7 Dec 2011

Riding in 2012

All the new rides and dates are out. Just have a look at the new Ride Mag and you'll start drooling. From Trans Baviaans to Trans Draak ( www.transdrakensberg.co.za ) to Stormsriver Traverse to Karoo to Coast to Argus and the Kremetart and...and....and....the Freedom Challenge and the Lesotho ride and the Cape Pioneer, to name but a few! I want to name a few, Joberg2c, Sani2c, Berg and bush, Desert Dash. Now you can name a few more. Add your favourites.

It is not so much the training which is the problem, because we are continuously doing some rides, it is more the cost of riding. Don't get me wrong, I know it does cost a fair amount to organise an event and get sponsors and water tables and a shirt and a goodie bag etc but the problem is which race to ride...or is it which ride to race...? Entry fee, driving or flying to the event, accommodation at the event if it is a bit of a distance, food and drinks, and numerous other little costs which eventually add up and will cause the minister of home finances a huge headache. The solution? I think work harder so we can ride more? 

Fantastic to have the Transdraak but it is a week before the Argus. I'm trying to get to number 21 so I can get a shirt or medal saying " She has done 21". Then, how must I make a choice between The Trans Baviaans or the Stormsriver Traverse? It is nice to take part in a new event but what about teammates who would have liked to have done their 5th Baviaans? The two events are only a few days apart. We've entered for the Stormsriver. 

I think what I need to do, is to ride as many as possible! 
Hope you have come to the same conclusion.
Ride them all!

5 Dec 2011

Year-end 2011

 So the year nose dived to an end. The pirates seemed to be all very happy about that. Thanks to everyone for the wonderful support throughout the year and coming out to celebrate.

3 Jun 2011

Day 23: More mud

Mud is mud I thought, but apparently not. You can have more mud......

1 Jun 2011

Day 22: The mud

When we were children we loved to play in the mud. Walking barefoot through it with mud squelching in between our toes, making mud cakes, working it like clay with our hands making all sorts of figurines. Some even ate it.....blegh!
Nothing has really changed. We still love to play in the mud.

31 May 2011

Day 21: The Ass

1. A mammal related to the horse. It is hardy and sure-footed, having longer ears than the horse.
2. the donkey.
3. a foolish or ridiculous pompous person.
This all according to the The New Collins Concise English Dictionary.
What I wanted to say was, they looked at him and he looked at them.  HeeeeHoooo!

30 May 2011

Day 20: In the back of your mind

It is Monday, the start of a new week. You look through your diary and sigh at all the appointments vying for time and space. While the phone is ringing non stop and voices are droning past your ears, your mind is still on the ride of the weekend, the open spaces, the scenery, the beauty of being able to ride. And in the back of your mind you keep a little space open to dwell on the next possible ride, the where and when. It puts a spring in your step, it puts a smile on your face. 

Day 19: The long road

Comrades day and my thoughts are with those athletes ticking off the kilometres one after the other. It is a long way and most of the time it is the head that drag the legs over the line. To some of us who has experienced the long open road, the longing to go back and experience it again, and again, and again is always there.

Day 18: Together

It is weekend and I have a HUGE family braai to organise. How to keep all the family warm, food ready, seating for all and not to mention parking! It did remind me of the bikes huddling together overnight on the Joberg2c. Same, same....

27 May 2011

Day 17: My bike is loaded with.....

Gone are the days that we would hop on the bike, ride to the nearest cafe and buy bread and milk, and ride back home with the bag swinging on our handle bar. (Talking about SA). Come on, be honest, who is still doing that? I still see many commuters from the outer parts of the cities riding their bikes with all sorts of things, from planks to buckets and even saw once a small cage with a chicken in it.
Ok, so seeing that we're not doing it anymore, if you had a carrier attached to your bike, what would you like to cart around?
I think I would like a chocolate cake at the back, but it would mean some careful handling of the bike..hahahaha

Photo by Silke Gruner

26 May 2011

Day 16: It's COLD

The first real cold is here in Gauteng, but I heard about snow in Barkley East. It made me think of the beautiful roads travelled last year during the Freedom Challenge. All the best to all  of this year's riders. We'll be glued to our PC screens to see what is happening to you and to watch your progress along this route. And if you do encounter snow, we'll know how cold it really is.

25 May 2011

Day 15: Happy Africa Day

Well, I wouldn't have known it is Happy Africa Day if Google didn't tell me so. Who decides that Africa will have a happy day today? Let us not go into politics or evolutionary explanations, rather let us happily ride our bikes while we are in Africa. Some little people living in Africa need better bikes. Who will make the difference?

PS. Thanks for all the votes coming through.....just a reminder that the pictures for Day 24 and Day 31 still need to be loaded...hahaha. But have fun clicking away!

24 May 2011

Day 14: Tough day in the office

Sigh...really battled a bit to get the poll of blogger.com to work, but alas, not the case. Tried to resuscitate it till late into the night. But a new poll is up and running. So, go back and vote for your favourite picture.
This is all in a day's work, and if you have a tough day in the office, why not let your mind go to the last ride, or the most beautiful one, or just riding.......mmmm nice

23 May 2011

Day 13: Choose a bike

How do you decide on the right bike for you? hahaha put them all together and pick one!
How about the purple one, naaah, the one with the basket!

