Sunday, January 24, 2016

24 hours of Oak Valley


I decided to use the 24 hours of Oak Valley as preparation for my up coming BB2BB trip. I also decided to not get anybody to second for me. I would just leave my cooler box with cool drinks and food next to the track and help myself when needed.

Ek is 09:30 op Saterdag 23 Januarie by die huis weg en het net voor 10:45 by Oak Valley aangekom. Die tou om by die kamp terrein in te kom het besonder stadig beweeg en ek het eers 11:00 'n staanplek gekry. Aangesien ek alleen was, was dit maklik om plek naby die roete te kry. Ek het geregistreer en en was 11:45 reg vir die "race briefing".

We started a couple of minutes after 12:00 with the standard "Le Mans" start, having to sprint over a rugby field to our bikes. I did this at a very leisurely pace and left with the pack. My first lap took me just over 38 minutes. I initially wanted to have my first stop after 4 laps, but decided to change that to  6 after a while. All of these laps was just under 40 minutes and I managed to complete the 6 laps in under 4 hours. The maximum temperature was 37 degrees celsius.

My eerste rus stop rondte was 1:14. My rondte tye het nou die effek van die "effort" van die eerste 6 rondtes getoon en geval na 45 minute plus. Die volgende 6 rondtes neem my 5 uur 56 minute.  Intussen het die tempratuur na die laer 20's gedaal. Ek het ongeveer elke 2 rondtes gerus.


I completed round 16 after about 13 hours at 01:00 in the morning.  I was enjoying the ride and was making good progress. As I was completing round 16, my Garmin suddenly stopped working. This also happened after 13 hours last year. All my efforts to get it going again was to no avail. I had not other option to revert to Strava.
Teen die einde van rondte 18 het ek besluit om 'n vinniger ryer veby te laat kom en op 'n brug gestop. Ongelukkig was my momentum te groot om die brug se paal te vang met die gevolg dat ek my balans veloor en in 'n 2 meter gat geval het. Die ryer vir wie ek wou stop moes my uit help. Ek het onmiddellik besef daar is groot fout met my linker pols.

I completed lap 18 and immediately went to the medic. He said that it was not broken and gave me a pill for pain. It was obvious that I could not continue, so I decided to have a shower and have a rest. To qualify as a finisher, one have to complete the last lap after 12:00 on Sunday. I therefore decided that I will walk the last lap and start that at about 10:30. Attached is a photo of the bridge where I had my accident.

Ek het lekker gerus en teen 06:30 besluit om iets te gaan eet en 'n lekker koppie koffie te drink. Daarna het ek weer by die mediese tent 'n draai gaan maak. Die senior medic het bevestig dat my pols gebreek is en dat ek dit by 'n hospitaal daarna moet laat kyk. Daar was, volgens hom geen haas nie en het 'n spalk aangesit. Ek het ook met my dogter en skoonseun gereel om my 14:00 te kom haal.

I went back to my car and waited the time out to do my final lap. This I started at 09:30. I managed to cycle the first approximately 2 km to the start of the first single track. I thought it best to push from there as it would be much easier to get out of the way of passing riders. This also gave an opportunity to take some photos including photos of the crash site. I had to complete the lap after 12:00 but reached the sport field where the finish was at 11:30. I therefore stopped under a tree and waited the time out. I crossed the finish line at 12:03 having completed 19 laps and still finishing 11th overall and 1st in the 60+ age group.

My daughter dropped at Cape Gate Mediclinic when the x-rays confirmed a break and the need for an operation. The orthopedic surgeon did say that my arm should be ready by 1 April when I start my BB2BB trip.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Attakwas 2016

January is Attakwas time and this would by my 8th! I contacted my friend Hoffie Conradie and we decided to join forces for the occasion.  I left Cape Town at 11:00 on Friday 15 January and joined up with Hoffie in Worcester. We left there at 13:30 in his car. Along the way we stopped at Ronnie's Sex Shop for a bite and just to see the place again. The novelty definitely is in the name! 

Ons het so om en by 18:00 in Oudtshoorn aangekom en eers geregistreer. Daarna het ons voorade vir ontbyt by Pick n Pay gaan koop en by NA Smit Oord in geklok. Aandete was by Dolcevita en ons was teen 10:00 in die bed. 

Ons was albei voor ons wekkers kon afgaan (05:00) wakker en het teen 05:45 die pad Chandeler toe gevat. Daar aan gekom was daar 'n lang tou om in te kom, maar dit het darem redelik vinnig beweeg. 

We made use of the car transfer service and therefore dropped our car off at the designated area, handed the keys in and proceeded to the start shoots. As I got into the shoot, I realised that I forgot to fill my water bottle. The bladder on my backpack was full and if would be just too much of a hassle to go back to the  car, so I decided to ride to the first water point on water only.  

