Back to the grindstone

After a good 4-week break off the bike it’s back to the grindstone, so to speak. But not really actually, the break was a good one, perhaps I may have indulged a bit too much in the sausage rolls and peanut butter milkshakes but I do feel refreshed, motivated and ready to go again.

Now, with just over a week of riding in the legs again I am getting back into the swing of things. It may sound weird but I missed the feeling of coming home with tired, sore legs. It’s quite satisfying in a way. The first few weeks of riding is just to get some fitness back, no worrying about what power I’m putting out but rather leaving the Garmin at home and just having fun.

It is also great to be back on the Cape Town roads and trails with my friends again. Racking up the miles and frequenting our old coffee stops, good times!

Speaking of trails, whilst nothing is final just yet it looks like I may be making a return to them for the 2014 season. Unfortunately with no viable deal for me in USA next year I will return to mountain bike racing on home soil. I explored options in Europe too but our green South African visas can make it tough to do a full season there without being on at least a pro continental team. It left me in a sort of catch-22 spot.

I think South African mountain biking is in a very healthy spot at the moment, particularly on the marathon side of things so I feel my decision will be a good one. Hopefully negotiations over the past few weeks prove to be fruitful and I’ll have some new partners on board to assist me in these endeavours. Speaking of which, if you have a couple of ZARS lying around and want to sponsor a mountain bike team, hit me up!

I’ll try keep these posts coming more frequently now that I am back into the routine again. It has been great to find out over the last few weeks that I have a few ‘fans’ who read them too. So it’s not just my Mom hitting refresh on her browser that’s racking up the hits. Thanks for the support.

Till next time then, I’m cutting down on those sausage rolls and peanut butter milkshakes but the new McFlurry Mudpie Delight is proving to be a tough one!

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The first training ride back in Cape Town after the off season proved to be an interesting one, it was the day following the big storms the evening before, and Charles and I encountered sections of washed away road and a mudslide which was ankle deep on the Llandudno road for over 50m!

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Off Season = Sausage Rolls and Peanut Butter Milkshakes

 

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                                           Image Credit: www.bakingbites.com

 

My 2013 racing season came to sort of an abrupt end. An unexpected one… I usually have a date towards which I work, the last day of racing for the year, followed by some much yearned-for down time!

This would have been the 26th of October at the finish line of the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances I did not take on the Klein Karoo but rather watched the daily highlights-package in Cape Town.

It was disappointing to not be in the there, compounded by watching those daily highlights, but looking back it was in fact an awesome year!

Naturally there are ups and downs along the way and they are to be expected. Living in the USA and racing with the Stan’s No Tubes team was a remarkable experience. I met some great people and made a lot of good friends, saw some amazing places and built up a lot of experience. It wasn’t all hunky dory though; there were times when I questioned what I was doing there after DNF’ing three races in a row early in the season.

Those lows are made up for with the highs, standing on the podium, getting off the front in a big race. One thing I did learn was that when the going is good; enjoy it because when the cookie crumbles, you never know when your luck will change again. Having Ash with me was great, she helped me work through the tough times and I’ve found a journey such as the one we had is so much more rewarding when you can share it with someone.

Coming home I spent a month racing in Joburg with the Bonitas team. It was a testing time for me personally and I perhaps wasn’t riding as well as I would have liked and am able to. Nonetheless I am glad I went there for the month and got to check out the Joburg scene.

I also had a taste of mountain biking late season at the Isuzu 3 Towers, at the time I didn’t know it would actually end up being my last race for the year. However it was one I enjoyed thoroughly. Maybe there is some more of that to come in the near future.

Hopefully some positive news for 2014 is around the corner, at the moment I know as much as you the reader does, gotta keep on hustling! For now I’ll keep on enjoying my sausage rolls and peanut butter milkshakes before the preparation begins.