8 OCTOBER 2018
Our annual Ballito ride has come and gone. I’m not sure if the 30+ riders who left Steers on Sunday morning, understand the amount of work that goes into organising this ride.
The planning starts weeks before, to get you there, and safely back with your bikes, so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Trevor Thomson (our road captain) for his efforts in planning and executing the “perfect” ride to Ballito, from the communication to all the cycling tips on what to eat and drink on the way.
I would also like to thank the group leaders, namely Alan McPherson who led the C’s, Clive Deacon who led the B’s and Hayden Hattingh who led the A’s. Thanks also go to Alan’s backup driver and Peter, Clive’s backup driver as well.
I had the privilege of being backup driver for the A’s, and must compliment Hayden for keeping his group together and always falling back to pick up the last rider on the hills – the group ride like a well-oiled machine.
Last, but not least, I must compliment all the riders who rode on Sunday – Maritzburg to Ballito is not an easy ride, having some big hills. If you rode it for the first time, well done, and for those who’ve done it a couple of times, I’m sure you enjoyed the experience once again.
The ride culminated in an amazing breakfast at the BBM café in Salt Rock – another truly well organised, BW social event.
A Gavin Green 0823295299
B Clive Deacon 0836569784
C Allan Macpherson 0828313308
D Dale Southern 0836593000
Ballito A group report.
Wow, what a fantastic ride and group of people.
The A group consisted of 10 riders, Alistair Watt, Craig Markham, Kole Smith, Tony Stark, Dave Bure, Dustin Grose, Graham Potgieter, Broden, Ingrid Flint and myself.
Our plan was to ride as a group, keeping to a pace comfortable enough for the weakest rider of the group. It was a good thing that we stayed together too, given the very misty conditions on the day. The group worked well, with stronger riders protecting the weaker riders as much as possible, some notable pulls on the front from Craig Markham and Kole Smith.
In all we managed a good average speed of just over 26kph, with no technical’s or injuries. Notably I see the only lady in our group Ingrid, achieved 10 ‘Top Ten Trophy's’ on Strava segments!
Well done to the group for a disciplined ride that was enjoyed by all.
Special thanks to Dale for providing the back-up and protecting us in the early morning mist, and of course to TT for all his organizing.
Certainly a club ride not to be missed, make sure you’re there next year if you missed out on this one.
Tues and Thurs Morning rides.
The B group leave from Virgin Active Victoria Road every Tues and Thurs morning at 4:55.
Sat morning Rides.
As it is a week before Amashova, this Sat 13th October, we will be having an easy ride, from Jaxx, to end Karkloof Road and back. To make the ride just over 80kms we will need to go via the dam in both directions. We will leave Jaxx car park at 5:30.
Sunday 7th October, ride to Ballito.
There were 10 eager B’s who showed up at Steers, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Oh, wait, Tony just arrived, who was supposed to ride in the A’s but did not see the final list. So now we were 11. After a short briefing we headed out in the, dark, misty conditions towards Wartburg.
The 10 were, Alec, Allan G, Carl, WW, Ian M, Brett F on his gravel bike, Peter L, Wally F, Andrew B, and myself. Pretty soon after the start Allan G broke a gear cable. He carried on pushing some very heavy gears up the hills to Wartburg. Eventually Allan climbed into the back up vehicle and headed to Wartburg to make some necessary adjustments to his bike.
We stopped in Wartburg to release some body fluids. Alan G joined us with his gearing more suited for the up hills but not sufficient for the downhills. He continued like this for the rest of the way doing a lot of pace lining on the down hills.
The A’s came past us just before reaching the R614, right turn. This is where we lost our first rider. Alec, needed a faster pace and left our group to ride ahead with his own back up driver. We were now down to 10 riders.
We eventually caught up with the C group, who were having a snack at the top of a huge climb. Here, we lost another rider, Peter, who decided to continue with the C group. We were now down to 9 riders.
Around 87kms under the belt we decided to stop and take in some much needed refreshments.
We caught up with Alec just before the turn into the head wind along the coast. We soon reached Ballito were we all enjoyed a great breakfast. Thanks Burg Wheelers.
This is a tough ride with over 2000m climbing. The road conditions, not so good, with a lot of pot holes, sugar cane and huge speed bumps to get over. A good training ride, best, taking a lot of the downhills carefully. Thankfully we all arrived in Ballito safely. Thank you to Peter, who was our back up driver, and kept us safe from the overtaking traffic. Also carrying our refreshments for us. Thanks Peter, you did a great job.
