11 Dec 2007


More smiling faces and more interesting stories. Michele smiling so broadly cause husband Thys was taking the picture. Training so hard for the 94.7 just to get a bad bout of the flu before the event. What a shame, but next year we will definitely see her racing.

Another Michelle, and Rob having some fun at the year-end. Rob did the 94.7 mountain biking event and declared a complete week of rest days after that. But he still claimed he had fun.

Stefan and Andaleen: We know the story about the shoes, but we are waiting in anticipation to see the bike he is going to buy in the new year. What is next Stefan, the Baviaans?

Martie and Kallie having fun and Kallie assured me that he is now ready for spinning next year...........after flying and quad bikes and motorbikes and Mozambique and............at least Martie is spinning and spinning she is.......was good to see you there.

There are really many many more photos to share with you but I think I'll call it a day with this one, the signing of the Bulla shirt. As a momento of the evening we asked everyone to sign the Bulla shirt , which we will now frame and put up in the gym.

It was a great year and this is what you had to say about it, the gym and about spinning and exercise...........

........to be continued once again.....................

9 Dec 2007

Tell us about it!

And so finally it was time for our year-end function. The theme this year was; "Tell us about it" where many a spinner had a chance to share his/her special highlight of the year. With all the preparations done and the tables set, we just had to wait for the special guests to arrive, that's you of course.

Talking about highlights. We had quite a few here at the gym throughout 2007. Just to mention a few, The Cape Argus Cycle Tour -check out the Hall of Fame article in the archive. The Baviaans of course-check out what the two teams achieved and most recently the 94.7 hospitality tent. But most importantly to me is what you have achieved in this past year. Just to mention a few names, Stefan bought cycling shoes at last and took the plunge and went mountain biking at Northern Farms. Mario took part in his first ever road race and that, the monstrous 94.7.Lanie started off at such a vigorous pace that we dreaded what was still to come. Amanda eventually decided that the ball class sounded challenging enough and added that to her spinning classes. Janine who progressed in her cycling by leaps and bounds. So many to mention, but I think a cheer to all that tried to stay fitter and healthier this year.

Back to the year end. It was laughing, happy faces all round. Although only recently joining the spinning Andrea and husband Brian looked very relaxed and happy about their first year-end function with us.

To see if your smiling face had been captured by our very talented photographer
, please log in tomorrow night for more.

.....................to be continued..............

94.7 Video!

This is the last about the 94.7 cycle challenge. Just a reminder that all your photographs are on the http://www.mypicture.co.za/ site. Go check them out and please donate one to the gym. I would like to make a Hall of Fame picture board. Would be nice, don't you think so.

Ok, and here is the video about the 94.7. Cross your fingers and see if it's working.....

24 Nov 2007

2007 Racing to the end

And so it is that we are racing to the end of 2007, and what an excellent way in doing that by taking part in the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. We saw best times ever, excellent times and first times. With weather reports forecasting stormy weather and rain, we were all relieved to see a beautiful day dawning. After making sure that the new gazebo got delivered on time at the hospitality area and that our hostess Amanda was on her merry way to wait for the first arrivals and to sign off the food platters and most importantly the drinks and ice, the riders set off to the start of the race.

First in was Christo, of course, in 2:46. He didn't mind waiting for the next rider to come in, and so the welcoming committee grew as the day progressed and as the riders came in.

We hardly had time to sit down to a beer and listen to the brave story when we all had to get up again and welcome in the next member.

No...........they were not part of the "three blind mice" musical. Of course the welcoming committee got merrier and merrier as the day progressed.

We ate and drank and talked and repeated these tasks with a vigour. It was time for our friend Mario -or as he is known in the gym " Mr M" - to come in. Everyone was speculating about his time, being his first ever cycle race, and his ability to complete such a strenuous ride and a lot of toasts were made in his absence. At last the hero was spotted and the welcoming committee once again rose to the occasion

He was welcomed like a lost son. We overheard his phone call to his wife telling her: "These people don't stop hugging me". Of course that called for more beers and brave stories. To all the other first timers; Janine and Cheryl, well done!

To all the Bulla members who proudly worn their Bulla cycling shirt on the big day, I say Thank You! It was wonderful seeing you coming in with smiles on your faces. It was also easy spotting you in the crowd. To the anonymous sponsor who sponsored part of the day, a big thank you, we were like a big family, one in spirit, all going for gold. To Amanda who offered her services just to be part of the event Thanks Girl! Afterwards I sent her a sms thanking her again for her time. Her reply was: it's a great pleasure, but I won't do it again next year. I will be riding myself, I was so inspired by Mario.
What more can I say..............

13 Nov 2007

Keep Riding

When I said we are having a year-end function, it didn't mean at all that the gym will now be closed, not at all. Gym times will be running as normal through December up to the 15th. From Tuesday 18 December only the 6am classes will still be open . Of course from Christmas to New Year even us will be closed.

So while we are all waiting for time to pass until Santa is emptying his sack on our lounge floor, let's keep riding.
You have till Monday 19 November to enter for the Cradle to cave MTB Challenge. It is all happening at the Nedcor Olwazini Training Centre at Kromdraai- I've heard that name before! Only 45km or only 25km in beautiful surroundings and a well organised ride. The race takes place on Sunday 25 November and starts at 7:30.
See you out there with your mountain bike, getting dirty!

12 Nov 2007

Year-End Function!

18 November: 94.7 !
And so, this is all that is now remaining of our training programme…the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. We trained hard and I’m sure you will see the results of your training. It was really great not to have to train on my own and thanks to everyone who has joined in with the hill training, time trials and races. Remember we will be waiting at the Bulla hospitality area after the race, and yes, we will be waiting till all is in. Come and join us for drinks and eats and share your experience with us.

