Congratulations to Jill Edwardes and Arthur Duncan for each being presented with the Dedication to Cycling award at the recent KZN prize giving. We are proud of you!
Thursday30 November 2017
We had a crowd on Thursday, what a pleasant surprise!!!! We left VV at 4.50 am and headed for our usual first big climb, Morcom road. I was mentioning to Allan that the more we ride Morcom, the flatter it becomes. Remember Jill passing me one morning,up Morcom, I felt I was looking for parking!!!! Our crowd kept a steady pace until the circle at Mayors Walk. Then we next headed for the top of Town Bush road. Made our way back to VV, the loop, then went our separate ways. I joined the DD's for coffee, which is always a good end to a great ride. Carel, Larry and I then did the loop again, and headed for home.
Would also like to mention that Allan and I have worked out a programme for the weekly rides. Tuesdays, Morcom is a given, and one other hill on a rotation basis. The routes will be rotated to ensure a change. Then on Thursdays we do sprints at Hesketh, sprints/ pace lining Makro, track, then a town ride on a rotation basis again. Both Allan and I would like to have more of our group join us on a committed basis. If cycling is your passion, dont only train for an event, train like Gordon all the year around. When Gordon missed a ride recently we nearly sent a search party for him!!!!
I must mention a certain member of our club, who always travels that extra mile to help cyclists. Yes none other that Ian Michie!!!!!!! This is the second person that has mentioned that he always considers other cyclists, who are battling, even if it means placing huge pressure on himself. Well done Ian we are proud of you, and well done to you and the team who all came out winners in the DC.I must also commend Allan for that fighting spirit he has kept up since his accident, You have bounced back with tremendous courage and determination!!!!
Sat Ride report 2 December2017
Before we venture any further into our report, may I take this opportunity of wishing all the Burg Wheelers a great festive season. Enjoy and be safe, while travelling on our busy roads.
Saturday started off as a cool morning and later on the wind picked up, which did make cycling conditions somewhat of a challenge. Anyway we had a good trurnout and were joined by Arthur and Peter later into the ride. We missed our regular riders such as , Jan, Nathalie and Charmaine. Determined not to let any unforseeen circumstances dampen our spirits, we left Greendale Soar at 5 am, after a short briefing and Gavin explaining the route. The route took us through Howick Town, Merrivale, Howick West, Tweedie and then to the end of the tar on the Karkloof road.
We kept a steady pace throughout the ride regrouping where necessary to ensure we rode as a group. At the turning point on the Karkloof road the wind picked up and made headway somewhat of a challenge, with the wind against us climbing the frequent hills. The ride was 70kms and we arrived back in Howick, took the shortcut which missed the heavy traffic and brought us out just below the Greendale Spar. The overall pace was slow to steady, however enjoyable. Sufficient workout to enjoy a hearty breakfast at the "Fainting Goat" restaurant. Commented to Sya that I have never heard of such a name for a restaurant. The breakfast was great , the company was great. Thanks all for a great ride!!!!
Must comment on Arthur, who recently won an award for dedication to cycling. Well done Arthur, we all at Burg Wheelers are proud of you.
Enthusiasm is the steam that drives the engine
This Saturday's Ride – 9 December
Leave from Piggly Wiggly at 05:00 for a 70km ride to end of the tar past Mt West. Peter G has kindly offered to do the backup.
Last Thursday 11 of us had a great ride around the airport (!) anti clockwise. With some detours through Mkondeni and Cleland. On Murray road the speedsters in the group were burnt off by a local on a Makro special wearing a scrum cap as a helmet. I am not sure what lessons can be learnt from that!
On Saturday we joined up with the CC’s for a ride to Karkloof.
This Saturday's Ride – 9 December
Leave from Piggly Wiggly at 05:00 for a 70km ride to the end of the tar past Mt West. This is an easy route especially designed for Larry.
MTB Captains report for week of 5th December
Slightly fewer riders from Toti Mambas arrived on Saturday than anticipated, 10 in all, but a thoroughly enjoyable ride and breakfast at Jaxx was enjoyed by the two clubs.
