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WHY YOU SHOULD RIDE EVERY DAY P.30

H OW I S TO L E MY BIKE BACK P.54

RIDE A TANDEM ... AND SURVIVE TO TELL THE TALE P.71

MA RC H 2017 • VOL 15, NO 3

YOUR BEST RACE! C YC LE TO U R S PEC IA

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3 / 4 / 5 BREAK HOURS! NAIL ALL THE CLIMBS

J J RACE-DAY STRATEGIES J TAPER PERFECTLY

A VERY MATURE GUIDE TO LUBES

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C A PE E PIC

TH E G R E AT R I VA LRY: PL AT T VS SAUSER

VOLL E KO NNA ! THAT ’S GER MA N FOR 'F L AT O U T! '

EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS!

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

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UPGRADES! 12

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MARCH 2017 | VOLUME 15 | NUMBER 3

48

The Everything Race

Philosophers believe we suffer to stop fearing failure. What’s a woman to do, stuck in a dark pit with no hope because she’s failed so badly? Perhaps a helping hand from an Epic legend was all she needed. BY COLLYN AHART

Who would know more about true grit than the race director for the Race Across America?

22 Ask Bicycling

Why getting lighter may not always be a good thing.

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How I Stole My Bike Back

We love our bikes – they’re like family, and we don’t mean just a second cousin. So when one rider’s R80 000 bike was stolen, he decided to track down the culprits – and do unto them as they did unto him. BY ANDY DAVIS

60 Cape Town Cycle Tour It’s that time of year again: tens of thousands of cyclists are preparing to take on the largest timed cycle race in the world. And ‘time’ is the operative word – whatever your Cycle Tour goal time, our experts will help you achieve it in 2017. BY JONATHAN ANCER, ANDRÉ VALENTINE AND AARON BORRILL

Photograph by S P O R T Z P I C S / C A P E E P I C / N I C K M U Z I K

21 The One Thing That Changed It All

24 24 Eat

Mexican wave: are tacos the new wholefood of choice?

30 The Fit Chick

Here’s why you should never give up riding. Never.

32 The Coach

Marginal gains? Worth it – and you don’t need a personal Dave Brailsford to get ’em.

34 In My View

Cherise ties the knot… but has the longest month of her life before the big day.

38 Action Figures

Sauser vs Platt: The lowdown on MTB’s biggest rivalry… from the horse’s mouths.

38

On the Cover

Five-time Absa Cape Epic Champion and Team Bulls rider Karl Platt takes on the MTO Forestr y Trails at Jonkershoek, in the Western Cape. PICT U RE: CR A IG KOLESK Y

MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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42 My Bike

David Garrett and Susan Melmed’s Matrix Tank Tandem.

44 Fetish

Fabric’s new Cylindrical Chamber Tool – it looks, feels and sounds cool.

14 The Ride 16 Editor’s Letter 36 StyleMan 37 Rider2Rider 85 Race Diary 90 The Frame

46 Freewheelin’

71 It Takes Two To Tandem

76

Gear Ed Oli Munnik drags Deputy Ed Jonathan Ancer off for his first tandem ride – all in the name of testing several two-rider beasts he’s reviewing this issue. BY JONATHAN ANCER AND OLI MUNNIK

76 12 Ways To Upgrade

When you see a hot Italian across a crowded room, monogamy goes out the window.

Your Ride

Make your ride faster, safer and more comfortable – from minor add-ons for coffee money, to major upgrades for… well, it’s still worth it. BY OLI MUNNIK

82 4 Best Lubes By Far

34

BY OLI MUNNIK

Photographs by S U P P L I E D | J A M E S G A R A G H T Y | SUPPLIED

71

With a multitude of chain lubes around, it’s easy to think that anything will do. It won’t – and to bring the point home, we’re reviewing the best on the market.

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017


MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT COUNT FOR MORE THAN YOURSELF BY JOINING OLD MUTUAL AND BICYCLING MAGAZINE IN RAISING MONEY TO HELP OTHERS. HOW DO I RAISE MONEY? > Become a fundraiser by getting family and friends to support you in your next event. > Support a friend who is participating in an event. > Donate to a charity that supports children, animals, the aged and education initiatives.

HOW EASY IS IT? > Simply click on morethanyourself.co.za and sign up! > Pick an event and briefly share your story. > Select a charity and start raising funds today.


THE PANORAMA ROUTE w ith more th a n 68% of the prov ince’s l a nd dedicated to agr icu ltu r e, mpum a l a ng a is a rgua bly sou th a fr ica’s most natu r a lly endow ed prov ince. For cycling, this means lots of fresh air, lush green scenery, and – due to low traffic volumes – empty roads and peace and quiet for kays on end. The province is considered the spiritual home of SA road cycling, and if the measure of this is climbing, then that assessment is spot-on. The mountain passes are famous: Robbers Pass has ever-changing landscapes and is steeped in history, while Long Tom Pass is a 35km beast of a climb that winds up from the sleepy hollow of Sabie to its highest point at 2 150m. All of this can be lived out on the Panorama Route, a scenic road trip that connects several landmarks and points of interest in the province – including the two passes mentioned above. But it makes you work hard straight out the gate, starting at the foot of Long Tom Pass; and it takes on several more passes as you make your way through towns such as Lydenburg, Sabie, Graskop and Pilgrim’s Rest. The highlight of any trip on this route is God’s Window, which is considered one of the most scenic vantage points in the country and offers breathtaking views of waterfalls, mountain gorges and the stunning landscapes of the province. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a clear day, you could see as far as the border with Mozambique. Then, a mere 10km away you’ll find Graskop – a favourite haunt for local pros, who consider the little town one of South Africa’s best riding destinations. The Panorama route, or parts thereof, form part of most road events that happen in Mpumalanga. These include the Mpumalanga Tour, the Bestmed Jock Tour and Classique, and the Panorama Tour; so if you don’t want to plan your own trip, simply enter an event. – André Valentine DISTANCE: 386KM (DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU START AND FINISH) ELEVATION: 13 864M (ALL MOUNTAIN PASSES) G R A D I N G : I N T E R M E D I AT E T O A D VA N C E D


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The Rituals and Gear That Define us… P.69


Southern African edition. Bicycling® is a registered trademark of Rodale Inc. All rights reserved. Published under licence from Rodale Inc.

EDITORIAL EDITOR MIKE FINCH (mike.finch@media24.com) DEPUTY EDITOR JONATHAN ANCER EDITORIAL ASSISTANT ANDRÉ VALENTINE (andre.valentine@media24.com) ONLINE EDITOR AARON BORRILL (aaron.borrill@media24.com) ONLINE CONTENT MANAGER YENTL BARROS (yentl.barros@media24.com) SENIOR DESIGNER ALANA MUNNIK CHIEF SUB / MANAGING EDITOR DAVE BUCHANAN GEAR EDITOR OLI MUNNIK (olivermunnik@gmail.com) PICTURE EDITOR AMY MOSTERT SCIENTIFIC EDITOR DR JEROEN SWART OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR LABEEQAH SULIMAN CONTRIBUTORS

MARK CARROLL, ZOON CRONJE, ANDY DAVIS, WAYDE FINCH, JAMES GARAGHTY, ANDREW HILL, CHRIS HITCHCOCK, CRAIG KOLESKY, THABO MSHENGU, NICK MUZIK, GARY PERKIN, BRAD POTGIETER, MARISKE STRAUSS, CHERISE WILLEIT, COLLYN AHART, IAN DILLE, AMANDA KNUTSON, JANA MARNEWICK, WYNN MYERS, AC SHILTON, NATALIE STARR, SELENE YEAGER

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INSPIRED JOURNEYS AND ADVENTURES

THE SAN GRINDER

BIG SKY COUNTRY Endless roads and big skies make the Cederberg a gravelgrinding paradise.

AN ADVENTURE FINALLY REALISED DELIVERED MORE REWARD THAN EXPECTED.