Year-End Function
This is what everyone was waiting for, our year-end function. All I can say from previous year-ends, they are getting better and better. So grab your diary and don’t miss out on THE event of the year. As always there will be surprises and NO, Amanda will not win the raffle this year.
It will take place on Friday 30 November @ 18:30 for 19:00 at Cocos, Castle Walk. Lets face it, they know us so well by know and are very tolerant to all our party moods. I hope to see many, if not all of you there. I need to make the final booking by Tuesday 27 November. RSVP!

Money Money Money
Unfortunately the spinning card price will go up for next year and will cost R250 for 11 classes (R22.70 a class) not bad at all! The good news is, that you can buy as many spinning cards as you like now, at this year’s price of R220 and use them in the New Year. A single class will cost R35.00
We have started at the gym with one on one ball classes, meaning you can have your own personal instructor to help you with the ball classes but not only that, we would also like to extend that to the spinning. So if you would rather like to train on your own, book your times and classes now. Times are Mon-Thurs from 14:00-17:00. Classes will be 50min long and costs will be R100 per class. 10 class packages are available (R1000) and will be booked in advance. Please speak to Gerda.
16:30 Classes
All 16:30 classes will fall away from next year. These classes will be turned into personal trainer classes.
17:30 Classes
All 17:30 classes will from next year be spinning classes and will be presented by Zoƫ.
Evening ball classes
Mondays and Wednesdays at 18:30 will be ball classes from next year.
Double Classes
And from next year there will be a double spinning class available every week. It will be every Tuesday 18:30-20:00 (90 min in all). So if you would really like a bit of a longer workout or if you are training for a specific event, be there on Tuesdays. You will be allowed to leave early if you had enough but will not be allowed to join halfway through a class.
Many new things at the gym! Keep training!
See you at the party!

The Bulla Team

31 Oct 2007

Trick or Treat

It is Trick or Treat day today, 31st October, and what a pleasant surprise we had at the gym........

Made me think....am I tricking myself when I'm training, or am I treating myself when I'm training.

Good news is that I finally got rid of Telkom internet and am using iburst and hopefully more news and pics will be forthcoming.

A reminder of Sunday's hill training starting at the gym at 7am. Only 4km and only for an hour. Hope to see you on Sunday. As always, coffee and muffins afterwards.
Results of the time trials will be on the blog within days, as well as other news.
Keep blogging in.

27 Sep 2007

94.7 Hospitality


We have booked a hospitality area for the 94.7 Cycle Challenge, thanks to an anonymous sponsor. This means we will have our very own Bulla area at the end with shade, tables and chairs. To make things even better, we will order food platters and a selection of beers and soft drinks for the Bulla riders at a cost of R50 per person.
If you would like to take part in the eating and drinking afterwards, please put your name on the list at the gym and pay your R50 before 26 October.
If you would rather do your own food and drink, you are still very welcome to join us at the hospitality area. Just a point to ponder: all food and drinks consumed in the hospitality area must be from the food stalls at the event. We are unfortunately not allowed to bring our own cooler boxes with food and drinks.
All family and friends who would like to welcome you back after the ride are also welcome to join us at the Bulla area. Just pay R50 per person for family and friends to also take part in the food and drinks afterwards. All must be paid before 26 October.

Summer Season
The summer season is here and with that a full gym again. Please make sure about your bookings so we can ensure a bike for you at your class. If you have to cancel a class, please cancel 6 hours before your class so we can give your bike to someone else if you can’t make it. Classes not canceled in time will be charged for.

Short October Break
The gym will be closed for one week only: 8-12 October. All classes will run normally from15 October.

Training programme

30 September
: Time Trial

14 October: Vodacom Classic Race

21 October: Time Trial

27 October: Telkom Race

28 October: Hill training

4 November: Hill training

11 November: Bakwena Race

18 November: 94.7 !

23 Sep 2007

September Racing

The racing season has really started with a bang. For many of us it is of course training rides for the 94.7 and Argus.
The Dome 2 Dome race of last week was a real tester of 116km and many a cyclist called it "Valley of a 1000 hills". The overall climb was 1240m. Hills, hills and more hills and throw in a howling wind, especially the last 20km when we had to turn into the wind, made every one's time take a dip. A lot of effort has gone into planning a new route, taking us past and through the Kromdraai area near Krugersdorp. Quite scenic and most of the cyclists I spoke to afterwards did indeed see the two rhino grazing on one of the game farms. Also the partial road closure of the busier intersections made it a worthwhile ride.
Dischem Vitathion 97 km ride with an overall climb of 1160m was tough with quite a strong wind blowing.What really made this ride a hair raiser was the continuous climb of over 400m over the last 40km. Looking at the results, it showed about 40 DNF riders. We had a glorious time afterwards, sharing our stories of how tough it really was out there, having our beers and Boerie rolls and by the time we said our good byes everyone was in a chirpier mood and will ride again.
Sunday 30 September brings us to our time trial out on the Boschkop road. We will be starting at 8am. We have a professional time keeper so come out in force. The route is fairly flat with a hill or two. We will be set off a minute apart and no drafting will be allowed. Slower riders starting first and the faster riders last so we all can have breakfast together at Kitty Hawk. RSVP by Friday so we can organise breakfast, ok.
Have fun! See you in the gym or out on the road!

9 Sep 2007

The First Hill Training

So we started with the training programme, bright and early..............
I mean at 8 o'clock. Lovely cool air, not too hot.

I interviewed some of the riders before the hill and I think their facial expressions said it all. Not too sure, I dunno, will have to see, this is serious stuff, my legs are gonna feel it, I'm already tired......

We swung round the corner, pumped up the short hill, lungs burning, little bit of a breather, another short hill, not too serious, flying downhill, another corner, climbing at a steady pace, Phew, at the top, easy going, downhill and back at the gym, 4.7km in all! Some did 4 laps, some 5 and some 6 in one hour. It was enjoyable, not too tough, good training, will do it again were some of the comments afterwards.

And then the coffee and muffins and juice and the talk. How we will do it next time, harder and more. We had fun! Hope to see you next time.
PS. Remember to ask Janine about her legs.........

