31 Mar 2010

Argus 2010

And so, after lots of training and racing, we were as ready as ever to tackle the Argus 2010. The weather was beautiful, the restaurants deliciously evil, the wines better than ever, and the wind........on race day.......... almost as bad as in 2009. Sigh......

But we, the Bulla Team don't worry about the wind. We had a good time. Campsbay was the Head Quarters and we started off with a delicious breakfast, enjoying the scenery and watching the people passing by. Friends dropped in at HQ and we just had to celebrate that.
Breakfast turned slowly into lunch while the 12 apostles were frowning on our eating habits.

More friends dropped in at HQ and we had to lift a glass of wine in their honour.
We ate some more, and watch as the day drew to a close with the most beautiful sunsets. If you missed out this year on the Argus, just make up your mind not to miss it again. How could you with a sunset like this.

The next morning we got confronted by the howling South Easter. I tried not to think about the wind, but rather concentrated on the people around me, like these jockeys.
I still don't like Boyes Drive, and was swearing under my breath about uncompleted road works. The rest of the route with the beautiful scenery made up for it. The end was a bit like a construction site and we had to go from here to there to here to there to here. I'm sure next year will be a total different end with the stadium at Greenpoint completed. At the end we got welcomed by the rest of the Bulla Team already in.   
The huge beer tent was crowded, loud, boisterous, filled with tired cyclists, sweaty cyclists and grinning family members. Some fairies also came in.......... 
We ended this wonderfully jam-packed day with a scrumptious meal and get-together at the Brass Bell. All the stories were told and retold accompanied by more eating and more wine. Will I do it again? What a question. See you next year!

10 Mar 2010

Wear a Black Band

The cycling community is shocked by the killing of 3 cyclists outside of Oudsthoorn. Their last training ride for the Argus Cycle Tour. It is for this same reason that The Argus Cycle Tour was initiated by a couple of friends, and that was 32 years ago. A lot can be said about what has government, municipalities et al done to find harmony between motorists and cyclists.

I don't want to go that route but would rather ask, what have we as cyclists done to make sure we have a safe ride. Don't point a finger, rather find solutions. Make things work, get involved.

I urge my Spinning Gym and all other cyclists to wear a black arm band on Argus Sunday (14 March) to show solidarity that we want to find solutions, that we want to be able to cycle safely and to show empathy with the families.

Wear the band!
Cycling South Africa (CSA) has responded with the following:
Press Release


Wednesday 10 March 2010


Thousands of the 35000 entrants of Sunday’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour will wear black armbands to show a collective sorrow at the death of three cyclists hit by a motorist outside Oudtshoorn on Monday morning.

Frank Nel (60), Jan Elloff (73) and Magda van Lill (50) died instantly when the bunch they were riding in was hit by a bakkie overtaking a truck on the R62, nine kilometres outside Oudtshoorn.

“This is yet another tragic incident which could have been avoided,” said Hendrik Lemmer, Director of Cycling South Africa’s Road Cycling Commission.

“On behalf of Cycling South Africa, I’d like to extend condolences to the families of those cyclists who died. I also want them to know that our appeal to cyclists to wear black armbands in the Cycle Tour on Sunday is more than a sign of our collective sorrow, it’s a commitment to do something about the lack of general awareness of cyclists on our roads.”

Lemmer says that Cycling South Africa is committed to working with the authorities to make the roads safer for cyclists.

“It’s not something that can be done overnight, because it’s a matter of raising awareness and changing attitudes,” explained Lemmer. “But we’re determined to succeed. We have the most active recreational cycling culture in the world and it’s growing daily as more and more people discover the health and fitness benefits of the sport. On behalf of all cyclists in this country, I appeal to motorists to please be more aware.”

On Tuesday, it was announced that one of South Africa’s top professional cyclists, Daryl Impey, had become a patron of Sign-Up, a national campaign aimed at raising funds to erect more government-approved ‘beware cyclist’ signs along popular cycling routes throughout the country.

“I think cyclists and motorists need to begin by obeying the laws of the road,” said Impey. “Cyclists need to realise we are not owners of the roads and vice versa. I believe we (the cyclists) should set an example for others to follow. It takes one second to slow down but also one second to kill someone, mutual respect is what we need.”

Impey races on Lance Armstrong’s Radioshack team and is a rising star on the international cycling stage. He is currently in the country accompanying Armstrong during his visit this week to Cape Town in conjunction with the JAG Foundation. Both will compete in Sunday’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour, which, in terms of numbers, is the world’s largest cycle race.

“It is great to have Daryl as an ambassador and patron of Sign-Up and it will hopefully bring us much deserved exposure’, said Shaun Hannie, founder and chairman of Sign-Up.

“At this time, this is the only national cyclist awareness campaign in South Africa and it’s completely reliant on sponsorship and donations. Frustratingly, we can’t brand national road signs with corporate logos, but we appeal to companies that support cycling to support Sign-Up. One extra sign could safe one cyclist’s life…”

To find out more about Sign-Up and its initiatives, visit www.sign-up.co.za


Wear the band!

Some statistics of cyclists fatalities in 2008

             GA   KZ   WC   EC   FS   MP    NW   LI   NC   RSA
 Bicycle 77  22  47  20  14  26  51  24  7  288

Information from Arrive Alive!

1 Mar 2010

The Argus and the Baviaans

Goodness Gracious! It is March already. I hope that you have by now slotted yourself into a nice training programme.
Lots have been happening here at the gym. The bike workshop with Gert was a huge success as was the Urban Assault. We’ve also done a couple of good training rides as well as some racing, road and dirt. The most successful was the Ride for Sight with many participants from the gym.

Argus 2010
We wish all the riders taking part in this year’s Cape Argus, a wonderful ride with a lot less wind than last year. Go fast, but go safe!

The gym will be closed from Fri. 12/3 – Mon. 15/3. Classes will run normally again from Tues 16/3. Just a reminder that Mon 22/3 is a public holiday and that the gym will be closed. And then in April, the gym will also be closed during the Easter long weekend Fri 2/4-Mon 5/4.

Baviaans MTB Challenge: 14/15 August.
I’ve received a lot of interest for the Baviaans this year. It is a mountain bike marathon starting in Willowmore to Jeffrey’s Bay. 230km in 24hrs! Willowmore is a tiny little town in the Karoo and accommodation is scarce. I’m busy organising accommodation and if you are definitely sure you want to do this, speak to me URGENTLY otherwise I’ll have to leave you to find your own accommodation. Accommodation in the school hostel is available with thin mattresses and rickety beds and 2-drip showers. I’m looking for something a little more comfortable. I’ve put a list of sorts together. If you don’t understand all the technical talk, please ask.

You will need:
A Mountain Bike with shocks. (Dual suspension an added bonus).
Bike lights- Rodney is the man to talk to.
Chain links
Spare Batteries/ Battery packs
Tubes/pump/CO2 bommers
Cable Ties
Duct tape
Camel bag /Bottles
First Aid Pack
Multi tool
Chain breaker

Rain jacket
Extra cold jacket
Leg warmers/ long cycling pants
Toasties socks
Gloves: short/long/rain
Undergarments: Nike/Canterbury/second skin
Cycling shoes, maybe extra pair for wet weather.
Buff/winter buff/balaclava
Extra set of riding clothes for change over.

Energy bars
Biltong/Dry wors
Energy drinks.
Lots of food and drink are available at all the checkpoints. You just need extra for in between checkpoints.

Remember: It is not what you’ve got, but how you train, that counts.