We’d been talking about it for a year: my 22-year-old son Wayde and I would pack our bikes and find a three-day self-supported cycling adventure, as far away from everything as possible. But finding a date... that was the challenge: work, varsity and social lives seemed to conspire against us. Wayde was going into his final year of a mechanical engineering degree, his younger brother was just about to start matric, and I’m about to become a father again, in May. But eventually, we marked off the second weekend of January. It was set – and I booked and paid the accommodation up front, to ensure we followed through. We researched the route, plotted it carefully on Strava maps, nicknamed it the ‘San Grinder’ in honour of the region, and then begged and borrowed as much adventure-cycling gear – from frame bags to seat bags and panniers – as we could find. I ditched traditional cycling garb in favour of my favourite cotton tee, while Wayde decked out in an old long-sleeved school shirt to complement his baggies. We were adventurers in both spirit and style! The route would start from Houdenbek farm, around 40 minutes drive north of Ceres in the Western Cape. Day 1 would take in a leg-loosening 62km stretch to Kromrivier. Our heavily-packed bikes made average speeds and KOMs of little consequence, so this was to be a ride in search of adventure,

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

bonding and freedom. At Houdenbek farm the night before we braaied, drank Castle Lites and gorged on steaks and baked potatoes, and then awoke at 5.30am to finally pack the bikes and head into the early morning. Early starts were critical, as weather reports suggested temperatures in the low 40s after lunch.

Just after Mount Cedar the toughest climb of the day was accompanied by the peak temperature of 42°C, and suddenly 62km felt a lot further than our Strava map had suggested. Teeth-chattering corrugations on the flats and descents didn’t help, and I was forced to swop my Specialized Sequoia adventure bike for the more forgiving gearing

…this was to be a ride in search of adventure, bonding and freedom. It was just as I imagined it would be. We cruised along excitedly over the first 10km of tar, and then revelled in the joy of hitting the gravel as we headed into the mountains. In the first two hours we saw just three people, as the flatlands turned towards ever-higher climbs.

of the Momsen hardtail Wayde had been designated to ride. A Coke stop at the eclectic Cederberg Oasis helped us recuperate before we took the back route towards Kromrivier, along the eerily quiet road that is only ever used when

Photography M I K E A N D WAY D E F I N C H

WORDS: MIKE FINCH


E DAY 1 • HOUDENBEK FARM TO KROMRIVIER: 62KM, 1 206M

E DAY 2 • KROMRIVIER TO CITRUSAL: 86KM, 698M

E DAY 3 • CITRUSDAL TO HOUDENBEK FARM 84KM, 1 479M

THE STATS Format: Gravel-Grinding/MTB Total Distance 232km Total Ascent 3 383m Total Time 14 hours 47 minutes

the Matjies River is in flood. It had been a tough day for me. I slept uncomfortably in the tent that night, my middle-aged bones not as able to handle the relatively hard ground as well as my younger partner’s – he slept annoyingly soundly through the night. We got going earlier on Day 2; the threat of the heat spurred us into a 4.30am wakeup and a 5.30am departure. We hit the 3km climb up the Kromrivier Pass as the sun peaked above the mountains and my legs found their rhythm. We survived the corrugations of the escarpment before we dived down past the Algeria campsite and then up the stunning Nieuwoudt’s Pass – which looked daunting from afar, but in reality proved to be a pleasant series of gentle rises and recovery flats. We cheated the final 28km segment that we’d planned to ride on the dirt-road side of the Olifants River. I was battling, four hours in, and the wide roads of the N7 tar took an hour off the journey. I was exhausted as we entered Citrusdal, and we opted for a comfortable chalet at the ramshackle Citrus Creek campsite. We relaxed in the air conditioning and devoured a spagbol between the two of us that could easily have fed a family of five. Day 3 was always going to be the toughest day, with 1 400m of climbing. We left Citrusdal at 5.30am, and hit the slopes of the monster 18km, 900m climb up the R303 Middelberg Pass. With our heavy bikes we knew it would be a solid two hours of uphill, and our prediction was spot on. It was a spectacular sight as we looked down on the Pass from the top, with the morning moon still high in the now-blue sky. We whooped and hollered as we descended into the valley, before finally reaching the 45km tar stretch that would take us home. For me, it was the hardest part of the trip. I wanted to simply sit under a tree while Wayde rode the final 40km to collect the car. I battled my demons over the last two hours, as my eldest son never gave in to my requests to ride on. He gently pushed me on the rises and took the wind in front on the flats and downhills. He knew it was important for me to finish – perhaps even more than I did myself. As we finally hit the rolling hills towards our starting point three days earlier, my heart raced and emotion welled. We had done it. We had lived the adventure… but maybe this was just the start. MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

15


Editor’s Letter

Make Bar Ends Great Again OUR COVER THIS MONTH FEATURES KARL PLATT – RIDING WITH BAR ENDS. SO THERE… SECRETLY SUPPORTING KARL PLATT AT THIS YEAR’S ABSA CAPE EPIC. Maybe it’s because

he’s the marginal underdog – or maybe it’s because he, like me, is one of the very few cyclists who still rides with bar ends. But I’m not sure that Karl has to put up with the ridicule that I get for my bar ends. I guess it helps when you’ve won the Epic five times – no-one questions the equipment you use, or your methods for winning. What I’ve been subjected to because of my protrusions borders on harassment. Even my 22-year-old son continues to question my use of extensions, while the rest of my regular mountain-biking crew would rather be seen wearing a tutu than have those unstylish little additions poking out from their handlebars. But Karl – like me – sees the performance benefit in bar ends: an extra position for the hands, and a place to anchor your effort when climbing. Proven fact. A few years back, even the great former world champion José Hermida was seen

riding bar ends at World Cup XC races – the very Formula One of mountain biking. Sure, he was the only one. But he – like me and Karl – comes from an older generation that believes function beats form. The evidence against bar ends is flimsy. I’ve heard all manner of theories, from the dramatic ‘if you fall, they’ll rip into your abdomen and disembowel you, spreading your guts all over the trail’, to the ludicrous ‘they’ll get hooked on a tree, and send you careening down the trail like a spinning top’.

famous for riding the Epic in baggies and a hydration pack. He almost made them cool again among the marathon racers, but there wasn’t a big enough groundswell of support. In enduro-style riding, things differ again: long baggies, large backpacks (rumour has it that they take along a buffet lunch!) and full body armour are all mainstays of enduro cred, but would be sniggered at by the XC community. So here are my final thoughts on the issue of cycling style and choices: do

Bar ends are to mountain bikers what hairy legs are to road riders… But these paper-thin arguments are merely a screen for the real reason, which rests simply in the realm of aesthetics: bar ends are to mountain bikers what hairy legs are to road riders – and that’s the nub of the matter. Last year we interviewed legendary German racer Manuel Fumic, who is

whatever works for you. We all ride for different reasons, and while comfort and performance may be my measure of bike harmony, style and form may be yours. Just as long as you’re riding…

Mike

editor @MIKEFINCHSA

In a country with so many needs, we cyclists are often privileged to be able to experience some amazing races. But our plea in 2017 is to for you to cycle for More Than Yourself. This year, together with our partners Old Mutual, we are embarking on a project to help raise money – by sponsoring a rider, getting sponsored, or even making a donation to a worthy cause as cyclists. The sign-up process is simple. Go to www.morethanyourself.co.za to register, and you could feature as one of the More Than Yourself heroes!

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

Image C R A I G K O L E S K Y

SORRY, CHRISTOPH SAUSER, BUT I’M NOT-SO-


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Telling everyone you’re tough is one thing. Proving it is another. Like the endurance torture test we put the Ford RANGER through with the Science of Tough tests. A 24-hour, 937km treacherous drive with a combined carrying and towing load of 6 000kg. Tough done smart at its most extreme.

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Watch the four extreme Science of Tough tests on our website.

FORD RANGER


C’EST BON! LE TOUR DE FRANCE COMES TO KWA-ZULU NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA.

Le Tour de France. It’s the race every professional cyclist aspires to. But, every year, Le Tour also gives amateur cyclists around the world the opportunity to live and experience the legendary event themselves. It’s called L’Étape (‘a stage’, in French). And, for the very first time, South Africa will be joining nine other countries in hosting its own version: L’Etape South Africa by Le Tour de France.

It’s challenging, but beautiful – passing through one of the most scenic parts of the country. Cyclists will travel through Nottingham Road, Lidgetton and the Balgowan Valley. Unmissable views include the Spring Grove Dam, the Kamberg Nature Reserve, Mooi River and the aweinspiring Drakensberg Park.

Managed under the same professional conditions as the international event, L’Étape South Africa is a challenging 160km, endorsed by Le Tour de France Director, Christian Prudhomme. It has a cut-off time of just 10 hours.

