Sunday 28 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 22:36 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Eight

I awoke with great trepidation this morning - was today going to be the day that the tourist finally dished out the pain. I have been waiting all week and thankfully the threat of pain and suffering hasn't materialized. In addition, I have yet to have a good final stage of the Epic.

The tourist (also affectionately known to the support crew as the whining pom) put in a great effort today and dug very deep into his suitcase of suffering to finish the last stage of the 2010 Cape Epic in style. Well done Russ.

238th for the stage and 261st overall.
Posted by Velouria Posted on 01:21 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Seven

I suspect Russell was sabotaged in the night with his real legs being replaced by tree stumps. Thinking about it now, there were other signs that something was amiss. His repeated swearing at Dr. Evil had grown quiet and he wasn't even making his guttural throat clearing sound.

Maybe it was aliens or body snatchers. That pain in his bum could well been from a rectal probe. My investigationRr continues. I shall bribe it with cheap wine and see how it responds.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 06:08 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Six

This was a stage that promised to be quite a tough one on paper, but dare I say it - Dr Evil has a heart and was uncharacteristically kind to us. Russell had a god day - he is getting stronger with every day and soon will have me in pain. And he rides single track like a demon.

We finished well in the top half of the field, beating the coach, the rugby player and the soccer player, but losing out to the pretty boy by 2 places. 207 on GC.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 21:00 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Five

Captain's log, Star date 63696.4.

The little one showed great heart today in overcoming the obstacles before him. Our mission was to conserve energy and observe the opposition from afar, never to engage. However, due to unforseen circumstances, we entered hostile territory and were forced to defend The Federation's honor. We suffered minor casualties, but the victory was ours.

We placed 247th, and gained promotion to the D group.

Posted by Velouria Posted on 06:37 | No comments

Cape Epic - Stage Four

Team manager and spokesperson Yolanda had this to say: "It was a solid performance today. They got a lot of go forward early on. They were solid on defense, attacked well and did well in the loose. They conceded a bit towards the end, but I'm very happy with their performance."

245th place.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 06:09 | 1 comment

Cape Epic - Stage Three

The hills are alive with the sound of music - well, to be more accurate, the sound of Russell swearing and clearing his throat. Hills and sand are two of his favorite things.

We had as long tough day, and several times Russell threatened to quit. But somehow he pushed through the pain and suffering, and we got our best placing yet - 291st.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 05:51 | 1 comment

Cape Epic - Stage Two

What a great stage. We ride single track till we were sick of it. And then a little but more.

It was tough. It was hot. But it was fun.


Monday 22 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 05:56 | No comments

Cape Epic - Day One


With a bit of moaning, swearing, grimacing, writhing and cursing. And that was just Russell's massage.

7h55 and 341st position.

Saturday 20 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 21:57 | No comments

Cape Epic - Day 0

The nerves are on code red, man the battle stations, one minute to midnight, or whatever other analogy you might prefer. This is it, we have registered, sussed out the opposition (and they seem to get better each year), had the race briefing, got the goodies, packed the bags, ridden the bikes one last time, had the final supper with the family, and quietly died a thousand deaths. No turning back now.

Watch out - Team Burger Kings (Team # 74) is ready to deal with whatever Dr Evil can throw at us.

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Tuesday 16 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:45 | 1 comment

The Results

With the Argus now a memory, the legs starting to feel a little better, and plans already being made for next year, I present the scoreboard:

Name Race
Position Gender
Me 03:08:08 305/28817 282/22533 50/2210 VA 53/234
Craig 03:08:09 306/28817 283/22533 41/3071 VA 54/234
The Tourist (Russell) 03:19:16 810/28817 749/22533 114/3322 VB 151/229
The Greek 03:59:32 5460/28817 4934/22533 813/3071 GG 8/526
Bonte 04:17:22 8355/28817 674/5472 109/745 T 262/466
Yolanda 04:17:22 8358/28817 675/5472 105/712 T 263/466
The Runner 04:23:43 9422/28817 8316/22533 1306/3071 PC 9/375

What the scoreboard doesn't say is just how tough it was:

  • I spent 50kms chasing the back of the VA bunch after getting dropped over Smitswinkel, only catching Craig right on the finish line
  • Yolanda and Bonte had to stop for a puncture that took 8 minutes to fix (they still beat their nemesis, although Yolanda still bears the psychological scars of a good tongue lashing from Bonte!)
  • The wind was howling - The Runner did a valiant job riding solo around the Peninsula
  • The Tourist collapsed in a heap, cramps ripping through his legs as we tried to enjoy a rewarding beer in Kalk Bay
  • The Greek crawling up into a ball in the beer tent, totally exhausted

Monday 15 March 2010

The 2010 Cape Argus Cycle Tour has come and gone, and all that remains are for the war stories to be told. For the second year running the weather was rather foul, with a howling South Easter bashing the cyclists for the first half of the race. Hence the war stories - it was a real battle out there. This was another of those occasions that they should have handed out two medals - one at the start for just being brave enough to get out of bed and head off to the start, and another to anyone who persevered to the finish line.

