Tuesday, March 31, 2015

First things first

There is a guy we often see riding up and down Camps bay drive dressed in full winter kit in the middle of summer, with seriously deep section yellow mag wheels on a road bike from the late 80's. Up and down he goes, racing everyone for an 100m burst. He will go against a granny on a MTB this way, turns around and races back against a neo-pro on his 150km tempo ride the other way. I think his name is Paul and his wheels remind us of bananas. We call him "Banana Paul." He is a legend.

There are a few premier MTB events on the South African calender every year and unless you are a sponsored rider, it is difficult to afford each and every one of them. Choosing which events to do, can be a challenge in itself...if you have entered anything longer than a 3-day stage race, then careful planning is required to use some events as a build up to those bigger ones. So at a social-competitive level (reads...think you are Julien Absalon but ride like banana Paul), one tends to use events as building blocks to bigger ones.

The Nedbank Sani2c is one of the premier 3-day MTB stage races in South Africa. In fact it is the largest. It draws its numbers from a week of three, 3-day events, namely the Trail, The Adventure and The Race. It caters for almost 4000 mountain bikers who ride in teams of two, from Underberg to Scottburgh via the most awesome manicured single track the Natal coastal region has to offer, including a 600m floating bridge and beach finish. It is seriously oversubscribed and the waiting list is lengthy. I was asked by a friend to team up with him this year and of course I gratefully accepted. We are roughly 7 weeks away and are eagerly training and preparing for it. We are both very excited.

So although the Wines2whales has been entered for October this year and the Cape Epic pegged for next year, we still have Sani2C to do in May. I will also do various other things that will pop up during the course of the year, Knysna MTB marathon, Karoo to Coast, Nissan Trailseeker series and various PPA events. But for now it is Sani2c...first things first.

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