Participants can enter as individuals or as teams, and there’s a grand prize of an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the 2017 L’Étape du Tour in France for the over-all male and female winners. Participants will also be provided the unique opportunity of competing for the authentic Le Tour de France jerseys: the Yellow; the Green; the Polka Dot and the White Jersey.

The event will be taking place in KwaZulu-Natal, exploring its beautiful countryside. Starting at the historic Nelson Mandela Capture Site, cyclists will traverse varied topography. The route climbs a total of 1630 meters through the Midlands Meander to the striking foothills of the Drakensburg, eventually circling back to the Capture Site.

L’Étape promises to be an indomitable sporting challenge, a chance for cyclists to truly test their skills, and a unique addition to the South African cycling calendar. Bon courage!

MOOI RIVER

GIANTS CASTLE 1585.4M LOCATION: –29.22904, 29.69364

1375.3M LOCATION: –29.20911, 30.00160

GLENGARRY KAMBERG 1538.9M LOCATION: –29.32306, 29.71510

SPRING GROVE DAM 1464.8M LOCATION: –29.31215, 29.92933

NOTTINGHAM ROAD 1470.6M LOCATION: –29.35884, 29.99431

1290.2M LOCATION: –29.39951, 30.04805

MICHAELHOUSE SCHOOL

NELSON MANDELA CAPTURE SITE

START / FINISH

1086.1M LOCATION: –29.46877, 30.16967

FAST

FACTS

Location: Midlands, KZN Route: 160km Cut off time: 10 hours Date: 2 April, 2017 Start time: 6am to 8am Entry deadline: 17 March, 2017 Spaces are highly limited! ENTER NOW: letapesouthafrica.com


L’Étape gives amateur cyclists the opportunity to take on an equivalent stage of the Tour de France. And for the first time ever it’s coming to South Africa.

The Midlands, KZN 2 April, 2017 Entries close on the 17 March, 2017 Limited space available

ENTER NOW! letapesouthafrica.com


MAXIMIZE AERO ADVANTAGE AND CONTROL


HELPFUL ADVICE FROM EXPERTS AND RIDERS

Photograph by N ATA L I E S TA R R

THE ONE THING THAT CHANGED IT ALL KEEPING A PROMISE

I learned to ride when I was nine years old, so I could join my dad and sister on an annual bike tour. But weeks before the event, I crashed and broke my arm, so I rode the tour on a Bike-A-Long trailer bike attached to my dad’s bike. We agreed that we wouldn’t walk any hills. One day during the event Dad’s derailleur broke, leaving him unable to pedal. But I refused to get off the bike – I wasn’t walking! He would run the bike to the cusp of each climb, then coast down, while I sat firmly in the saddle, pedalling as hard as I could. To this day, when the weather gets harsh and the hills become steep, it’s the determination and stubbornness my dad instilled in me that keep me going. amanda knutson , 26

/ race direc tor , race across america MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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A L L YOU R R I DE QUA N DA R I E S – S OLV E D

Sometimes you just need to be realistic about your body. Some people get leaner than others; it’s just the reality of life. “Your body type (ectomorph versus mesomorph or endomorph) will determine how fast and how much weight you can (and should) lose,” says cycling and triathlon coach Morgan Johnson. If you’re a mesomorph, for example, you’re probably always going to be heavier than an ectomorph, but that’s because you’re naturally more muscular, and muscle is heavy. Also, remember that losing weight doesn’t always equal better health. Losing muscle is bad – especially for cyclists, who need power to push pedals. “Finding a weight that you perform well at is much more important than stressing over a number on a scale,” says Johnson.

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

Images I S T O C K P H O T O | J A M E S G A R A G H T Y

I HAVE A MATE WHO’S ALWAYS ON ABOUT HOW HE’S AT THE PERFECT CYCLING WEIGHT. I WANT TO SHOW HIM THAT I CAN GET THERE TOO – BUT I CAN’T SEEM TO LOSE ANY MORE WEIGHT. WHAT CAN I DO?


F Please help! I cleaned and lubed my chain, but now it’s dirtier than it was before. What did I do wrong? Sounds like you’ve gone overboard with the lube there. When you over-lube your chain you risk turning it into a giant, revolving grime magnet, collecting dirt and dust that will slow you down and ultimately accelerate wear on

the whole drivetrain. To do it right next time, apply one drop of chain lube to each link, spin the cranks backwards a few times to distribute it, then use a rag to wipe off as much of it as you can. What’s left over will be evenly spread over the chain, without any excess dripping onto parts of the bike that shouldn’t be lubed.

F As a roadie, is it

necessary for me to wash my bike? It’s not like I’m rolling in the dirt every day. You should clean your bike every time you get it dirty – and even if you don’t get it dirty, clean it every 20 to 25 rides. Your bike may not be covered in mud, but there are still plenty of reasons to wash it. This is especially important if you use your bottle cage for sugary drinks that might slosh onto the

1.5G

frame. If you don’t wash that off, you’re setting yourself up for deteriorated shifting, from sugar collecting at the bottom bracket. Regular cleaning will also remove the build-up of dirt in the drivetrain, and keep it spinning smoothly. Plus, cleaning your bike involves examining it up close, which gives you the opportunity to find minor damage before it becomes major.

THE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN PER KILOGRAM OF BODY WEIGHT A PERSON MUST CONSUME FOR EFFECTIVE RECOVERY.


MORE TACO! CARBS? CHECK. PROTEIN? CHECK. PLUS THEY’RE JUST TASTY AS HELL. WE’VE BEEN CRAZY ABOUT TACOS FOR LONG ENOUGH. IT’S TIME TO CROWN THESE HANDHELD FLAVOUR BOMBS AS ONE OF THE BEST RIDE FOODS THERE IS. PHOTOG R APH S W YN N MYE R S

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017


THE

REPUBLIC OF

TACOS

7. Tacokombi Pretoria Menlo Park (or anywhere) Tel: 083 333 5633 tacokombi.co.za

facebook.com/ eljalapenojhb 10. La Santa Muerte Johannesburg Shop 2, 7th Street, Melville Tel: 076 609 0383 facebook.com/ lasantamuertemelville

8. Baha Taco Johannesburg 39 Grant Ave, Norwood Tel: 076 694 7400 facebook.com/BahaTaco

11. Salsa Mexican Grill Johannesburg 38 4th Ave, Parkhurst Tel: 011 027 2572 salsamexicangrill.co.za

9. El Jalapeño Johannesburg 32 7th Street, Linden Tel: 011 888 0330

A GEOGRAPHIC CELEBRATION OF THE CYCLING-TACO CONNECTION

7 11

10 8

BY ANDRÉ VALENTINE

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13 12

3 1

4

5

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FILL IN THE MAP! 1. El Burro Taqueria Cape Town Shop 1, 12-16 Kloof Nek Rd, cnr Kloof Nek & New Church St, Tamboerskloof Tel: 021 422 3554 Web: elburro.co.za 2. San Julian Cape Town Shop 3 & 4 State House Building, 3 Rose Street, Cape Town CBD Tel: 021 419 4233 sanjulian.co.za

3. El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant & Cocktail Bar Cape Town 118 Main Rd, Sea Point Tel: 021 433 2287 facebook.com/ mariachiseapoint 4. Tacoways Mexican Café Cape Town Borfam Building, 12 Wellington Rd, Durbanville Tel: 021 975 5606 tacoways.co.za

5. Chingadas Port Elizabeth 54 Main Road, Walmer Tel: 041 581 0098 chingadas.co.za 6. Tilting Heads Port Elizabeth 3A Stanley Street, Richmond Hill Tel: 041 582 1566 facebook.com/tiltingheads 12. Taco Zulu Durban Address: 237 Florida Rd,

SHARE YOUR TACO RIDES AND HOT SPOTS WITH THE HASHTAG #TACORIDESA.

