The Return to the Dirt Continues…

With my stint in Joburg drawing to a close, thankfully because I think laps of the cradle are driving me crazy! Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to train in a relatively safe environment with a big bike lane it just feels like I’m doing hundreds of laps going nowhere! Cape Town and the sea can’t come soon enough! On a side note you won’t ever hear me describe Cape Town’s riding as ‘nice’….

But first I have been offered the opportunity to venture back onto the dirt for a mountain bike race I’ve never done before, the Isuzu 3 Towers! I’ll be joining the Fedgroup Itec Connect stable again for this one and will be teaming up with Bridgette Stewart. AKA: Greg’s sister, Brandon’s wife… , I hear she loves being referred to in this context and now you can call Bridgette, Chris’s riding partner 😉

In all seriousness Bridgette was a Downhill SA Champ in her day and after a season of just racing skinny wheels I hope I don’t keep her waiting for too long on the other side of each single track section! It will be my first race in the mixed category and I’m looking forward to it.

Meanwhile back in the big smoke I have two races left, the first being the Campus to Campus Classic this coming weekend and next weekend the Go West Classic. Rumour has it that the 144km route is a tough one, should make for interesting racing!

On the other side of the Atlantic, Kriek is having swimming lessons as Boulder floods! Word on the street is that he tied arm bands to his bike; he should be strong in the river crossings in the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek! At least I’ll have some practice on the fat wheels before we line up in the Karoo.

Until next week then, hopefully I’m still sane!
Ciao

Road Racing With a Mountain bike Team – Engen Classic Durban

Sounds kinda weird doesn’t it? Well it happened! I headed back down to KZN over the weekend to take part in the first round of the Engen Series held in a considerably warmer Durban. It also afforded me the opportunity to go home for two days and see my sister whom I haven’t seen since I left to the States in February.

As the Engen series only allows teams to enter 6 riders, Bonitas already had a full squad and Brandon Stewart of the Fedgroup Itec team threw me a bone and invited me to join the dirt boys on the tar for the weekend.

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The mountain biker-roadies.

Image Credit: Bridgette Stewart

The race was short, only 90km but was fast as it covered that in 2hours. The route had a couple of rolling bumps which made the racing hard at points but not hard enough for any serious splits. Things got a bit sketchy a few times though with a car stopped in the middle of a circle as we approached it at 60+ kph… Additionally, having the short route fun riders on the same route as us especially in the last 20km, isn’t fair on them or us.

Sitting on Kevin’s wheel at 65kph we narrowly, and I mean very narrowly missed a lady on her mountain bike doing about 15kph. That would have potentially been a season ending crash. Another fun rider in the last corner with 200 to go also meant an end to having a go at the sprint for me.

Anyway we all managed to get out safely, really the main prize on the day, I wasn’t in a skin donating or equipment wrecking mood.

Big thanks to Fedgroup-Itec Connect for having me down on the weekend. Shot Brandon, Neil and Kev! Also big thanks to our superb back up crew Bridgette and Gary, although we didn’t keep them busy, they found other ways to entertain herself…

bridge tweet

In other news, I have an exciting end of season project in the works. A return to the dirt with my fellow ‘South African racing in the USA’, Christiaan Kriek (guess you could call him my friend too), as we take on the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek, a race which I have many fond memories of from last year. Guess we’ll need to get some mountain bikes and get working on those technical skills to take on the Karoo rocks! More news on this project soon.

*Apologies for the delayed blog, I actually typed this up on Tuesday and completely forgot to post it!

The opposite ends of racing in the dark

After a great 6 months in the States it was time for Ash and I to come home. Although I have done a good amount of racing this year thus far I didn’t feel as though I was ready to end the season just yet. After chatting to Barry Austin he invited me to join the Bonitas Pro Cycling team as a guest rider for the month of September.

I headed back to Pietermaritzburg and spent a great couple of days on the farm with the family. As the Mountainbike World Champs were in town I managed to catch a few of the events going on and also with friends who were there to race. Sadly I missed the ‘big’ races as it was time for me to get my game face on once again. With that I packed my first car which my parents now keep at home, Witblitz, and headed north to the City of Gold.

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Road tripping in Witblitz!

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#selfie

My first outing for the Bonitas team would be the Dome2Dome National Classic. After meeting the boys on the morning we were off to a very cold start, 2 degrees centigrade on the start line type of cold start. I have gone from racing twilight crits in the evening darkness, to SA road races starting in the morning darkness. I kept myself busy for the first few minutes of the race by shivering until I could actually concentrate on what was going on. Soon thereafter a move of about 10 guys slipped off the front with Clint, HB and Willie from the team represented.

The race seemed to settle somewhat until we hit the cradle with some crosswinds the action heated up again. Our job was to cover the dangerous protagonists, eventually a few small groups of riders which had gone off the front seemed to join and another group of 10 slipped off towards the front split with James representing the team.

Ultimately the two front groups joined and this was where the race winner would be decided on the day. Being back in the peloton I was effectively out of the real race on the day where we managed to get two guys onto the podium, with Willie taking second and James fifth, unfortunately the win eluded the team on the day.

It looks like I’ll be heading down to the coast this weekend to take part in the first round of the Engen Dynamic Series in Durban.

Until next week then, over and out!

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Moving up to Pretoria and taking over this business!

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Cullinen, the diamond town.

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 Mid ride refuel.

Enter the Paincave!

Hey Folks

 

Check out this pretty cool new concept that a team mate of mine on the Stan’s team has developed. Paincave gives you a great indoor trainer workout and puts the fun back into those boring slogs on the trainer, plus it makes you strong! Check out there site by clicking on the logo on your right! I know there has been snow in Cape Town recently and its freezing up here in Joburg!

 

paincave

 

PAINCAVE is where grueling workouts, intended to make you a better athlete, take place. PAINCAVE is the most dynamic approach to fitness training available anywhere.

 

PAINCAVE episodes provide 30 to 60 minutes of interactive cycling training using footage from the greatest bike races in the world. The episodes are HD quality and are available to members on the media device of their choosing.

 

PAINCAVE is “Life’s Change Agent.” Every person that participates in a sport or wants to improve his or her life can benefit from PAINCAVE programming. PAINCAVE goes beyond runners and bikers – golfers, skiers, tennis players, soccer players, any sport, any athlete and anyone trying to improve their fitness level and/or quality of life can improve through PAINCAVE.

 

PAINCAVE forms a community where members can interact with other members, cycling coaches, the PAINCAVE ALL- STARS, and other contributors.

 

When the weather turns are you ready to ride your indoor trainer with purpose? PAINCAVE is the web-based, streaming training videos you have been looking for. We have licensed footage from some amazing professional races and developed workouts around the tempo and terrain of the race. It is so simple to use, just set up your bike and trainer, log on to www.paincave.com, select your video and train. It works on any internet-ready device with a broad-band connection… even your smart phone.

 

Not ready to commit? Try it out for free! Just register and give our free episode a spin. If you like it you can subscribe for unlimited access on a monthly or yearly basis.