Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 15:45 | No comments

Karoo2Coast 2010

For years I have had to put up with mountain bikers talking about a ride from the quaint little Karoo town of Uniondale, down some mountain passes, to Knysna. I have had to listen to the war stories, the tales of triumph and heartbreak, the accounts of steep cliffs, dangerous drops and atrocious weather. When asked how my ride was, I would mutter under my breath that I hadn't ever done the ride, and in an instant I would be excluded from the conversation and given that look. The look that says "You obviously aren't a real mountain biker."
The Route
But that all changed this year when we finally decided to enter the Karoo2Coast Mountain Bike Challenge. How hard can it really be? Apart from the odd bump here and there it is all downhill. On big wide roads. These mountain bikers are pansies! I had ridden the route in reverse in the 2007 Epic, and although Julian had suffered a bit, it didn't seem that bad. And surely the Epic route was the tougher direction to ride the route in anyway!
It's all downhill!
Along with the usual Hermanus contingent, we had a visiting Belgian physio/soldier/cyclist - Luc, who was eager to see just how tough us South Africans are. Bonte had once again used her amazing organisational skills to secure us accommodation in the school hostel, and Luc's first hurdle would be to survive a night with The (injured) Runner and The Greek in a tiny dorm room. After a few ground rules were laid down, I think they all got on like a house on fire. First rule - no snoring. Consequences - Death. Actually, that was the only rule. The Greek was particularly scared, and was only too grateful to have a very cute duvet with chickens on it to cuddle in the night as he made sure he didn't snore.
Our accommodation for the night
Race day dawned bright and early with The Greek bringing The (injured) Runner breakfast in bed. Those two do make a good couple. After breakfast and the usual pre-race pfaff we all headed off to our start chutes - the threat of bad weather having failed to materialise. It looked like a perfect day for a downhill ride to Knysna.
The Greek's duvet
And that was probably the last pleasant thought I had until I crossed the finish line 3h42 later. Craig and I had the pleasure of starting in the Elite bunch, with both of us downplaying our form - Craig blaming his island adventure, and me blaming all the racing I had done. At 7:30 we were off, and I was quite nervous - whenever a large bunch of mountain bikers get together in a bunch on tar bad things are bound to happen. Barely 100m from the start and I almost had my first crash, and in return sending Craig sideways into some other innocent bystander. Luckily no one went down. Shortly after that 2 riders did go down - but it was on the other side of the bunch far away from us.
Rent-a-mechanic as The Greek and The (injured) Runner look on.
As we hit the dirt at the bottom of the first climb the race exploded and the front guys were off. Craig and I were stuck behind some riders whose own perceived ability and actual ability were on opposite ends of the spectrum. I weaved my way through the traffic, thinking Craig was right on my wheel - Team 5339 ripping up the course. The reality was that Craig had bust his dérailleur at the start of the climb and was on his way back to the start to either look for a new dérailleur, or a new bike. I should probably look behind me every now and then.
Nelly got her own special place to sleep
After some ups and downs I found myself in no man's land - there was a group up ahead that were getting away from me, and a group behind me that weren't quite catching me. I plodded along at my own pace when I was eventually caught by Jarryd just when I needed someone to pick a line down Prince Alfred Pass, and he was the perfect person for it. Unfortunately he punctured not long afterwards and I was all on my own again. I finally got some company in the form of Tiaan Erwee, another Helderberg local and together we rode well up the never ending climb towards Buffelsnek. The bunch finally caught us, but nothing changed - Tiaan and I stayed on the front and did all the work while we towed the rest of them along. It's the burden of riding a 29er, and I am slowly coming to accept it.

