Potberg Mountain Bike Marathon

On Saturday morning we jumped into the car bright and early to head off to De Hoop Nature Reserve near Cape Agulhas for the 2010 Potberg Marathon. The route would see us tackle 77km and 1300m of ascent. It didn’t sound too tough but the course was very rough. Not a problem, 1 X Cube Full Suss mountain bike and I was sorted. The bike loved the rough terrain and sailed through it.

Waiting to start.

Image compliments of Leonard Line. (Appologies for the poor quality, it was taken off a cell phone camera)

On the first climb, Willie Brink (Jeep) and myself had put the hammer down and managed to get a gap on the chasing bunch. The next 20 or so kilometres we were traversed along rough and rocky jeep track, we had a nice tail wind and thus we made good time. Nearing a summit of a short rocky climb I got a puncture in my rear wheel. Luckily my wheels were topped up with Sludge and the hole was sealed in no time!

Shortly after 30 kilometres we tackled the major climb of the day, at 6 kilometres long it climbed steadily at first and then kicked up to the summit. The single track down was awesome. The organisers had used old rail way sleepers covered in chicken wire (for grip) as short bridges across streams. What made this even more impressive was that we were in the middle of nowhere (at least it felt like that 🙂 ).

After exploring a few district roads we encountered the cement road climb, it was steep! Super steep! We managed to get to the top and then entered 10 kilometres of jeep track. It was again exceptionally rocky and rough, I felt sorry for anyone on hard tails but the Cube just kept on going. A short portage up a sandy bank took us to the last water station for the day where it was necessary to top up the bottles. There was a spectacular view of the turquoise ocean from here and apparently other riders even spotted whales.

The final haul of 7km along good gravel road led us to the finish. It was a tough day at the office. Willie and I finished together with him taking the win and me in second.  Vaughn Ulyate took the final place on the podium some 16 minutes behind us.

Next year I would definitely love to make a weekend of this race and camp in this beautiful region of the Southern Cape.

Final results

  1. Willie Brink(Jeep) 3.31.20
  2. Chris Wolhuter(Cube Bikes SA) 3.31.20
  3. Vaughn Ulyate 3.47.32
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PVM

PVM Nutritional Sciences have come on board as my new nutritional partner. I have used their products in the past and thus know that they work and more importantly they work for my body. I will be using the Protein XTR for recovery and racing on the Octane carbohydrate juice. Their new range of gels will soon be available and I can assure you will live up to their expectations. Additionally their energy bars will come in handy as a ‘ready made’ meal for those long rides.

Click on the link on the right hand side of your screen to access their site. You can find PVM products in most pharmacies and cycling stores nationwide.

Greyton Bike Trip

I had planned to race this last weekend but the Gravel Travel which was scheduled in the calender for Saturday was postponed until the end of the month. Then on Friday afternoon whilst out riding with Erik he told me himself and Christiaan were organising a trip out to Greyton that weekend. The plan was to ride out there on Saturday and back on Sunday.

The next morning we all met up in town. Christiaan’s Dad Carel would be driving through and he would be taking our bags for us. Approximately 110km awaited us with a mix of tar roads, gravel roads and 2 passes thrown in for good measure. A group of 7 of us left for a good day out on the bike. We rode at a comfortable pace most of the way pushing it a bit on the climbs. We also had a nice tail wind most of the way which saw us average 27km/hr. After lunch in Greyton , Corne the local bike shop owner took us on a ride to show us some of the trails around the area. We rode some super fun single track before retiring for the day with a solid 5 hours under the belt.

After an enjoyable evening in Greyton with an awesome braai we returned back to Stellenbosch. Unfortunately now we had a bit of a head wind but nonetheless we set off at a good pace arriving in Stellenbosch four and a half hours later. All in all a good weekend training, great to ride on unexplored roads and I’ll definitely be visiting the quaint town of Greyton again. Enjoy the photos.

Heading on towards Francehoek.

Christiaan.

POWER riding!

Beautiful scenery: green mountains and blue skies!

Debating as to which is the right way to go.

Erik looking into the distance.

Homeward bound.

Check daai bicep uit!

