Sunday, January 30, 2011

24 hours of Oak Valley












The next step in my preparation for the Freedom Challenge, was the 24 hours of Oak Valley presented by Dirtopia at Oak Valley Farm, Elgin on 29/30 January 2011. We aim was to get some extended time in the saddle and also to see what I feel like after such a long ride. I may just find that I have to spend some extended time in the saddle during the Freedom Challenge and then I will at least be able to call on this experience. I asked my brother to second for me. We left Bloubergstrand at 08:45 and arrived at Oak Valley at 09:45, giving me ample time to register and giving my brother the opportunity the set himself up for the time that we will be spending there. We found quite a nice spot, which was not too far out of the way of the actual course. I could thus quite easily pop into our "refreshment station".

The race got off promptly at 12:00 with a Le Mans start. We had to run the length of a rugby field to get to our bicycles! I got away towards the back, but once again it did not bother me too much. I was here to enjoy the experience and not to race. The race was open for Solo riders and teams. ??? solo riders entered and ?? teams. Teams had five categories of 4 riders per team and a fun category with 5-8 riders per team.

The course was approximately 9 km long with 105 meters of climbing per lap. Most of the climbing happened in the first 3 km of the lap. There also was a very nice down hill and some interesting "fence crossings" as well as three sections of single track among some trees. There also was a "nasty" downhill section of approximately 50 meters, which was getting slipperier as the race progress, due to some water seepage. A lap took between 25 and 35 minutes to complete. My time varied between 28:55 and 37:36 for riding time. I did drop in for some "extended rests" at my "support station" after dark, with the result that some lap times extended to 50-60 minutes.

I decided to "push on" for as long as I felt reasonably OK. Before dark, I did notice that a guy with a Hammer Nutrition cycling top passed me at least three times. Fatigue did not really set in and I felt so good after some of the extended rests that I decided to keep going. I was quite surprised in the early morning hours, when I was informed that I have taken "the lead". I was not quite sure what was ment with this comment, but at that stage my closest rival was Hanneli Booysen, who was sleeping. I therefore decided to keep going for as long as possible. By nine o'clock, my brother was informed that I was so far ahead in the Solo category, that I can go and have a sleep until 11:45 as nobody would overtake me. I did not really believed this and just kept going. Everything was working fine. My bike was 100% reliable and I had no mechanical problems. I only oiled the change three times, as the course was becoming very dusty. My back side was getting quite tender and I picked up a "chafe mark" on my right hand. My left knee was giving some minor problems, but regular extensions and the extended rests, cured that. My legs were "OK" but could feel I have been in the saddle for awhile. The muscles at the back of the neck also tend to start hurting. I managed to turn out regular laps of 35 minutes and felt quite confident that if I managed to keep this up, I may just win the race!

The rules stipulated that all laps started before 12:00 on Sunday will be counted, but must be completed. By 10:00 I felt confident that I would be able to complete 4 and start a 5th lap before 12:00. I duly started my second last lap at 11:02 and therefore quite easily managed a final lap, which I completed at 12:20. 39 laps, 343 km and the surprise winner of the Solo Mens category. The guy from Hammer Nutrition finished second. He picked up major problems with cramps after 14 laps and that is why I managed to beat him. So I picked a Princeton cycling light and a cash prize of R1,000 for the weekend's effort. Not a bad return for a wonderful event, which was well organised at a good venue. Even the weather was kind. Although Saturday afternoon was hot, it cooled down during the evening and Sunday morning turned out overcast. The clouds did disappear by about 10:30, but by that time there was only 1 hour 30 minutes to go.








Sunday, January 23, 2011

FC Scholarship Fund

Commitments for the Scholaship Fund tied to my Freedom Challenge ride in June, is standing at R14,040. The latest people to give me commitments are Trevor Pascoe and Danie Maritz Racing. Thanks you guys. May you be richly blessed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Attakwas 2011

