28 Feb 2008

The Argus Line Up

Well, after lots of training and preparations, the big day is almost here. Here is the line up of riders from the gym. Wish them well and be there next year!
Albert: Has done 21 Argus Cycle Tour rides and is now on nr 22! Well done! His advice to me for when I'm doing a standing climb is: It is only painly for the first 21 sec, after that you're on a roll.......
Lotte: Thanks for the call and telling me of the other gym's training....... gggrrrrrr. Hope it'll go well

Talitha: Joining us as a spectator this year. Thanks for that Talitha! We'll see you at the beer tent

Christo: The Fast One! Hope you'll break the Sub 3 mark this year. Good Luck!

Andre: Second Argus Ride and hopefully under 4hours. Hope this is ssso good that you don't want to miss the next one
Corne: This is a man with a challenge. He is sure he is going to beat me this year by 20min. The bet is R400's worth of alcoholic beverages. I told him I like Chenin Blanc, Merlot and Absolut Vodka. Keep your fingers crossed people, for the winner....... we will see by next week Sunday.
Zoe: You know what, every year is different. When it's windy it is more difficult ...........
Francois: Very quiet this year..... expect a good time
Rodney: It's just my legs...... they don't seem to go faster.........busy doing a scientific study of wind conditions on the coast of Cape of Good Hope! Is it now 7km/h or 7m/h or 7sec/h NNW turning SSE and by the halfway mark ..........

Hano: Has done the Sabie Subaru recently and declared the mountains in the Cape as flat...A little hill, maybe just a koppie, like in the Free State.........

Thys and Michelle: Always cycling together

Gerda: Done 11 Argus Rides. Wonder if I'll be able to stay 20min ahead of Corne. And the glasses?........ so I can see better my dear........from the 3 pigs and a wolf
Pauline: Third Argus or is it the 4th. But very well prepared. Watch this time.......First time riding for the Bulla Team and she might form part of the Bulla Baviaans team this year. Taking great strides, or is it pedal strokes....
Etienne: for ever travelling but such a bike fixer if ever needed one. Very fast and consistent times this year. Will see what the Argus holds for him

Jacques Gryzenhout, Jacques Rossouw, Susan Rossouw, Albert Jacobs, Georgine Jacobs, Carl Trieloff, Jason Rose who once again has been called to duties: I don't have pics of you, but sure you will have a fun time. Have an Absolute fun ride. See you at the end at the beer tent! We are honestly waiting till the last guy is in. Enjoy! See you in Cape Town.
For all the sorry souls staying behind... the gym will be closed as all instructors are down there, where it is happening... Cape Town. Closed on Thursday 6 March-opening again 11 March at 6am.

18 Feb 2008

Ride for Sight 2008

I will publish the latest results of the Dischem Ride for Sight on the blog as soon as I get all the riders' info. Dischem was the official sponsor of this ride this year, after it was sponsored for many many years by Liberty Life.
Remember the blue t-shirt in the goodie bag with the eye on the front? Well, no more. But go to any gym and you'll find guys wearing a T-shirt stating, Liberty Ride for Sight 2005, 2006, 2007.

Good ride, although after the windy VW Herald I was sort of second best. Very good times I have to mention though is our star, Christo with a 3:13 and Pauline who has improved her time by many minutes racing over the line with a 4:11. She claims it is spinning and ball classes which have improved her times. Try it!
A lot of new comers to the gym also racing. Watch the result page with new names.
The next ride is Macsteel Ride this coming Sunday, starting at Carnival City. You can still do a late entry.
See you at the gym or the Macsteel Ride

12 Feb 2008

The Wind

Port Elizabeth in South Africa,or PE for short, is known as the friendly city. I have to agree and say it was quite amazing to have strangers walking up to you and starting conversations as if they have known you for years. But PE is also known as the windy city!

We went down to do the VW Herald cycling race, a 105km event. Needless to say it was as usual, just fun. We were quite excited to try our new bike bags, so already the week before, the bikes got bubble wrapped and was ready for the flight. Of course we had to rent a car on the other side and was not sure how we would fit the bikes in a small VW Chico. We had a good flight and so had the bikes. The bike bags were marked as "fragile" and we had no problems dropping them off as luggage or collecting them again. And, best of all, both bikes and luggage fitted into the Chico. Amazing, isn't it.

Back to the race........

Friends took us by car to show us the route the day before the race. What can I say, it is really a beautiful route. For those who have done the popular Argus cycling tour, it is not as difficult, I thought, but the howling South Easter at 26km/h made us shiver in our cycling shoes. So the day dawned with a howling wind, a little less than the day before, but still howling. Some locals swear on a web site where they get the best info for races http://www.windfinder.com/. We did go to the site the night before and just the mere thought cycling in that kind of weather, made us dream of ........ palm trees bending over by the wind, ..........

