Saturday, 18 October 2014

Back to back weekends of stage racing and a road race.. mouthful..

So I've been youngly quiet in the past few weeks.. sorry.. but  its been an interesting past 3 weeks, doing the Isuzu 3 Towers in the first weekend of October, the Fedgroup berg & Bush #Descent in the 2nd weekend and then this weekend -The Bestmed Satellite Classic.. what happiness!!

So its not often ill say i enjoyed climbing or enjoyed being on the road bike but somehow i just loved the Satellite Classic.. i was meant to ride the 116 but ended up doing the 80km as a friend was really wanting to ride but not alone, so the easy paced ride was needed but my legs were beyond happy to climb.. it felt good.. :)







A young reflection on the last  2 weekends..

The Isuzu 3 Towers was hella tough - mechanical infested but tough.. every day we started on a 20km climb between 800-1000m vertical ascent.. then an additional 50km with another 1000m vertical spread out.. i suffered but Lord knows i love Sabie for one reason, yes it has crazy climbs but the downhills and single track are beyond rewarding**! 
First day my partner had issues with gears not changing in the last 20 odd Km's, and big ring and Sabie rarely happens so that held us back. And on the second day i broke my saddle 12km's into the 1st 20km climb.. standing and resting to the top/ 1st water point was all that could happen, in between this drama was 2 different ideas on how we could keep the saddle 'on'.. oh boy.. at Waterpoint 1 another guy tried to make my spare tube a seat.. bless you all but we ended up having  to go back to race village to get my saddle sorted, i was determined to ride still so i was dropped off at the last guy on the field and allowed to finish.. <3 MTB and that afternoon.. Rugby as the Springboks made us proud.. the race village was so warm.. loved it! Ps.. its called 3 Towers because you climb to a Tower each day.. i didn't know this.. :)





























The last day was beautiful.. lots of climbs, no mechanicals and lots of technical descent towards the end.. yes, i was one happy Bean!!



The Berg and Bush is known for its never ending single track up, down, across.. hmm.. fair climbing, hard terrain as we transversed the Berg, sickeningly amazing single track.. yes, Solly's Folly is worth all the hype it gets... especially with a bit of rain and mist.. i loved it.. first day was a long 95km.. id lost my sense of humor in the last 5 km's - this was the longest 5km's of my life..

 




Ive always said mtb climbing is harder than road climbing, but Berg and Bush took it a tad further.. single track climbing is tough.. yikes! 2nd day the legs started arriving, and 3rd day they had arrived and i couldn't have asked for a better stage for them to arrive.. this brought great happiness :)



Having missed Cape Pioneer this year and being blessed enough to do these stage races i couldn't help but wonder.. if every race has climbs.. is it not that the natural or differentiating factor should be the quality of the technical single track?.. good races cater for the climbers and the technical riders/downhillers/technical single track lovers.. i think.. hence some pray for uphills... some pray for downhills was all i thought on day 1  as most of the riders dismounted down a technical wet Solly's folly.. we made up time on the technical bits on day 2 and 3.. perhaps its cause i live for technical single track and tummy curdling descents.. i wouldn't have it any different though :) 

... Best single track ridden so far / the amount of effort put into insane downhills and technical single track
1. Bridge Cape Pioneeer
2. Fedgroup Berg and Bush
3. Sabie - everywhere.. in all directions going down :)
4. Sani2C Day 2

I love mtb'ing!!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The commute and the Juma

So I've had a rather excitable last 2 weeks, I've started commuting to work with a colleague who happens to be hella strong too.. last week was our first week and i must say the transition from the indoor trainer attempts and an out-ride have proved... futile.. maybe not futile as such but Devlin's just hella strong.. as i begged at the foot of his calves on every climb to work, i knew i was in for a constant beating till i can at least hold my own on a climb..

So the long and the short: the commute from home, meet Devlin and ride to work is just under 30km and 588m ascent (Fourways to Selby), but from Devlin to work its just under 25km and 480m climbing. Way home is about 280m climbing and 500m odd descent so yes, the rides  home are crazy fun and games while the ride to work is the personality test... this week  however we ended the week on a win on Friday.. we shaved off a good 7 minutes on the travel to work.. my Suunto loves me, i needed to be told i was getting better next to my encouraging riding partner, even the Linden climb doesn't feel as horrid anymore.. i'm happier being back on the bike.. so needed <3

The most notable thing... riding through the center of town isn't as bad as i would have thought(yes there are crazy moments)... the taxis seem to understand.. the cars accommodating.. mornings frantic with Metros making the inner city more manageable :) bet ya'll never seen the beautiful waterfall just past the bridge towards Milpark/Empire road..  this commute has been a young suffer fest but more a pleasure too!!



Another excitable happening last week was being asked to join a few mtb'ers to ride a few of the new additions to the HollardJuma....boy oh boy what a party!!! There was all the cool kids including Mike Hewan (the Complete Cyclist Machiiiiine with legs to go ;) ), Neil Evans, this invitingly mysterious gent who was our route guide and part of the route building team, baggies and all, he's also known as the Spruit fairy, this was very awesome to hear as I've been very impressed with the bridges on the Spruit and the cleaned up and amplified bridges sure makes for some Urban fun at your door step!! And of course, our host, Andy Hadfield, a very intriguing gent, playful at most but works his iphone impressively too!!