Windermere Tel: 031 303 9584 tacozulu.co.za 13. El Hombre Durban 98 Florida Road Tel: 031 303 2138 elhombre.co.za 14. El Toro Durban 5-17 Mackeurtan Avenue, Durban North Tel: 031 564 3015 eltoro.mobi

MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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HOW TO

SPEAK SALSA

MANY TACO PURVEYORS CLOSELY GUARD THE INGREDIENTS IN THEIR UNIQUE BLENDS, AND AT THE MOST AUTHENTIC ESTABLISHMENTS, SALSAS OFTEN LACK IDENTIFYING SIGNS OR EVEN PROPER NAMES. HOWEVER, NEARLY EVERY SALSA BAR FEATURES AN ARRAY OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS. HERE’S YOUR GUIDE. – Ian Dille

SALSA DE MOLCAJETE

JALAPEÑO VERDE

A thick and creamy sauce made by emulsifying cooked jalapeños and spices with oil HEAT Hot, hot, hot (also, usually very hot) PAIRS WELL WITH Anything and everything AS A RIDE Racing up a steep hill, then enjoying the dizzying view

Tomatoes and chillies blackened over an open flame, then ground in a stone bowl called a molcajete HEAT Mild to medium (more smoky than spicy) PAIRS WELL WITH A warm corn tortilla, slathered in butter; or carnitas (braised pork) AS A RIDE A mid-ride nap in a sun-soaked field

CHILE DE ARBOL

A thin sauce with chile de arbol peppers; often orange-hued with red flecks of dried peppers HEAT Medium to scorching hot – tread lightly

SALSA FRESCA

A loose chop of uncooked tomatoes, onions, chillies, and coriander, with lime juice and vinegar HEAT Generally mild, depending on the chilli content PAIRS WELL WITH Grilled meats, or combined with other salsas AS A RIDE The smell of the open road right after a rainstorm

PAIRS WELL WITH

Any grilled or braised meat taco or otherwise absorptive dish AS A RIDE Rolling hills, as far as you can see SALSA VERDE

SALSA ROJA

Green tomatoes blended with onion, garlic, coriander, and chillies HEAT Mild to medium; if you fear spiciness, try this one first

One of the most common salsas; most often a thick blend of tomatoes, onions, garlic, coriander, and jalapeños HEAT Medium to hot; can vary with the individual heat of the jalapeños PAIRS WELL WITH Breakfast tacos. AS A RIDE Walking in the front door, exhausted; you’re home

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

PAIRS WELL WITH

Tortilla chips, or roasted chicken tacos AS A RIDE

An easy spin alongside good friends – I.D.

You know the advice: consuming lean protein and healthy carbs post-ride speeds recovery. But an active human cannot live on kale and almond-milk smoothies alone. We have teeth for a reason and that reason is tacos. Here’s how to pack the most nutrition into this tasty Mexican staple.

GO FOR CORN TORTILLAS They contain whole grains, which deliver extra fibre and even a bit of plantbased protein, says dietician Tommy Rodgers, a cycling coach and elite racer.

LOAD ’EM RIGHT Next, jam those suckers with some sort of grilled protein like fish, chicken, or tofu. If you’ve hammered hard for a few hours, add rice and beans. “These provide TURN TO PAGE 28


THE ULTIMATE

JERSEYPOCKET

TACO

There’s no doubt that a midride taco can nourish both body and soul. Considering the taco’s portable nature and on-the-go convenience, we should really be seeing more of them poking out of cyclists’ jersey pockets. But how do you turn the inherently messy taco into a source of on-the-bike fuel without it permanently staining your cycling apparel? We asked professional chef and bike racer Lori Bergeron. She knows what’s what when it comes to riding for food, because she's also a member of the cycling club Team Snacks, pictured on these pages. Her advice:

Make it breakfast. Scrambled eggs, bacon, and melted cheese holds together better than chunks of meat dripping with sauce.

Pro tip: Breakfast tastes good all day.

Frying them lightly in oil or bacon fat also helps.

Double up. Make each taco with two tortillas for extra durability.

Roll and twist. Roll the taco in foil, twist the top of the package for easy

additional fibre, protein, and carbohydrates,” Rodgers says. SALSA-FY Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which is linked to disease prevention; and onions contain quercetin,

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access. Place in your jersey pocket so it’s visible. Induce taco envy. To eat. Grab the twisted section and peel the foil in a spiral. - I.D.

a polyphenol that has been shown to help increase the body’s ability to use oxygen. ADD SOME AVO Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (the good kind), Rodgers

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

1. PLACE TACO ON A 25X25-CM FOIL SQUARE.

2. FOLD ONE EDGE OF FOIL OVER TACO.

3. FOLD BOTTOM OF FOIL UP.

4. ROLL REMAINING FOIL AROUND TACO. TWIST THE TOP.

FIND BERGERON’S RECIPE FOR THE ULTIMATE JERSEY-POCKET TACO AT BICYCLING.CO.ZA/JERSEYTACO.

says. You’ll get big doses of potassium and magnesium from them too – both of which you lose (along with sodium) when you sweat. GET SALTY If you’ve ridden less than

30 minutes, you don’t need to worry about taking in extra salt (or tacos, for that matter). But if you rode for more than an hour, the salt in those tacos is going to help replace the sodium you sweated out. – AC Shilton


REVOLUTION OF THE SPECIES BOA DIAL

STRAP IT

TECHLACE New idea in performance cycling footwear that can be the best option for many riders. The comfort and fit of laces. The convenience of a strap. The fit and performance of Giro.

The convenience of replacement and adjustment.

OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR WWW.OMNICO.CO.ZA


BY SELENE YEAGER

Thinking about staying off the bike for a while? You may want to reconsider that... The benefits of a good ride are immediate. Within 24 hours, your blood pressure drops, your blood sugar improves, your metabolism burns hotter, and your mood gets better. Everyone needs a rest now and then; but store your bike for too long, and those hard-earned benefits slip away – some, almost immediately. Here are some really good reasons to keep on rolling. ON THE DAY…

YOU BECOME MOODY

Within minutes of starting exercise, neural activity lights up your brain, which builds your brain and improves your mood. Brain chemistry researcher J. David Glass reports that the minute hamsters start running on their wheel, they get a 100- to 200% increase in serotonin – the same chemical that antidepressants signal to fight depression. Deny your body that fix for even a day, and your mood will slump. Your metabolism also stagnates. Riding revs your metabolism five-fold above its resting rate at your desk job: you lose between 1 700 and 2 100 kilojoules burned for every hour you skip. That adds up to 500g of fat a week you could have lost – but didn’t. ONE WEEK LATER…

YOUR HEALTH TAKES A HIT

Cycling prompts your body to release hormones that make your blood vessels more compliant. It also pumps high levels of blood through your system, which helps keep your arteries and veins supple. Research generally finds that regular

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

cycling can lower your blood pressure about 8 (diastolic) to 10 (systolic) points in a month. This starts rising again after just one week out of the saddle. By now, your blood sugar will start to surge too. When you’re riding regularly, your hungry muscles suck up the sugar that enters your bloodstream. After just five days of downtime, that post-meal sugar just stays in your blood, which over time can lead to heart disease and diabetes. What’s more, the enzymes that mop up fat and sugar in your bloodstream start shutting down when you’re sedentary, so both blood cholesterol and blood sugar rise. TWO TO FOUR WEEKS LATER…

YOUR FITNESS TAKES A DIVE

Regular cycling builds blood volume and your body’s ability to use the oxygen it carries. After just two to four weeks off the bike, your blood volume plummets nearly

10%. Your stroke volume (the amount of blood your heart can push out per beat) drops 12%. Your mitochondria, which act as your body’s energy-producing furnaces, start to shrink from disuse. The end result: Your V02 max – the benchmark of fitness – declines 6%.

MORE THAN ONE MONTH LATER…

YOU START GET TING FAT

As your metabolism and your muscles’ fatburning activity both dwindle, your fat stores rise. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that swimmers who stopped training for five weeks put on weight, increased their waistlines, and bumped up their body fat by 12% just five weeks after leaving the pool. It doesn’t take much to halt this rapid decline. Just going out for a brisk ride once or twice a week can help you maintain your hard-earned fitness gains.

SHORT AND SHARP This is a three-interval workout that becomes progressively harder, but will save you time while increasing your sustainable power for long efforts and boosting your power at threshold. Beginners: Do three 10-minute intervals with five minutes’ recovery in between. Intermediates: Do three 12-minute intervals with six minutes’ recovery in between. Advanced: Do three 15-minute intervals with seven and a half minutes’ recovery in between.

INTERVAL 1

INTERVAL 2

INTERVAL 3

Power range 86-90%

Power range 95-100%

Power range 100-105%

Heart-rate range 80-85%

Heart-rate range 95-97%

Heart-rate range 97-102%

Perceived effort 7

Perceived effort 8

Perceived effort 9

Cadence range 70-75

Cadence range Cadence range 90-95 80-85

Image I S T O C K P H O T O

Fit Chick

YOUR BODY WITHOUT CYCLING


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We’ve all heard about ‘marginal gains’. But it’s not brainiac science – it’s actually bleeding obvious.