We were picking up riders who had been dropped quite regularly, and one of them happened to be Hector, a Hermanus local, and my future DC teammate. It was rather bad timing for Hector, because as soon as we had caught him my little bunch decided to drop the hammer and the gaps started to open. I had to go around several riders to stay in the bunch, with Tiaan falling victim, and Hector barely hanging on. It wasn't long before the elastic broke, and Hector was off the back.
Luc - the sun burnt Belgian
Things pretty much stayed the same, 29er on the front until we reached the last hill. I had descended quite amazingly, and was looking good to get over the climb in good shape when my legs decided to call it a day. They just wouldn't go and I slowly found myself going backwards. By the time I got to the top of the climb the bunch was gone and I was left to limp home to the finish line on my own. Never before have I hated riding on flat tar so much - it just didn't seem to want to end. I finally finished in 3h42, in 30th place, having had one of my hardest races in a long time. Karoo2Coast certainly isn't easy, and it certainly isn't downhill. I was sore all over, and a little disappointed that I could stick with the bunch, but that's bike racing.
Still smiling, despite over 6 hours of trouble
After what seemed like an age, The Greek crossed the line in fine form, shattering his personal best and comprehensively claiming the floating trophy. With The (injured) Runner out of action, his win seemed assured, but as is often the case, a new contender stood up and put her cards on the table. Bonte finished a mere 20 minutes behind The Greek, and while he basked in his amazing victory, I couldn't help notice the fear and worry in his eyes.
The Greek receiving his trophy
As for the others - The (injured) Runner had done 250km in a little over 3 hours, and was looking as fresh as a daisy. He did complain of a sore bum, but that is to be expected over such distances. Yolanda had a disaster of a ride - her dodgy Specialized equipment letting her down, although she swears it was her mechanic's fault. Craig, once again, got beaten by pretty much everybody. It's happening at such a regular occurrence that it doesn't surprise anyone anymore. Yolanda was more than happy though - Craig's mechanical skills were put to good use on her bike. Just a pity his own bike doesn't get the same level of care. Luc got his money's worth and enjoyed the scenery and the race atmosphere. He also now admits that all Belgian cyclists are wimps and that South African's are slightly crazy (despite us telling him that The (injured) Runner and The Greek are not true representatives of typical South Africans).
Podium girls, fame, groupies.
The Greek has arrived

Monday, 20 September 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 11:35 | No comments

Stanford Finishing Photos

Some nail biting action photos from the finishing line in Stanford.

Winding up the sprint

The lunge for the line

All by myself 

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 19:06 | 1 comment

Staalwater 2010

As the poster boy for this Staalwater MTB Challenge I had an obligation to attend. Thankfully, the organisers had set up a course that favoured my strengths, and decided to keep the technical stuff to a minimum. It still wasn't going to be easy - we had loads of climbing to do, and it looked like it was going to be flat and fast.

With Karoo2Coast just around the corner, this was to be the last dress rehearsal for The Runner and The Greek, and an opportunity for either of them to gain the upper hand in the psychological war games. We were all expecting big things from this race.
Another reminder - I am the poster boy
I was a little disappointed to see that some of the big guns had rocked up again, and were likely to ruin my poster boy day in the sun. Equally distressing was the fact that I had competition from 3 other riders: my Baviaans team mate John, Marius the Pansie, and Henning, a local Somerset West rider.

With a turnout that far exceeded the size of the start shoot, the long route set in a flurry of riders. The quicker riders eventually made their way through the traffic and a nice little bunch formed at the front. The old saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" applies here - I thought I was doing well, sitting comfortably in the bunch, feeling good when all hell broke loose. In slow motion. Four riders just rode away from the rest of us, and no matter how hard I tried I could do nothing about it. Two hours of chasing followed, with mixed results.
The Greek, having a pre-race stress about the integrity of his carbon Giant

We managed to catch one of the leaders, also on a 29er, and so there were 3 riders chasing the 3 leaders, with us being chased by John and Marius. A catch 22. I wanted to stay away from the guys behind us, but I didn't want to kill myself trying to catch the leaders, and give Henning a free ride. Thankfully, the course was very 29er friendly, so Henning was practically removed from the equation.

