Tuesday 8 December 2009

Posted by Velouria Posted on 14:31 | 1 comment

Omni-Motion 24 hour

What a hectic weekend - the flight out of Cape Town was delayed on Friday because of thunder storms up in Jhb (should have taken the hint), with us only eventually getting to bed at about 2:30 on Saturday morning. Got up early to buy the last of the snacks and supplies before heading across to Alberton. After sitting in the traffic for about 2 hours (and almost heading off to Durban) we made it the venue 20 minutes before the start.

The course

Lucky number 13? I think not

And then they gave me my race number - 13. (I really should have taken the hint)

I hastily got some kit on, put on some sunblock, applied some bum cream, gave Anton the pre-race evil eye and the next thing I knew we were racing. I had put my bike back together earlier that morning, but I hadn't taken it for a test ride, so that first lap was spent trying fine tune the gears, sort the shock out and generally try to find a rhythm on the bike, which at the pace we set off was quite difficult.
And we're off

The Specialized guys showing off their skills.
Lap one done.
Where did you Jhb guys hide all the air? I always thought that people used the "thin" air as an excuse, but after experiencing that for the first time I now understand. And the heat - I got a max of 36C. I have a new respect for Jhb MTBers and cyclists in general.

The course was good, a little bit of everything for everyone - I was only too glad when they took that horrible section in the beginning out after the rain - it felt like I was riding aimlessly around a field looking for 10c piece...

The atmosphere in and about the camp was great - it is really cool seeing so many people making a weekend out of an event like this.
Me, with some of the support crew

First lap out after the rain, and covered in mud!
A dirty looking Svalbaard - check out the algae on the spokes from where I dunked the bike in a dam!
And then the rain came. I hadn't packed any rain gear (after all, it's summer and that means no rain in Cape Town!). That first lap after the rain took me about an hour - I fell 3 times, had to dunk my bike in the dam to free up the back wheel, and completely soaked my second (of two) sets of kit. The next lap wasn't much better, and after falling quite hard I decided to call it a night.

More mud!
Trying to get some sleep in the back of the Polo
The only problem being that we didn't bring a tent or any sleeping stuff. We managed to borrow some stuff from the Specialized crowd, and spent the next 4 hours crammed into the back of our hired Polo.

Back on the bike
Just before sunrise, we got up, I put the wet and mud soaked shorts and shoes and a clean shirt on, and got back on the bike. Amazingly, my legs felt a lot better (I think I got out before the Jhb guys hid the air again), and put in some good laps. Any real chance of doing well was long gone, and being able to ride for fun was great. Anton had pretty much sewn up the race with some great laps early on, and then perservering through the night.

Feeling much better

Finishing off the last lap

Tired, and glad to be finished
To the organisers - a great event (and good improvising given the rainy circumstances), the riders - well done for surviving an interesting 24 hours of bike riding: from the winners right down to the guys riding in takkies and PT shorts - well done, the supporters: thank you - without you us riders wouldn't last 3 laps, and to the people that broke the showers - damn you!! I had to fly down to Cape Town looking (and smelling) like something the cat brought in! Thankfully we weren't delayed this time and eventually got to bed at 10pm after a long long weekend...

The Specialized supporters
Someone asked me at the finish if I would be back, and I was rather non-committal, but a day later and I can say that I definitely will be back.

The official race photos

Posted by Velouria Posted on 14:00 | No comments

Double Century 2009

The Double Century was a bit of a disaster for me this year - the team was very strong, and I had ridden the Makadas the previous weekend. I managed to last about an hour with the team, until we got to the bottom of the Tradouw climb, before I popped off. The only reassuring fact was that I wasn't the first to get dropped.

The rest of the ride was spent wheel sucking other teams, or battling into the head wind on my own, in temperatures in excess of 36C. My slowest DC yet - 6:56.

Enjoy the pictures.


Team Rockets heading out of town

One straight stripe

Look - I'm still in the bunch!

Some famous cyclist in her SA colours.

Bonnievale, in the midday heat.