A Crash Course in Crashing – Die Burger Stellenbosch Mountain Bike Marathon 2012

Crashing, it seems, has a certain resemblance to puncturing for me. It goes like this: I won’t get a puncture for two months and then boom! All of a sudden in the space of a week I get 4. I hadn’t had a crash in quite some time -one of any serious nature that is – and then last week I was picking myself up once off the tar, and twice off the dirt.

Last week Monday I took a bit of a spill whilst on my mountain bike going down Little Chappies on route to the Ou Wa pad. I think what hurts more is the burn of the roasties getting into the shower after the crash. Luckily my steed came away lightly with just a few cosmetic scratches. Whew!

On Friday morning whilst cruising down a single track I came up behind a jogger. The above mentioned lady had her I-Pod on with the volume turned up so loudly that she didn’t hear my calls of, “sorry” and “excuse me”. I went down a small drop I’ve done many times before, far too slowly – that being behind the jogger – resulting in my wheel getting stuck in the rocks and boom! Over the bars I went. It wasn’t too serious but I was more pissed off at our jogger lady. In case you were wondering, she didn’t even hear me go down…

Come Saturday morning I lined up behind the chalk in Stellenbosch for Die Burger Mountain Bike Marathon. Albeit a bit battered and bruised, I was keen to race.

I found myself in the lead group of 7, including Keey and Du Toit from Blend Properties, Ollie Munnik(GT) Renay G(RSA Web/Rocky mountain), Dave George(360 Life) and Craig Boyes(Cycle Funatic). The race is notoriously a tough one with a sting in the tail, so I backed off a bit come the steeper climbs leaving town.

This left me on my own for a while before I settled into a new group containing Petrus Malherbe(Future Life), Bruce Hughs(UCT) and Neil Bradford(Toyota Cycle Lab). We combined well together over the next section of the race along the Simonsberg Mountain. We enjoyed some rad single track open only to most during the event each year!

Towards the end of this section my race came to an abrupt end. Bruce was climbing well, especially on the steeper sections of the course. I managed to go with him which split our group up a bit, but in order to not kill myself on the ascents, I had to push hard on the down hills to get back on his wheel.

It was not long after this, when coming around a fast right hand corner with, when I look back on it: a) the wrong tyres, b) too much speed and c) a hard surface with loose gravel on top; which equated me with crashing, again! Luckily once again the bike was fine! Whew! I on the other hand added a few more roasties to the collection and landed quite hard on my left hand shoulder.

I eventually got going again but had lost quite a few places by now, and with my shoulder the way it was, I was in no real position to race anymore. Nothing was broken, but probably a few strained ligaments (by my professional judgement). Fortunately I found some spectators with a bakki who could give me a lift to the finish.

So the goal for this week is to keep the rubber side down! (and not get any punctures!)

2 thoughts on “A Crash Course in Crashing – Die Burger Stellenbosch Mountain Bike Marathon 2012

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