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