Ons het teen 06:45 weggespring. Die eerste paar kilometer was baie sowwerig as gevolg van al die deelnemers en die veld het eers na ongeveer 10 km begin uitsprei. Gelukkig is daar ook 'n paar bulte wat help om "spasie" te skep. Ek het, soos besluit, my water bottel by die eerste waterpunt laat vol maak met Coke. 

I managed a good pace and was passed by some people while I also passed others.  There was a number of technical river crossings, but I managed to negotiate all of them without any problem. The big hill after approximately 30 km was the usual challenge with large loose rocks and the incline forcing me to push the last third. 

Just after the top we entered the Outeniqua Nature Reserve. The track now consisted of fairly rough jeep tracks with a number of steep hills. Most of these were rideable but some were just too steep and with loose rocks again, necessitating some pushing. I reached water point three, after we crossed the Oudtshoorn/Mossel Bay road, just short of 3 hours. I was also please to see Steve Thorhton-Smith in the crowd and appreciated his encouragement.

Nadat ek weer my water bottel laat vul het, ketting laat olie het en 'n ietsie ge-eet het, pak ek die volgende skof aan. Die roete deur hierdie area is besonder mooi en dit help om die bulte "makliker" te maak. Ons het nou deur die Attakwaskloof gery. Dit was 100 jaar gelde die hoof roete tussen Mosselbaai en Oudtshoorn. Ek het die halfweg punt teen 3:56 bereik. 'n Sub 8 uur was dus moontlik! Ek het vanjaar vir die eerste keer dit reggekry om die laaste bult voor die Spur waterpunt af te ry sonder om my voete op die grond te sit. Ek vermoed egter dat daar 'n bietjie werk aan hierdie stuk gedoen is wat die 'n klein bietjie makliker gemaak het. 

I filled my water bottle again, had half a Spur Buger, got my chain oiled, cooled myself down under the mist spray and got going in double quick time. According to my Garmin, I was marginally behind last year's time up to this point, but by the time I left I was marginally in front. 

The last 52 km from here to the end is mostly on good gravel roads with an number of big downhills and some monster climbs. The first climb started as we left this water point. The temperature was reasonable and there was not much of a wind. I have been in the saddle for close to 5 hours and the time was about 12:00, so the heat of the day was going to become a factor. In the meantime time, I just continued the grind out the kilometers. 

I have set my Garmin on the terrain function so that I could see wath was coming in terms if hills and downhills. This also compared my progress to last year and I was pleased to see that I was stretching the gap. It was also interesting to see my progress against some other riders. Sone passed me, never to be seen again and others were hauled in me again on a different section. At the second last water point I stocked up again and new that from there to the end we had to negotiated another two monster hills. The temperature was now touching 33 degrees Celsius. 

Teen 'n paar van die bulte het ek heelwat mense gesien wat in die koelte rus of met krampe sukkel. Ek het ook vir die eerste keer in my fietsry loopbaan probleme met ligte krampe gehad. Dit was gelukkig van so 'n aard dat ek kon aanhou trap. My vordering was goed, maar ek het besef dat  ek om en by 8 uur sou klaar maak, dus moes ek maar aandruk om my mikpunt te bereik. By die laaste waterpunt was dit duidelik dat ek teen ongeveer 8:05 sou klaar maak, dus het ek so hard moontlik getrap om te kyk of ek nie daardie 5 minute kan afsny nie. My vreugde was groot toe ek die laaste stukkie teer haal met 5 minute oor om 2 km te ry. 

I knew that my finishing time was going to be in the region of 8 hours, but it was touch and go to break it. As I rounded the last turnoff to the finishing area I gave it all I got. As I went under the Spur banner, I stopped my Garmin, but unfortunately the actual finish was round the corner and I crossed the finishline the announcer said my finishing time was 8 hours. My Garmin indicated 7:59:56 and my Polar 8:00:22. The final actual time was 8:00:15!

So that was Attakwas number 8 successfully negotiated. 

My friend Hoffie Conradie, who did not do any long distance training during the previous month, finished in 9:05.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

BB2BB - progress

Preparation for BB2BB is progressing well. I have managed to confirm accommodation at 9 of the places where I plan to stay over to date. Most of these are in remote areas. I will not bother to confirm those in bigger areas where it should be easy to find accommodation. There are three places where I have not been able to find any form of accommodation. I have three options for these areas: carry on looking; sleep under the stars; ride through the night! There still are a number of open days where I will be riding alone. I will continue to look for people to join me for these days.


This coming weekend I will be participating in my 7th Attakwas, a 121 km MTB Adventure with 2,500 meters of climbing. Next weekend I will ride in the Oak Valley 24 hour. This will be excellent preparation for my trip.

The pledges to the CANSA fund is standing at R107,500 of which R78,650 have been paid. I am confident that the fund will pass the R125,000 mark and that payments will surpass R100,000 by 1 April.