29 Aug 2007

September, October and November Training

It is that time of the year again, with winter gone and the 94.7 looming. Previously we promised training rides and it never happened, but hooray, hooray at last a training programme has been worked out to prepare you for the 94.7
Of course this doesn’t mean that only the mean and serious riders can participate in these rides. Not at all, these rides are open to all, so dust your bikes off, shake it from its winter sleep and come ride with us.
It also doesn’t mean that you have to do each and every ride. Adapt it to your training programme, or do all, but have fun! The programme will consist of hill training, time trials and cycling races.

Hill training:
This route will start at the gym, down Rutgers street, left into Blouhaak and left into Hans Strydom, up, up, up all the way to the top, left into Rubenstein and left into Kariega. You are now back at the gym. We will only do an hour of lap training, starting at 8:00. The route is only 4km, so see how many laps you can do in an hour. There will be coffee and muffins at the gym afterwards to listen to all the stories and to share your own.

Time trial:
The time trial route is 34km and will start at Kitty Hawk on the Boschkop road.
Cyclists will depart at one-minute intervals and no drafting is allowed. The idea of a time trial is to see how fast you can cycle the route on your own steam. We will start with the slowest cyclist leaving first and the fastest last. After the 34km we will have breakfast at Kitty Hawk, with all finishing more or less at the same time. Also starting at 8:00

Here are the dates:

9 September
: Hill training

16 September: Dome-to-Dome Race

23 September: Dischem Vitathion Race

30 September: Time Trial

14 October: Vodacom Classic Race

21 October: Time Trial

27 October: Telkom Race

28 October:
Hill training

4 November: Hill training

11 November: Bakwena Race

18 November: 94.7 !

Pretty impressive I know, But I hope to see many of you at the rides.
Happy cycling!

Bulla One and the Baviaans

If you thought that we were impressive, just read the story or the ride about Bulla One. Christo almost had to ride with the Bulla Team and he would have but fate had it otherwise. Finally , finally on number 99 we found Christo a partner, Dennis Finch. We didn't know he was a pro, but we clearly understood when he unpacked his bag on Race Day. The best quality of cycling jerseys, tops, leg warmers, bootees, caps, gloves, you name it, he had them all plus an array of other drool over goodies. But what a nice down to earth guy. We were all glad that Christo found a great partner.

After sorting out Christo's light with a better fitting so it won't topple him and the bike over, they were also ready to go.

As we checked in at the different checkpoints, we received the latest reports from Maggie and Elzet of their fast progress. "They are 35min ahead of you"."They are 1hour and 25min ahead of you". We didn't ask again, they were clearly in a different league.
On top of the beast of a mountain they put their lights on, Dennis in front, but Christo always reassuring his teammate: " Dennis I'm here."

Their support Juliana and Marina had to follow a different route and only saw them at Komdomo for the first time, that's after about 170km. Marina always wanted to be a sports photographer and really took the opportunity to show her style. With reel after reel of film falling into the developing basket, they waited with abated breath at the end for the two heroes to come in. And so we are waiting to see the photos she took. They came in at a mere 13hours and 39min. If it wasn't for the buck that jumped in front of Christo's bike and unfortunately got killed in the process, they could have shaved more minutes off their time. The story of the buck is true. A Duiker was run over by a bike. We saw the evidence of buck hair still stuck on the bike.
So they went to bed and didn't wait for us to finally arrive. But the next morning Christo's face said it all; What an experience!

Till next year then, when we will hopefully see you there!

28 Aug 2007

The Bulla Team and The Baviaans

Well, after a long battle again with Telkom, here I am at last to tell the story of the Bulla Team and the Baviaans. So much to tell, what do I tell and what do I leave out? The easiest I think is to tell you about the Bulla Team and then about Bulla One

(that is now Christo and Dennis Finch).

Yes, it was a long drive down and we have wisely decided to do it by air next time, but it was still fun driving to Willowmore, offload most of the stuff, drive to St Francis, drive to Jeffreys Bay, drive back to Willowmore with all team members now in a 4x4.
The morning dawned freezingly cold. We were packing, repacking,

testing the bikes, packing the support vehicle and waiting for the

starting time which was only at 10:00. Some were more nervous

than others and tried to calm themselves by doing warming up

exercises in the dirt road in front of the house in Willowmore.

The ride itself went fine with a few hick ups here and there. Rodney had a bad fall and with that came a few trouble spots. He lost his granniest of granny gears and with those hills he needed them all. The problem was he forgot he had lost a gear and keep shifting over to the missing gear, with the result the chain kept on falling in between the granny and the plastic plate.(ok, ok, it got stuck!) Of course it does call for throwing toys in all directions and lots of yanking.

Then came the deep river crossing and Renzo got his tyre's sidewall slashed. Ok, no problem, we have one tube, we have bommers, we have a tube and we have 3 bommers but we also have a pump. But if we use the pump, we can save the bommers and maybe we should save the tube too. But if we can put the tube in and only half inflate, we can save the bommers. That is the gist of the two men conversation going on while I'm standing waiting for something to happen. In the end with a hurried word or two from me, they got going again just to have the tube blown out of the tyre still fully inflated. That was touch and go, but in the end they did it perfectly-took about 30minutes?

The Baviaans only start testing you when there is only about 50km left over. The never ending hill seems like it was going to never end. The pace got slower and slower but eventually we did reach our support team. After chasing Red Bull, V-Power and double coffees down their throats, we attacked the last 25km with gusto. We made it in style and came in 20hours and 27 minutes.

Our support team was the best team! Not blinking at any of our demands, always ready, packing and repacking the 4x4. Driving where no man has been before-well almost. Sitting up in the cold, waiting for us at 4 in the morning, greeting us with cheers and smiles and I will never forget Elzet's words: Jissie! Julle is oulik, julle lyk goed. Thanks to Maggie and Elzet for fantastic support. To my teammates Rodney and Renzo; We made it as a team, finishing together. You made my day!

We sort of worked it out, we think:

The Baviaans is only about 100 000 pedal strokes.

Anyone with a closer answer? How many pedal strokes on 230km? More or less.