The Runner, adopting an interesting warm-up routine
The status quo remained until the first water point, and the sharp little hill that followed it. We lost the other 29er early on, with Henning next to go. In the interim, Jarryd, a downhill demon and future Double Century teammate, had been dropped by the leaders and was about 100m ahead. With everything looking great, it was around this time that my legs decided that they were no longer interested in cycling, and were going on strike. To make matters worse, all three of the guys I wanted to beat had now joined up, and were working together to chase me down.

My only hope was to get over the climb with a slight advantage, and hope that some more 29er  friendly roads would present themselves. While my wish wasn't granted exactly, I got the next best thing - some technical downhill. John was able to ride across to me, but the others struggled, and before they could close the gap the hallowed 29er friendly road appeared and John and I were able to open the gap. Things pretty much stayed like this until the finish - we could see third place, sixth and seventh could see us, but there wasn't a lot that any of us could do about it.
Third placed Jarryd looking cool
With Caledon approaching fast, John got a serious case of white line fever, and I had to hang on to his rear wheel for dear life. Just when I was about to pop, the cycling gods smiled on me once again, and John dropped his chain on a steep little uphill. Doing the thing that Alberto Contador should have done, I waited for John. (That's what it appeared like anyway - the truth was that I would have walked that hill anyway.) In return for my generosity, John didn't sprint me for fourth place. We had ridden the 60kms in 2:14, and were only 5 minutes behind the leader. Being old also has its benefits as I was the first SubVet across the line (and the first 29er, but there are no prizes for that).
Both the ladies beat the boys
Back to the main attraction - The Runner vs The Greek. We were expecting fireworks, with thousands of spectators turning up to see the action, drama, and suffering. What we got was one of the biggest anticlimaxes in the history of cycling. Sadder than Lance Armstrong's return to competitive racing, more disappointing than Jan Ullrich's attempt to win a second Tour de France, less riveting than watching a Dennis Menchov interview. It was a total damp squib. The Greek and The Runner had declared a truce and rode together. Something about The Runner suffering from an old ITB injury he picked up back when he was an up and coming endurance runner, training under the watchful eye of Arthur Lydiard in a bid to smash the Comrades up run record.
The deserved winner of the trophy, flanked by the two losers.
Bonte had gone to great effort in securing a trophy for the main attraction, but given the outcome, it was decided that she should receive it as she comprehensively beat both of them. Whether this stunt by The Runner was just another salvo in the psychological duel with The Greek remains to be seen. One thing is for sure, this burgeoning rivalry will keep us gripped for many years to come.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 16:55 | 1 comment

Stanford 2010

One of my favourite rides on the calendar happens each year in early September, just as the legs are starting to recover from Baviaans. The Stanford MTB race. I am not entirely sure why I enjoy this race, as it certainly is one of the tougher rides on the calendar. Maybe it's the scenery and the great views from the top of the mountain, or the laid back atmosphere at the venue, or the rush of endorfins when the pain finally ends once you cross the finish line.

This year was no different. The route was a new route, but the idea was much the same - lots and lots of up, some short, sharp, lethal descents and bit of district road for good measure.
The medium route wasn't immune to the evil streak running through the race organiser either, and also took the riders over any hill that he could find.
A reasonable number of brave mountain bikers had once again turned out for the long route, known as the Akkedis (Afrikaans for Lizard). In a rare moment of weakness, the race organiser has decided to give us a 7km warmup loop before we started climbing the fabled Salmansdam climb up to the mast. In fact, one of the draw cards of this race is that it follows the part of the route as Stage 6 of the 2008 Epic.
An Akkedis
The race set off at a reasonable pace with the bunch being quite large until we hit the first rolling hills, where it suddenly reduced to about 7 or 8 riders. And then the real climbing started. The racing snakes and mountain goats disappeared up the climb and I found myself in 6th place. We climbed for around 45 minutes in hot, airless conditions, the sweat dripping off me. Ever since Knysna, I have become a little paranoid about losing a bottle and so made sure neither of my bottles were trying to escape at regular (i.e.2 minute) intervals. The new bottle cages also helped.

