Saturday, May 3, 2014

FC training ride via Platteklip Gorge

With only 39 days until I start the Freedom Challenge, some serious training must be done. A while back I thought it would be good training to go up Platteklip Gorge and Saturday 3 May was d-day!

I met Mike Smit at his place at 06:00 as he agreed to join me on the ride to the bottom of Platteklip Gorge.
We reached the bottom of Platteklip Gorge after 1:56 and a leisurely ride to town and negotiating some of the contour roads up to the old tar service road, Mike bid me farewell and I started the epic  journey up Platteklip Gorge. I met a number of people on my up, some going up and some coming down. Most people was quite surprised to find somebody going up the mountain with a bike! One guy even enquired if I was training for the Freedom Challenge! All the other people did not know about it! The 1.6 km journey took me 1:54 and I gained 658 meters. At an average speed of 0.9 k.p.h.!

My plan was to cycle down the other side, because I remembered that there is quite a nice paved road down the other side. Unfortunately I forget that I still had to negotiate some very rough terrain before I got to the paved road.  The next 2.7 km took me 46 minutes! That is an average speed of 2.1 k.p.h.! Over this distance I gained 48 meters and descent 321 meters. The terrain was very rough and I had haul my bike over numerous rocks. I nearly jumped with joy when I finally reached the paved road.

During the next hour I covered 11.4 Km and lost 670 meters in height. The condition of the road was excellent and the views were just breath taking! About 15 minutes into my ride down this beautiful paved road, I was stopped by one of the local conscientious citizen who informed me that I was not allowed to cycle on the reservoir service roads or the local contour paths, but only of designated roads on the front of the mountain! A this point he was not going to stop me and after our brief chat, I was on my way again. I really enjoyed the descent down this service road which was like an Alpine Pass!

I managed to join Kirstenbosch/Constantianek road close to Cecelia Forest entrance. From there I went past Newlands Forest and joined up with the Rhodes Memorial/Table Mountain MTB track. After some ups and downs I exited from the mountain via Vredehoek and took the road back to Bloubergstrand.

Total riding time 8:13:07; total distance 80.32 km; elevation gain 1,852; calories burned per Polar watch 5,530.

For some reason my Garmin  did not measure properly from Blouberg to town, with the result that the Garmin data as far as elevation gained is not correct.

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