In the ongoing saga of the Greek versus The Runner I have rather sad news - the Greek convincingly beat The Runner. However, with the wonders of modern scientific analysis, The Runner has broken down each performance and done an objective comparison in the quest to answer the burning question - who is the better cyclist (we all know The Runner is the better runner, hence the nickname)?

Here follows The Runner's analysis, and you are welcome to peer review his logic:
"By my calcs\\

There were 29000 riders and 75 start groups: this simply about 385 riders per group on average

Greek started in GG (group 17) he thus started in position 6 573rd

The Runner started in PC (Group 49) in thus in position 18 946th

So to work out from the start:
Greek only managed to finish in position 5483, this means he only passed 1090 riders or in other words a pathetic 17% of those in front of him. suddenly its not looking so good for the greek.

the Runner however finished in position 9462 which means he passed an incredible 9485 riders. This is an amazing 50% of the field in front of him at the start!!!!! OMF OMF, certainly and undeniably an insane effort. Further, to sustain this crazy objective the runner had to pass a rider every 1.6 seconds for the entire duration of the ride!

This, besides the realism of riding a mountain bike and not having any bunches to share some of the wind load, obviously gives the Runner a big disadvantage and we need to do some simple maths to equate the positioning.

Thus if we say that each person you pass, adds approximately 0.2 secs to your time, then we can recalc.
For the greek it would add on 3.6 minutes so his actual time would be around 3:55 which even the Runner can concede is a pretty good time.

For the Runner it would add a 31.6 minutes, so the corrected actual time should be 3:52!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG OMF

So in the end without any obvious penalties, but taking the realisitc issues of starting at the back in account, the Runner actually won this race quite comfortably which was easily confirmed by the beer tent crowd afterwards, who noted how casually and easily the Runner was moving around and chatting, whilst the greek lay about immobile on some dirty old newspapers.

maybe next year greek."

Lance Armstrong and friends trying to catch The Runner over Suikerbossie

While the scientific methods used in this analysis look sound upon first glance, a truly independent test is required to settle this issue once and for all. A test where each competitor has no advantage over the other with the only deciding factor being pure cycling ability. Luckily, such an opportunity is on the horizon - the Knysna Weekend. There is an old tradition dating back many years called The 3D Loser competition, and I think it is time we revived it. The 3D Loser is the person with the slowest aggregate time for the Knysna Mountain Bike race and the Road race the following day. For any additional details speak to Craig, as I do believe he is the current 3D Loser title holder.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 16:44 | No comments

NEWS FLASH!! The Greek is playing dirty

You heard it here first - rumour has it that the Greek is NOT going to be honoring the bet made with The Runner. See the comments of this blog post.

This recent development is sure to play into the hands of The Runner - sympathy will lie on his side and the Greek could well be greeted with animosity from fellow Argus riders on Sunday (after all, they all read this blog).

It is still unclear why the Greek has broken the deal, but there are some hints from an anonymous poster that The Runner has timed his training to perfection and has peaked perfectly for the Fun Ride World Champs. I have also heard through the grapevine that The Runner has recruited the services of several rather talented riders to accompany him around the peninsula in his quest to teach the Greek a lesson.

I'll post further updates as more info comes to light.

Monday 8 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 10:50 | 1 comment

Hell's sweaty armpit

The annual pilgrimage to Boschendal Estate for the Argus MTB Challenge occurs one week before the Fun Ride World Champs (aka The Argus), and this year was no different. The event has grown quite considerably, so much so that it is now spread out over two days.

Weather for this event seems to vary from the extremes - either cold and wet, or hot and airless. This year was another scorcher. The organisers hd made several changes to the route in order to ease the congestion. The big change was the position of the big climb - in previous years it was right near the end of the race. This year the climb was going to be used to split the bunches up.

Click for a bigger image

The race got off to a fast start - possibly a little too fast for many, especially given the heat, and the approaching climb. I tried to ride a constant pace, and figure out how the new bike, now known as Nelly, handled. She climbs a little slower than Svalbaard, but on the gradual uphill drags and flats she comes into her own. She doesn't feel fast, but judging by the rate at which I caught at passed the smaller bikes she must be fast.

At one point I was towing a couple of riders along, slowly but surely catching the targets up ahead. Thinking I was towing all the guys I had caught, I looked over my shoulder to give them the evil eye when I had to chuckle - there were only 3 of us, and each guy was on a 29er. It was like we were hunting in a pack, picking off the opposition one by one. Eventually I managed to drop my newfound friends and go it alone, keeping one eye out for Marius (a challenge that never materialised).