What can I say? ... It was tough, especially the part where my group dropped me already after 5km. And I thought I was fit. We did pass the most scenic sites, the sea, friendly people cheering us on, always accompanied by the wind. We all finished in style, (if you can call wind a style) but what I cherised about this ride was the fact that the organisers tried to keep the interest of the crowd and make them want to stay till the end when the last person came in. And so there we were standing or sitting on the tar road cheering the last person in. That felt good.
A glorious weekend! I would love to do it again, if finances allowed.

My suggestion to you: Plan new routes, new rides, keep your cycling interesting and fresh.
Just do it!
I just did it.

3 Feb 2008

Some Cycling To Do

Yes, it is so easy to read about cycling, page through the latest cycling magazine, listening to what other people have to say about their rides ......... still no ride?! Come on! Off you go, you will enjoy it! I have put a whole lot of interesting sites and rides together for you to do. On the righthand side of the blog are a number of links you only have to "click" on to get connected to. No Google search, nothing but convenience.

http://www.mtbroutes.co.za/ is all about mountainbike routes all over SA. Just click on the province and you'll find routes everywhere. This is the site I went to before my trip to the South Coast. So if you are planning a holiday to another province and you are planning to take your bike along, this site will give you all the riding info.

http://www.ar.co.za/ is for the more extreme amongst us. Adventure racing is what this site is all about. Go and see what other people are doing. Their fitness is but a dream.

http://www.mccainaddicts.co.za/ is a group of mountain bikers sponsored by the McCain food group. Very interesting site, to read about the bikers' profiles. They had two teams taking part in last year's Baviaans Mountain bike Marathon. Go to the site, "click" on News. Scroll down to Aug 2007. Click on baviaans and watch the short video.

http://www.crankymonkey.co.za/ is a site all about skills on the bike. If you are looking for people to ride with, go to this site and register and find a buddy.

Seeing that we all have to belong to a cycling club, I have opted for the Mugg and Bean club, just because they offered me a cheap option. http://www.themuggclub.co.za/ sounds like great fun. They all meet at a Mugg and Bean before rides for coffee and ditto after the rides. Sounds like something I would like. They also send out regular newsletters about their rides and new happenings. This is the mountain biking arm of Cycle Lab.

Talking about licensing.....the new licensing has been postponed till the 17th February because Cycling SA couldn't keep up with the new registrations but also because of power outages.............sounds like the old "cheque is in the post" excuse.

The Double Class on a Tuesday night from 18:30-20:00 seems to be a real hit. Some serious training is happening during that class but is still fully enjoyed by all. They are all coming back for more. Come check it out, even if it is only once.

Not too late to find a spot in the Argus line up. http://www.cycletour.co.za/ gives you the option to download the substitution form, fill it in, and send back. There is only time till 22 February to get an entry on the substitution list. If you don't know of anyone not riding, simply pop them an email stating that you would like to ride and they will try and find a number for you.

This is already the second month of the year. On par with your training/fitness?

See you on the ride, the race or in the gym.

PS. No 6am class on Friday 08/02 and no 6am class Monday 11/02. I will be taking part in the VW Herald race in PE. Will be my first race in PE. Will report back next week.

Groenkloof revamped

Well, well, well, was I nicely surprised to see the change at Groenkloof when I was eventually convinced to ride there with some friends. The last time I was there I had to fight my way over pebble round boulders and loose sand churned up by the 4x4's which were using the same trails as the mountain bikers. Some of the roads had been regraded and are in a very good condition despite all the rains of late.

More single track is also now available and there is a beautiful part among the trees where the road winds through the shadows. A nice little uphill was also build and one has to keep a sharp mind to be able to get up the sudden steep uphill and wonderful slide down on the other side of it.
The uphills are not that strenuous, but watch out for a few hair raising downhills with loose boulders and where a bit of the road has been washed away. Of course you don't have to do the tricky downhills but can opt to take the long windy road down.
More animals have been introduced into the reserve which makes it a very pleasant ride. Zebra, giraffe, blouwildebees and other buck as well.
For those who don't know, Groenkloof Nature Reserve is just passed Fountains. It has a seperate entrance, which is about 500m further on from the Fountains' entrance. The entry fee is R18 per cyclist.

Of course any good ride should end with a picnic of some sorts. Why rush home?.......... Stay for more!

Hope to see some of you out on the ride at Groenkloof.