Riding stats were, 130km, 5hrs 40min, 23km/hr, 2000m climbing.
Thursday 4/10/18 with a bit of a chill in the air , we did a nice easy town ride in prep for Sundays Ballito ride.
8 off us meet at steers at 4:10 for a short briefing with TT (Nat’s Jan Bill Greg Liz Sheila Zaheer Allan) just reminding everyone about the dangers on the road and to eat and pace them self’s as it was a long ride originally planning to do one stop at about the 74km
The ride out of town was nice and every one looking out for road hazards and every one excited lots of chatter ,on route to Wartburg it was decided to stop for a comfort break. We were back on the road with in 10 minutes ,still with a lot of mist here and there when we got to the bottom of Applebosh hill there was so much mist that we did not know that we were on it I think that was a very good thing mentally I saw only two of my group put their feet down I think just for a rest we all stopped at the top of the hill and had our planed stop at this point picking up Peter from the B group .
We then carried on trying to keep together as a bunch as we could feel the wind picking up ,even in the last ten km there was still a racing spirit .
I am very impressed with my group this was probably one of the toughest ride that most of them have done and they did it with a smile all the way thank you all was my best Ballito ride so far.
Stats 130kms 2073m climbing 21,2 kph
Start at Jaxx to end of tar on the Karloff road and back both ways passing Midmar giving us about 80km easy ride. Leaving at 5 am.
In the event of rain we will postpone the ride to Sunday starting at 05:30 from Rotunda.
6 of us met at the garage at the bottom of Hesketh Drive to do some sprints and hill work. We started by doing a leg warmer up to Anderson road, followed by 5 repeats with the first one being done at 75% of max heart rate, moving into zone 5 for the last four repeats until we hit 95% max heart rate.
By then the legs were truly burning, but no pain, no gain. We then went to the top of Hesketh, into Murray with a loop around Pick & Pay, back down Hesketh from the robot, straight to Seattle for a cup of coffee.
9 of us left Steers at 5a.m. for a ride to Inchanga. As always, to get to Inchanga, you have to go up Foxhill and then keep climbing until you get to Thornhill, a total of 18kms and a climb of 385metres.
You then have the Dards to contend with, and from there we worked our way through Camperdown, Cato Ridge and up to Inchanga. This was Brendan’s first long ride with the group, and I must compliment him on making it all the way to the top and back to Cato Ridge, where he jumped into his Mom’s car and headed home.
Brendan is 15 years old and very keen to become a road cyclist. He did 62kms, with a total climb of 880metres. Well done Brendan, we look forward to watching your progress.
At the 25km mark we said goodbye to Steve, Peter and Trishan, who had time restraints and headed back home. On our way home we had the 2 notorious Polly’s, big and little. Unfortunately Jason started cramping up big Polly’s, and then decided to jump into the backup vehicle.
The rest of us made it home quite easily, and a light breakfast and a cup of coffee was enjoyed by the 4 of us who stayed.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Hanneke, Carel’s wife, for doing such an amazing job as our backup driver.
10 of us left VV at 4:50a.m. doing the loop first to warm up our legs, and then 3 repeat sessions from the bottom of Howick Road to Henderson and back down. Hard work, but necessary for Amashova. We ended the ride by doing the loop again to get any lactic acid in our muscle.
Three of us had an enjoyable cup of coffee.
From Rotunda at 5a.m. up to Nottingham Road and back, which should cover a total of 92km. In the event of rain we will postpone the ride to Sunday starting at 05:30 from Rotunda.
We will need a backup driver for Saturday’s ride.
Ride safe, stay alert, stay alive,
MTB Captains Report – 9th October 2018
Fire Season: this is a windy and dry time of year and Sappi may close certain trails due to a high fire danger index. This closure is not negotiable.
This does not usually affect the Cedara trails. Please use your discretion and err on the safe side when riding in Cedara on windy days. Nobody wants to be caught in a forest fire.
WEARING OF CLUB KIT
Please be reminded that we are obliged to wear club kit on all club rides and when representing the club at races. It is understood that occasionally this may not be possible. However the agreement with our sponsor, Compendium, is dependent on us complying with our part of the deal. Thanks for your support in this regard. The kit looks good, is subsidised and really good quality.
PS. Compendium also sells insurance. Give them a call, especially if you want your bike covered.
A/B Group – A/B group ride this past weekend. This group is for the faster riders. Should anyone be willing to lead, please contact me.
C Group – Mark Rowland leads the C group. The C group is more of an intermediate ability group doing as much single track as they can.
