Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Number Plates, Race Bags and Rider Briefings
March 23rd, 2007

So we’re registered, our bags have been sent ahead to the finish and we are now living out of the “everything must fit” Adidas kit bags. Food and drink, riding kit, post race clothes, sleeping bag and campsite gear. Everything in a bag each.

For lunch we stopped off in a local bar here in Knysna and chatted to some fellow riders. The combination of my Ti Deluxe and Tyrrells’ stickered up pseudo IF have caught a lot of attention. It turned out that the Californian guys we were chatting to were numbers 153-1 and 153-2, immediately behind is in the original listing. A bit weird! Tim is a fellow Indy Dan owner, but the two of them are riding 29ers here.

If all goes to plan and we wake up tomorrow at 5.30am tomorrow’s post will feature news of the days racing. Keep and eye out for Andrea’s Canadian bloke Karl Yeh and his buddy Mike Jacoby riding as The Weapons of Mass Destruction – 418-1 and 418-2. Tomorrow’s 2,660m starts with a 20km climb up from sea level, so we’ll soon find out how we match up to the rest of the field.

First Ride in South Africa
March 21st, 2007

Yesterday after landing in Cape Town we had made the drive up the coast to Port Elizabeth. There were a number of stops along the way including Hermaneus for breakie, Knysna for lunch and Jeffreys Bay (home of Billabong surfing) on route.

After checking out the beach, getting some last bits and pieces and a bit of sight seeing, Tyrrell and I set out on our first ride tonight. We did a loop known as The Marine – a stunning coastal blast with the setting sun at our backs, but against an evil headwind. It was only as we approached the bend that took us onto the Sea Front after the University of Port Elizabeth that the wind swung around and pushed us home.

The whole ride on tarmac was big ring stuff that didn’t let is drop below 20mph and as we wound up coming into town our legs told is we were doing over 30mph. It was a good chance to practice some through and off work and share the tow, but as the sun quickly dropped below the horizon we still had a high speed 20 minute run through the streets of town and past the townships.

Stories over the last few days of riders being mugged for their bikes (or shot) along the roads which we were now making a lightless dash provided an added incentive to keep heavy legs loaded with lactic acid turning. As we pulled back into the drive of Tyrrell’s brother in law, it was pitch black. The sun sets quickly here, so there was no time for a leisurely cruise home.

Tomorrow we drive over to Knysna and on Friday preregister for the race. South Africa has a certain appeal, not just because some of us have just escaped from a northern part of England where there was still snow on the hills, but because there is a real sense of open wilderness here.

South African Adventure Begins
March 19th, 2007

The trip to the southern hemisphere for the Cape Epic race starts today. This time tomorrow if all goes to plan we’ll be in Cape Town and about to leave for Port Elizabeth. It’s going to be ace.

Updates from the race should appear here on the site as we progress. Over and out.

In South Africa
March 19th, 2007

Between 19th March and 4th April Cris Bloomfield and Tyrrell Basson from rothar.com/racing will be in South Africa. Specifically between the 24th and 31st March they will be racing under the rothar.com banner in Singletrack and Independent Fabrication kit at the Cape Epic – the world’s largest mountain bike race and one of the most challenging. Keep and eye out for the riders 152-1 and 152-2 on the official Cape Epic Website.

Fancy That
March 18th, 2007

Andrea’s been in touch. It turns out her boyfriend Karl Yeh is riding in the Epic too with a guy named Mike. The two of them are flying out tomorrow and I’ve said we’ll have to try and meet up during the race. We are both under strict instructions as she wants to see pictures of elephants, zebras and rhinos. I’ll have to see what we can do. She has also been showing off about the fact that last weekend they went cross-country skiing. This winter landscape is just over an hour from her new home in Calgary.

Mmm. Nice.

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