Gavin Green took nine of the visitors in a faster group, at least that was the plan and it seemed to work out. A few tired riders returned having thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Toti Tony the remaining visitor joining Marks group.
These visitors were quick to remind us how blessed we are to have such amazing riding right on our doorsteps. Let’s not forget this privilege.
Gavins group stats : Distance 33.1km Elevation 857m ride time 2H39
The breakfast was capped off by presenting our never say die week in and week out C group ride leader with a small token of appreciation for all the effort he puts into planning routes and leading rides every weekend. Regardless of the weather Mark has a suitable route ready for the day. Thanks Mark. And thanks Allison for your support in all of this.
Rowlands Report for 2nd December
In honour of the coastal visitors, and my last ride of the year with the group, I planned a special route to showcase the best ST that our forests had to offer. Word had obviously got out, because all but one of the guests left with Gavin G in the snake group. I did my best not to take this personally.
'Don't call me Chuck' Hughes arrived quietly on his entirely shock-less MTB, shod with road tyres, and sporting dinky little tri-bars, just to highlight what incurable wussies the rest of us were. I didn’t bother to ask him who he would be riding with.
The C-group then comprised of stalwarts Team Rowland, Team Booysen [luvverly new bike for Lizzy], Team Royden-Turner, Rose, Peter H, Docmike, Dogbite, Gruppenfuhrer, HotRod Blake the Elder, Blake the Younger, Liz B, and Debbie Mills. Guest appearances by Kathy, Jackie, and Toti Tony. No sign of Larry or Pierre. We’re starting to suspect that Larry may have gone over to the Dork Side.
Dean [King Snake] offered to sweep. When we had all stopped laughing, we saddled up and headed off into the forest, determined to have a good ride. At least I was. Andre had other ideas, as will become evident.
We went in through the Mallory Rd gate, where I was careful not to mix up my lefts and rights. The previous days heavy rains had made the going dampish, but thankfully not muddy. We hit the ST as quickly as possible. As we got into Bunny Ears, Peter complained that he couldn’t uncleat. Investigation revealed that one of his cleats had come loose in his shoe, sadly unfixable on the trail even by the combined engineering might of the C-Group. He turned back. Somehow, the group got separated in Bunny Ears [first time for everything], and the miscreants required intervention by Dogbite Dave to regroup. ‘Like herding cats’ was his comment when I thanked him. Across the valley into the trainee rockery, and then up the hill past the nursery, across the connecting road and into the Pines ST, down into Phil’s Nana, ending at the bottom dam. The newbies did well here, given the slippery conditions. Up Dead Dog, and into Andrés ST. As good as his word, Dean went back to help the backmarkers up the hill, and is welcome back anytime.
Toti Tony and a few others were showing signs of stress at this halfway point, and a small group splintered off to head for home. We lost Rich, Team R-T, Blake the younger [who had been riding well, but was battling with a broken saddle], Debbie Mills [who really has no excuse for this level of wussiness, even if she has recently become a granny] and Toti Tony. Thanks to Rich for helping out.
The remainder of us worked their way up to the Non-Stop Nurses ST, and whistled down it to the dam. Some whistled, I’m sure. I made little whimpering noises as ambition repeatedly conflicted with physics at every corner. It was slippery. I stayed upright, and was rewarded at the bottom by the familiar sight of Under the Radar coming our way. As is our custom, we greeted them warmly, traded inaccurate and misleading Bitcoin investment tips, and parted ways.
The plan was to go up Quarry / Naartjie hill, hang a right towards the quarry, and then take Little Sani towards the ‘pack of dogs’ ST, finally working back to Naartjie for the run home. I ran this plan past Andre on the way up Naartjie. His advice was to take a short cut back into Naartjie after the ST, making the route a little easier. Bowing to his greater knowledge of the forests, I agreed to this change. Pack of dogs was lovely, as always, but slippery at pace. Everyone made it up the short hill at the end, which is a first for us, I believe. Well done all.
After a steady climb back up the hill, we got to Andre’s short cut. In fairness, many of Andres route suggestions are valuable and enjoyable. This was not one of them. The route degenerated suddenly into a long soft bog, stopping even the best amongst us. We all had to squelch in ankle-deep swamp back up the hill, accompanied by a constant stream of creative abuse directed at myself and Andre. He shrugged it off, but I will require therapy.