14 Aug 2007

We are riding

Just a short "Hello".

The team is out riding.

We will be back to tell the whole story.

Keep checking in

29 Jul 2007

We've done it!

We've done it! I mean the gym has done it! I mean Abri and Kie did it!
They came 1st in the tandem race on the 35km lap race around the Union Buildings. Congratulations! To all of you who doesn't know, Abri is one of the spinning instructors here at the gym.
Talking about winning, or almost winning......so close for Robbie Hunter at the last stage of the Tour de France. He still came second in the sprinters jersey. To all the fans, Robbie Hunter will be at Cyclelab on 2nd August from about 9:00 to autograph a 1000 shirts at R100 a shirt. The money will go to a cycling development programme which will be run by Robbie Hunter.
The 9th of August is a public holiday, so no spinning classes because everyone I know is cycling the Carousel. You have entered, of course?
The Baviaans Mountain bike marathon is getting closer and the gym is sending a delegation down to be part of this news worthy event. Christo has strike it big in that he has been sponsored by a company to be part of their team. The other team is Bulla Team, Rodney, Gerda and Renzo with Elzet and Maggie as support. The gym will therefore be closed on 16 and 17 August as well as 20 and 21 August. We will however make up for the loss of classes by giving you a full report of the event as well as loads of pictures to drool over.
The weather is getting more favourable, meaning Spring is almost here. If you haven't done anything in the gym during the winter time it is now a perfect time to start training for the 94.7 or just to get fit and to live healthy.

22 Jul 2007

Lots of news!

Lots of news with what is happening with Barlowworld team at the tour de France, our own ride at The Cradle and more news from the market place.
Firstly, isn't it just amazing to see Robbie Hunter and team managing podium finishes?! Wonderful to say the least.

To go back to our wonderful ride at The Cradle of Mankind, a wonderful ride with about 18 participants. Also a well deserved lunch at the end at The Teaspoon and Tankard. The weather was mild and we all set off at not too hectic a pace as we had to wait for a flat to be fixed at the start. And off we went, uphill! A clear break came between the roadies and mountain bikers. As hard as the mountain bikers peddled, the roadies still pulled away.

There were lots of hills to deal with, out of breath hills, not so long hills and koppies. We managed them all. Here Anthon and Ivin are dealing with the "out of breath" koppie

Janine doing the "smiling uphill"

And the beautiful winding, open road.
The support vehicle was an absolute blessing as we were helped with punctures, cramp pills, something to eat and just moral support all the way. We all agreed that the next ride is not to be missed.
A very interesting website has been brought under my attention by Silke. http://www.escapecycletours.com/. Would you like to go on a biking holiday? They have a really great holiday selection to choose from. 6 Days mountain biking from Knysna to Gordon's Bay. I liked the mountain biking on a Karoo farm, but to extend the holiday and go further to the coast at Port Elizabeth. Another amazing tour is a 3Night/4Day Baobab tour at Mapungubwe. Go to the new poll and tell us what you think, would you like to go on a cycling holiday. We might just organise something like that.
Now if you thought that the Baviaans Mountain bike Marathon is a challenge, go to http://www.freedomchallenge.org.za/ and see what that is all about. Just a short peep tells you about 2300km from Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town in 26 days. You have to carry all your stuff on your back. You only get a map to navigate, and you have to peddle, carry your bike, peddle, peddle and peddle. Go read the full story on http://www.cyclelab.co.za/ "Freedom Challenge Report" of Hannele Steyn Kotze who came 3rd overall in the race. Her story is about endurance, about a mind, about finding your deeper soul. Really amazing stuff. By the way, the Baviaans mountain bike route forms part of the freedom challenge route. Incredible! Go read it.
Next weekend is the Tshwane lap race around the Union Buildings. Hope you've entered!

14 Jul 2007

In the Market Place

In my surfing on the Internet, I've found some weird and wonderful sites and thought it might be something different to share with you. Go see, go shop and tell me what you think. Maybe you have also sites that you think might be interesting to share.
Try this one if you would like to do a different kind of ride. "Ride the tide" they say, in other words, ride fast enough to be home and dry before the tide comes in. Go see http://www.wildride.co.za/. It is all happening on the Wild Coast-Transkei.
Illovo stands for sugar, but also for it seems like, looks like, a beautiful country ride. It is among the sugar plantations at the Eston Club in KZN. About 20min from Pietermaritzburg,just off the N3. It is all happening on the 5th Aug and not too late to enter. Remember the weather in KZN in August is marvelous, not cold. Looks like great fun, go try it or go look http://www.illovo.co.za/ Click on Mountain bike challenge.
How about this one:
http://www.nationalindoorrowingchallenge.com/ Wow! A mouth full. It is all happening on the 23 September and it looks like a mighty good event. If you don't want to participate, to just go and have a peep. If rowing is your other sport, the challenge is on!
I found the most amazingly little sunscreen wipes the other day at Bruce Reyneke Cycles. Absolutely handy little sachet. Tear it open and viola! your little sunscreen Factor 30 wipe inside. Wipe your face and all other sun-exposed parts. No more creams, oils or messy half used sunscreen bottles. Oh!Zone is the product name and it is from the Wellbeing Company. The website is http://www.zonerange.com/ but seems to be out of range.
A whole new range of sports wear has come onto the market and it really looks superb. It is smart designing, combined with technical fabrics which will definitely improve your performance. It is not a brand for all sports but concentrates on swim wear, cycling and triathlon wear. Good bye to the baggy cycling shirts and not so nicely fitting shorts. Go try, go see, go shop at http://www.slick.co.za/.
An Internet sport site just for girls. The site was developed by Kass Naidoo and her husband Ryk Meiring. Kass, Kass, Kass, I hear you saying. Yes, Kass the woman cricket commentator, awards handing overer, man of the match announcer. Aaah, that Kass. Go woman, go sport, go http://www.gsport.co.za/. The site will be one year old in September with their first sport's woman of the year award, I think coming up in August.
Well that is it for now. Let me know of any other, site sport wise or otherwise you think is worth looking into.

