Compendium Burg Wheelers MTB Race
Your committee has decided to move this event from St Ives to Karkloof as they feel this venue will boost numbers. The revised date is now 14 July. Entries are open on ROAG.
A/B Group – A/B group ride this past weekend. This group is for the faster riders. Should anyone be willing to regularly lead, please contact me.
C Group – Mark Rowland leads the C group. After a recent gathering of C and D group brains trust, it has been decided to brand these two groups slightly differently. The C group is more of an intermediate ability group doing as much single track as they can, riding at a somewhat faster pace typically 16km/h. The intention is to ride about 30km in a Saturday morning.
D Group – The D group is intended for those wishing to do what the C group does but at a lesser pace and over a lesser distance. Typically around 28km’s at approx. 14km/h. The D group is led by various members on a roster format.
MTB Weekend Glengarry
Glengarry Weekend. On the afternoon of the 10th May, Team Rowland threaded our way through the potholes en route to the annual BWCC MTB weekend, this year held at the Glengarry estate, home of the Kamberg MTB race. These were senior potholes, able to contain large pots. The weather was glorious, and obligingly stayed that way for the whole weekend. By the time we got there, Teams Krusekopf, Southern, Markham and Smith / Dick were well established with the BWCC gazebo down by the lake, and the temperature was dropping fast. Red wine time, then. We congregated happily around the fire, and were joined by and by, by Teams Pallett, Luden and Gray. Mike & Alida Pallett attended as honorary guests from the Howick MTB club. Conversation, feeding and drinking broke out, aided and abetted by the culinary skills of Teams Krusekopf, Southern and Gray. Margie even produced 5l of frozen ice-cream from somewhere inside the caravan. I suspect wizardry. A fat Labrador hoovered up whatever it could, and looked at us beseechingly when it couldn’t. Jackals howled in the distance, but we were only to find out why the following day. Frivolities were curtailed early, in expectation of a good ride to come.
As one would expect, it was chilly [3 degrees] at 08h00 as we rode out of the gates, led by Red-Hot Rod, scourge of the singletrack. Rod had done the Kamberg MTB race earlier in the year, and was confident that he could show us a good time. Justifiably, as it turned out.
We did most of the 45 km race route, as the temperature increased steadily under clear blue skies, to very comfortable levels. A lovely route, with great singletrack, leavened by a couple of stiff climbs which spread the pack out from time to time. The only worrying event came just before the second tough climb – the dreaded Rev’s Revenge. A large group of vultures started circling above us, clearly in expectation of being able to pick off stragglers, should there be any. We shrugged this off as mere paranoia, until a jackal was sighted a little further along the track. This clear demonstration of coordination between scavengers caused us to stay close to the oldest rider, after first checking him for loose change. However, the vultures were clearly a picky lot, and they let us be.
At the start of Revs Revenge, we intersected with Andy and Dale, who had taken a shorter and easier route. Dale’s ticker was acting up in anticipation of the following weeks medical attentions, and so, mindful of the vultures, we rode back as one group. Ali & I did a little extra distance as part of our Pondo training – that beer’s not going to drink itself folks – while the rest went back to base. An excellent and much appreciated brunch was waiting for us, orchestrated by the non-cycling members of the group. After a suitable rest, a duplication of the previous evening’s festivities broke out once more, this time with added music furnished by Team Pallett, who had thoughtfully brought a guitar with them. The whole thing was further lubricated by the judicious application of red wine, and was most pleasant indeed. Even the Kruppenfuhrer himself [may his taillight always flash] was seen to sing along. The previous evening’s Labrador had been exchanged for an Australian Cattle Dog named Bruce, who had less luck than his colleague. Forewarned is forearmed.
Mother’s Day was noticeably colder [0 degrees], leading some speculation that it was actually Mother-in-law’s day. We had a brunch deadline to meet, and so we rode out at 07h30, shivering and bleating. Maybe that was just me. Once again the weather was glorious, the temperature increased steadily, and Rod led us to new and interesting places to cycle. No vultures today, although there were more jackals. Rosie and Wayne demonstrated impressive birding skills. All too soon, the ride was over, and we all cleaned up before hitting the final brunch. Thanks were given to all who helped, and the Kruppenfuhrer dished out a little gift to all the mothers in the group. Sadly, I was informed that it didn’t matter what my employees called me, I didn’t qualify for a gift. Reluctantly we all left to negotiate the potholes back to what passes for civilization. A most excellent weekend, and thanks again to all involved. Highly recommended, even if you don’t do MTB.
Team Rowland Garmin Stats:
Saturday: 3h10, 51km, 765m, 16,6 [We did a little extra on the jeeptrack on both days. Ahem.]
