Friday 30th March - Public Holiday.
With most of the guys either working, or away on holiday, we decided to combine with the A's, who promised not to interfere with the pace but ride at the back of the B's. On the B's side we had Richard K, Alistair, and myself. On the A's we had Gavin, Rebecca, Grant M and Cornel. We also had a confused, A, B & C rider as in Mark Louden join us.
The plan was to ride the Dargle Hills, true to there word, the A's remained at the back with Alistair pulling us up past the dam, the pace was fast & furious. I heard the A's muttering at the back about the fast pace, with some chirps about the B's beating the A's in the upcoming Maluti D90. (That would be something to talk about for the next 10 years). Once we reached the Dargle Rd the A's could not hold back anymore and went to the front to do the pulling. After the turn we returned at a very pleasant pace.
The B's, then went on to Hilton College while the rest turned into Jaxx. On our return from Hilton College we met up with the A's and had a chat over coffee and breakfast.
Stats: 97km, 26km/hr ave, 1450m climbing.
Saturday 31st March
Wet, wet, wet. No ride.
Monday 2nd April
Only 2 of us pitched at Jaxx at 6am on Monday morning. Richard K and myself cycled to end Karkloof Rd, via Mid Mar Dam, and returned through Howick, back to Jaxx where we met up with the A's, and enjoyed breakfast and coffee.
Stats: 81 km, 25km/hr ave, 1200m climbing.
This Sat 7th April
I will be away on a MTB weekend, so no ride planned for this Saturday.
Tues and Thurs rides
Virgin Active, Victoria road at 4:55am, about 32kms.
Easter Saturday looked promising until we pulled off from Jaxx when a fine drizzle started. Alan said it would clear up soon and we believed him……big mistake!! Going past Midmar Dam the heavens opened. We are made of sterner stuff than the DD’s and pressed on. When we entered Howick the rain was unrelenting and we turned for home. Some of the braver carried on to Hilton College but the sane stopped at Jaxx. A very wet 40km ride! Many thanks to Jan for the backup and Hot Cross buns which were most welcome.
11 of us left VV at 4:55, with the intention being to introduce the group to the 3 sisters. We warmed u our legs along Mayors’ Walk, turning left up Morcom Road, which was the first sister. We then went down Stott Road and left into Mayors’ Walk and right up to the top of Villiers Drive, the second sister and into Taunton, the third sister.
This only covered a distance of 20kms with 522m of climbing.
There was lots of huffing and puffing at the top of the hills but, as Bobby Nefdt says, the hills you don’t like the most are the hills you need the most.
I was very impressed with the way the group handled the hills, evidence that the training is paying off, and we still have a month until the Tour Durban.
Saturday 30th: I had great expectations for a longer ride, but the weather had other ideas. 3 of us left Jaxx at 5a.m. Peter L, Janice and myself, with Shaun Govender doing backup. All went well until we went down Sakabula hill into Merrivale, and the heavens opened. Within a km we were totally drenched and decided to pull into the nearest garage. Fortunately Shaun had a bike carrier on his vehicle which took 3 bikes, so we loaded up the bikes and headed back to Jaxx, having only done 12kms.
As Jaxx only opens at 7, the 4 of us met at Seattle Cascades for a cup of coffee.
Monday 2nd: To make up for Saturday’s debarcle, Trishan, Shaun and myself met 7 other mountain bikers at Steers for our first MTB ride of the year. If anybody thinks the Desert Run is a walk in the park, think again – we negotiated some insane hills (3 to be exact) which tested our road bike legs. It was thoroughly enjoyed by the 3 of us although it was hard work. I must thank Rod Blake for leading the group and for socialising with us meagre roadies.
Tuesday 3rd: 4 of us left VV at 4:55 for a slow town ride with no hills. Peter L pitched on his mountain bike, Polani (who we haven’t seen for months), Janice and myself.
Janice’s front light packed up as we started so, to create visibility for her, she was placed in the front. The pace was pretty hectic going up Mayors’ Walk, but slowed down from there to a normal pace to the top of Town Bush and back to VV. Janice was on her way to the Berg, so no coffee, Peter L had an early appointment so no coffee, Polani’s transport was waiting for him and I don’t drink coffee on my own, so I rode home for an early start to the day!