Once we made the top of the climb we had a sharp, dangerous descent back to the valley floor below. I had ridden up the climb on the wheel of the guy in 5th place, but as soon as we started going down I lost sight of him, and half expected the rest of the field to come flying past me. By some miracle they never did, and I managed to catch the guy ahead of me as he stopped with a puncture. I was now 5th, and had some lovely farm roads ahead of me - 29er terrain. Still half expecting the bunch to catch me I rode on by myself, when, all of a sudden, I got a glimpse of the guy in 4th - Chad the Chiropractor. I think Chad is one of those guys who struggles to leave his work at the office, as twice he had tried to straighten out my back on the warm up loop. Now I wanted to catch him and ask him if I really had a skew back.

The only catch was that I had just caught sight of the bunch (containing everyone I wanted to beat - the Hermanus locals and Marius) closing in on us as I slowly climbed one of the rolling hills. The effort of riding on my own into the wind up a hill was taking its toll, and almost on cue, as if the race organiser was speaking to me, I saw a squashed Akkedis. That was pretty much how I would feel if I got caught. Suddenly, we turned the corner onto some flat grass fields, and I could feel Nelly was eager to show me what she was made of. Before long, I caught Chad, and told him about the fast approaching bunch, hoping the two of us could work together. Chad was obviously still too interested in my back that he forgot to pedal, and when I next looked back he was gone.
A tired spectator catching a napAdd caption

With the last big climb of 7km approaching fast from the front, and the bunch and Chad behind I was in a bit of a spot. I needed a gap over any chasers so that I could survive the downhill, but I also couldn't go too fast on the 29er up the hill. My only hope was that the guys behind me would suffer as much as I was going to, and the gap would be intact once we got to the top.

Everyone's a winner at Stanford
After riding through a sheep field, the climb began. It was a series of short sharp climbs that strained the legs and lungs, followed by relatively flat sections. With half an eye on what was going on behind me I gritted my teeth and clenched my knuckles up each climb. Again, as if on cue from the race organiser, an Akkedis came running past me as I slowly ground my way up hill. Was I really going that slowly?

After the endless false flats I finally made it to the top, and there I caught a glimpse of the guy in third. Did I climb the hill that well? Was there enough race left to catch him? In a combination of my fixation on the guy in third place, and some poor route marking I took a wrong turn and followed the guy in 3rd place back to the mast we had climbed to earlier. Once I realised I was on the wrong route I then proceeded to ride down the way we had ridden up earlier. Thankfully I didn't follow the guy in 3rd place again, as he got horribly lost, going down the hill we had descended earlier. Marius too made this mistake, and had to be rescued in Caledon. Feeling a little disappointed and annoyed, I crossed the line in 5th place, in just under 3h30, Chad and another rider finishing ahead of me after taking the correct route. After gulping down some coke and hanging around for a back massage that never happened (Chad seemed to have lost interest in my back), I joined the ladies on the picnic blanket for a picnic. They had had a great ride on the 35km route, and finished 4th and 5th in a sprint finish, Yo's new bike Crumpet doing the business.
Picnic time!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 17:02 | No comments

Trans Baviaans 2010

The annual Trans Baviaans bike race from Willowmore to Jeffery's Bay saw The Soggy Bottom Boys reuniting for another stab at the 230km mountain bike route. While we tend to get on quite well as a team, there are always several areas that cause a little added tension. Inevitably, the first point of concern is the team name, and like most things in life, people are very quick to criticise, but rather slow in offering any alternatives. Having had to endure names like The Soggy Bottom Boys, The Tartrollips etc, John was eager to give us a name that we could be proud of. Unfortuantely, the best he could come up was
As benevolent dictator for life of the Baviaans team, I could not possibly accept such half hearted attempts. And I certainly took offence at being labelled a whiner (I also wasn't quite sure who the weight watcher was). Since we were going to be two 29ers, I thought "Little John and his Merry Men" was quite fitting (and as it turned out, a little prophetic too). 