Once the grumbling had dropped back to its normal levels, we pressed on, back up Naartjie, hard left and down the hill towards the nursery. It had taken us a long time to get to this point, and all were keen to get back. Rose kept us all honest on the pace the whole ride, and is going to be a medal contender should she start racing.
After the first section of the final ST, Kathy complained loudly that Andre had not obeyed the usual MTB protocol by warned her of upcoming route hazards like rocks and logs. Andre got that look in his eye, and for the rest of the ST he warned her loudly of everything – turns, sticks, trees, hills, descents, branches, leaves, insects, clouds, Jacob & Julius, the lot. I suspect that this will not happen again.
The journey back to Jaxx was otherwise uneventful. Strava Stats for the day: 34km, 850m climbing, 2h35m.
Back at Jaxx the group surprised and embarrassed us greatly with a some wonderful but entirely unnecessary gifts. Thank you all so much. It is an ongoing and unmitigated pleasure for us to ride every week with you lovely people. And Andre. I look forward to another 52 weeks of the same in 2018. Onwards and upwards.
Much gratitude also needs to be directed towards the Gruppenfuhrer, who does excellent work for the MTB section of the club, most of it unheralded in the background. Until now. Thanks Rich. Mwah!
May you all have a most safe and excellent festive season, wherever you may be, and whoever you may be with.
December holidays. Enjoy your riding wherever you may be.
Trails Off Limits Reminder
Howick / Karkloof
All BW riders are requested to respect the restrictions imposed by harvesting and obey local signs and instructions. View Trailforks app to keep abreast of closed trails.
New Karkloof 37km seems to be very popular for now as is the Supa 20.
Hilton / Cedara
The harvested areas are quite obvious, although de-stumping has not yet been completed. Please stay clear.
The Wednesday ride from Crossways is at 15:30.
This Saturday the “C” group ride is from Jaxx at 6:30.
D Group Initiative
There appears to be a need to establish a somewhat more entry level MTB group to complement the various other groups already established. If there is anyone (or more than one) interested in making this commitment, please talk to me.
To date I have seven (7) respondents, Caro Smit, Larry Sanders, Richard & Helga Venter, Lisa Bam, Blake and Ross. The more the merrier.
One suggestion I have received is establish a roster for leaders to take turns.
There will be a D group ride on Saturday. It will be in the form of a XCO route where everyone can ride at their own pace and own distance. The route will include forest roads and small section of single track. Do-able by all. We will meet at Worlds View look out at 6:30 on Saturday morning.
I have received many emails and phone calls from members, expressing frustration, concern and disappointment with the chip & spray surface on Chappies.
I have been speaking to Entilini, MEC Donald Grant, MEC Alan Winde, as well as a number of engineers and road builders since the new surface appeared on the road. Alan Winde, as a cyclist, has become the go-to politician for any cycling-related issues. However, in this case, he has no direct influence and can only advise his colleague, MEC Donald Grant. He has done so and is keeping a keen eye on developments.
Here is the latest update. Once the contractor has completed the resurfacing, MEC Donald Grant will conduct a site visit and his office has said that PPA will be invited to attend. MEC Grant has the final say in the matter and I am waiting for his final decision on whether the surface remains as is. But, to be quite honest, I wouldn’t really know what steps PPA could take to improve the road surface. Fixing roads falls outside of the PPA mandate and nobody is faulting the workmanship.
We are questioning the appropriateness of a chip & spray surface on Chapman’s Peak. It is an iconic road, in the middle of a city and attracts tourists in vehicles and on bicycles alike. The mix of motor vehicles, runners and cyclists would have made a Premix Overlay surface (what there was before) a better choice. Entilini have selected a surface that fulfils contractual requirements with the Province (Chappies is a provincial road).
Once the site visit has taken place, I will let you know what the MEC decides. Between PPA and the Cape Town Cycle Tour, we are working behind the scenes and representing the interests of cyclists as best we can.
In the meantime, please take care on Chappies and wear glasses to avoid any loose debris causing serious injury!