22 May 2011

Day 12: Stop and smell the Roses

You can ride fast, racing to get to the end first, be on the podium, get the accolades, your name in the history books.....but what if you've missed the roses?
Stop and see...Stop and smell...

21 May 2011

Day 11: Weekend Riding

This photo tells about my likes; bikes, breads and boxers.
I love weekend riding. It can be a race, or on the mountain bike exploring a new route. I like the stop overs having a toasted sandwich or a beer after a long hot ride. Like this weekend for instance, first the road bike got loaded into the car and off to Bela Bela for a fast ride. (ok...fairly fast.) Got home, and road bike gets off loaded and in goes the mountain bike for tomorrow's ride. Looking forward to the scenery, camera at the ready.

20 May 2011

Day 10: The art of cycling

What do you see when you look at your bike? Wheels? Saddle? Handle bars? Colour? When I look at my bike, I see.......aaaah a ride. It's not so important the colour (which must be blue, but isn't), or the wheels, or the brand. To me it is the ride.

 Look through the eyes of a 6-year old and see what they see.

19 May 2011

Day 9: The Little Green Bike

Visualise: It's the beginning of the holidays or a long weekend and you've also decided to do a bit of a trek. The only thing is, you have to get passed all the traffic before you can start to enjoy your well earned break. Everything is moving at a snail pace, slowly, overloaded trucks, BIG trucks spewing out billows of smoke, sleek cars pushing their noses into the long stream of cars, making your temperature to rise into the red. Then! In front of us, the little green bike! It made my day. Somebody bought their child their first little bike. Cute! I liked the little side wheels all in green. I liked the other bike's clean water bottle, sooo new. They're gonna enjoy that!

18 May 2011

Day 8: Transporting your bicycle

Now when you transport your bicycle to the next race venue, it is normally not a problem if you have a rack of some sorts. It also doesn't really matter if the bike is put on the roof, (except when you pull the car into the garage and not taking the bike off) hanging off the rear window, standing tall on the Thule or get folded up neatly to be put inside the car, as long as the bike is comfortable. Very interesting though is when the price of the bike is more than the price of the car, which in my humble opinion is totally correct.
Remember to vote today!

17 May 2011

Day 7: Another river crossing

There are many different ways to cross a river. I like the splash through way, others prefer the tippy toe way, others like to wade slowly through barefoot and when on the other side, will sit down to dry feet (I never know where they keep the tiny, dry, rolled up towel), then put cream on and then empty sock and then empty other sock (from imaginary goggas) and then the cycling shoe after adjusting a buckle or a strap.....exhausting isn't it.
Lets face it, a river is a river is a river, it will always be wet! I must say I marvel at those Bison floating bridges they build for the Joberg2c and Sani2c. Now there you can stay dry if you stay upright. 
But, beware of the loose plank bridges and the makeshift bridges and the logs (which is mostly just 1cm too short.) When you put a foot or a wheel on them they turn nasty. 

16 May 2011

Day 6: A Newbie's first river crossing

We were all there, looking down into the passing flow of the river, very unsure of what it might do to you and what it might do to the bike. A newbie's first river crossing is normally a push through, feeling elated when arriving unscathed on the other side. I can proudly say that the newbie in this picture has progressed by leaps and bounds. Not only does water not scare her anymore, but also mud, deep sand and a hole in the tyre the size of her pinkie! Vote for her!

15 May 2011

Day 5: At the sea

There is nothing nicer than to have a set of wheels with you when on holiday. Hop on for a long slow ride ...or a shorter one. Had to stop to watch the surfers. Mmmm, bikes, sea, wind, surfers....that's a good life.

14 May 2011

Day 4: Re-Cycle

What do you do with your old bike? Do you keep it as a reminder of all the good rides you had, do you sell it, or do you recycle it? If you recycle your bike, what would you recycle it to? Spare parts or a work of art?

Day 3: Through the forests

Sorry to everyone who waited patiently for Day 3's picture to be loaded. It was the mischievous Blogger.com having a bit of a problem, but, here is Day 3 then.
I love riding through forests, to hear the trees sighing softly, leaves rustling. It is as if the volume button of the world is turned down a notch. Vote for Day 3 if you like it and any other day which takes your fancy.

Day 2: To the top

The nicest feeling when you get to the top of the mountain with heart pounding, lungs burning and shaky legs. Of course the downhill is exhilarating! So don't stop till you get to the top.

11 May 2011

Day 1 of 31 odd days of cycling pictures

I always wanted a different kind of water bottle on my bike. With my wine drinking skills I think this one should suite me just fine. Vote for day 1 if you like this picture the most.....ok, ok, wait for day 2, 3 and the rest. You can also leave some interesting comment of your own or a picture to compliment this one.

It's our Birthday!

Well, in the month of April, 13 years ago, the Bullamakanka (Bulla for short) Gym was born. Here is the story, more or less. Please be reminded that I'm now 13 years older too and might have some of the facts and details a bit mixed up or muddled.