After many years of great service from our usual seconder, Bonte, we welcomed a new guy to the team - Freddie.  Freddie is an avid mountain biker with some good results, a blog, a broken bicycle, and an Epic entry. We still  aren't quite sure why he volunteered to put up with us, but whatever his motivation, he did a great job.
It looks downhill, but it really isn't
We spent the night in the local school's hostel and after the mattress thievery of last year we had been promoted to real beds in a corner room. Luxury. Apart from the odd bit of faffing and fiddling with bikes and equipment, we all got a good night's sleep and were well rested for the race. I had organised the tops, and since I know how much John (and his wife) likes tight yellow tops I had a special treat for him. I reckon we could have gotten him to wear it with a little bit of persuasion. Our real kit were the trusty tops.
Sexy in yellow
With everything packed, we said farewell to Freddie, and would see him again 8 hours later near Patensie. We were a little better organised this year, and managed to get quite close to the front of the start pen, where we proceeded to do the usual pre-race suss of the potential competition. This is an art that we have perfected over the years. Look at the bike, look at the rider, look at his legs, look at his kit, look for a camelback, look for accessories on the bike. Repeat as many times as required.
The area we were riding in
At ten o'clock we got underway and made good progress riding fast, but not too fast. Imagine our surprise then when we rounded a corner to see a bunch ahead of us, and then nothing in front of them. Could that be the leading bunch? I have never even seen the lead bunch at Baviaans before, so this was rather special. It got even better when we realised that we were catching the lead bunch without too much effort. In fact, it looked like they were freewheeling. We eventually rode onto the back of the bunch, and were quite surprised at the lack of pace, and so, before too long, Little John and his Merry Men had two riders on the front of the bunch, both on 29ers, leading the Trans Baviaans race. A dropped chain had Craig and I off the back, but we quickly rejoined and went straight back to the front.

We led the bunch into Checkpoint 1, got some juice and coke, and were out in a flash. Just as the bunch was reforming I heard the sickening sound of air escaping from a tyre. A quick check to make sure it wasn't my tyres (and lots of relief) before looking at Craig. He had a hole in his rear tyre, but we quickly plugged and bombed it and were back up to speed in no time, and in the bunch shortly after that.

The pre race fiddle and faff
For the next 60kms, Little John and his Merry Men set the pace - Craig being a bit of a TV slut and riding off the front on his own, with the rest of us following. Nelly, my 29er, was certainly proving her worth and was making short work of the rolling hills. With the bunch starting to swell a little, I decided that Craig had showed off enough and started to close the gap to him. The immediate effect was that the bunch went from about 15 teams down to 7. Not only were Little John and his Merry Men in the lead bunch, we were making the racing and lead everyone into Checkpoint 2. We knew our time at the front was now up, as the hills now lay ahead of us, and the 29ers aren't the quickest up the climbs.

With the temperature getting up to 33C we started the first big climb of the day, riding a good pace with everyone still looking good. We crossed the summit of the climb together, although the same cannot be said about reaching the bottom of the descent together, my descending skills still letting me down. Checkpoint 3 awaited us, and after some sosaties, potatoes and coke we set off for the Mother Of All Climbs up to Bergplaas and Checkpoint 4. 
I like the guy in green checking us out
A motorcycle marshal told us we were just five minutes behind the leaders which surprised us a little. As we started the early slopes of the M.A.C., I started to feel a little funny. Something wasn't right. My legs felt ok, but my heart rate was slowly climbing, and my stomach was starting to act up. I hoped it was nothing serious, something that a good burp would solve, and I could be on my way, but as I progressed the feeling in my stomach got worse and worse. Thinking it was dehydration I tried to drink more, but each time the aches got worse. Thankfully, I spotted a water tank on the side of the road from the recent road works on the M.A.C. and after a quick check found it to be full of fresh water. I only managed to get one gulp down before the evacuation order was given and all evil was told to leave my body. I never knew evil was bright orange with bits of potato in it, but I certainly felt better after the purge. One or two vehicles came past me as I was ridding my body of evil, and so as not to show any sign of weakness, I pretended to be doing some stretches. I filled my bottle with water, hopped on my bike and was back on way.