2 Jul 2007

Central Gauteng Cycling

Just to go back a few paces-For the last race we entered (The Winter Challenge), we all had to pay in an extra R30 for a temporary licence so we could participate in the cycle race. Now we all know that is the way it works when you're a runner. But, we are not runners and therefore it came as a nasty shock to us all to have to pay up, when we thought we have paid up!
It didn't come as a pre-warning, no, just slam bang, pay or no ride!

So I have done some homework and this is what I've found:

"To monitor and manage cyclists in Gauteng all cyclists need to be licensed to participate in all sanctioned events, such as the Pick n Pay 94.7 Cycle Challenge as from January 2007. The following licences are valid for entry into any sanctioned events and are available as stated.
Temporary Licenses will be issued to cyclists by Central Gauteng Cycling who wish to participate on an ad hoc basis in sanctioned events. A Temporary Licence holder may be seeded in the event based on their seeding index. Only TWO Temporary Licenses will be issued to any cyclist during the course of the year. The cost of a temporary license is R. 30.00 and once again please contact Gail Heuvel at 011 707-2734."
Download a full copy of the letter here.

It looks like we will have to pay up and I think pay up before the race would be the better option, otherwise we will have to stand in queues at race registration and fill in forms and pay up then. As they do mention the 94.7, pay up now. By the way, the end of 94.7 will be again at the Equestrian Estate, meaning we will end with an uphill again and race registration is again at Sandton Convention centre. OOHH NOOO! You do remember last year when everyone quickly left the office to go register, just to find them hours later still on the escalators leading into the registration hall. Maybe they will still change it, but check the latest on www.highveld.co.za

Gauteng North Cycling is yet to say anything or something. Try not to go to their website as I think the last entry has been made in 2005. Let sleeping dogs lie.

1 Jul 2007

The Middle of Winter Ride

I think one can say that the 15th July is the middle of Winter. One and a half months before, brings one to the 1st June and one and half months after, brings one to end of August. How's that for shortening winter for you.
To shorten it even more and to bring a little spring into your step, we're organising a fun ride again. It is going to happen on Sunday 15th July, and you can decide how much riding you would like to do, about 30km or about 70km. The route is a very safe route with a broad yellow line to cycle in, and yellow bicycles painted on the road so as to warn motorists to keep out of our lane. To make it even safer we are having a sweeper vehicle traveling with us, to keep in touch with everyone and if you do, for some or other reason struggle a bit, the vehicle will be there for you to get on, or to get help from.
Where: At the Kromdraai area. We will park our cars at the entrance of the road leading to the Glenburn Lodge.
Time: We will be leaving at 8:30. If you're not sure how to get there, be at the gym by 7:30 and follow us.

Here is the map of the area. The cycling route is marked in orange.

We will be starting at nr C12on the map, which is the entrance of the road leading to Glenburn Lodge. We will then go in the direction of C11 and turn left at the T-junction. Follow this road all the way to the next T-junction, turn left again. Just past the Lion and Rhino park we will turn left again. You will now get to a circle. At the circle you can opt to do a longer route and turn right, or the shorter route and go straight on till you get to where you have parked your car.

The longer route will now go through Mulders Drift, under the N14 Highway bridge until you get to the M5 road. Turn left onto the M5 and keep on straight doing a second lap of the first part of the route. Here you have once again a choice of doing a shorter route by turning left at the Kromdraai turn off. For the die hards, keep going, you are now doing your second lap. Just after the Lion and Rhino park we will turn left and then at the circle go straight ahead to where we have parked the cars.
Sounds just like cycling and nothing else? Never, not when you go with Bulla. The best part is still to come. Nr C11 on the map is Pete-Z-Area restaurant where we will have a fantastic lunch and beers and lots of talks. Here you will be able to build your own pizza with a big enough selection of toppings to add and in whichever quantities you would like to add. They will bake it in their wood ovens and wheelbarrowed it to your table. Sounds good, doesn't it. Well it is definitely going to happen. I will have to make reservations at the restaurant for us so I will need to know by Friday 6th July if you are going or not. Don't think about it, just do it. It's going to be fun.
OK, so your family would like to join you for lunch but would like to skip the exercise part. Our cycling route forms part of the Crocodile Ramble in the Cradle of Humankind and there are tons to go to and see, from tea gardens, plant parks, crafts and art. So they can ramble around while you cycle and meet up with you for lunch. Sounds like a mighty good idea. http://www.theramble.co.za/ is the site to go to and check it all out.

27 Jun 2007

It Was Tough!

The Winter Challenge

And so, once again, Bulla was out in full force to conquer the mighty Winter Challenge. And what a tough challenge it was.

The alarm went off at 5:45............damn, it was suppose to go off at 4:45. We were suppose to be on the road at 5:45, bikes packed and stacked on the trailer. So after running around like nuts, we left in record time. Because this was to be an unique event of 70km tar and 30km dirt, we had to get our Mountain bikes in the change over area before the start of the race. Decisions, decisions, long gloves, another pair of arm warmers, leg warmers, bare legs.... and we were off!

The course was hilly; rolling hills, long climbing hills, lung breakers and there were two laps of it. We made it, still feeling fairly strong, getting to the change over as quickly as possible. And there the other challenge started. Which way Douglas Green? No, no, walk over the lawn pushing your bike. You're not allowed to ride it yet. OK Mam, you've been ticked off our list, now please follow the others. Which others, where? I did manage to sort of find the start just to find myself later on a very narrow hiking trail going up a steep mountain with a vertical drop of a few hundred metres just to my right. No wonder they planted the first aid guys with stretchers and equipment there. Beautiful view but no time for the view because I forgot to pack my hiking boots and my mountain bike was definitely not made for walking, because it kept on shoving its pedals against my calf muscles. More climbing and dragging my bike, up and up.
The down was almost as bad and I decided to save myself from a good possibility of a fall and to rather walk the steep down as well, except my bike decided he would like to go for a gallop and I had to use every arm muscle to reel him in and keep him from flying downhill without me.
At last there came the time for getting on my bike and start cycling again. Except this time it was against the electric fence. One too many a stone and you might end up in a shocking state. At last we hit the tar road again, but is that where I wanted to be?
Confusion at the gate. Between waving marshals and cars leaving and spectators welcoming in there loved ones, I miraculously did find the start of the second lap. Yes, a second lap. Nobody told us, but here I was again dragging my bike up the mountain.
I did find the end, it was there where the timing mat was, and my medal and my friends waiting for me with cold beers, soft juicy lamb on a bread roll listening to their story of their race.
It was tough. I'm sure the organisers will sort out the mountain bike part. In all we had fun.

