Wednesday 24 December 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:03 | No comments

My last Maverick race

The final race of the year, and my first proper mountain bike race since TransBaviaans, saw us heading off to George for the Rock Pedal Classic. By all accounts this was supposed to be an easy end of year race, focusing on the social side more than the racing. The profile even had us believing that we were in for a cruise...

The nice thing about the ride was that there were two distances, both ending up at the same point where we would spend the night, before heading back the next day along the same route, just in reverse.

There was a reasonable turnout, with a good mixture of people doing the 50km and the 80km.
We would all head up the Montague pass, before the 80km route would take us on a detour through some tough undulating terrain for about 20kms, before we would rejoin the 50km route. Later, we would do another 10km loop with some nasty hills before rejoining the route for the final 5kms.

Team Dulux reunited - all smiles before the start

Team Dulux taking a breather going up the pass

Both Craig and Marius looked to be in goods shape - Craig doing the quitely confident thing, and Marius promising to ride with me (he did - for about 3 and a half minutes!).

The great thing about this ride was not really the ride at all. That was tough, testing and the 37C didn't help. The organisers had gone to the effort to make the small things count - there were plenty of water points, and each point was stocked with the usual coke and water, AND biscuits. Nothing beats a biscuit as a snack when your lungs are burning and your legs are cramping! The course was well marked, the finish area was cleverly thought out, the spectators and other non-cyclists where catered for.

Snack time

We spent the day lazing around the pool, eating (LOTS) and chatting/snoozing and. For once - the bike race itself wasn't the most important thing - the whole outing was. The Betts backup crew did a great job of making sandwiches and other snacks - even if they were a little late to see Craig finish.

Craig had a good ride - coming 4th, with Marius a little bit behind in 8th. I was a little further down in 14th place, but a massive 22 minutes behind Craig. Yolanda had a good ride, coming 21st in the ladies for the 50km, with Bonte coming 53rd in the men's 50km, beating her dad by 15 minutes.

Food and naps - what more do you need!
We spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the net day's racing, having the supplied supper (of tasty chops and wors), and watching some of the photos of the day's action. We missed Yolanda's mud puddle wallowing action. When I find some photos I will post them!!

Craig powering up the pass on day 2 - just behind the leaders

Day two saw a slight change to the long route - a nasty rocky section was taken out, and as a result we only had 70km to look forward to. My legs seemed to be ok, and I quite enjoyed the first 2 hours of the ride - towing Marius to the bottom of the pass. We passed the remaining members of Team Dulux as they waved at cows and seemed to be having a very social ride.

The ladies posing under the railway bridge on the downhill side of the pass

Yo and Bonte's competition

Yo playing nasty and pointing the tortoise in the wrong direction
All in all a great weekend - and we will definitely be back - this was a fantastic event.

Here are the overall results

Marius descending the pass

Monday 8 December 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 14:02 | 2 comments

The Burger 2008

 The Elites looking nervous

This being my second road race since the Argus, I was rather nervous about staying with the bunch, especially over Helshoogte, which was a mere 2km from the start. I really didn't need to be so worried, and eventually got to the top in the first quarter of the bunch, surprising myself completely. The next 60kms or so were a bit of a procession, with no one really willing to up the pace. Tim even found himself and his fancy new bike on the front - which is a rare occurrence indeed!

 Some of the guys at the back

 Is there anywhere better in SA to ride?

The weather was perfect for bike riding, not too hot, not too breezy - just perfect. The racing eventually picked up a little somewhere near Wellington, although I don't think we were going hard enough to drop anyone.

 The second tandem, showing true commitment when puncturing just before the finish

After 2 hour or so I started to fade - I just don't have the racing in my legs. Thankfully, it seemed like the whole bunch felt the same way, and I was able to get over the rolling hills on the R44 safely tucked away towards the back of the bunch.

 The first Elite home

The finish was after a slight incline, and suddenly, there were people who had been lurking at the back of the bunch making a move for the line. My fear of sprinting had me at the back, watching the sprint unfold.

 Reward for a hard day's racing

I was a little too careless and Tim managed to cross the line ahead of me. Now I won't hear the end of it for the next 3 years. The good news is that the SubVets beat the A bunch, so Craig was once again relegated to 3D Loser!

 A tandem, towing a bike, towing a trailer. Dad, two daughters, and the teddy bear
Crair subsequently made up for his poor Burger performance by winning another Overstrand MTB race. He is now the holder of all 3 Overstrand titles. I think he needs to stop winning races, and practice pulling a weaker partner along...

Thursday 4 December 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 14:50 | No comments

DC in photos






























Friday 21 November 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 22:41 | No comments

My first road race

The last road ride I did was the Argus - a whole 8 months previously. So, in an effort to seem motivated I entered the Klein Joostenberg Fun ride. I reckoned that this would be the perfect ride to make a comeback on, as it is the week before the Double Century, so everyone should be resting, thus making my life a bit easier. It was also the same day as the 94.7, and I was hoping that many people had gone up-country to race. Just to be safe, I thought I would ride in E. Imagine my nervousness when, in the start chute, there were at least 5 other guys from B. Russell had also made an appearance. It looked like my gentle slow ride just wasn't going to happen.

From the gun things were quite racey, and I slotted into my usual position in the peloton - right near the back somewhere. Russell kept me company, and apart from hanging onto my pockets up the rolling hills, I was quite comfortable there. But I had a feeling something was going to change, and when got to the bottom of the biggest rolling hill of the day, several guys hopped off the front. Suddenly my plan to hide at the back was out the window, and I found myself chasing down the break, and towing some other riders across. Once things had settled down, 12 of us had ridden off the front, and we had the group of C/D in our sights ahead of us.

Yo sneaking back the snacks

After making a meal of the chase to C/D, we finally caught them with about 20kms to go, but into a rather nasty head wind. By this time I was starting to fade, and had to dig deep to hang on in the gutter. Over one of the rollers someone ahead of me got unhitched, and that was that. I had a 5km ride with a couple of other stragglers to the finish. All in all, it was good to get out to race again, and to see just exactly where my fitness is (or isn't).

How was the ride?

This was also Yolanda's first ride since the Argus (and pretty much the first time on a bike since then as well). Mike and Fee made their SA road riding debut, and from the sounds of things, they all had a 88km time trial, finishing off into that terrible headwind.

Let the snacking begin

With the ride over, it was time for snacks. And let's be honest - that is the real reason we ride. We had a lovely picnic under the trees as we watched the prize giving, hoping our lucky numbers would be called out. They weren't, but it didn't matter - we had some good snacks, several cups of tea, and a post ride half-snooze.

Horse rides for the adventurous

Let's hope things get a little better for the Burger in just over a week's time. I have been seeded in the SubVet bunch, but I am a little worried of even making it over Helshoogte with them!

The real snacks!