Investpro MTB Ride Report
What a lovely weekend of cycling. I must own up to been a traitor for the weekend. With the Argus next weekend I did the 46km road. But I did not shave my legs, so I am true to my cause.
I think all cyclists can be proud of this event, the road and the mtb. Actually world class. Marlene wrote a stunning race report. Please see below. Made me regret doing the road race. I hope those of you who missed the race now feel bad.
I think we must acknowledge Cathis efforts. Long hours at the registration tables and then even been in a sweeper vehicle for the 100km road race. Most cyclists enjoy these events without thinking of the contributions of volunteers who get nothing back other than the feeling of a job well done. Please acknowledge these people when you can. Our club members did really well. Please see all the results added at the end of Marlenes report by Cathi. All those going to the Argus, travel safe and remember to let us know your war stories. We learn from each other and it increases our love of the sport. Dont forget the Mpekweni ride on Sunday 20th March.
See you post Argus (God Willing).
Take a bunch of "medium fit" mountain bikers, throw in some "SERRIAAAS" hills and what do you get ... a whole lot of moaning!!!!!! That's one way I'll remember this past weekends 35km Investpro MTB Challenge! Bearing in mind I ride not to win and not to impress anyone, I do it because it's fun, because it gives me a reality check on life and where we fit in in this big wide world! Here is MY encounter of the ride!
Driving into the Nahoon Dam complex I still thought to myself, "we have to come up here in a little while" and it didnt seem so bad! Everyone gathered at the start line, counted down from 10 and off we went ... up the tar hill!! And it went on ... and on ... and on ... after about 4km's of climbing (and just to bring you back down to earth) we turned off left and hit the dirt ... and a flat section, FINALLY!!! The first chirp I hear is "are we there yet" and I thought to myself dude, if you know whats waiting for you near the end you'll rather shut up and save your breath!! But I smiled and waved, wished them a good ride and carried on riding along!! It was generally easy riding until we hit the next hill and the "vibe" from the riders quietened down and the deathly silence settled over us as we all granny geared our way to the top to reach the top at the tower and then the chirps started again, this time happy ones! The short, steep uphills became fast winding downhills and everyone was in good spirits. Somewhere on a downhill my husband and Uncle Terrance (Grewar) came flying past me and some dude overshot his corner (just before a causeway) and ended up in the bush, Camelbak slung over his right arm and one loooooong brake mark in the dirt to show for it and boom ... in the bush!! He obviously has a good sense of humor because he was full of chuckles about it, and lucky for him he was riding with a pair of plain good old fashioned takkies, otherwise he would have made an olympic gymnast look proud with his "gat oor kop" tumble into the bush!! It was one of those typical "blooper moments" you'd watch on YouTube!! Anyway ... off we go and we hit this MONSTER Hill (around 12kms) .... of course the chirps start flying again (this being a family club we'll use the following characters for censorship purposes: *&^%$#@#!). There I was slowly grinding my way up this monster hill, minding my own business and I hear a loud "for f*&! sakes" from behind - someone's chain comes off, and then they all started ... the moaning, the groaning, and the questioning!! Does this never end" being a favourite chirp, I quietly chuckled and answered "No, we still have another 2 MOTHER climbs towards the end, but we're nearly halfway so hang in there" ... hahahah - sjoe, I wasnt popular after that! Murphys Law (and some *&^^%%$#$ words later) my chain also comes off, going up this freaking hill, so I stop, repair, grease my face while wiping the sweat out my eyes and see my husband and Uncle Terrance and the dude from the tumble walking up, so we start having this conversation (in raised voices) between the four of us and I stop and take some pics of the poor people behind me pushing and cursing! FINALLY we get to the top, reach the most welcome waterpoint, and everyone re-groups their thoughts (en hulle gemoed) and we're back on our bikes and we cruise the rest of the way on some awesome descents and eventually hit the tar road past J&J, everyone is happy and in good spirits and we turn in towards Thornycroft (and I know what's still coming)! Some more descents over cement strips, nice easy rolling hills and through some farms and BOOM!!!!! Another BEEEEEG *&^%$#@ HILL!!!!! Some chirps start flying again, guys pushing, a big load of blood, sweat and gears and we get to the top eventually!!!! By this stage everyone is getting cranky and I ride past one guy and he comments and says my wife didnt even get out bed this morning and Im here doing this sh** shame!!! We eventually come out via Baden Powell and back on some nice, open farm roads, the scenery is nice, the breeze picks up (and cools us down a bit) and we get out second waterpoint where the 65km and 35km split again. Another tar section (which was short lived and refreshing after the bumpy roads wed just done) and back onto the dirt which was also the home stretch funny how when you know youre on your way back it seems to get easier, or so we tell ourselves!! So up we went on a short, steep jeeptrack, and then two last NASTY climbs lay ahead. The second last one being compared to, I quote a motorcross track coz you cant ride this sh*& with your bicycle and moaning about how you cant even push uphill because its too steep and Im too tired AND the fact that the Herald in Addo wasnt even this bad! The guys were broken and didnt take too well to a girl being in front of them every now and then oops deal with it boys!!!! Anyway, we finally get to the cement block through the fence and I honestly think that this was the chirp of the day, this one guy says oh, lets carry our bikes again, not like weve been doing THAT ALL F*&^% day . Wahahahah!!! So up the LAST AND FINAL climb, its bumpy, the grass is long, its STEEEEEEP and not much of a path but we made it, and finally a little straight to keep us sane. And just to rub salt in our wounds the guys from Pollocks photography are standing on the very last little downhill snapping away as we came down to the finish nice spot guys, bearing in mind you have to smile for the camera to get a good pic, try not fall, try not to take the poor camera guy out thats standing in your way and still keep your line so the guys coming from behind dont bash in to you!!!!!! There was nothing more gratifying than seeing the FELT banner and crossing that finish line and knowing that I actually made it, again!!
In a nutshell the up hills were monsterous, the downhills so fast that even grown men were pushing their bikes DOWN, that the screeching sound of disc breaks being pulled to their limit broke the silence of the bush. The singletracks were awesome (maybe just too few of them), the waterpoints well stocked with cold juice and water and friendly faces ready to give you a little pick me upper and send you on your way. The route was well marked and generally the whole event was great! To each and every one that took part I take my hat off to you, each one of us having our own reasons and goals on the day.
I still recall standing at the top looking at the hills weve just climbed and an elder riders says to me you like youre questioning life and I certainly was . Wondering why the hell I do this but knowing deep down that next yearI would be back!!!!
Thank You Marlene for your extremely colourful and explicit report. Had many a good chuckle.
On a lighter J note : WELL DONE TO THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS OF A.M.B.C
And our Club Finishers
Hendrik Odendaal 8th place overall
Candy Boonzaaier 2nd Lady
And our Club Finishers
Johan & Marlene Stals
Arthur van Coller
* 21 club members who made us so proud. Well done everyone.
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