-8W -5W

‘Marginal gains’ is a term coined by Team Sky general manager Sir Dave Brailsford. The premise: emphasising detail and looking at the small things adds up to a considerable improvement in results. The idea is to find lots of small things you can do better, and improve them – even if each only delivers a 1% improvement in cycling performance .

OFF-BIKE CONDITIONING

HAIR CAUSES DRAG

Leg strength, core strength, balance, stability and co-ordination activities will translate into better performance on the bike. This is an oft-neglected area, so if you haven’t been doing your gym work, there will be a few percentage points to be gained here.

The aero benefits of shaved legs have been glorified, and then downplayed, many times. This has created the trend that many cyclists won’t shave their legs under any circumstances. But bottom line, hair does cause drag, and will cost you gains… no matter how small.

LOOKING AT THE SMALL THINGS ADDS UP TO A CONSIDERABLE IMPROVEMENT IN RESULTS. But what surprises many is that marginal gains aren’t as highbrow as the name sounds. As a matter of fact, they’re all extremely obvious. Here are some marginal gains you can focus on that collectively can make a big difference to your cycling performance: E AT QUALIT Y

Junk in, junk out. You can be light and still be slow – because even a lowkilojoule diet could consist of sweets, fast food and fizzy drinks, which deplete quickly and leave you sluggish. Several percentage improvements can be found here, by meeting the micro and macro nutrient demands of your training and racing with high-quality foods.

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IMPROVE SKILLS

Some road-cycling skills and MTB skills cross over, but there are some unique and significant differences. Mastering the specific skills for the discipline can easily find you 5%, and this area is frequently neglected: many cyclists don’t focus on specific skills, instead just riding around, and learning through mistakes… or never learning at all. TRAIN EFFEC TIVELY

With just a little structure to your training, improvements can be enormous – 10%, 20% and upwards, in just a few months. Train smart to build bike performance effectively, and start enjoying the thrill of speed and fitness. For training plans, visit bicycling.co.za/training-plans.

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

It’s easy to lose watts with every pedal stroke, just because of poor set-up. Another downside is the chance of developing a repetitive strain injury – which if not dealt with, can become chronic and stop your cycling in its tracks. For both performance and injury prevention, bike set-up is a good investment. Incidentally, set-up can also enhance the major component of aerodynamics – but keep in mind: biomechanics first, then aerodynamics. These are just some marginal-gains ideas, and while there are no secret ‘magic bullets’, there are in fact many almostmagic bullets in there. If you are currently overweight, eat poorly, train too little, train incorrectly and drink too much, then changing all of these approaches will redefine the term ‘marginal gains’ for you.

Weight loss is one of the most obsessed-about subjects in cycling – the rake-thin frame of Chris Froome is testimony to this. There is a good reason, and many regular cyclists could gain several percentage points more performance from losing weight. For example, a rider can require up to 50 watts less on a 6% climb, if he or she loses 10kg. Froome said the major factor in his first Tour de France win was that he lost 3kg. So even the smallest loss can make a huge difference in performance.

T H E U LT I M AT E G A IN

Mark Carroll owns Cadence Cycling Performance & chairs the CSA Coaching Commission .

BIOMECHANICALLY EFFICIENT BIKE SET-UP

Image I S T O C K P H O T O

BY M A RK C A RROLL

THE COACH

Coach

OFF THE MARGIN

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BY CHERISE WILLEIT

WEIGHT LOSS

Eat More, Weigh Less

How eating too little can derail your weight-loss goals BY AC SHILTON

CHERISE EXPERIENCES A TUG OF EMOTIONS AS SHE TIES THE KNOT.

A

ALMOST EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE SO FAR HAS HAPPENED UNEXPECTEDLY, AND MY WEDDING DAY WAS

NO DIFFERENT. Benno and I found a

wedding venue we both liked, but it was only available in 2018. So when the manager jokingly said, “We have a cancellation date you can have – in a month’s time!” Benno said we’d take it, without hesitation. I went into full-on panic mode. And then started planning. The two weeks before the wedding were absolute chaos: our baby Thomas got sick, all the family and friends started arriving, and I needed to find the time to train for the Epic. I felt like a zombie, and the week before the wedding I just went into survival mode. Then all the memories started rushing back about getting married to Burry, and I felt scared, sad and guilty: scared that I could lose Benno too, sad that Burry wasn’t here anymore… and I felt guilty, because I was about to make the same promise I’d made to someone else five years ago. Then I remembered something Burry often said: his favourite thing about me was my smile, and he always wanted to

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

see me smile. Then I knew – he’s happy with how my life is turning out, and he knows I am not simply replacing him; but God has put someone in my path to share my life with. I’ve found two people who have both been my soulmates, and that is a miracle.

I felt guilty, because I was about to make the same promise I’d made to someone else five years ago. The wedding was perfect. Benno, Thomas and I could not be happier. Once again, I’m amazed by how much the body can endure! But pushing yourself to breaking point ends up costing you even more in the long run. So when you feel like things are happening too fast – just stop, sit down and take a deep breath!

Cherise Willeit, formerly Stander, married recently. She represented South Africa at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

COOL STUFF

BIRD BIKE MULTI-TOOL To the untrained eye, it looks like a simple child’s plaything. But this bird could be the difference between a quick mid-ride fix and walking home. The beak is a Phillips screwdriver, while the legs and tail are your full range of Allen keys (2mm to 5mm) – all packed in a smooth beechwood body that’s small enough to carry in your jersey pocket or saddlebag. Your LBS may not have it, but you can get it online. KIKKERLAND.COM PRICE: $15 (ABOUT R200, EXCLUDING SHIPPING)

Photograph by J A N A M A R N E W I C K | I S T O C K P H O T O | S U P P L I E D

FROM BLUES TO BLISS

The best-known strategy for losing weight is to eat less ‘energy’ than you put out. But eating too little can derail your weight-loss goals. If you cut kilojoules below your body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), “the body gets very unhappy,” says triathlon coach Morgan Johnson. If you’re not eating enough to function properly, your body will attempt to conserve what resources it is getting, and your metabolism slows. Ideally, dieters should know their RMR. You can use free online calculators (there’s one at bodybuilding.com/fun/ calrmr.htm) for a basic estimation. Even if you don’t know your RMR, the signs you’re not getting enough high-quality kilojoules are obvious, as cycling coach Nadia Sullivan explains: “When you feel tired all the time, or get sick a lot, those are indicators that you may not be taking in enough kilojoules.”


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STYLEMAN QUIPS, READER TIPS AND CYCLING FOR YOUR LIPS

STYLEMAN

THAT TEAM SKY ‘PACKAGE TO WIGGO’ STORY GOT ME DOWN. WHY DO PROS NEED TO RECEIVE PACKAGES?

– Hendrik, Stellenbosch

I READ RECENTLY THAT GER AINT THOMAS CARRIES HIS BIKE IN A DOUCHEBAG. NOT AN ACTUAL ONE, BUT ONE FROM A NORWEGIAN COMPANY, CALLED A DOUCHEBAG. They

got the name by asking the internet and then sitting up and drinking all night, never a great combination. They also sell Big Bastard and Little Bastard bags, but Team Sky opted for the Douchebags. They had input into the design to make them as hassle-free as possible, and they cost $999 (about R14 000)

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

each. I don’t know what the Wiggo package cost, but the way the team has handled this makes them look like real douche bags.

SADDLE DRAG I CANNOT GET MY HEAD AROUND THE MONSTROSITY THAT IS THE SADDLEBAG. I HAVE ONE. SORRY, THAT’S A LIE, I HAVE TWO. I ONLY USE THE SECOND IN RACES WHEN I NEED TWO BOTTLES, AND EVEN THEN I CAN FEEL IT MOCKING ME, HANGING OFF MY BIKE LIKE SNOT FROM A TWO-YEAR-OLD’S NOSE. EVEN WHEN ALL THOSE AROUND ME ARE USING THEM, I CANNOT SHAKE THE SENSE THAT IT’S WRONG.

