Wednesday 18 June 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:34 | No comments

World MTB Champs

Italy is hosting its third UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships - this time in Val Di Sole. Go check out the website and cheer for the South Africans taking part:

XC Mens Elite
Johan Van Zyl
Justice Makhale
Ben Melt Swanepoel
Downhill men elite
Greg Minnar
Andrew Neethling (Somerset West local)
Jonty Neethling (Somerset West local)
Greg Saharin
4X Elite men
Greg Minaar
XC Women elite
Sara Muhl
Yolanda Speedy (I was at school with her)
XC U23 men
Renay Groustra
Burry Stander
Junior men XC
Rourke Croeser
Adriaan Louw
Junior Men DH
Hayden Brown
Luke Davis
Pierre Van Der Merwe
Junior Women XC
Caitlin De Wet
Mariske Strauss

We stand a good chance of getting some medals this year, which shows just how SA cycling is improving

Some pictures:

Tuesday 10 June 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 10:36 | 1 comment

WP Downhill photos

Before I begin, just let me state how crazy these chaps are. It is certainly impressive to watch, but I have no desire to do what they do. Utter madness (I know people think that what we do is mad, but this just takes the cake).

Before the downhill, we did a bit of a ride in Grabouw - nothing hard, just searching for singletrack, and having fun. It was good to be back on the bike, and surprisingly I didn't feel that unfit.
The dam at the Grabouw Country Club

Anyway, here are some photos from the WP Downhill Champs

A drop off about 1,5m high

The big jump, with big air, and big crashes!

Friday 6 June 2008

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:08 | 2 comments

Gutter Road

My personal photographer (Bonte) took these pictures of my most favourite piece of road in the whole world. If you have already forgotten, read all about our daring move on Stage 5 of the Epic.

I think I want to have my ashes scattered alongside this road.

What a thing of beauty!

Now why couldn't the whole Epic be on roads like this?
Posted by Velouria Posted on 14:02 | No comments

Trans Baviaans

Since most visitors to this site (real visitors, not my mom and various other friends) seem to end up on Velo Tales after having searched for some info on TransBaviaans. With my fifth Baviaans coming up this year, I thought I would put up some handy tips and hints.

Here is an email I got 5 years ago (copied verbatim), and I still use it as a guide:

1.Spare battery or light

2.Spare clothing if it gets wet
  • 3 pairs on cycling pants
  • warm clothes for the evening
  • rainjacket
  • halfjacket for windchill
  • armwarmers
  • booties for cold and rain
  • 3 pairs of socks for ride
  • extra socks in evening
  • earwarmers
  • balaclava
  • hoodie
  • 2 pairs of gloves - one for warm and one for cold
  • legwarmers or long bike pants(leotard type)
  • newspaper can be used in early morning and discarded
  • plastic bags for shoes if it rains.
The guy who wrote this was quite worried about getting cold - half of that stuff is overkill, but rather have too much warm stuff, than too little.

3. Camelback drinking system or water bottles

4. Energy drinks and bars - get not only sweet ones, but also muesli type - one may get sick of sweet stuff, so consider potatoes, sandwiches,coffee and rusks, fruit.

5. Spare tubes, chainbreak, spare link, spare tyres, pumps, chainlubrication, spare chain, puncture kit

No wonder it takes the back markers so long - they are virtually shipping an entire bike shop through the Baviaans bit by bit. Remember, it is a team event - each person doesn't have to carry their own spares.

6.First aid kit

Somehow this has ended up in my CamelBak for 4 years now. Thankfully we have never had to use it yet

7. Camera

Nice to have - the scenery is quite spectacular, and now that the backup vehicles don't go through the Baviaans anymore, proof that you rode it is harder to get.

8. Tents

Some people do sleep along the way, or you can sleep at the finish. Obviously, this goes in the backup vehicle, and not in the CamelBak.

9. Water - in the backup vehicle

10. Bakkies

Although with the vehicles no longer going through the Baviaans Kloof, any vehicle will do.

11. Trailer

DO NOT TAKE A VENTER TRAILER THROUGH THE BAVIAANS KLOOF. Been there, done that, destroyed a trailer. And it wasn't even ours!

12. Space blankets

13. Gas stove and gas for coffee

No wonder it took us 18 hours

14. A light that works off either gas or car battery.

15. Wood,grid and meat,bread/rolls - you could do with it after eating energy bars all day !

Very sound advice - why isn't this #1?

Probably less likely -

16. Sunscreen
17. Sleeping bags
18. Prozac and condoms
19. Only joking
We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into
20. Helmet and sunglasses
21. Towel and toiletries
22. Spare legs and neck
2004 - Wet
2005 - Dry

2006 - Super Wet

2007 - Dry

So, it looks like we might be in for a wet one this year.

On final thing - lights. Get the best light you can afford. But don't be silly. It is a team event, mostly on big wide roads, so the combined light of the team is usually more than enough. I rode two TransBaviaans rides with a head mounted Cateye halogen light that took 5 C batteries in a holder in my CamelBak. It wasn't great, but it did the job. It didn't cost me an arm and a leg either.

I spent a small fortune and got myself an Exposure Enduro from USE in 2006. I haven't looked back. It makes such a difference.
The better the light, the faster you go.

The race is very weather dependent. The best ride we have had was 12 hours, and the worst was 18 hours.

Oh yes - one last thing. Make sure you read the map. Otherwise you WILL get lost. You only have to make 5 turns throughout the whole race. Just make sure you make them at the right places. You have been warned.
Posted by Velouria Posted on 13:55 | No comments

WP Downhill Champs

Not that I have any intention of riding. I am unfit, lazy, and useless on the downhills. I just got this in my email and thought the picture looked nice.