Some other news
  • The Bulla shirts have been ordered and hopefully we will have them soon. Will keep you posted.
  • The cheaper price on the 16:30 class is falling away from 1st July. You will still get your classes at a very good price. R220 for 11 classes.
  • There is still time to enter for the Tshwane lap race around the Union Buildings.
  • Remember your next booking is just a sms away.
  • A new poll all about music. What is it that you listen to? Let us know, bring some Cd's and we will try to programme them into a class.
  • Watch this space for news on an organised ride on Sunday 15 July. With sweep vehicle, beer and sandwiches.

10 Jun 2007

The middlest day of the year

The middlest day of the year? Well almost! It happened so quickly. We were still talking about the Argus, and now we are already talking about the first preparations for the 94.7. In the meantime there are quite a few other things we could do during the bbbbbrrrrrr months to help keep our fitness at top levels.

For those who wanted to .... and was still thinking of ...... and was still wondering if, ......... you should enter for the Winter Challenge. Well, sad to say it is too late. By the time you read this, entries have closed. The Winter challenge is a brand new race combining road and dirt, either as an individual entry or as a team entry. I will put you in the picture after the event to tell you all about it, what it was like and if it is a worthwhile entry for next year. All happening on Sunday the 24th June. Ok, so you have missed out on one event, please don't let it happen again!

You only have one week left to enter for the 702 Walk the Talk! Go to http://www.702.co.za/ click on the Walk the Talk logo and enter. We were 11 people last year from the gym walking the 21km. Really good healthy fun we had throwing in a couple of beers afterwards, licking our wounds. There are different distances to enter for, so log on, enter and we'll see you there, on Sunday 22 July. In the 5 and 8km event you are allowed to take your dog along. At registration you will get a free dog collar, and lead and a sample of dog food, all sponsored by Royal Canin. So if you don't want to walk the long distance, but would rather have your dog doing the healthy bit, please enter now!

Is there anyone that would like to take Ruby for a walk?

Still more to do in July.

For those interested in Mountain biking, there is the Medscheme Walkerville event taking place on the 15th July. 70km only. They are talking of the "mother of all hills" and of "carrying your bike down". But then, I can tell you things like that, because we have no faint hearted people here in the gym. So log onto http://www.cyclelab.co.za/ and enter.

Then on the 29th July, the Tshwane -Outsurance lap race around the Union buildings is taking place. 35km for the shorter route and 77km for the longer event. What really makes this a stunning event is that the pros keep on passing you on the laps and you can have a glimpse of their power, speed and ability. Now that is so close at home, it is basically on your doorstep, and if you don't enter for that, I gather you are hibernating and not planning to do anything until Spring shows itself and a few extra rolls around the hips!
See you out there, if it is running, cycling or just walking. Just do it!

To all the Comrades in the gym, may it go well on D-Day!

Tip of the month: Just do it!

27 May 2007

The Bulla Cycling shirt

Here it is again, after great public demand, the Bulla Cycling Shirt!

We will once again put an order in for the Bulla Cycling shirt. So don't delay, measure up and pay.

Because we are making use of the same design as last year, we can get the shirts slightly cheaper, at R310.00 a shirt. I'm also including a measuring table according to Anatomic's sizes and measurements, BUT I would suggest that if you are not 100% sure of the size to get, try an Anatomic shirt on at the various cycling shops and compare it to the size you're normally wearing. Once we've ordered the shirt and you have paid for it, we can't send it back.

Orders will be taken (with full payment please) till the end of June or when we see that everyone has ordered their shirt. It will then take approximately another 4 weeks for the delivery of the shirts.

We are looking into the possibility of having a hospitality tent available to Bulla at the major events, where you can have a chair and table and drinks and eats. The prerequisite will be the wearing of the Bulla Shirt. Another great reason to get your shirt now.

The Birthday Ride

They were all there at Kitty Hawk. It was a cloudy morning, the first winter chill in the air but nobody wanted to miss the event. They borrowed bicycles, helmets, pedals and even cars to fit the bikes in and on. It was to be their first ride on a bicycle since school days. They had to try it just once again, to feel the wind in their faces. " Once you've learned how to ride a bike, you don't forget that" has become true to them. The smiles on their faces said it all.

After some wobbly starts we all made it to the main road, having to dodge a little red plane and not a car! We soon learned that some had to learn again which side was the left side of the road and that the newer kind of bicycles all had gears. "It feels like a spinning class, we're just moving!" and "this helmet really does feel strange" were just some of the comments from the "new cyclists".

By the way, who has right of way, planes or bicycles?

It was just such a different scene, having breakfast, watching planes taking off and landing. Little things with Pick 'n Pay trolley like wheels and sounding like lawnmower engines. I know the experts will be able to tell me in great detail about little engines and gravity and the rest, but to me they were little wonders taking off and staying in the air.
The venue was just great! Coming in from the ride in the cold, the warmth from the log fire was just the right thing for frozen finger tips. Well, needless to say, after so much fresh air and leg pumping we had to attack the scrumptious breakfast. And it was a feast indeed!

Till next year's Birthday Breakfast!

14 May 2007

Bullamakanka Spinning turns 8!

The gym turned 8 years old and we had fun!