–Kim, Parkhurst

I KEEP CHANGING MY MIND ABOUT THE

There are times when I see them as ugly-beautiful, but for the last few months I have turned on them. They are the saggy arse of cycling accessories, a dingleberry that takes the flow of the line of a top tube and turns it into a washing line. But we need them. Dammit. Yes, we do have pockets on jerseys, but we should never fill them to stretching point. Former pro (and reformed doper) David Millar also believes we need saddlebags; otherwise, if we puncture, we’re “f#@&ed”. In support, he also says that pros carry saddlebags, citing Ryder Hesjedal’s “MacGyver pack”. What Millar fails to understand is that pros aren’t right all the time. And Hesjedal sounds like he approaches each ride with the fear he will have to stop. Riding with fear? Why bother? I’m still conflicted about saddlebags. SADDLEBAG, KIM.

Images by I S T O C K P H O T O | J A M E S G A R A G H T Y

SPECIAL DELIVERY


RIDER 2 RIDER

PLUG THE GAP

Carry mushroom plugs with you to repair tubeless tyres. These are mushroomshaped rubber plugs that are meant for car tyres – and you can get them from any tyre dealer. Drive the plug into the hole, and it expands to fill the punctured area. It will help you finish a race. I’ve used them plenty of times, with great success. – Ralph Gobey

Clean And Fresh Always carry a mini-pack of wet wipes in your jersey pocket or saddlebag. These work like a charm if you’ve had a mechanical, and got your hands greasy fixing the problem. – John van Wyk Be Cool In summer, freeze one of your water bottles overnight. When you’re riding, save it as your second bottle. Instead of forcing

down warm liquid with lang tande halfway through a race, you’ll have a refreshing cold drink, which will be welcoming on sweltering hot days. – Eileen

CYCLISM

Circle of Death

(DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE)

WIN! A PAIR OF

BUDDS BY DJ FRESH WORTH R699 All you have to do to stand a chance of winning is email your tip, with ‘Reader Tip’ in the subject line, to bicycling@media24.com.

Term of ‘endearment’ for the Pyrenean climbs on the TdF stage from Pau to Bagneres du Luchon. More an S than a circle, it has a total elevation of 8 356m and includes Col de Aspin and Col du Tourmalet. On its first run in 1910, only one rider, Gustav Garrigou, made it to the top of Tourmalet without dismounting. He received 100 francs for his trouble. Fun game: find a circle of death in your area, get your mates together to race (and Strava) it, and whoever gets to the end first without getting off, gets everyone else’s coffee money.


The 2017 ABSA Cape Epic is set to showcase one of mountain biking’s greatest rivalries, as Germany’s Karl Platt and Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser vie to become the greatest of them all. WORDS MIKE FINCH / IMAGES SPORTZPICS/CAPE EPIC

MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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Karl Platt and Christoph Sauser could not be more different: Platt is a fun-loving German (yes, really), with a penchant for beer and an infectious sense of humour, while Swiss Sauser is his stoic rival, known for his ruthless racing style. In March the two will square off against the backdrop of a fierce rivalry, as each attempts to become the first rider to win six Epic titles. Platt equalled Sauser’s five wins in 2016. Sauser, despite retiring in 2015, announced that he would return to competitive cycling to race this year.

Christoph ‘Suzi’ Sauser

Karl ‘Plattos’ Platt

SWITZERLAND, 40 T FORMER OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALLIST, FIVE-TIME

GERMANY, 38 T FIVE-TIME EPIC WINNER, MULTIPLE GERMAN MARATHON

EPIC WINNER T 10 WORLD CUP WINS T PARTNER: JAROSLAV KULHAVY

CHAMPION, FORMER GERMAN JUNIOR DOWNHILL CHAMPION T PARTNER: URS HUBER

What’s your relationship with Karl Platt like? We’ve known each other a long time – and I got to know him at my first Cape Epic. It’s never boring around him, and we always have something interesting to discuss… that’s what I really like!

What’s your relationship with Christoph Sauser like? We will never be best friends… but it’s not like I hate him.

Are you friends or rivals? In a race, we are both competitors, especially at the Cape Epic… that’s where we normally race head-to-head. Otherwise, we don’t race against each other much. Do you feel a sense of rivalry between the two of you at this year’s Epic? For me, it’s not about Karl or Team Bulls, Topeak Ergon or Scott. It’s much more that Jaro and I can perform at our best, with a super team around us, racing the best equipment. Why did you decide to come out of retirement? I love challenges – and after a year’s break, the challenge could not have been bigger, since I am not getting any younger. But so far, I believe the break was good... I am fresh and motivated! A lot of people say you never retired. Did you? Or did you just carry on training? I love to ride my bikes. I was riding my trail bikes for most of the time; I never did specific intervals. Although I was doing stage races in Colombia, at the Swiss Epic, and riding with the XC riders on the World Cup courses – that always kept me on my toes! For Wines2Whales I started with real training again, and I saw how quickly I got into good shape. That gave me the confidence to come back out of retirement for the Epic. What is it about the Cape Epic that makes you want to come back? It’s the Tour de France of mountain biking. And I love stage racing – you can’t go home after one day, you have to face it every day. It is also the best platform to inspire the Songo kids, and raise awareness for our fans and sponsors. What’s your secret to winning the Epic? Preparation, organisation, very strong mind, confidence, equipment, team, team spirit. And lots of power in the legs! 40

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

Would you have a beer with him? Mmm…. Yes, why not?! How does his personality differ to yours? Christoph is very success-orientated. When he won at Attakwas this year, he had two flat tyres and still went on to win. He never gives anything away. I’ve given so many stage wins away… If I win seven stages or three [at the Epic], what difference does it make [if I am leading overall]? Nobody remembers. Also, small teams need the coverage, and sometimes it’s important to give them something to keep the whole business turning. Christoph doesn’t realise that… he fights for everything. How do you rate your chances, defending your 2016 Epic title? I don’t want to finish second. I want to win, 100%. The Epic is not Christmas… you have to fight for it! How important is the Epic for you? If I win the Epic, it’s coverage for my sponsors for the whole year. Is it your most important race of the year? Yes, I would say so. How have you maintained your motivation to train since turning pro in 2001? Life balance. I cannot focus the whole year. I know I have to prepare for the Epic for three or four months, and be very serious for the eight weeks before the race – watching things like what I eat, and how much rest I get. Sauser is different. He takes maybe a couple of weeks off in a year, and then he is serious again. For me, races like the Wines2Whales are racing, but… not racing. I am not serious then!


CROSS WIND 18 km/h

27º

167

bpm

1500

UNEVEN TERRAIN

1250m

1783 Cal

750

0

621km TO GO

16km/h

Time for an Epic comeback? Investec Asset Management wishes everyone good fortune on the Cape Epic. Part of five-time winner Christoph Sauser’s strategy was to take calculated risks. The same applies to investing. The Investec Opportunity Fund has delivered inflation-beating returns since inception 19 years ago. By investing in a diverse portfolio of quality blue-chip names and across asset classes, it aims to minimise risk and maximise opportunity. The Investec Opportunity Fund. Don’t avoid risk. Manage it. Go to opportunityknocks.co.za, call 0860 500 900 or contact your financial advisor.

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2:56


My Bike

DAVID GARRETT & SUSAN MELMED’S CYCLE-TOUR-WINNING

MATRIX TANK

WORDS OLI MUNNIK | PHOTO JAMES GARAGHTY

No strangers to success on the Western Cape road-racing circuit as individuals, the husband-andwife pairing of David Garrett and Susan Melmed are also a force to be reckoned with on their Matrix Tank racing tandem. Garrett (a member of the exclusive permanent-yellownumber club, with more than 21 Cycle Tours under his belt) and Melmed will be lining up at the 2017 Cycle Tour as the defending mixed tandem champions, with the hopes of making it two in a row. CTCT WINNING TIME : 2:53:29

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

Melmed and Garrett’s Matrix Tank has a lugged frame with carbon tubes that weighs in at 3.24kg, according to Matrix’s website – a gigantic number when compared to modern sub-1 000g racing frames, which both riders race when riding individually. As Melmed is only 1.6m tall, coming up with a tandem that she could fit on proved more difficult than the couple expected. Eventually, they found the Tank, which is a 52cm up front and 44cm at the rear. Compared to that of a normal bike, the Tank’s aero fork, made by Matrix, is huge – and rightly so, as it takes care of the extra forces that a tandem experiences under load. Given their sheer length, tandems and flex are synonymous. While Garrett pilots up front where the movement is minimal, Melmed bears the brunt of their Matrix’s flex. Despite feeling “quite sketchy” at times, Melmed says, luckily she’s very light; she can’t imagine what it would be like if she weighed in at 80 or 90kg. Frame and fork TAK E T WO