Sunday: 2h10, 34km, 525, 16km/h
Group Reports for Sat 11&18th May
A/B Group –
C Group - 11th May - For the artistically inclined: Setting of a scene, introduction of characters and narrative:
With many of the mighty C Group regulars opting for two days of riding at Glengarry instead of the regular Cedara/ Grace College Saturday ride, I didn't expect a stampede on Saturday 11 May. I thought that I will have to join the D Group for the day but Pierre, Mike, Andy Ridge, Dylan and Elaine joined me for the ride. There were two near off-bike incidents and one off-bike incident. The near off-bike incidents both involve Dylan who appears to have trouble keeping his balance when his bike is stationary and he has both feet on the ground but have no such trouble when he is moving. In an unprecedented move Pierre manged to do a disa-Pierre-ing trick. He achieved this by sending Dylan the wrong way on the single track. With Dylan re-joining the back of the pack, Andy was the only remaining rider that could keep up with him. While waiting for the rest of the riders to catch up, Pierre pointed to the horizon and asked Andy if that is not a Bugatti Veyron driving down Shepstone Road. By the time Andy realised that he has been tricked Pierre was gone. I asked Pierre afterwards how he did it without being spotted. The secret to his success was to blend seamlessly with a group of faster riders that happened to pass them at the time. Pierre completed the rest of the ride with the other group of riders.
For the goal orientated:
The goals for the day were to link as much of the single track together as possible, to link as many of the hills together as possible, to do all the down hills on single track, to do all the hills on dirt road, to do approximately 30km in total and to do it in 2:30. We managed to reach all our goals on the day.
For the disorientated:
Entering at the bottom of Hillary Road, Kims Way (400m) followed by Bunny Ears (1,7 km), stringing together Non-stop Nurses, Court's, New Fire Break St and Adrenalin for a total of 3,5km uninterrupted downhill single track, climbing 8km past the quarry to the top of whatever the hill is called that is just below Swartkop (probably something with a "dog" suffix), down past the Rastafarian Tabernacle, stringing together Eish Reverse, Seals Reverse, Rock n Fly an Liv Your Dream and an unnamed single track for another 5,3km of uninterrupted downhill single track, exiting at the bottom of Hillary Road.
For the mathematically inclined:
2:36 moving time
874m elevation (according to Strava)
18th May ride - Another glorious autumn day, and a large group of people arrived at Jaxx for their weekend dose of cycling. Three groups were formed, Gavin Joburg2C taking the B’s, Dogbite directing a large and feisty D, and the rest coming with Ali and I – being DisaPierre, Dylan and Gert. Just for a change, we started off Hillside road, and then headed for Grace, crossing via the Rotunda and the N3 tunnel. Halfway up the Nkandla ST, on the Grace College perimeter, we found a basketball. Sending it back over the fence was delegated to Pierre, but the slope of the hill made this difficult, and it took several tries. We offered helpful suggestions.
Getting into Grace forests before the Park Run starts is always a good idea, although the marshals are always pleasant. The section of singletrack that Strava calls ‘Berm Baby Sequel’ now has an added section juts before the end, taking you all the way back to the road that you entered on. This looked suspiciously like the work of the chief forest goblin himself, Chris Brand. Sure enough, he was spotted going into Secret Track, and we caught up with him just over the HC road. He confessed to having done the work over the last few weeks, and we thanked him profusely. We’re fortunate to have people like him around, and it’s a pity he wasn’t in the running for the Presidency.
BTW, my favorite presidential candidate remains Rick Astley, who, as those of you older than 30 will recall, is never going to give you up, let you down, make you cry, say goodbye, tell a lie, run around or desert you. Hard to beat that.
Chris joined us briefly for Castle Rock and its extensions, but we lost him when Dylan had a few minor mechanicals, and he sailed past majestically. He didn’t actually call us amateurs, but it was written all over his face. The mechanicals were soon fixed, and we completed the singletrack. From there we went back into Cedara via Pierre’s favorite swamp frogs, the Madrassa and the Cedara main gate. Up past the college all the way to the entrance of Brett’s Law. A recce revealed that the singletrack combination is still open, so we rode down to the entrance of Phil’s Nana, where we turned left up the jeeptrack and headed back for coffee. Pierre did what he does best, and sprinted for home as soon as he could. The rest of us drifted along behind him at a more refined pace. We arrived back at Jaxx just after the B’s, and settled in to wait for the D’s. Jaxx has returned to its usual standard of service, and we all recuperated most pleasantly.
Garmin Stats: 34km, 2h10, 550m ascent, all at a very creditable average of 16km/h.
For added geekiness, I’m going to include the min & max temperature whenever I remember to. Min 6, Max 18.
11th May – Gordon lead a group including Larry, Jan and wife Colleen. Stats 26km with 347m of climbing in 2:45.
18th May - A very enthusiastic D Group this morning racked up 32km 640m climbing @ 13km/hr. Some gentle single track and forest roads. We were joined by guests Christin and Chuck from the States and potential new BW member Rory. All managed well and special Kudos to Caro Smit. Nice to see you back on your bike Caro. Regards Dave
Adhoc trail clean up co-ordinated by Gavin Green on Saturday afternoon resulted in Non-stop Nurses and Black Jack alley now being rideable again, enjoy.
Thanks to Gavin, Doc Mike and Omar.
The Wednesday ride from Crossways. Winter start time 15:00.
The Saturday ride for the C’s and D’s is from Jaxx. Winter start time 7:00.. (Mark and Andy leading)