New bike season blur

October has been a blur. It’s the time of the year when everyone is gearing up for the “new” bike season. Product launches, store openings and a general buzz as summer approaches. I say approaches as I am still not convinced it’s here and until we get a string of consistently hot, sunny, days we are still in spring. The country is once again shrouded in cloud with most of it receiving huge amounts of rain. Yes we are grateful for the water, but I am sure the webbing between my fingers is getting bigger – evolution? 

The Cape Pioneer Trek finished recently and felt the full brunt of the inclement weather with riders having to face gale force winds and torrential rain – and a war of attrition. Congrats to the organisers and those who persevered and fi nished what was a stern test in the end. We have some great report backs in this issue including the Karoo 2 Coast, Ride the Rhino and the Spur Lourensford ride – although Kate makes it sound easy – for the most of us it was a real toughie. Thanks for all the submissions and keep them coming, it’s amazing to hear about your experiences, not only in organised rides but on the trips and explorations that you may have done too. I’m still waiting for Andy Watts, master distiller of the award winning Three Ships Whisky, to send us something. He is a keen MTBer and I believe there is a MTB route through some of Scotland’s magnifi cent mountains that links some awesome distilleries – come on Andy either write it or organise it!

Sus Big O's Training
From the editor, Shayne Dowling

Welcome to our latest regular columnist James Thornhill-Fisher. James is a skills guru and his column is packed with great advice and tips to improve your riding. I will definitely be using James’s advice to improve my skill set.

Congrats also to Chris Willemse and his team on their new store opening, thanks for the invite it was a great evening and it’s a stunning store. Cyclelab have been bought out by the MoreGolf Group and have made an immediate impact with the launch of their Mega Cyclestore in Fourways. We look forward to seeing how the Group takes the chain from strength to strength. Finally I look forward to my fi rst Wines2Whales. I will be sure to let you know how it goes and hopefully get to swop war stories with you at the event or along the way. Enjoy this issue, Seamus and the team have once again done a great job. Safe riding and see you on the trails!

Sus Big O’s Training

As I write this it is a few days to go to my first Wines2Whales, a three day stage ride, averaging 70kms each day and a lot of big bumps in the way. I find myself nervous not because it’s a multiple day ride and what lies ahead but more so about what I have done in preparation for it. Have I trained enough? Are my legs strong enough? Am I prepared with regards to eating and drinking on the ride? Is my partner going to be waiting for me all the time? What about mechanicals? What about the weather? I am definitely over-thinking this…

My preparation, I believe has been more than sufficient – I have had a great program thanks to Dr Mike Posthumus. I have lost weight, centimetres and body fat according to the wicked scale in Rochez O Grady’s practice – and she has also given me great advice around refuelling before, during and after the ride. My bike has been serviced and my riding partner, Richard Pieterse, is a mechanical engineer so the equipment should be sorted.

Bontrager have given me some new rubber to test, which I am looking forward to and besides Big O is a trooper – the bugger doesn’t know what breaking down is! Oh and Rich had better just wait for me at the top of the climbs! We have been bombarded with advice, tips and horror stories from the veterans – ok we laughed it all off and pretended to take it all in but the reality is that it’s all irrelevant now. Thanks to all for the support and the advice – albeit sometimes dodgy. The ride is here, the nerves are here and I just want to be pedalling already!

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