Being a birthday party, it was also the time for the gym to show appreciation to the clients for their valued support, so we had a guy gift and a girl gift ready. One year's subscription to Men's Health and to Shape magazine.

And the winner is: Gerhard!

He certainly does look very pleased with his gift.

And the other winner is: Estie!

And some of the other friendly people who attended the party were, Janine and Michelle!

It is wonderful to see and hear the people's enthusiasm about getting new bikes and entering for cycle races, be it mountain biking or road racing. So well done to the two girls here who each got themselves new bikes and taking on new challenges. We are impressed and cheering you on.

There is a new mini poll up. Have you lost any weight through spinning? Yes? No? Tell us about it, or take a vote. It does give us some indication of what is working for you.

If you still Um-ing and aaah-ing about entering the Bela Bela cycle race, time is running out.

We'll see you at our next event, the Bulla Breakfast Ride from Kitty Hawk, Sun 20 May at 8:00

3 May 2007

Important dates!

Very Important dates are following. Open your diaries and be part of what is happening here at Bulla.

The New Look!

We are celebrating the "new look"of the gym. Be there on Friday 11th May at 18:00. At the same time we will also celebrate the gym's birthday. We are now 8 years old and still going strong. The "new look"celebration will be in the form of a cheese and wine (or beer, if you don't drink wine) and a plate of eats, or biscuits or cheese or surprise us. Old clients, bring your stories of when you started here, what was it like, who used to be your instructors. Would be quite interesting to listen to your views and memories of the old gym.

Breakfast ride from Kitty Hawk

The yearly breakfast ride is taking place on Sunday 20 May at 8:00. Why always a Sunday? Simple reason, the roads are quieter and therefore safer for wobbly legs and bicycles. This is not a race but a gentle, social ride, for all those that haven't been on a bicycle since the age of 3 and would like to try it again. So this is your chance to see if spinning is indeed helping you to stay fit or not. Dust off your bike, oil the chain, bum in saddle and join us!
We will be leaving from the Kitty Hawk flying club, which is on the Boschkop road, at 8am. We will do a 10km out ride, turn around and all the way back again, 20km in all. Not a marathon at all!
Once safely back, we will enjoy a scrumptious breakfast, which will include: Juice, scrambled eggs, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, fried onions, toast! All for just R35p/p.

RSVP: Thursday 17May-12:00

Bela Bela

The Bela Bela race is taking place on Saturday 26 May. Enter now online at http://www.cyclelab.co.za/ We will all meet afterwards at the lovely O'Hagans to celebrate the ride, have a couple of beers; chat and just sommer have fun.'

For the more serious Mountain Biker!

On Sunday 3 June at 8am we will do a 100km mountain bike ride. Anyone thinking they are fit enough, please join us on the ride. We had a lovely ride last year with about 10 riders completing the route. We are in training for the Baviaans Marathon and do need company on the road. If you don't want to do the whole route, but would like to ride only part of the route, please arrange your own support vehicle-that is if you would need one. Also have enough food and drink with you.

Be part of our special days!

22 Apr 2007

Face of the month

Well done to Elzet for completing a 6 hour solo ride!
I think the picture at the end says it all!
Pure determination through sun, sand and rocks, gritting her teeth and making it in style.

Elzet is actually a runner and not a cyclist. She has done about 300 races of which the Ficksburg Cherry festival (23km) and the Nylstroom race ( 28km) are her favourites. She has also swam the Midmar Mile a couple of times, but, she says she will never do the Comrades, it is just too far!

She has been part of the gym now,for almost 2 years. Here is what she had to say:

Linker brein by uitstek.......geen verbeelding of kreatiwiteit nie.

Sport: Swem

Hardloop (verkieslik saam met my optel-hond, Lisa)

Spin en nou en dan buitelug fietsry.

Gunsteling aktiwiteite:

Perd Ry

Hike en biekie bergklim


Hardloop al vir ongeveer 10jaar, het eers op universiteit begin hardloop en sosiaal deel geneem aan wedlope. Doen dit absoluut vir die lekker daarvan! Is glad nie "competitive" nie. Genot is die hoof doel!

Het seker al ongeveer 300 wedlope gedoen, waarvan die Ficksburg Kersiefees 23km en die Nylstroom 28km van my gunsteling wedlope is en enige Cross Country. Het ook al die Midmar myl 'n paar keer geswem en 'n Duathlon gedoen. Hardloop is egter my gunsteling.

Wil NOOIT die Comrades doen nie, dis hopeloos te ver!!!

Het begin spin om variasie in my oefenprogram te bewerkstellig en dit het na amper 2 jaar onherroeplik deel van my oefenprogram geword-het selfs 'n spinfietsie aangeskaf om by die huis voor die TV ook te kan peddle! En het vriende ook bygekry!

Het net 'n bergfiets en verkies ook meer die off-road as die pad, maak my bang al hierdie Gauteng verkeer.........

Na een glas rooiwyn te veel het ek my begewe in die deelname aan die Baviaans se MTB in Augustus.......dit het noodwendig gelei tot 'n 6 uur solo ry in die Colour Press se MTB in Parys tydens die Paas naweek. Ek was so bekommerd oor my sitvlak, dat ek nooit oor enige ander liggaamsdeel bekommerd was nie.....amper 2 weke na die wedren kon ek steeds nie hande ten volle gebruik nie! Al die geklouery aan die fiets het sy tol ge-eis! Gerda het my nie gewaarsku nie......tipies. Moet se, dit was heerlik om haar en Rodney vir die volgende 6 ure te support en nie met die boud op die saal te sit nie!

Om te oefen is deel van wie ek is en ek doen dit vir niks en niemand behalwe myself nie, dit is al hoe ek my kop kan 'skoon' kry na 'n lang dag op kantoor voor die rekenaar en veeleisende kliente. Balans is natuurlik baie belangrik en ek ooreis myself nie sommer nie-less is more- soos Bruce Fordyce altyd se!