Okay, so where do we start.. we rode up to Montgomery Park from Marks Park, through Melville Koppies, we had a young mechanical, more laughs and proper play mode on the bike then i had to dash back to the office... work.. sigh... but am so happy they let me ride for a few hours still**! 

I picture this race is going to be insane.. just because Jozi mtb'ers are awesome with a fair dash of crazy, the race prize purse has been rumored to be quite high so yes, this will attract the racing snakes too but it will also attract the Spruit lovers, beginners everybody... i picture myself in a pink ballerina outfit going crazy.. yes.. I'm excited if i may say so myself, I've posted a few pics from the ride, picture these x100!





There are still a few entries available, HollardJuma is on 12th October - if not why not ;)



Xx







Sunday, 14 September 2014

Chicken Shit

So an update from the previous week - the pursuit to eat well is going great, no strength training from the past week as i was just feeling pap. Rode the weekend which was awesome but probably the most important ride was my Saturday ride, I haven't done an out-ride for the last 6 weeks probably so Devlyn asking me to ride with him was daunting.. to paint the picture, he is proper Afrikaans built..has to be about 2m tall with carves for days and his just strong... if you know what i mean.

The most interesting thought around all this was this : either I know how to pick em, or they just know how to pick me... the hurt locker place..He's been commuting to work so hes gotten quite strong, did i mention he used to race BMX in his younger days????

Anyway, after much deliberation, we went for our ride on the Spruit which was beautiful but included chicken shit moments.. i was scared to take chances..this is always a good thing cause the reminder of what courage is changes everything.. i needed this wake up.. headed to our coffee stop we had a few grumpies on route which didn't make sense as they were either with kids or solo.. how can you be angry on the bike then? I however had reason to be grumpy - feeling like the arse end of diarrhea on every climb as my chest burned i chased those carves ...towards the end, realizing that Bryanston is not flat.. sigh.

He has suggested we ride to work together... says my pedigree shows.. this could have been awkward but he says he can see i can ride a bike.. which is good... I think..

We start commuting to work tomorrow.. i'm chicken shit for that too but when courage knocks, i welcome her with open arms.. we are nothing if we never embrace that first step and try.. will keep you updated on our venture**!


Rode again in PTA on Sunday with a few friends, great ride that landed me with my chin on the edge of a concrete block thing trying to avoid falling into the river.. i was pulling stunts as we all know and i came short proper... landing on my chin rang alarm bells but luckily there's no major damage, little skin, bit o blood- thank heaven for the stuff I'm made of :) but i'm certain I'll show that little trickster who's boss next week!















Happy new week all**


Sunday, 7 September 2014

Outsourcing Humanity

So we've had an intense week of strength training and good eating :), so greeeat**! I'm a bundle of joy with finding rhythm on the bike again and being more consistent = managing work better :)












This weekend has been a rather interesting one and figured i'd share my thoughts..

So i had an epiphany this weekend of how we've become so independent ...we've lost probably the most beautiful part of what it means to be human and being present - we outsource everything that requires effort including being a friend and showing up for family, anything that doesn't desperately need your personal touch will be outsourced. Perhaps this has always been me as I stepped into the shoes of independence - at the tender age of 15 starting work on weekends so i could afford my own jeans, movie outings and all things that make teens happy..  many years later i know how much I've perfected outsourcing... 

I was taken aback by seeing family and neighbours giving their evenings in the week to assist the mourning family, their hard earned weekend to assist the family in mourning, from the peeling of the potatoes, washing dishes and cleaning a house that was not theirs... we don't stretch ourselves so much anymore... not with family or friends... we are uncomfortable with the thought of being uncomfortable... 

This whole encounter reminded to not let go of the most beautiful part of our culture - spreading myself more, in places where my presence/ touch or voice can make a difference, ill be there.. a commitment I've made to myself.. less selfish, more selfless.

In this as well was the reminder of how often we neglect the elderly at these gatherings while seeking comfort of sorts amongst our peers, I in this case didn't have comfort as an option, with my +1's family always a daunting place.. i decided to tuck and roll and spread myself... with this i encountered a different people, a different language, a different culture... moments of not understanding what was being said but the love that flowed past the circumstance enriched me..all those hours so golden and treasured. We spend many weekends with friends and colleagues yet we still give away the opportunity to pick at these rich diamonds still available to us.. paradigm shift has happened.. i love the shoes I've stepped into and the woman i see rising, happy new week all**!



You're the only guard to the light that shines within you.. be selfless.. at its dimmest the light still breaks the darkness

Xx


Sunday, 31 August 2014

26 and 6 days :)

So my birthday has come and gone, with the last of the celebrations being last night... i love this life i live..August has been super great..

Update from the previous week is short and sweet :). 

