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

Monday, 19 December 2016

Powerade Christmas Challenge, A Late Report

We did the 60km Powerade Christmas Challenge on 11 December and it was great! With the year coming to an end and all that happens... including me becoming lazy... I am only doing the report now.

The race was at Stonehaven, Vanderbijlpark and it was an out & back course. We did another race on this same route last year.

We arrived quite early and had time to be relaxed before the start. This is not a big event and that is perfect for me. Support was still good for this time of the year.

There were a few disabled competitors with handcycles also taking part. This drew quite a bit of interest as one of these athletes was Mathys Roets, a local Afikaans singer and celebrity. Mathys was paralysed in a motorbike accident some years ago.

Mathys Roets

The route is fairly easy and takes you out into the typical country scenery of this part of South Africa. It is summer and rainfall time now, so the field is green and really beautiful.

Anette on her way.

The route crosses the Vaal river and this takes you from Gauteng province into the Free State. The river is full at this point although the dams in the country are actually very low and a severe drought is still having a terrible effect in some areas.

Crossing the Vaal River.

We arrived at the turn around, which is also a water point. I was feeling good although it was warm and quite windy. A quick stop and we were on our way back...

Anette at the waterpoint.

Some riders taking a breather.

I felt good although I definitely think there are more hills on the way back than on the way out. The profile doesn't really support this.

Race profile.

Approaching the river again.

I'm slowly getting used to the road bike.

On our way back we caught up with Mathys in his handcycle. He was doing the 40km race. I have a ton of respect for these guys.

Anette with Mathys Roets

The last few kilometers were without incident although Anette got some pain in her left leg/hip about 3km from the finish. We are not sure what caused it and will investigate and look into some bike settings going forward.

We finished strong and received this really cool medal...

That was our last race for 2016. We are planning some nice races for 2017, but before that we have some serious training to do. This will include our first 100km ride. I will definitely post some feedback on that.

Enjoy December everyone!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Missed Race

Hi Everyone!

We had to skip our race last weekend because our one dog got really sick and had to be taken to the vet on Sunday morning. When I woke on Sunday morning I thought he was dead already, but luckily we still got him to the vet in time to be saved. It looks like he ate something poisonous or got poison into his system in some way...?

Very sick doggy...

Chewy is about 99% himself again now and luckily there is another race this weekend. Anette and I will both line up for the 60km Powerade Christmas Challenge. Report to follow next week.

Almost 100% and my alarm clock again in the morning!

Have a super weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Quick Update

Hi Everyone!

I've been a bit MIA but life just caught up with me and here we are at the end of November already! I can't believe how the year has flown by...

I don't have much to report on which is probably another reason for not blogging that much.

Anette and I did a race at the beginning of the month. I forgot to take the camera! It was a very hard and very windy race but we did it and got this medal to show for it...

Anette had a little crash during one of our training rides a few weeks back. Luckily nothing serious but some scrapes and bruises to show for it. She says her ego is bruised more than her body.

I pulled my right calf muscle a month or two ago and it was really painful. Walking was almost impossible at some stage. I could cycle without much pain though. Last week was the first time I felt that it healed well. That was until Monday when I stepped funny going down some stairs and I pulled the muscle again. The injury is back just as it was originally. Bummer!

It is not torn but badly bruised in the same way and place a tear would occur.

Exactly like this...

That's it from me! We have a race this weekend and I will do my best to remember the camera...

Happy training everyone and be safe out there!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

GUTR Sweat Band Review

I've always sweat a lot when running and also now when cycling. Yes, runners, cyclists sweat too...

I always have a big problem with sweat running into my eyes. This was fairly easy to handle while running, using my trustee buff or even a t-shirt to wipe my eyes. Rinsing out with water was also easy on the run. Not so easy while cycling...

Sunglasses is the first problem when cycling and sweat runs into my eyes. That is long before I try to stay upright and alive while wiping my eyes. Rinsing is also not so easy and probably not recommended while riding.

Experiencing all these problems on a daily basis made me search the web for proper sweat bands. There are some nice goodies on the market with the GUTR and HALO standing out as great cycling sweatbands.

I found the GUTR locally and decided to give it a try. It is amazing! No sweaty eyes anymore! It uses a very basic concept to get rid of the problem.

The GUTR is a silicon sweatband which also means it never gets soaked in sweat. No soggy sweatband anymore. It simply directs the sweat away from your eyes. It has a little lip that acts as a gutter and the sweat just flows away and down the side of your face. It really works wonders for me!

If you have a sweat in the eyes problem I highly recommend the GUTR sweatband. It is worth every cent I paid for it.

Me with my magic GUTR sweatband.

Happy training everyone!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Giants

Being a cyclist is quite different from being a runner. That is my experience anyway. You need a lot more gear than for running and there are many gadgets to have. This is a good thing for me as I love gadgets!

But first of course is the bicycle...

There are incredible machines available today. They also come at incredible prices. With our currency not doing great at all bicycle prices in South Africa seems to be totally crazy. Maybe it is the same everywhere... I really don't know.

I bought my Giant ATX 27.5 last year and it's been great. This is a great mountain bike for riding on the road and also some gravel and other off road if needed. It also copes well with the poor road surfaces and pot holes here in SA! It is not for technical single track in the mountains. It is perfect for me.

I've done 4000km with the ATX now. I ride it in the mornings during the week. It is perfect for our road conditions and I feel safe on it in the dark or semi dark.

Giant ATX 27.5 2

I've done a few races with the ATX without any problems. I am slow and don't plan to get very fast... However, I do find it difficult lately to keep the wheel of my wife Anette's road bike more and more as she gets stronger and faster.

So after some thinking and contemplating and more thinking I decided to buy a road bike as well. It is more or less the road equivalent of the ATX. 

Giant SCR 2

The bike is still very new and I am still getting used to it. It is great! The same effort on the mountain bike makes me much faster on this bike and I like that.

I didn't plan to own 2 Giants, it just worked out that way. I suppose they have the right bikes in the right price range for me.

The road bike will be my weekend ride for now while I stay on the mountain bike during the early morning week rides. I'll keep you posted on how things go.

Happy training everyone!

Monday, 17 October 2016

No Choice But To Pedal

As you can see I am changing the name of Run Tall, Walk Tall to No Choice But To Pedal. Yes, I am still cycling and it seems that it will be like this for a long time to come. I have fully recovered from the stress fractures I had but the back injury I sustained during the recovery period is still giving me problems and more so when I run.

So it is time to get my heart into cycling as it has always been with running. Let’s see if blogging will help the process along… because at the moment I have no choice but to pedal…

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Throw Back Thursday

First I better throw back to 1 January 2016 and say Happy New Year to everyone! I've been too lazy too busy for blogging. Anyway, I hope we all have a fantastic year.

My Throw Back Thursday doesn't go back very far. We go back to 15 November 2015 and the 94.7 Cycle Challenge. If you read my race report you would have seen the photo below with the caption in there:

I want the jersey of that rider behind me!

I now have proof that someone actually reads my blog! The day after I published the report I received an e-mail from our local vet that said they can maybe help me with that jersey.

I was very surprised but followed it up and after some mails and getting some info they managed to get me a jersey like that. Wonderful!

I never had a chance to fetch it until yesterday afternoon. So here it is! My own SPCA Riding For Animals cycling jersey!



Thanks to Michelle and everyone else that made this possible! I would ride for this cause any day.