I crossed the line in 2h51, relieved that it was over. I got a maximum temperature of 39C, and an average heart rate of 176 beats per minute. It had been a tough day out on a course that isn't that tough at all. I would have been happy with a top 50 finish, and was quite surprised with 25th.

While hanging around at the finish Conrad Stoltz came up to chat to me. I would like to think it was because of my awesome ride, but the truth is he was coming to ask about Nelly. He had just obliterated the competition, riding to a 9 minute victory on his 29er (I secretly had hoped that I would be the first 29er, but 2nd isn't that bad).

Yolanda looking fresh

Because of the heat, the race officials had decided to cut off the long route a little earlier than expected, catching Yolanda out. She had been looking after herself and was in good shape for the rest of the 55km route when she was sent back to the start after about 35kms. We suspect the Greek might have had a role to play in this - he did look nervous in the start chute about losing to a girl. On the positive side, Team Dulux will be nice and rested for next week's Fun Ride World Champs, while the Greek was put through his paces. We'll have to see if he can recover in time to mount a serious challenge. And don't forget the Runner - he has been resting all week, and could possibly leave the Greek for dead up the first hill. Time will tell.

Yolanda, Louis, and Nelly
Posted by Velouria Posted on 07:44 | No comments

Wilde Fruit - Wellignton

Just a quick post with a map of a road race I did last week in Wellington (Ignore the bits at the end - that was me walking around the parking lot with the GPS still recording).

It went quite well - did lots of work, split up the bunch nicely, and ended up coming 4th in a 6 man sprint - there is hope for me yet.

View Wilde Fruit in a larger map

Friday 5 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:47 | No comments

More Niner pics

A gratuitous dump of more Niner photos.
(Still no closer to a name for her though)





Thursday 4 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 19:47 | No comments

My new bike

I haven't given her a name yet, but here she is, my new Niner AIR 9.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 16:29 | No comments

Crazy Stupid

After the greasy burger and the short sharp hills of the previous day's racing, I decided to head out to Paarl and see just exactly what my legs were made of. It promised to be a great day for bike riding - it was going to be warm with a gentle breeze.

Once the league guys had started, and the tandems had departed it was our turn. Looking around the start chute I felt rather nervous as the PPA officials had decided that just 11 riders would be making up the first group. We did feel kind of special in that we had a lead car and a guy on a motorbike. Glad to see the race entry fees going somewhere.

As we got underway it became quite apparent that there were two types of riders in the bunch - those that were going to put some effort in, and those that were looking to loaf at the back. I'm all for loafing, but with the Epic coming up and time running out, this wasn't the time or the place, and several other riders shared my sentiments. With about 30 minutes of racing gone, I took a turn on the front and without realising it I split the bunch in 2. We were now 4 riders off the front with 7 guys half-heartedly chasing. Two riders were able to cross the gap but that was it. We were now 6 strong with about 95kms of racing to go. Daunting to say the least.

Everything went well with each rider taking his turn on the front, until we got to Botmaskop just outside Riebeek-Kasteel. We quickly lost 3 riders on the foothills of the climb and suddenly we were 3 riders with about 70kms to go. We made for quite a rag tag bunch - an old guy, a youngster, and me. I thought it was a suicide mission to attempt the rest of the ride with just two other riders, but rather than sit up and wait, we gave it a go.

We got organised quickly, each rider going through for 30 seconds and slowly but surely the kilometers started to tick by. The old guy - Peter Barber - turned out to be one of the strongest guys on a bike I have met. I had wondered earlier how on earth he had an A seeding, but I quickly figured it out - he can ride a bike. We caught and passed the ladies first, and then the juniors. Shortly after that we made a right turn onto an undulating road - straight into the wind. Almost immediately our pace dropped and the going got quite tough. I had started to believe that we might have a chance of staying away from the rest of our bunch, and the chasing D bunch, but that belief started to fade.

We persevered, but after 100kms of riding a brief look over my shoulder signaled the end of our little adventure - the bunch, now consisting of the leftovers of A-C and the charging D, were breathing down our necks. Our little 3 man adventure was over, and while I was a little disappointed at having been caught, I was only to glad for the company. I was out of juice, and my legs were taking strain. Hiding at the back of the bunch suddenly didn't seem like such a bad idea.

We coasted the final 24kms back into Paarl, letting the D riders have their moment and their attempt at a sprint. I'd answered a very important question - my legs were feeling strong, and suddenly the Epic wasn't as daunting.

Needless to say I didn't do too much for the rest of the day, and had a very good afternoon nap.