"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Heritage Day Cycle Challenge

Anette and I did another cycle race last week. 24 September is Heritage Day here in South Africa and a public holiday. We made it a long weekend and that's partly to blame for my lack of posting.

I forgot to take the camera to the race! This was not good as there were plenty of nice pic opportunities along the way. Hopefully this is lesson learnt as I am not going to take photos with my phone while riding... accident waiting to happen...

We took a few pics before the race at the venue in Meyerton. There will be another race here later in the year and I will make up for my mistake then.

Ready to go!

The route was 20km out and back for a nice 40km ride. There was also an 80km race but we are not quite ready for that yet,

We had a great ride with the route going up and down all the time. It was warm and I was happy we at least remembered the sunscreen. I enjoyed this race a lot and I'm getting the hang of the cycling more and more.

A nice medal at the finish and two happy people.

Next up is a 60km race on 11 October and I will make sure to take the camera.

Happy training everyone!

Monday, 14 September 2015

Rand Water Race for Victory – 54km Report

Luckily the weather played its part this weekend and there was no race cancellation. Anette and I did the 54km Rand Water Race for Victory. This was my first official cycle race and it was good.

The venue was close to home. It was at the circus tent where we rode the charity ride some weeks back. Access and parking was easy and good although very dusty at this time of the year. There were about 2000 riders in the three events (150km for elites, 110km and 54km).

We collected our numbers on Saturday morning so we were very relaxed when we arrived at the race. I must still get used to all the cycling paraphernalia… running is so simple…

Once we had all the gear on and the bikes ready, we went to the start area. There were different batches and it was all very well organised. We decided to fall in at the back of our batch as I was not that confident in how I would ride between all the other bikes.

We started at 08:50, exactly on time. The start was a bit slow and shaky with the lady right in front of me not getting her foot into her cleats. At some point she stopped dead in the road and I had to stop and hop off the bike. After this it was a smooth ride out of the start.

Anette ready to go!

On our way! (My  1st photo while riding)

The first part of the route was flat with only the headwind that made us work quite hard all the time. I relaxed more and more as we went on. I know this road very well and have run it a few times in the good old ultra running days. As the crow flies we passed about 1km from home.

Flat first part of the course.

The only problem I had, and this is for the whole race, was traffic. There were no road closures and if you know how aggressive South African motorists are towards runners and cyclists you will know what I mean.

We carried some Energade and Racefood with us and I’m glad we did. There was only one water point at 36.5km and I definitely needed some extra fuel to get me there. The main climb of the day started just after 25km and after the hard work on the flat first part it was good to get some energy in the body to help me up the 10km climb.

This is where the uphill starts...

I love hills! I’ve said this often when running and now say the same for cycling. I really enjoyed the climbing and I was very happy with the way my bike handled this as well. Again I was more troubled by the traffic than the hill. I think all the years of running while facing the traffic makes it hard for me to adjust to traffic coming from behind.

Anette at the bottom of the hill.

Once we reached the top of the climb we turned left and it was then about 1km to the water point. I stopped to get my water refilled and had some coke and chocolate. Anette did the same and I’m sure she was very happy to get that climb behind her.

Great water point!

From the water point to the finish was fairly easy with a lot of downhill and flat road to ride. I was feeling really good here and enjoying the ride. I felt a lot better than I thought I would. It was also good to know we were nearing the finish.

On our way after the water point.

We turned into the final stretch and from here it was a smooth 3km ride to the finish. I was really happy and enjoyed the last bit. We finished together and it was a great feeling. My first cycle race done!


We got our medals and were offered more to drink than we could handle. Coke, water, iced tea and strawberry milk.

Done!Tired but happy!

Festive atmosphere at the finish.

The Giant really served me well.

Nice medal, t-shirt and socks.

Overall I had a great time and it was an awesome experience. I will do more cycle races as we build up to the 94.7 in November. I have to get used to the whole cycle race thing.

Thanks for reading!

Have a great week!

Friday, 11 September 2015

Rand Water Race For Victory

I am cautiously optimistic to write a post about the cycle race we are doing this Sunday... Let's cross fingers that this one doesn't get cancelled as well...!

Anette and I both entered the Rand Water Race for Victory 54km event. There is also a 110km distance and 150km for the elite riders.

This is a road race and we are really looking forward to it.

Route description:

•    The first 4,1 km and the final 4,1 km of the event is on the same route.
•    At 8,5 km mark PAY ATTENTION at Nampak intersection – bumpy roads / pedestrians.  Turn left and then cross over highway (R59) and turn right at  
9,6 km.
•    Cycle along Kliprivier Road for another 6,5 km until the R82 intersection.
•    Pay attention at R82 intersection after 24,5 km – two turns left are encountered. 
•    Long uphill drag (10 km) to Walkerville.  First tester for legs! (CAUTION !  ROAD WORKS ON THE ROAD.)
•    Sharp turn left into Randvaal Road at 36 km.   First water point at 36.5 km mark.
•    Pass Lapeng Centre on left.
•    Fast, steep downhill and sharp turn left into Joan Road at 40,5 km.
•    Turn right at intersection at 49 km mark, Springbok Road.  Riders of 110 km race will enter into this road from the opposite (Karee Kloof) direction.
•    FINISH at 54 km.


Route profile:

Looks like a good ride with a challenge or two along the way. The race is just around the corner from home so that is an added bonus.

Let's be optimistic and be sure you can read the race report next week.

Have a super weekend!

Monday, 7 September 2015

The Race That Never Happened

The title of the post says it all... the Jozi Juma did not happen yesterday. The race was cancelled due to bad weather and damage to the course.

The organizers were very good with their communication with messages and e-mails.

"We're sorry, but the Hollard JURA & JUMA will not take place this weekend due to dangerous conditions caused by terrible weather - updates to follow"

"Johann, the Hollard Juma has been CANCELLED in the interest of safety due to severe damage to course infrastructure, caused by rain"

Looking at the photos below from the event's FB page they really had no choice...

We are obviously disappointed, but that is life. Luckily we have another race lined up this coming weekend. A post on that will follow during the week.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Jozi Juma

The Jozi Juma (Jozi Urban Mountain Bike Adventure) is taking place on Sunday 6 September.  For those who might not know, Jozi is the SA slang name for Johannesburg.

Also for those who might not know, Anette and I both entered the 22km event. We are way too newbie for the 54km version. That is for next year!

We registered yesterday and got our numbers and goodie bags...

My first cycling goodie bag... bicycle bell included!

We are really excited but also a little bit nervous. This will be our first true mountain bike race. Even though the 22km course is designed for people like us it still includes a few obstacles worth mentioning.

There are three scaffolding bridges across roads. These are built for the event so that traffic is not disrupted during the event and also so that mountain bikers don't have to be worried about traffic.

Scaffolding across busy roads - awesome!

Then there is the finish across a floating bridge at Emmeratia Lake. I've run over floating bridges often but never crossed one on a bike before. Should be fun!!!

The floating bridge will be exciting for sure!

The race takes riders through some of the green belts in Johannesburg and though it is urban, it is also truly off-road.

They also have the Jozi Jura (Jozi Urban Run Adventure) on the Saturday before the cycling. You can enter both events for a great double challenge. Maybe also next year!

Maybe the run next year or even the double challenge...

We are having some great rain at the moment which might make for a very interesting adventure. Wish us luck please, we need it.

Race report to follow next week...

Have an awesome weekend everyone!