Just cruising…

Thanks to Jan Hendrik for the pics.

Rusks

So I quite enjoy having a rusk with my coffee in the morning but now being back at Varsity don’t have Mom here to buy them for me 🙂 As I enjoy cooking I thought I would bake my own, They came out pretty well.

Here is the recipe from Food24

 

Ingredients

 
  • 500g margarine
  • 600g sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs
  • 1kg self-raising flour
  • 5ml salt
  • 15ml baking powder
  • 300ml milk
  • 180g bran flakes

 

Method

 

Pre-heat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF). Grease two 23 x 13 x 7 cm loaf tins with margarine. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients, except for bran flakes, together and add to the margarine mixture, alternating with the milk. Finally add the bran flakes and mix well. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tins. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a testing skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the rusk mixture. Cool, slice into fingers and dry at 100 ºC (200 ºF).

 
 
Tips
 
A few tips from my experience:
 
  • I cooled the rusks at about 70C but it takes a while, about 6 to 8 hours. Once you feel that the rusks are sufficiently dry enough leave them in the oven and just switch it off.
  • You could cut down on the sugar a little as it’s quite sweet, 500g would be enough, not sure if you’re allowed to do this in terms of ‘baking law’.
  • If you don’t have self-raising flour, use normal flour, for every cup of flour take out 2 tsp of flour and replace with 1.5 tsp of baking powder and .5 tsp of salt.
  • If you don’t have a kitchen scale like me a cup of bran flakes is about 50g. For more weight to volume conversions check out the Food 24 website.

Die Burger Stellenbosch Mountainbike Marathon

The Stellenbosch mountain bike race is a popular one across the Cape with four distances on offer to suite riders of all levels. It is also the ‘local’ race for all the Stellenbosch mountain bikers, myself included and hence quite an important one on the calendar. Usually the race is a tough 60km course but this year the organisers included a 75km invitation only marathon which quite excited me. The old 60km course was tough, but this tougher… with the total ascent cumulating to 2100 vertical metres! The course also offers superb single track, most of which is out of bounds for the year due to it being on private property.

Arriving on the start line on Saturday morning a more competitive field had lined up than what I had expected. Renay Groustra was there along with Erik Kleinhans and the whole GT/Mr Price team. As  was David George (SAfindit), the Fairbain and Blend properties teams as well as a few strong individuals. The pace warmed up straight away as we hit the first climb not two kilometres into the race. Things split up quickly and I found myself a bit further back than I would have liked in a group around 20th position. Guys were pushing the pace hard but I think most weren’t quite sure what awaited them.

I settled into my own race after about 20km riding now on my own, maintaining a steady tempo and settling into a rhythm. 50km in after riding some awesome single track my legs started to come around and I soon started catching guys who had gone hard at the start. I managed to catch and drop four guys in the single track going through Delvera. I knew that I would need as much time on them as possible as the climb towards the finish would be a real sting in the tail. Hitting the last climb I was still ahead of the four guys but near the top Kent Horner caught and passed me. I tried to limit the damage as I thought I would be able to catch him on the downhill and single track through town to the finish but this was not to be. The single track was clogged with riders from the shorter distance and my cries of “Track Please” seemed to fall on deaf ears, which was extremely frustrating and something the organisers need to have a look at next year.

In the end I finished in 12th position 10 seconds down on Kent. I was hoping for a top 10 but was satisfied with my result considering the competitive nature of the field. I also managed to get the rear shock on the Cube better set up and had no trouble with pedal bob but still enjoyed the benefits of a full suss bike on the rough stuff. All in all a good weekend but unfortunately no wine fest this year for us to enjoy afterwards!

Thanks to Jandre for the image, check out his site, the link is on my blog roll.

SA Road Cycling 2011

From what I’ve seen on twitter this afternoon it looks like there will be a Tour of South Africa next year on the road. Apparently it will be 9 days long and will carry a UCI 2.2 rating. This tour will take place in the 3rd week of February. Along with this CSA has announced that there will be a newly revamped local road racing series.

Good news for skinny wheel racing just when things were looking dismal with new rumours that the Giro del Capo will not be on next year.