Fortunately the last 10kms was downhill and I managed to get over the finish line. 
Wayne and I before the race
After the finish I was feeling terrible and almost vomited in Wayne's car on the way home. Once home I vomited repeatedly and collapsed on the cold bathroom floor. That is when my wife intervened and took me to the Hospital for a drip. Once in the ER, I was put on a drip and blood tests taken. Early prognosis was that I had renal failure and had to go to ICU so that my kidneys could recover and they could test my levels during the night. ICU was not a pleasant experience, I am not sure what my highlight was, having a catheter put in or the 03:30 wake up for a bed bath. To cut a long story short, my body recovered really quickly and I managed to negotiate an early release for good behaviour after 2 days. Body is all good and I am back on the bike. Thanks for all the support from my family and friends during this experience. 
ICU hooked up to all the machines

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Back into the swing of things..

So winter is now officially over and the mornings are getting lighter and warmer each day. So we survived another year of riding in the cold and dark. Summer riding is awesome, really good to be back in the swing of things. We have had some good rides during the week before work and a few longer ones on the weekends. Benoni Rough Riders as usual are a fantastic group of people and make the rides more enjoyable, the group is constant with a few regulars that ride most of the time and then a few cameo appearances from a few riders that fluctuate between groups or sometimes grace us with their presence. 

Below are a few pictures taken over the past few months that will help store the memories of the fantastic time we have out in the open with our friends: 
Outride past the Brickyard
Avoiding angry farmers

Work conference - always take bike with
Infamous Spookhuis
Sunrise before conference =  awesome
This big fella would not move off the track
Bliss riding 
Becky's birthday ride
Teabagged by Mike in the sunrise pic
Becky's birthday ride gang at the airport track
Sentrarand tour outride
Airport track = Fridays morning rides before work
Wayne at Modder

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Winter rides 2018

Winter time is chunky time - less riding and more eating. It has been a colder winter than 2017 which has resulted in fewer mid week rides and shorter weekend rides. I have also been traveling for work again with a trip to Holland in June (at least I managed to hire a really small bike and go for a 35km ride in the country side). We also went for a family holiday to the Kruger National Park in July where I managed to managed to jump off a cliff on the Big Swing at Graskop, I know it is not mountain biking but it is at least extreme adrenaline provoking. 
Early morning rides before work where it reached a low of -4
Dark cold mornings and moonsets
Me and my crazy son and daughter before we leaped off the cliff

Weekend ride selfie with Becky, Wayne, Warren and Mike
The Rough Riders taking a well deserved break 
Ride in Holland with my mate Werner on a small bike called Delilah
What is riding in Holland without a photo of a Wind Mill

Monday, April 30, 2018

Further and further

So work has been interferring with my riding the past month or so with trips to Qatar and Pakistan, but that is behind me now and I managed to get some decent rides in. On the 8th of April I embarked on my longest ride yet, 155km to the petro port and back. The ride should have been shorter but we went the long way around via the Oxbow wedding venue first. It was a great ride with Sean, Wayne and Catherine. Racing snakes Ashley and Michelle joined us for the first 30km or so. 
There was a threesome when I hit a rut and fell; Wayne fell behind me and then Cat behind him. Wayne came off the worse with a cracked helmet and lots of scraps and bruises. Moral of the story is please do not ride behind me it can be hazardis for your health :-)  
Sunrise before my longest ride
Wayne went flying forward after hitting me, that is my bike in front
Cat was wasn't too hurt just shaking her head in amazement :-)
Sean taking a action shot on our way back from the Petroport
Stop at 125km, well deserved drink
Yesterday the 29th of April we did another long ride, 120km to Oxbow and back. I joined Sean, Claire, Greg, Tom, Doc and Paul for a decent ride out. I suffered on the middle section but after stopping for a coke and something to eat at MBT garage at 80km, I felt a lot stronger for the rest of the trip home. Stop for coffee at the Parks near the end topped off a great ride. I am really enjoying the longer rides, great to be out on the bike for 6 plus hours at a time. We have a great group of cycling nuts and it is always a pleasure riding with them. 
Lots of traffic on our weekend rides
April is Cosmos month - Von and Marius on one of our rides to Big Red Barn

Sunday, February 4, 2018

2018 Chunky's revenge....

So 2017 finished off on a low after a crash in late October, that left me with bruised ego and a few fractured ribs. I had to skip riding the 94.7 for the first time in 9 years, due to my injuries (and also I was flying overseas on business on that day). So a few weeks off the bike for injuries and 2 weeks overseas, over-exerting my drinking hand, the Kilos pilled on. I got the shock of my life when I got on the scale in mid December (105kgs), the heaviest I have been for a few years. The extra kilos and the lack of time on the bike seriously took a toll on my riding. I seemed to have regressed from sort of ok, to useless. There were a couple of rides in late December and early January where I really struggled and couldn't match the pace of the groups that I was riding with. 

Really hard ride to Heidelberg 2 Towers and back, extreme heat and fatigue. At one stage, I had Sean, Alistair and the Tandem (Greg and Claire) all pushing me. Gee, I really struggled, it was a dark time and fortunately I had good mates to assist in my time of pain. The next weekend went slightly better, when we did a ride from the Home of the Chicken Pie to Hartebeesport Dam and back. This was a incredible ride, pretty hard with all the climbing and extreme heat (39 degree high) but very beautiful scenery. Awesome bunch of people led by Ashley and we went through a Game Park and saw lots of game and the views closer to the dam were awesome. I survived this ride and made it to the end, really glad that I did it. 
Chunky puffing up the hill... 
Group photo at the top of the hill over looking Harties.
Dam nice view
Sticking her neck out 
Awesome views 
Extreme Awesome
Chunky and friends
Chunky climbing Bedford Hills
Heidleberg hill, Chunky was not in the photo as he was still coming up the hill...
Wimpy Heidelberg, feeding the beast...
So there have also been a few other longer rides to Big Red Barn and back that were getting easier as I was getting fitter and shedding a few kilos. 2018 is when Chunky gets boot and I regain my dignity by not being the last person on the group rides.

Morning rides before work - sunrises and coffee stops