Gearing on a tandem is tricky, as climbing is achingly slow and descending hair-raisingly fast. This makes the couple’s 53/39/30 FSA triple-ring crankset perfect for managing undulating terrain. Interestingly, Garrett says, by pairing it with a 10-speed, 11-25T cassette, they’ve limited the front mech to only the middle and big blades, as they’re light (and fast) enough not to need a granny gear! Though he goes on to say they would prefer a 54 for the blisteringly fast Misty Cliffs section. Hoods and brake callipers are traditional 10spd Shimano Ultegra – discs or oldschool cantilever brakes might be better, Melmed says, as the current set-up lacks ‘bite’. A Shimano XT rear mech with medium cage is needed to handle the variance in chain pull, given the triple-ring set-up. Groupset TRIPLE DIS TILLED

Both cockpits are chiefly Matrix in-house products, though Garrett’s KCNC stem and 440mm Pro handlebar were fitted to suit his set-up. The rear stem’s length is adjustable, allowing Melmed to fine-tune her set-up and keep a safe distance from her hubby’s derriere. While the Matrix fits three bottle cages, the rear cage is too low for Melmed to reach, so they usually race with only the two bottles up front. Melmed rides a Specialized Ruby and Garrett a Selle Italia SLR XP. An old-school wired Blackburn computer keeps track of their metrics, while two pairs of Look Keo pedals keep the cranks turning. Parts PIGEON PAIR

Melmed and Garrett agree wholeheartedly that reliability trumps light weight – the more spokes the better! Up front, a 32-hole Alex rim is laced to a Novatec QR hub, while at the rear a Velocity 36-hole rim pairs with a Shimano 105 QR hub. Not glamorous, but these components have proved themselves to be reliable. One disadvantage of the Tank, says Garrett, is its inability to run 28mm tyres, meaning that they’re forced to fit 25mm Continental Gatorskins. Wheels and tyres RELIABILIT Y RULES

MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTO BY JA MES GA R AGHT Y

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017


     

                                                                                      


THE MISTRESS THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH A LITTLE ‘EXTRAMARITAL’ ACTIVITY – IF YOUR SPOUSE IS OPEN-MINDED.

S

SHE WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM. I COULDN’T LOOK AWAY. I HAD TO MEET HER. I SUPPOSE I WAS BEING A

BIT OBVIOUS, BECAUSE MY WIFE MUTTERED DARKLY UNDER HER BREATH.

“I can’t help it,” I responded. “She’s stunning.” “Get a room,” she snorted, “and wipe that drool off your chin. You men are all the same – you just can’t control your urges.” I continued to stare at the object of my desire. I couldn’t see her name tag, but she looked exotic. Those curves and sultry lines – she has to be Italian, I thought. I figured I’d just saunter over, cast an eye over that gorgeous body and be on my way. But my wife was seriously cramping my style. “I think I should mingle,” I said. “I know where you’re going,” she said, shooting a look in the Italian’s direction.

a deep breath and launched into my best sales pitch. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard,” she spluttered. “But even the president…” I persisted. “President schmesident – everyone knows the president has no control, and can’t limit himself to just one.” “And what’s wrong with that?” I responded. “It’s not illegal to have more than one – it’s our constitutional right.” “So, you want to just take her home with us?” Now there’s a thought. “We’ll be so discreet. You won’t even know she’s living with us.” My wife shook her head. “I’m fairly low maintenance, and you can barely afford to buy me a Valentine’s Day gift.” She nodded at the Italian. “Now that looks seriously high maintenance.” But I could make it work. Get a second job,

It’s not illegal to have more than one – it’s our constitutional right. “Don’tEvenThinkAboutIt.” It was time to change tack. This wasn’t anything I hadn’t done before, but my urges were more intense than usual; I decided to broach the ‘let’s be open-minded’ way of thinking. I had nothing to lose, so I took

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take a third bond, cash in our children’s education policies. It would be a small price to pay for the new status I would enjoy. The other blokes will be super-jealous when she and I cruise up to them… “This will put a spoke in our relationship,”

my wife warned, looking crushed. “I’ll be the third wheel.” I tried to save the situation. “You’re lovely, smart, charming, delightful, inspiring, and the mother of my children, and we’ll always have Port Alfred, and you’ll always be my number one. Besides, if the president can juggle so many with everything he’s got on his plate, this should be a breeze. The president treats them all with respect and dignity. He loves them equally, and spends quality time with all of them.” And then, unbelievably, the president walked into the room. “Mr President,” I said, “my wife and I are having a difficult debate. She thinks that if I take on another, I’ll lose interest in her. I’m trying to assure her that that’s not the case.” The president looked thoughtful. “Your wife will eventually come round,” he said. “So will everyone else. It’s worked for me.” “How many have you got?” I asked. The president paused for thought. “I’ve got,” he started to count, “one, two, three, four hundred and thirty millionty, er, I’ve got, um, well, quite a few.” Then he grinned. “And by the end of today, there will be one more in my collection. I’ve got my eye on that sexy Italian bike over there.” Damn! Chris – the president of our riding group – is insatiable.

Image I S T O C K P H O T O

BY JONATH A N A NCER


THE EVERY THING R ACE A finisher of the 2016 ABSA Cape Epic

remembers how a helping hand from the

late Gugu Zulu turned her world around .

BY COLLYN AHART

IMAGES GARY PERKIN

J R O L L ING T HR O U G H T HE T UL B A G H VA L L E Y O N S TA G E 1 O F T HE 2 0 1 6 C A P E E P IC .

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The MacBook Pro under my wrists hums in the heat as sweat droplets bead on my chest and back. The glowing screen is the only light in the room. The temperature’s 40°C outside, 35 inside. It’s August 2015, one of the hottest summers in recent history in Girona, Spain, and I’m about to pull the plug on my failing start-up. An email pings: “An invitation to ride the Absa Cape Epic, the 8-Day Untamed African MountainBike Race, in March 2016.” Heralded by many as the world’s toughest mountain bike race, it’s 647 kilometres through the steep, rocky mountains in South Africa’s Cape wine region. Temperatures climb to 40-plus degrees, the hot air is thick with fine red dust, and riders, competing in teams of two, spend each night camping in the elements. Delete. A new email pings: Another polite decline from a prospective investor. For years I’d dreamed of creating an outdoor clothing company for women. Bowndling Adventurewear was my Mars mission – crazy, yes, but attainable. The company had launched eight months earlier with F

T

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49


L “ W H Y D O W E C H O O S E T O S UF F E R ? S O W E C A N S T O P B E IN G A F R A ID O F FA IL UR E —A ND L E A R N T O G E T B A C K UP.”

Once upon a time I’d been something of an athlete. An amateur road and mountainbike racer, I’d ridden the Cape Epic twice before, finishing in 2012 and pulling out on the fifth stage in 2013 with insurmountable knee pain. Unlike road cycling, a sport I’d done my whole life, mountain biking was something I undertook to push myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. I’d gotten into it partly because it seemed like lunacy in the first place. I wasn’t very fast, but I became stronger, quicker to react, more physically and mentally resilient to crashes. In many ways it was a lot like founding a start-up. Eighteen months in and I find myself doing things I never dreamed I’d be able to do. I open my computer and go to my trash folder: “An invitation to ride the Absa Cape Epic in 2016.” The words buzz around my head as they have all year: Get up. Try again. Just say yes.

When you’re trying to create a business, very little else matters. Everything falls away. Food, sleep, relationships, everything that is important to you… gone. By the time I start training for the Cape Epic a few weeks later, I’ve hardly touched my bicycles in 15 months, despite moving from London to Girona, the heartland of European cycling. Every training ride is hard. Just getting on the bike is hard. Three years behind a computer screen have left me with lingering back pain. My feet hurt, squeezed into too-tight F

W

I’d got into mountain biking because it seemed like lunacy. 50

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all the fanfare reserved for Next Big Things. We had a team of A-list players from Net-a-Porter, Maharishi, Burberry, and Rapha. But by August, everything had changed. The company was just me. Everyone else had been laid off or decided to leave months before. There was no more money, just a mountain of debt. I wipe the sweat from my face. Or is it tears? I thought I’d become numb to the feeling of rejection. Here are the reasons we think your

business isn’t a viable investment. Three pages later, I close my computer and shut my eyes. Failure has a distinct temperature. It sweeps from the back of your body, wrapping around your legs and hands, filling them with blood, rising to hit your sternum. Your chest feels like it’s flooding, and heat rises in your throat and finally reaches your eyes and nose and then your forehead. I deserve to fail. I’m worthless, a fraud, desperate and alone.