Saterdag 15 Januarie 2011 en die Attakwas is hier. Hulle het vanjaar besluit om die wegspring in groepe op te deel. Aangesien ek 'n Grand Master is, spring ons toe laaste weg, 15 minute na die Elite manne. Ek en Kabous Marra het met die wegspring lekker gesels en toe ons ons kom kry is ons heel agter! Dit het my egter nie te veel bekommer nie, aangesien ek geweet het dat die groep gou uitgestrek sou raak. Die feit dat ons apart weggespring het, sou darem ook help om die aanvanklike "verkeer" beter te maak. Dit was toe ook so en alhoewel die begin pas 'n rustige 15 k.m.u., oor 'n redelike gelyk area was, kon ek redelik gou teen 'n pas ry wat vir my gemaklik was. Die weer was heel aangemaan met 'n redelike temperatuur. Ek het vemoed dat dit later in die dag redelik warm sou word. Met die ry het dit heel goed verloop. Ek kon voor die eerste waterpunt agter kom waar hulle vanjaar se roete, wat 14 km korter was, verander het. Gelukkig het hulle 'n baie klipperige stuk uitgesny. Soos verlede jaar was die eerste waterpunt aan die voet van 'n 75 meter klim oor 'n afstand van 900 meter. Die eerste stuk kan gery word, maar dan raak die klippe so erg dat jy verplig is om af te klim en te stoot. Iets wat nogal heelwat op die Attakwas gebeur. Ek en Kobous het nie spesefiek saam gery nie, maar elke nou en dan sien die een die ander is daar en dan gesels ons weer 'n stukkie. Volgende was die Outenikwa Natuur Reservaat aand die beurt. In hierdie stuk het Kobous onder my uit gery en ek het hom nie weer gesien nie. Die hele roete is baie op-en-af. Na die Outenikwa kruis ons die R328 en dan volg die Attakwas. Op hierdie stadium was my gemiddeld 15.5 k.p.u. en ek was oppad na 'n tyd van net onder 8 uur. Hier klim jy 460 meter oor 'n afstand van ongeveer 18 km en verloor in totaal 550 meter, so dit is alles of op of af! Baie min gelyk pad. Op een van die klimme het my Garmin 26% aangetoon (Dit was terwyl ek gestoot het)! Daar is ook 'n paar gedeeltes waar die terryn te rof is om te ry en dit geld vir op sowel as af! Net na die Attakwas gaan die roete deur Bonniedale, waar die derde waterpunt is. Hier kry jy onder andere 'n Spur Burger en dit is lekker koel in die skaduwee onder die bome. Die afdraand na Bonniedale is egter baie rof en die ouens wat daar afry is defenitief in die minderheid. Ek het wel een of twee gesien wat dit maak, maar die meeste van ons loop maar. Daar was twee jaar gelde self 'n foto van Kevin Evans wat sy fiets daar afgestoot het! Op hierdie stadium het my gemiddelde spoed geval na 14.5 k.p.u. Na Bonniedale verander die roete van "jeep tracks" na grondpad. Ongelukkig is dit nog altyd "op en af". Daar is veral een bult net voor die laaste waterpunt wat teen 'n helling van 21% styg! Na die waterpunt is daar 10 km oor met 'n finale klim wat op 42 meter begin en op 188 meter eindig oor 3 km. Die laaste twee kilometer is gelukkig afdraand en dit is 'n groot verligting om by die einde aan te kom. 'n Paar vergelykings tussen vanjaar en verlede jaar: Afstand 12 km korter (volgens my meter); tyd 37 minute korter; gemiddeld spoed is af van 15.4 na 15.2 maar meters geklim per 1 kilometer is op vanaf 21.92 verlede jaar na 22.41 vanjaar. Finale uitslag 205de uit 815 inskrywings waarvan 644 begin het en 563 klaar gemaak het. 4de in ouderdoms groep. Die wenner se tyd was 42 minute vinniger as verlede jaar! Gemeet aan hulle tyd van 5:01:50, sou my soort gelykke tyd ongeveer 60 minute vinniger gewees het. Ek kon dus beter gedoen het. Kliek op die aangehegde GarminConnect link vir my detail van die Attakwas. Die Attakwas bly 'n baie aangename en moeilike uitdaging en ek sien uit daarna om dit weer in 2012 aan te pak. Attakwas by philipler at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Die volgende uitdaging

Nog net 'n week oor na die volgende uitdaging - die Contego Attakwas Extreme Mountain Bike 121km Challenge vanaf Chandelier Game Farm buite Oudtshoorn na Groot Brakrivier tussen Mosselbaai en George. Aangesien ek verlede jaar eerste in my ouderdomsgroep gekom het, sal ek moet probeer om vanjaar die prestasie te herhaal. Die voorbereiding vir die 2011 RASA vorder heel goed. Ek handhaaf tans so 12 ure se oefen per week. Die oogmerk is om dit gedurende die volgende drie maande op te skuif na 15 ure per week en dan 20 ure per week vir die laaste twee maande. Meeste oefening geskied tans in die Hillcrest, Kliprug, Contermanskloof, Meerendal omgewing. Ek wil volgende week al die paadjies wat daar is, te same met Majik Forest met een poging ry. Hopelik sal dit meer as 100km oplewer, wat goeie finale voorbereiding vir die Attakwas te wees. Die huidige hitte in die Kaap sal dit nie 'n maklike dag maak nie!