The Clock is Ticking

With the first race of the year, the Attakwas, now behind them Craig Kolesky and Rudolf Zuidema talk you through the final stages of preparation for the 2016 Cape Epic.

So the holidays are over and the back-to-work blues are kicking in.

Despite the months of training behind us Attakwas is always the Litmus Test of how well your training has gone; and so far so good. We finished comfortably with bodies and bikes passing the Fairview Attakwas Extreme Challenge with flying colours.

With 60 days to go to the Epic there’s still a fair bit of training and preparation to go and let’s not give Murphy any chances to derail all our plans.

After months of intense training the body’s immune system is pretty suppressed so make sure to take a good multi vitamin to boost immunity. The last thing you need is to get sick now! The other danger to be mindful of is injury, whether from complacency or fatigue there always seem to be a lot of withdrawals this time of year due to injury and sickness. So our advice is take slightly more conservative lines on the trails and if you are doing any races avoid bunches as there’s always that one guy…

By now you should also have settled on a nutrition regimen for the Epic; if not time is running out and you should definitely make your nutrition strategy your number one priority. Try not to take too much advice from others on this as everybody is different and you have to figure out what fuel yours runs on.

Craig putting his holiday season training to the test. Captured by: www.danielcoetzee.co.za for www.zcmc.co.za
Craig putting his holiday season training to the test.
Captured by: www.danielcoetzee.co.za for www.zcmc.co.za

So your training’s on track and nutrition sorted, but have you spent some time getting to grips with doing trailside repairs? I’m constantly amazed at how many people end up on the side of the trail with a mechanical and have all the spares and tools to fix the problem but don’t know how to! If you haven’t yet had to fit a masterlink, plug a tyre etc; you’ve been lucky. Don’t wait for your luck to run out before learning how to deal with the situation, but if you don’t we take payment in cold beer.

Then of course there’s your trusty steed; without her you won’t make it to Meerendal so make sure she gets plenty of TLC before 13 March. We’d recommend sending your bike in to your bike shop for a major service in mid-February and make sure that you tell them to check/service the following:

  1. Suspension Front and Rear
  2. Suspension Pivots
  3. Frame – check bearing races for wear and frame for any signs of damage that could lead to a frame failure
  4. Wheels – rims, bearings for wear & spokes for tension
  5. Drivetrain – replace cables, check for wear and replace necessary parts
  6. Brakes – check disc rotor wear, hydraulic fluid leaks and replace pads

It’s important to do the major service at this time as leaving it later leaves very little time for contingencies should there be any major problems with your bike or if there are stock shortages of spares locally. It also means you’ll have some time on the bike to bed cables, rotors, pads and pick up any other little niggles.

Something else to bear in mind is that from mid-Feb bike shops get extremely busy prepping bikes for Cycle Tour Week and Epic, so your bike might not get the same level of attention.

About 10 days prior to Epic send her in again for a once over; just in case.

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock…

The Attakwas is the traditional MTB season opener and one of the races Rudy earmarked as a training race. Captured by: www.danielcoetzee.co.za for www.zcmc.co.za
The Attakwas is the traditional MTB season opener and one of the races Rudy earmarked as a training race.
Captured by: www.danielcoetzee.co.za for www.zcmc.co.za

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