BSI Steel Dusi2c: Dodge ball and the marginal gains theory

On Sunday morning, still in the cold and dark, Andrew and I started a very sarcastic conversation about marginal gains.


For those of you not in the know, the pro road team, Team Sky attributes a significant amount of their performance increases, to a series of marginal gains across a number of fields. One of these marginal gains recently involved their team leader for the Giro de Italia, Richie Porte staying in his own motorhome through the course of the 3 week race as opposed to moving in and out of hotels each day. The marginal gain being the energy and stress saved from having to pack and unpack each day.


Of course as mountain bikers in South Africa we found this quite entertaining as we’ve been using motorhomes as accommodation for stage races for years now. Ah Richie, we’ve been having it.



Image credit: Anthony Grote


Sundowners on the bank of the Dusi river, Black Label quarts from the Mfula store.

Image credit: Andrew Hill


But this really is beside the point, at the Dusi2c, we were slumming is so to speak and staying in a tent. Yes a thin piece of canvas was all that separated us and the cold winter air and I didn’t want to spoon with Andrew, no offence dude.


We would also be carrying a large 30kg plastic box. The box weight really was up to what you decided to pack, but my mentality is to bring anything I might need. The box had also strangely seemed to get heavier overnight. Ah Richie would be laughing at us having to lug our carry box to and from the transport trucks. Who has been having it now?


Whilst shivering and joking about having to carry our heavy boxes, and what old Richie would make of our marginal losses, we were fortunately saved by one of the volunteer school boys who promptly arrived with a trolley, which he could take boxes back to the truck for us with. SAVED!


Fortunately, the marginal losses didn’t seem to affect Andrew and I too drastically as we enjoyed a successful race in managing to win both stages and the overall title. Andrew knows the valley well, and being a GPS navigation race, this did help our case. We boxed smart through the two days and it paid off. It was my first time at the event, which traverses through the Valley of a 1000 Hills and I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Image credit: Anthony Grote


Image credit: Anthony Grote


Anyone who knows the valley of a 1000 hills will know that the locals let their livestock and animals roam free. This started a little game during the race, a dodgeball theme inspired one, dodge-animal. Obviously the goal was not to collide with any animals, because when connecting with a bull who is a few 100kg heavier than both of us put together, naturally we would come off second best.


Of course animal welfare was also an important topic!


So we set about counting how many different animals we would dodge during the 2 day race. We got up to 8. I say how many different animals and not how many animals, as I lost count of the number of cows and dogs in the first half, of the first day.


The more interesting sightings included a pot belly pig and a donkey, I kid you not. It was all part of the fun and the experience of travelling through the valley.


It added another aspect of entertainment for us to an already remarkable race. The BSI Dusi2C is one which you should put on your bucket list. It’s more authentic mountain biking if you will, and between assessing your marginal gains, playing dodge-animal and enjoying a sundowner quart at Mfula Store, you’re sure to have a great time!


Locally made, beaded Nguni Bulls for the win!

Image Credit: Anthony Grote

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s