Saturday 7th: As I’m going on a MTB weekend to do the Berg and Bush trails, I won’t be here, but I’ll ask Peter Keyworth (if he’s here) to lead a group from Greendale Spar to the end of Karkloof Road and back. We’ll also need a backup for this ride so, if you’ve not had your turn, please put your hand up.
Ride safe, stay alert, stay alive,
MTB Captains weekly report – 4th April 2018
The rain put an end to the Saturday rides but fortunately not the good Friday ride.
Rowlands’ C Group Report for Friday 30th and Sat 31st March
I had a hell of a week, and needed a little cycling to settle things down a bit. Fortunately for me, some of the C-Group flock felt the same way, and we set up a little forest foray for the Friday. Joining Team Rowland at Jaxx were Teams Booysen and Gray, the back half of Team Stewart, Sheila Mac, Rose, Wendy P-E, and Team Norris [Chuck is the whole team]. Word is that Chuck had such an impact on New Zealand that they are considering changing the name to just Zealand. Larry turned up to clock in so I couldn’t tease him, and collect some honey from Sheila. He didn’t join us for the ride, sadly.
The idea was to do a recce ride around Cedara to see what would be usable for the Saturday ride, assuming the weather cooperated, which didn’t look likely.
We started on Hillside Rd, into the forest, over Dunton’s Demise, and past the Mallory Rd gate. Dunton’s Demise is dry, but has a lot of felling debris near it which unsettled most of the group. Only two got across upright that I saw. Could do better, then.
From here we went into the famous Bunny Ears for the first time in weeks. Like seeing an old friend again. MIR Pierre is normally hot on my heels through the ST, and his place was taken today by erstwhile MIR Byron [PhD], with both youth and education on his side. As happens every year at this time, everything that can grow is having a last spurt before winter. This hides some of the natural obstacles, and extra care needs to be taken. Taking every piece of ST we could find, we worked our way up to the Pin the Pines / Phil’s Nana combination. This was, as usual, a blast.
Up Dead Dog hill, down Andre’s ST to the jeep track to avoid blackjack alley. Down to the Dead Tree, and then hard right back up the hill. We avoided blackjack alley by taking the jeep track, down to the dead tree, and back up the hill.
Wendy took a tumble on Andre’s ST, with her pedal collecting a hidden stump and dumping her unceremoniously beside the track. She was bruised, but avoided serious injury.
By now we were used to Wendy coming past us on the hills on her e-bike. It’s the future, I tell you. I’ve got my name down on one for when my oil rings inevitably go, and I can no longer keep up with Alison. Wendy comes past us effortlessly on the hills, but does her best not to gloat, which helps. This was however not good enough for Teams Norris and Byron, who set off in hot pursuit. As he came past me, Byron told me that Chuck had coerced him into agreeing that e-bikes were not allowed to get to the top first. They delivered on that challenge.
Good to have team Booysen back with the group, and Andre didn’t disappoint, dropping his usual little bon mots along the ride, aided and abetted by Dave, and accompanied by some judicious eye-rolling by the long-suffering Liz.
We split into two groups at the Nurses turn-off, half doing the longer route past the dam and up naartjie, and the other half going straight up the hill. Around here I realised that I’d overshot the km target a bit [I blame the excellent company] and we headed directly home.
We were joined at Jaxx by Lesley, the better looking and significantly more chatty part of Team Norris. Jaxx was relatively quiet, it being a holiday, so the service was attentive. Dogbite got his hot, hot chocolates eventually. Wendy assuaged her bruises with some deep-fried brie for breakfast. Excellent banter led to a slightly longer and louder refreshment session, and clear FOMO from passers-by, who clearly thought we were having way too much fun for our age. This last bit is true. Join the club.
Strava Stats: 32,5km, 2h11 moving time, 720m climbing.
Saturday was, as predicted, rained out. Harrumph. Next week we move to 07h00 winter starts.
Berg & Bush ride - 7/8 April
Joburg 2 C – 20-28 Apr
Mid Illovo Classic – 22 Apr
Sani2C (Trail, Adventure, Race) – 8-12 May
Karkloof Classic – 27 May
Compendium Burg Wheelers MTB Race – St Ives, 24 Jun
The Wednesday ride from Crossways is at 15:30.
This Saturday the “C” and “D” group ride is from Jaxx at 7:00. NOTE NEW TIME FOR WINTER