I managed to cycle a little, run a little and strength train with my +1, all this came with lots of joy - also affirming the things that make me happy.. moving and embracing the skin and body i live in*


I've eaten well, declined having a taste of my delicious birthday cake (carrot cake), declining my birthday cupcake at L'corish (my +1 had it) and cracking at the sight of berry ganache at Kong Roast last night, but every bite well worth it**! Date night beautiful as usual, but the order of the day - pursuing making better food choices**!


Fond farewell to the amazing month that August has been, and with everything September shall be, I've decided to take on the Whole 30 clean eating challenge.. no cheating.. just good food.. with no ingredients (no milk with my coffee.. no cheese with my omelette - ps. cheese and milk are good, just a little test, i'm sure ill be counting the days to 1 October**!) ... but another chance to encounter my temple and see what makes her operate even more efficiently, feel even greater and stronger to pursue more. I'll keep you updated on the progress and eats - i don't post pictures of all eats/workouts but lets work on the best meal/session of the week :) (Yes i could do with some support on this mission of mine so feel free to start Day 1 of the Whole 30 with me tomorrow**!)


Xx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Bidding farewell to 25.. yikes**!

So the past few weeks have been many things but not the most productive in my sporting endevours, mid July was the resigning, prepping to move out of our old place and into our new beautiful home as of 1st August, but as we all know, these things come with mass emotions and a halt to the norm. It's never easy asking to leave to pursue more for yourself at work, but also, the packing being a breathing, living nightmare.. and then the unpacking.. out of air, out of sync, new office, new home - here and nowhere being a very familiar place. All this, tumbling everything you know, including the amount of traffic you encounter getting to work.. so yes, heavy, but I'm pulling through.

Guess the biggest factor of this post is Change is inevitable, it's so hard when we go through it but so good soon as we've come out of it and adjusted to things being a little different, like having to leave home way earlier, to accommodate quite a bit of traffic to make it to work on time.. messing with the old pushing you to create new habits = no morning training but the drive to do it after work.. sigh..

As i reflect on the eve of my 26th birthday, so many memories come to mind. The last 3 years of my cycling has been beyond amazing teaching me more than i ever knew about myself... my first year passionately oblivious, taking massive steps not realizing how big this cycling world is but just enjoying being on the bike, year 2, being desperate.. desperate to get better on the bike.. willing to give up all just to get faster.. losing my sense of gratefulness even when i'd had a good race.. not good.. year 3 being more passionate, understanding what it takes to keep your fitness and understanding that things don't always go as you'd like and being okay with it.

I've been very fit and I've been very weak, I've hated and loved my body, I've had my eating dramas, everything revolving between normal and extreme, and as i bid farewell to my first quarter century, i take on 3 things that i'd like to focus on moving forward, i want to

1. Eat Well
2. Train Hard
3. Work Hard

In that order exactly. It all starts with food as i pursue a clean eating regimen, my version of clean eating.. being the boss of my own body.. listening to it and not letting the world crowd it with rights and wrongs. Pursuing the consistent love and appreciation for my body, my temple.. its never not gotten me to the finish line no matter how hard a race was.. I've never run and fallen and not get up and finish.. my legs, body, mind and will have always been on my team... and for this reason, giving my temple the respect it deserves. Work hard in balancing everything, understanding i may work more now but family, friends, training and everything else is equally as important.. wanting to pursue all i love.. cycling, running, strength training, yoga... and sharing all of these experiences as best i can with my +1.. so my posts will be a little bit more rounded, incorporating everything i love :)

Gone with the uncertainties, in with 'its okay to make a mistake' 'its okay to sometimes not know' 'its okay to step out of your comfort bubble to fill bigger shoes' 'its okay to not be a size 0'  and lastly.. 'its okay to let love completely fill every part of your being, not allowing fear to dictate your steps, but liberated by faith, hope and love.. and the greatest of these 3, being love ' :)



Happy new week everyone**!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The happiness factor.. :)

So the past week and a bit I've been privileged enough to get some longer rides in during the week in addition to my normal routine which has lit absolutely every light within me and just breathed new life to the relationship between me and my bike.
The reminder of the freedom that exists on the bike.. the ability to be in your own space and just be absolutely engulfed by the moment.. when you push harder, when you cruise and any bit of single track that wakes the child in you..

Winter can be difficult with waking to train outdoors, so you spend lots of time on the indoor trainer in the mornings … it can get a bit mundane.. along with this has been a weird fatigue towards the end of the week.. Tyron reckons it could be my iron levels that I need to get checked.. makes sense cause I’m not the greatest meat or supplements fan but I want strong intervals and great rest days so this needs to be addressed soonest!

In other news - in addition to all the happiness, was the Bestmed Jock Cycle Challenge the past weekend on  the road bike in Nelspruit – grueling,  growing and I’m a climber now J, but the Jock got me craving my mountain bike badly, so Sunday morning I woke to Heia Safari for a nice technical session, playing on the bike, a fall or 2, many climbs, some awesome drops, awesome rocks, awesome switchbacks.. Heaven.. I love my mountain bike!!


I’ve attached pics from my missions, learning to #selfie, work Instagram and share my passion more J












Xx