Friday, October 29, 2010

ABSA Cape Epic 2011

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Sadly I don't have R80K to spend on a bicycle right now so I'm hoping brands will catch-up to the likes of Niner and Giant and Specialised and introduce "reasonably" priced softies. These will set you back anything from about R35K to R95K depending on how you choose to trick them out...

I think we can wait at least 2 years before dual suspension 29ers become reasonably priced and we will still be able to get the R90K+ versions. The R&D costs need to be recooperated and we are talking about specs, engineering and the materials used in these machines, those costs can be imense I'm sure!

I guess one of the questions I need to answer is whether the 29er hard-tail behaves at all like a 26 soft-tail, Obviously the soft tail will have the tyre plus the 80mm odd shock travel where the 29er would only have the tyre travel but I would expect a little more flex in the 29er...

I'm very much an average rider, so the additional comfort for me is a welcome luxury (at a price). I'd be looking at an aliminium full susser and i'm hoping that, like the Merida Mission 3000D back in '08 when I bought mine, it won't break the bank (relatively speaking to the full carbon) and give a really great ride. Whether that will ever happen, who knows.

So far the manufacturers that have seemed to be in the front in terms of full suspension XC 29ers are the following:
Niner Jet 9 - frame alone is R18,600
Giant Anthem X 29er - no idea on cost
Kona Hei Hei 2-9  - no idea on cost
Specialized Epic  - no idea on cost
Trek - Gary Fisher  - no idea on cost but depending on the spec anything from R44,700
Pivot Mach 429  - no idea on cost
Santacruz Tallboy  - no idea on cost
Titus Rockstar  - no idea on cost

I have not listed these on price at all as you see and most come in different component options so I have really just gone for an estimation and on the bikes I like.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I finally managed to wake up at 5 AM this morning to get on my bike, ride to Tokai and have a great ride on as much single track as possible including on the foot paths next to the main roads to get to Tokai. It's about  7KMs to Tokai's gate and then managed about 8KMs in Tokai before I had to head home to do the S.S.S for work.

I was a bit taken a back at how difficult the first 15Kms were but then I started to feel a bit better as i hit the down hill home!

It became crystal clear to me how important that base training is! It doesn't matter what one does on one's bike as long as one is on one's bike for 10 hours a week at least and that's before one starts any training! So, what that means is I need to do it tomorrow and the day after and twice on the weekend for the next 10 weeks or so and I should start to feel better about my cycling again and from there I can start some serious training regime. First I have to get that base layer up and that means lots of early mornings, early evenings and discipline. All of these things I have been seriously lacking the last few months!

The plan for November is to ride at least 10 hours a week!

Can I do it? Who knows but I'm going to try get as much riding in now before the baby comes a long and I need to do midnight feeds etc etc...

This is from this morning's ride:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mountain Biking on the farm

I haven't said very much about riding on the farm so I thought now's the time.

The farm is near Molteno (whereverthatmaybe) in the Stormberg Mountains. It gets extremely cold here in winter and never really warms up to any decent early 30 degree days in summer. The Freedom Challenge comes right by the farm on their journey. Never heard of it? Well, in short it is a MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE of 2,350 kilometres on Southern Africa's Freedom Trail as a non-stop, unsupported race from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl outside Cape Town. That is lunacy! Have a look at some of the pics of these poor souls riding through snow and minus temperatures in that area!

I'm not brave enough to go to the farm in winter let alone go riding there in winter - still people do.
The ride I usually do is a 45km odd circular route around the P.I.L's and neighbours farm. The rules to avoid getting lost are simple, at the siding turn left and take every left thereafter and you'll eventually get back to the siding (44.5kms later). Got to love farms - that's the block!

I missed a left turn ONCE (I'll never do that again by accident!) and landed up going straight at the third left and almost landed up in Burgersdorp. The usual 45km turned into an endless "wherethefuckamI". I had paced myself well to make a record time on the 45km. So when I hit 40km and realised I am nowhere near where I should be, I realised I was lost. I had no water left and no food! It was hot that day and I was getting sun branded! I suck to the "turn left" rule so at the one point I should have turned right, I turned left!

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I think that route wold have been about 90kms. I did about 75kms before getting picked up by the search party that was deployed when I was 4 hours later than I should have been!

Now I know exactly where the turns are, and even if it looks like a driveway, take it anyway! I have also invested in a 3 litre camel back so that I can stay hydrated! This is the route.

The last ride on the farm was great! I felt really buggered after the Karoo2Coast and it literally took me all week to recover! I went out for a ride on the Saturday after the race and managed a very respectable time, if not my fastest time to date. Must be the altitude or something?

I'm still threatening to wake up early and go for that ride so if you're keen, let me know!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The Karoo to Coast was on the 19th of September! It has been exactly a month but fortunately I was on the bike almost a week after the race but not since.

I'm really battling with motivation to getting back on the bike. Especially when it comes to waking up early and getting out on the bike.

"JUST DO IT" comes to mind and "you'll only battle for the first 2 weeks", after that it's good to go!

With all that said I have set the alarm clock for 5AM which should get me into Tokai and back before 7:30!

I'll let you know how that goes...