In 1998, when Spinning was still new in SA, Bullamakanka Spinning opened its doors with 4 spinning bikes and a few friends wanting to get fit. It soon proofed to be a popular exercise and 6 spinning bikes were added to the gym. At that stage it was just a double garage with a painted cement floor, which we changed the colour of a couple of times.

Believe it or not, but the music was still tapes, those funny thin plastic things with two holes and running wheels on the inside. We ended up a couple of times with frustrated instructors reeling off strange words as they were reeling off the curled and knotted ribbon tape.

As times changed the music changed and so did the instructors. My two children, Silke and Andreas, were instructors here at the opening and for a few more years. In the beginning of 2003, Celeste, my cycling buddy, became an instructor here. Zoe took over from Silke towards the end of 2004 at a fun filled night here at the gym. It was Good Byes and Welcomes all in one. Celeste left for the USA and in her place we had Paul who also left for USA, Australia or Canada, one of those far away places. A long legged blond beauty, Henrietta, with the softest heart filled Paul’s place. After Henrietta came Carna and Abrie, a wife/husband team and in the wings, always ready to help out, was Sari.

In 2004 I went for a BOSU ball course and 7 balls were added to the gym. In 2006, three more spinning bikes were added. With the balls came core strength and mats and this year we started with Boot Camp Ball Classes and weighted balls, skipping ropes and elastic bands were added to the “torture camp”.

People have come and gone but a couple have stayed. Ansa was one of our first clients and she is still attending. Francois arrived here in 2001. Debbie and Joseph almost the same time, and they are still here. Sorette, Stefan, Michelle, Andre, Kris, Mario, Amanda, Sari, Martie, Karin, Margie and Maggie have all been here for many years and are truly the core of the gym, with many new faces being added to that core. Through the help of Rodney, the gym was transformed in 2008 to the place we have today.

Now, to celebrate this great event I will post some cycling pics on the blog for the next 31 days or so. Please vote for the best pic!

21 Feb 2011

Come ride with me

For those in the fortunate position to have a bicycle, here are a few exciting events taking place this year.

24h Southern Skies

Mountain biking: This is a 24h relay event of 7km, starting at 12noon on the Saturday and ending 12noon on the Sunday of 16-17 April. It is all happening at Parys in the Free State and an ideal event for beginner cyclists. Most of you spinning here should be able to do a 7km lap.

Teams can be made up of up to 7 members per team, or less. The start is a Le Mans start meaning the team member will have to run to his/her bike, jump on and start cycling…. don’t worry it is a very short run of only about 50m. After every lap the baton (timing chip) will be handed over to the next team member to do the next lap. This is also a very nice event to find out what night riding is all about.

For the more serious there is also a 24h solo event.

Entry fees R950/team or R280/solo rider. This event can be turned into a whole family affair, as camping facilities are available. So get your team together, maybe family against family, or 6am class against the 6pm class, or just one Bulla team taking on all the other teams. If you would like to take part, please put your name down so we can put teams together.

Kremetart 4-stage race

Road cycling: This is a 4-stage road cycling event on Saturday 4 June at Makhado Louis Trichardt. The first stage starts in the center of town, climbing out on the Soutpansberg Mountain for about 11km. A very fast down is waiting on the other side of the mountain as well as two very dark tunnels where you would have to race through. After about 52km you arrive at the first stop where they provide breakfast.

At the start of Stage 2, everyone lines up for an exact replica of the start line-up of stage 1…see you’re scratching your head here. If you’ve started in Bunch A at Stage 1, you will start every stage in Bunch A, ok. After about 48km you will arrive at the lunch stop where you will be provided with lunch.

Stage 3 starts after lunch at around 1’o clock. After about 53km you will arrive at the tea stop where you will be given a packet with sweets and cookies and other things nice.
Stage 4 starts around 4 o’clock and after about 22km you will be racing through the town towards the end. At the end waits a fantastic potjie and ice-cold beer.

This event is fantastically organised and is called the Argus of the north. Something else special about this event is that a spectator bus is organised which follows the cyclists all the way. So if you have family who would like to watch your progress, let them hop on the bus and meet you at the end of every stage. This is not a team event, and your accumulative times after every stage will be your final time for the event.

Entry fee R350 per rider for 175km and R160 for the shorter ride of 70km.

More info on http://www.kremetartcycling.co.za/ Just a word of warning. If you are planning to go, make sure you book accommodation well in advance, as space is always limited in small towns.

Trans Baviaans Marathon

Mountain biking: 240km of absolute fantastic scenery, going through the Baviaans Kloof. This is a team event of 2/3/or4 members per team. The event takes place on Saturday 13 August starting at 10:00 in the little karoo town of Willowmore and finishing at Jeffrey’s Bay. You have 24hours to complete the event, so night riding skills will be tested. At the different support stations, cyclists will be provided with food and drinks.

Entry fees: R2400 for 2-man team

R2800 for 3/ 4-man team.

Get your teams together and start training, as this is not for the faint hearted. Book accommodation early because space is very limited. Rodney is looking for a team member to do his 5th ride with, so please let me know if you want to ride.

More info on http://www.transbaviaans.co.za/