Cool calm and collected
My team mates had deserted me before my exorcism, and Craig must have been a little worried as he came back to find me and offer a bit of assistance. Nothing was more welcome than the short push he gave me up to Checkpoint 4. I grabbed the other elixir of life (tea is the original elixir of life) - coke - and downed a whole bottle, had some snacks and was ready to go. We flew down th Big Dipper, some of us a little slower than others and eventually got back onto 29er turf - flatlands and rolling hills. Eager to make up for my bad showing on M.A.C. (again), I tried to help out as much as possible with the pace setting. We were still doing extremely well - at least an hour ahead of our previous best, and sitting in 7th place overall. In the past we have always arrived at Checkpoint 5 as the sun sets, but this year we rolled into the checkpoint in broad daylight.
Freddie at work

Freddie was there to welcome us, and was exceptionally organised. He had convinced his family to join him in supporting 3 sweaty, smelly, strangers. We got naartjies, juice, water, potatoes and all our goodies laid out neatly on a blanket. I needed to take a Gu, and inevitably this is followed by some gagging and dry heaving as I struggle to convince my stomach that the Gu is not evil, and very much required, so I had to put on a brave face and conceal any gagging for Freddie's family. I am not too sure how well I succeeded.

Back on the road, we had the last big climb of the route left - The Never Ender. This climb got its name from the fact that usually you end up climbing it at night, and because of all the twists and turns, can never see the top. It feels like you are going up hill for ever. However, in the daylight, it is a much different experience, and rather pretty. We made good progress again, my legs were feeling strong, although there were some cramps about, but nothing that a bit of teeth clenching couldn't solve. My stomach was still a little dubious, but we had reached a compromise - I would't give it any more energy juice, if it promised to accept a Gu or two. As the sun set, we finally got to use our lights that we had been carrying since Checkpoint 4, and not long afterwards, we arrived at Checkpoint 7. (Alert readers will have noticed that I skipped a checkpoint there - checkpoint 6 was an unmanned checkpoint not really worth a mention).
Jeffery's Bay - our Siren
Freddie and his family saw to our requests once again, and we were off - the lights of Jeffery's Bay just over the horizon and calling us like Sirens - we just hoped there would be no crashing into rocks. Despite the tired legs and fragile stomach we pushed hard, keeping the pace high and making full use of the 29ers. As the brightness of the lights of Jeffery's increased, so too did our white line fever. Little John and his Merry Men were flying, and we crossed the line in 9h25 - in seventh place. We were over an hour faster than our previous best time.
Smiles all around
Freddie was there to welcome us with beer. It is such a pity that he wants to ride Trans Baviaans next year. Hopefully he can pass on his expert knowledge to a worthy recipient.

Little John and his Merry Men, and seconder extraordinaire Freddie
We were a little lost at having finished so early - in previous years it was simple - you ate, showered and went to bed, but we had loads of time to kill, and not that much to eat, so we ended up watching The Guru on TV before finally going to bed on what had been a fantastic day's racing. 
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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 08:04 | 3 comments

Who is that guy?

