It has not taken long for me to jump abroad the Mountain Bike Band Wagon. When Winston decided at the beginning of the year to aquire a mountain bike it only took me about 15.7 seconds to get sucked into the dusty whirlpool that is mountainbiking. I have to admit that being the painfully competative idiot that I am I have had to approach this business with a hell of a lot of caution. In the past ten years I only got on a mountain bike once and it did not end well… My competative personality saw me chasing down a kid on Klapperkop and all I will say is I ended up in a sad heap in a cloud of dust covered in a lot of blood.
So it is easy to see why I have decided to take this mountain biking thing easy as if I do it any diffirently I will probably end up wrapped around a tree somewhere or at the bottom of a dropoff crying for my mommy. It has turned out to be great fun and I’ve done all the ASG Night Races which involves racing around single track with a light attached to your handle bar. To combat my own competative nature I ride with good friends who are not interested in going fast at all and we allways start at the back and carry a GPS device so everybody can see where the back of the race is… It’s this exact craziness that draws me to it. There are not many people who’s idea of fun involves racing around a pitch dark track in a oxygen depleted sweaty mess, but it take all types right? The highlight of this race each time is the Shebeen located two kilometres from the finish where you can have shooters and beer and every race sees our GPS dot stop there for more than a few minutes. Looking at this little fact it’s also easy to understand why I am so big on mountain biking. They don’t seem to have the same uptight attitude as road riders and having fun is very high on the list of prioroties.
So even though I only ride once every two to three weeks I love it and have not wrapped myself around a tree… Yet.
(Photo: at the Sondela MTB challenge hosted by ASG Events. Riding at the back having a lot of fun in the thick sand. They should rather have called the race Sandela!)
Definition of a Velo Ride: Bunch of guys with too much testosterone and blinged up bikes meet in the dark on a Tuesday morning with only one goal. To ride as hard as possible and see who lasts longest and who cries big old ‘Man Tears’ when they drop. The route is about 50km and goes out on Lynnwood rd, left on Boschkop and then back the same way. If you’re in the front group on a Tuesday it gives you serious bragging rights. I haven’t been near the front for over three years and am certainly not gonna be there tomorrow.
The reason for finding my way back to a Tuesday velo ride is that i am still recovering from my marathon. For said ‘recovery’ (If you can call bleeding from your ears and getting stung by bees while on a bike recovery) I have dusted off the old Bianchi again… The thought of running so soon after my marathon sends me into a sweaty stress fit, not that the idea of riding with Velo doesn’t send me into a sweaty panic either, but o well. So tomorrow I will go on a Tuesday Velo ride for the first time in over a year. I am under no illusion and know I am probably going to go down in a blaze of glory within the first five kilometres of the ride but what the hell. So here are my predictions of what will happen tomorrow:
1. A miracle will happen and I will actually last for 15km before I drop, I will then cry a bit and then carry on.
2. I will drop on Hans Strydom 2km into the ride, cry a bit and then carry on.
3. I will drop turning into Lynwood road, cry a bit and then carry on.
4. Be so broken that I ride off the road and pass out after I cried a bit…
No matter what happen, I am sure I am going to cry a bit and maybe even throw up but for some reason this is my definition of fun. What’s not gonna be that much fun is tomorrow afternoon when I’m trying to work and I wanna fall asleep at my desk but I can’t wait!
After watching Super Cycling this past Tuesday I got a bit worried. Andrew McClean said that if you entered the 94.7 your training should be coming to an end. The part of this that got me worried was that my training for the 94.7 only started yesterday… I should hopefully get in another ride or two before next Sunday, or maybe I shouldn’t ride at all and go there super rested.
So after my marathon last Saturday I could only walk like a person again around Thursday. Before that I was doing something that can’t really be called walking. It was more of a tripped up stumbling crawl. Despite my body going on strike and my plans of going to the 94.7 super rested, I decided to go on a little ride with Winston on Friday after work. We were riding along nicely on Klapperkop when we rode through a swarm of bees, a bit further down the road one of the little bastards managed to climb inside my shirt undetected. I’m not sure what he was doing in there but I think as it came close to my ass he got a bit of a fright and decided to go for broke and sting me in my back. Now this was where I realised that I do not scream like a girl. Most girls have a high pitched scream that makes your ears pop and your head hurt. I don’t. A sound similar to a buffalo being caught or a elephant getting a dart in the but came from my mouth. I was almost as horrified by my own scream as by the stinging pain in my back. Horror was soon replaced by laughter when I saw the expression on my husbands face after he turned around to come and save me from what ever it was that was causing this foul noise…
Well, I hope I’m never on a sinking ship or a falling aeroplane because my screams will definitely not make the situation any less horrifying.
I have now made peace with the fact that I will always be a competitive pain in the ass. I went for a ride with the Velo boys on Saturday and being one of the first proper summer days in a while there were almost as many people as outside Tuli House for Julius’s hearing… Not having ridden more than a hand full of times since our return from Switzerland did not deter me from the challenge ahead. Of course I immediately checked out how many girls were present and started planning how i would ride away from them. The 120km ahead was further than I had ridden in the previous three months put together but I have never been a very reasonable sportswomen.
The ride started rather uneventfully and at the split where the short route containing more level-headed and calm riders split from us I was not interested in joining them. I was hell-bent on sticking with the group for the full 120km. I managed to cling onto the group by the hair on my chinny chin chin and told everybody that they should keep a close eye on me because the inevitable implosion would be spectacular. It came much later than expected and luckily the speed freaks had ridden off the front leaving us to ride along at a very reasonable pace. I was also able to hide my extreme fatigue and the fact that I was ready to throw up amongst my fellow broken weekend warriors. I still wonder what it is that makes me go back time and again to this suffering and loving it every time. Am I crazy, stupid or both. Well I never really rode away from any of the girls but I saw again that if you want to do something nothing will hold you back. Not extra weight, being unfit or fear of hitting the wall. I hope I always stay such a insufferable competitive pain in the ass because it gets me out of bed on the weekends and lets me sleep well at night.