Wat ek nog wil doen:

Die Knysna 21.1km

Two Oceans 21.1km

Harrysmith berg wedloop

Himalayas tot by Everest Base Camp 18dae klim


Sport gear brand: Nike

Drink: Sprite 0

Kos: Pizza en hoender

Drankie: Chivas Whisky en goeie rooiwyn

TV: Enige sport, CSI & Everwood

Musiek: Enige iets, solank dit sag op die oor is....

Wiele: Audi ofkors en 'n goeie 4x4......

What have we been up to?

This is the April newsletter and the first bit of May too. I know it is not quite on time, but my PC was playing up a bit. I will therefore jam pack it with loads of interesting bits and pieces.

We were in Paris!! Or was it Parys??

Firstly, the long weekend of the 7th April, a few musketeers from the gym set off to break some personal records. They were taking part in a mountain bike 6 hour solo lap race and a 12hour 2man team lap race. What is a lap race? The course was a 5.9km ride over all sorts of terrain, rocky, sandy and the BRIDGE, which we had to do over and over and over, lap after lap after lap. We had a wonderful support team, cheering us on and who made sure we had enough to eat and drink and sunscreen and lip ice etc. In the 2man lap race the 2 team members were not allowed to be more than 2min apart, meaning , riding together. So that was a good lesson for some and a hard lesson for others. The 12 hour race did include some night riding and it was a very good opportunity to check our lights for the Baviaans Marathon.

There was on the course a deep sandy ditch which we had to manoeuvre ourselves through every time we did a lap. Our support team was there to capture our different styles. Firstly, the "I wanna be a pro":

Then the "I can walk faster than I can ride":

And "oops......... aaaaggghh.......eina.......":

Great news is that the face of the gym will change, hopefully by the beginning of May. The garage doors will be exchanged for real sliding, folding doors and am sure will look just so much better. Of course the gym is also 8years old this year and with the new look we will have to celebrate. So keep your ears to the ground and your diaries ready for the announcement of a big celebration! The date will be set as soon as the gym is upgraded.

Very exciting news too is that some of the spinners are now at last also trying to fit a ball class in. So congratulations to the new faces at ball class. It is great isn't it?!! If you haven't tried a ball class yet, it is all about core stability, muscle toning and strengthening and of course sport orientation. Give it a go and tell me what you think.

The BelaBela is the next road race coming up, on the 26th May, a Saturday. It is a fairly easy ride with only 2 little hills. Only 98kms or so, no real mountains and a fantastic O'Hagans at the end. It would be nice to see a whole road full of Bulla participants and because the race is just at the beginning of winter, a very good time to keep that body into shape.

Talking of winter. That is the time for soups, sweets and sherry and unfortunately adding weight to the shape. Don't fall into that trap. Stick to your regular time slots and keep on training. After all, you are doing it for yourself!

Not such good news is that one of our regular ride together friends has been involved in an accident. He is in hospital waiting to be operated on. Keep going Peter Kemp, we are all watching you and willing you on to health again.
New on the blog is the mini poll. Vote please and tell us what you think. Also if you think of a relevant question to ask, please do. We will put it on the mini poll and see what the people have to say.

Tip of the month: Keep training, you are doing it for yourself.

9 Apr 2007

And the winner is.......


Now we know what he is doing while we all spin like crazy! He is watching every one's feet or is it shoes.
The first picture is Riaan's cycling shoes.
Second picture was Mario's and the third you all guessed it, Hano and Gerda's.
Christo is our first winner on our blog and he won himself an entry ticket to Northern Farms to the value of R120. Sure he will enjoy the rides there.

We do have another competition lined up. Two of our regular spinners Tanya and Francois Dekker are moving to Sabie. They have donated their unused spinning card (except for 1 class) to the gym. So it is up for grabs! 10 classes can be yours for free! Value of the prize is R200.

Here is the question: In the recent 12h event held in Parys, the Bulla team came?

Click on "comment", fill in your answer, and hopefully you will be the winner.

Night Riding

Night riding is different and fun - and we have done night riding on the Colorpress 24 and 12 hr and on the Baviaans. For night riding it is very important to have good lights, and to ride a bit slower - except if you are young and fearless as some of the people on the Colorpress 12/24 hr were.

There are a whole range of lights available for night riding, although it is difficult to get some of the good (and expensive) lights in South Africa. Common brands appear to be Cat Eye, Night Sun, Night Rider and BLT. We use NightHawk lights - the older digital emitter on the Baviaans and now the new K2 digital emitter as well. These lights were excellent.

The main problem with night lights are the power (or light produced) and the battery life. Many of the Halogen lights give excellent light - up to 30W. But, these lights usually only last 2 or 3 hours, and are not suitable for a 6 or 12 hour night ride.

The more common lights are High Intensity Diode (HID) systems, which give longer burn times. The older NightHawk digital emitter is equivalent to about a 10W halogen and has a burn time of about 8 hours using Lithium AA batteries (which can be replaced during the ride if necessary). The new K2 digital emitter produces 20W for just under 5 hours or 10W for just under 12 hours using a rechargeable battery pack! That’s more than enough to get one through the night.

Although more expensive, the digitally controlled lights are far superior. Conventional lights get dimmer as the batteries loose power, but the digitally controlled lights keep a constant brightness throughout the ride (but shorter burn times) - it's not much good to have your lights only half as bright halfway through the ride!

Another factor to take into account is whether the lights should be mounted on the handlebars or on the helmet (or both). A handlebar mounted light provides a stable view of the track in front of your front wheel - but does not let you see around a bend until you have taken the bend! A helmet mounted light allows one to scan from side to side. Most riders use both handlebar and a helmet mounted lights. An 8 LED DuraStar headlight is a good option for a helmet mounted light.

Another tip - single track and jeep track riding is more difficult than dirt roads at night. Remember, try to get around in one piece - we had some hard falls on the Baviaans and on the 12hr!

Some useful information on night riding and on bike lights can be found on the
Biking Hub and MountianBikeAZ.

But - if you are still confused about what light to get, you could
make your own, or even try one of these.