D Group – The D group is intended for those newer to mountain biking or less fit and is typically no more than 25km’s of essentially forest roads, but with some single track included in the mix. The D group is led by various members on a roster format.
Group Reports for Sat 6th October
A/B Group: The Weekend Warriors have been doing some really interesting rides over the last two weekends in the Bisley area discovering an old shooting range, the Claridge area and Cumberland area.
C Group: Team Rowland were a little early getting to Jaxx, and it was disturbingly quiet. But not for long. The weather was glorious, and the C group faithful swarmed to take advantage. Joining us were Teams Griffin, Botha, Gray [with a relative, Leonard] and Ellison [including guest Jordan, he of the recent 75 km scout badge fame], solo riders Rod, Sean, the lower half of Team Booysen, Paula, Gert, Pierre, Clive, Trevor, Grant, Derek, and Rhys.
My previous days predictions about the dangers of the pre-ride parking lot proved prescient. Sean managed to flip over backwards while ‘testing his suspension’, and Gert had to replace a faulty valve [fortunately only on his bike.] Sean fortunately escaped with no injuries that he admitted to. He’s in Risk Management, so we expect nothing less. I don’t recall anyone having an accident in the parking lot before, so Sean takes the title there.
No one was keen to lead the snakes, and there were a few new faces, so we elected to start as a single large group, and adjust as we went along. We left Gert in the parking lot fixing his valve, with instructions of how to find us. We went into the forest via Hillside Rd, taking both sections of ST down to the vlei, and then climbing up the grey road to intersect with Bunny Ears, which we haven't done for a while. This all went swimmingly, and Gert re-joined us. Bunny Ears has a few places where the path forks, and I made the mistake of assuming that everyone knew which way to go. I’m not entirely sure what happened next. No-one overtook me, but there was still a large group waiting for me at the end of the ST. I suspect that some Armstronging occurred. The snakes, guessing that they had been bust, quickly formed a 6 person group, and rushed off to do confidential snake-like things. The rest of us climbed up past the nursery, turned right at the top, and went into the Pines / Brett’s Law / Kim’s Way / Phil’s Nana combination. Marvellous as always. My MUCH YOUNGER WIFE very kindly agreed to sweep. Rod is still recovering from being christened ‘Cyclops’ by Larry, and was taking it easy. Pierre wasn’t, and broke a spoke for his efforts.
At the end of this ST combination, we turned left, to head up towards the infamous Dead Dog hill, but took the first left, which took us to Dead Tree Corner instead. From Dead Tree corner the majority of us climbed up the gravel road to intersect the Non-Stop Nurses ST, with the D’s and friends taking the gravel road and meeting us at Nurses Dam. Andre suggested that the term Dam was rapidly becoming archaic. His experience with nurses indicates that they are currently using far stronger language, specifically with him. Something to look forward to, then. I shall consult with our resident nurse expert, Justin.
From here, we slogged up naartjie hill, right at the top, and then headed across to do the Pack of Dogs ST. Team Botha left us at naartjie and headed back. En route to Pack of Dogs, I was educated about Byron’s relative, Leonard, who turns out not only to be a Vet [the animal type, not the military/elderly type], but also has a large Chuck Hughes gene. A few years ago, he and some of his varsity mates did something like Cape Town – Windhoek – Gabs – Bulawayo – Harare – Blantyre and home on very basic 26’ hardtail Silverbacks. I didn’t get all the details, but it’s worth asking him if you get the chance. Don’t mention this to Chuck.
Pack of dogs was great, with the youngsters leading the way. Pierre’s wheel was starting to buckle, as was my resolve. It was time for coffee.
This turned out to be a common feeling at that time, as we then bumped into almost every other MTB group in the forest, also on their way back for refreshments. The Mallory Rd gate resembled the Mumbai train station on a public holiday. The Forest Fairies, a larger than usual Brand’s Bunch, our snakes, and a single Under the Radar rider. Fortunately our advance party [Team Botha] had snaffled a suitable table for the C’s at Jaxx, and we were able to refuel successfully. A good day, then.
Garmin Stats: 32.5km, 2h05, and 600m climbing.
Next week, Team Rowland will be Berg & Bushing, so Rod has kindly agreed to take the C’s that day. Have fun, and take care.
D Group: Combined with C grp
The Wednesday ride from Crossways is at 15:30.
The Saturday MTB club rides from Jaxx at 6:30. Rod will be leading the C’s and Gordon will be leading the D’s.