While dropping off Craig's bike for some last minute bike maintenance in Hermanus (I don't get surprised anymore when things like this happen) I saw a poster on the bike shop window advertising a race in Caledon.
Blue bike, blue sky
Something about the poster got me, but I couldn't put my finger on it - and then it hit me. It was a photo of a Dirtopia event and the sun was shining.Very rare occasion indeed.
(After much analysis and oogling at the handsome bike, I also noticed that it was a photo of me from the recent 9-5 Dirtopia event)
Now I have to go and do the Dirtopia Staalwater Challenge on the 11th of September.
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Friday, 6 August 2010

Posted by Velouria Posted on 10:10 | No comments

Bicycle Portraits

I found this cool website: Bicycle Portraits. From the about section:

My name is Stan Engelbrecht. A friend and fellow bicycle enthusiast, Nic Grobler, and I recently started a project investigating South African bicycle culture, and the lack of cyclist commuters out there on our roads. We want to raise the funds to turn this project into a self-published full-color hard-cover photographic book ( similar to a previous book I've done, 'African Salad' - ). We are shooting the entire project from our own bicycles while traveling around the country - we are meeting everyday South Africans out there while they use their bicycles.
Some of the bikes and people they have encountered:

Posted Image

Elvis Klaasen
Friedlander st., De Aar, Northern Cape, South Africa
2010 / 07 / 29 17:10
'My name is Elvis - my dad gave me my name. I cycle because I like it, especially going to the farms. The longer trips - I like those. I cycle every day, I cycle to work three days a week and the rest of the time I just cycle around. I painted my bike like this, I like the bont colors. I bought this frame for R50 from my cousin. The rest I built up bit by bit myself.'

Posted Image

Gabriel Moloi
Oxford str., Rosebank, Gauteng, South Africa
2010 / 06 / 05 17: 32

'I cycle almost every day because this is my transport. But I just started it, it was just a simple bike and then I made it to look like this myself - because I like my job, I'm a security guard, by profession. I like cycling actually, this is not the one that I like, I'm going to get another one better than this one, you see. Because I don't have material - this is just a frame of what I can do. I'm just showing people I do have ideas even though I don't have materials to make something to look like this. This is just an idea. It has got music, it has got lights, it has indicators - it looks like a police bike. This one comes on and this one comes on as well. So, It looks nice at night. You see at night I used to do it like this so that I'll be visible anywhere where I go. Almost 25 kilometer I cycle, I work in Absa Bank Rivonia. I can go very far - it is like a car. The hooter has different sounds. This is a radio, I listen to 94.7.'

Posted Image

Ernestus Segers
Grey st., Phillipstown, Northern Cape, South Africa
2010 / 07 / 31 13:25

'I bought a piece of property just outside town, where you can keep about 20 sheep. As it is quite close I decided I will walk - but after a while I started thinking that walking wastes time and sometimes you got things to do - so I bought a bicycle. It’s been about two years now. So I cycle there in the morning, come home around ten to eat and around two I head back and then I tjaila around five again. It’s great exercise you know. With that and a bit of exercise bicycle it keeps one in good condition. It is only about a kilometer, but you'd be surprised as to what it does to a person, just the fresh air and the fact that one doesn't sit and rust up. I bought me and my wife bicycles at the pandjies shop in De Aar. Look, you know life is a chase. With the bicycle you can cycle around and there is opportunity to look around. I often cycle around town and have some usual places I stop at - spending some time with and greeting people along the way. It keeps one young. With a motorcar you are always heading somewhere in a hurry, but with the bicycle you get opportunity to take your eyes somewhere and ask the neighbors how things are going. Otherwise you know one would just sit. I can't sit for very long... I have a story of a bicycle. We lived in Vrede, and our deacon there - rich people with lots of property, farming with about 3000 sheep - he came into town one morning, to the Koöperasie - I was also there, just before he got there he saw a group of guys standing, talking and looking very unhappy. So he asked what was the matter. They said that one of guys’ brand new bicycles was just stolen the night before. So sympathizing with them he mentioned that the week before they had just stolen 300 sheep from him. They didn't sympathize with him saying that he has lots of sheep but this guy only had this one bicycle and it is the only thing he had.' 

If you'd like a copy, go to the KickStarter page, pledge some money, and get a copy.