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shoes. Barely able to fit into my old cycling clothing, I’m limited to one or two old polyester team kits that were at one time too baggy. I’m angry at everyone every time I try to ride, but mostly I’m angry at myself. How did I believe I could make Bowndling a success? My good friend Luke Batten, founder of the cycling website and clothing company Tenspeed Hero and a photography professor at the University of Illinois, has agreed to be my race partner. He faces many of the same challenges I do. But despite working long hours, spending a third of his life on aeroplanes, and absorbing the stress of wanting to make it all work, Luke manages to always exude joy. I’m going to need that balance. Admitting failure and learning to move on isn’t a switch you can flip. Finding a first rung on the ladder out of despair and personal worthlessness is hard to do. You’re blind down there. Fear and emptiness flood in daily. In her book Rising Strong, social scientist Brene Brown describes this hole of failure as the ‘rumble’. It’s the thing that happens while you’re fighting to get out. Keep going. When you think you might not make it, just don’t stop pedalling. 389 metres left. 388. 387. 386… I’m alone on the rocky final ascent into Boschendal on the sixth day of the 2016 Cape Epic. Luke pulled out three days earlier with a back injury. It’s the first time during the race that I’ve felt the creeping heat of failure pry its way around my legs. I didn’t even have the things I’d counted as a success the previous times I’d trained for and done the

K

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Quitting isn’t an option for me – but it’s the devil on my shoulder, jeering me with every pedal stroke. race. I never got really fast. I didn’t fit into smaller kit. I’d been plagued by injuries and illness right up until a few weeks before the race. I count down the metres of climbing, my legs aching with that distant but somehow familiar pain brought on by hundreds of kilometres in the saddle. My 2013 Cape Epic teammate, Rachel Fenton, used to remind me that a mountain bike has a way of rolling over everything as long as you keep moving. It only gets dangerous when you start pulling the brakes or putting a foot down. Giving up isn’t an option for me – this race is my atonement for so many failures – but it’s the devil on my shoulder, jeering me in its nasty, familiar voice with every pedal stroke. 227, 226, 225… F*ck this sh*t. My fingers and toes have lost full sensation, and trapped nerves in my back wreak havoc on my limbs. When you finally start climbing out of the hole of worthlessness, every step risks dropping you back down. What makes you think you can do this? Who do you think you are? I look around. I’m probably seven or eight riders from the back, one of the foolish few who ride the Cape Epic simply on mental grit. If you can run a business and survive when it fails, you can do this. This is nothing. 217, 216, 215… 214… 213. What do I have to prove? Failing

at something big strips you of any care you have for the opinions of others. I could be half-naked in the middle of the rider tents and if someone wants to comment on my bulging midriff or cellulitepocked thighs, let them. I’m still going to finish this race. I see a solo rider from Mauritius ahead of me, his neon-yellow kit inching closer as I make my way along the jeep track. More than a thousand riders blasted over these hills hours before. We’re the people who simply want to finish. Without Luke, I’ve been riding with a couple of teams near the back, mostly the duo of the Gugu Zulu and Maurice Mdlolo. Gugu was a professional rally car driver in South Africa. Every time a fan of his passes us, whoops and shouts greet our tiny peloton of survivors. It keeps us going that day. But on the next stage, I slip riding over a wooden river crossing, and land hard on my right side. It reopens a cut on my wrist and leaves enormous bruises up my right hip and arm. My bike’s brake levers are knocked 90 degrees out of place, rendering them unusable. Tears well in my eyes as they have almost every day for the last week. I can’t fight them this time. You don’t deserve to finish. You are deluded. You’re a fraud. Another failure, as usual.

No-one will be surprised. I climb off my bike, sobbing. I’m swept back to August in that dark room, reading those searing words: “We just don’t see the potential.” A hand reaches out and grabs my bike. It’s Gugu’s, and he pushes my bike up the hill in front of me. I chase after, shouting at him to stop. I’m done. “Don’t do this to me!” “If you can’t ride, you walk,” Gugu says. “But you will finish. You have to.” I make the cut-off time by 10 minutes. The next and final day, we all ride into Meerendal Wine Estate. The crowds have started to dissipate. The DJ is still playing but there’s no fanfare as we cross the line. Many riders are showered and packing to go home. I finish the race in 57 hours, second-to-last overall – one spot ahead of the person who refused to let me rumble in my darkness alone. Why do we suffer? Why do we choose this path? The Stoic philosophers believed practising hardship brings everything into perspective: we suffer to stop being afraid of failure, to learn how to get back up. And when you’re at the back or at the bottom, getting back up isn’t an end point. It’s the first step out of a much greater darkness. Collyn Ahart is a British-American writer and brand strategist. Gugu Zulu died in July 2016, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for 350 000 girls living in poverty.


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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017


When Kelson Da Cruz’s bike was stolen, he felt like someone had cut off his legs. So he decided to track down the thieves, ‘Rasta’ and ‘The Frogman’ – and steal his treasured possession back. BY ANDY DAVIS P PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES GARAGHTY

MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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Kelson Da Cruz is a Brazilian surfer living in Cape Town. Actually, that’s not quite true; he was a Brazilian surfer living in Cape Town. He’s still Brazilian, and he’s still living in Cape Town, but he gave up surfing when he fell in love – with cycling. Inevitably, he was naturally good at cycling, and then got better. Soon he was competing beyond his suburban weekend clique, competing in races – and doing not just well, but smashing it. Podium finishes. At the age of 45, Kelson was a little late to semi-professional cycling, but he’d found his gift. He was deeply enamoured by what he could achieve on a simple machine. “It’s only transportation,” I’d say. But Kelson just laughed: “You don’t understand, man!” You see, Kelson and I used to share a bromance of sorts. It was a surfing thing: he was willing to waste an entire afternoon waiting for a wave, with little to no chance of success. He was someone who would watch your back when it got big, or when you did something stupid. Basically, someone who would call the NSRI if you got blown out on the offshore, and not make you pay for it later at the pub.

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We surfed many waves over many years, braaied hand-caught crayfish and shmokkeled perlemoen dinners, rice and beans, beer and bonfires. (This all unfolded over several years BC (Before Cycling). These days, if I suggest a cheeky little surf, he responds: “No way, man, what if I injure myself and can’t race on the weekend?”) Then I moved to Durban, and our friendship shifted to Facebook. Our touch points

visited me six times!” But one day, he showed up in my feed with a post titled: “Robbing the robbers”. I immediately thought back to what he’d once told me regarding his relationship with his bike. “When you’re riding those distances all the time, your bike becomes a part of you. And to lose it, to have it stolen… it’s like someone cutting off your legs, man!” His weapon of choice was the Fondriest TF2, which he

riding, no wind, not too cold.” He was in A batch and mixing it up with the racing snakes; but around the 80km mark, he heard a strange noise from his bike. “I looked everywhere, and couldn’t work out what it was. I decided to keep going with the peloton, because you’d give your little finger to stay in the draft.” The group came to a hill, and Kelson stood up to climb it. When he sat back down, he received a nasty surprise: his carbon saddle was gone. He

YOUR BIKE BECOMES A PART OF YOU. AND TO LOSE IT, TO HAVE IT STOLEN… IT’S LIKE SOMEONE CUTTING OFF YOUR LEGS, MAN! are photos of my kids, or his cycling news. Like the time he had a major crash (“Luckily, the bike wasn’t scratched!”). Or the “feeling silly” New Year’s boast that he’d cycled 20 400 kays in 2016. “That’s Cape Town to Durban via Bloemfontein every month,” I shot back. “You could have

bought in 2014 for R80 000. He chose light and rigid components, so the power he puts in is transferred into speed in the most economical way. He’d been racing in Stellenbosch – the One Tonner, a zippy 170km jaunt through the winelands. “Awesome weather for

pulled over, and saw the saddle behind him on the road. He managed to retrieve it before it was crushed under the wheels of a car. “I saved myself 3 000 bucks – but unfortunately, my race was over.” A Good Samaritan on the side of the road had a medical kit, and Kelson managed to


J GET TING HIS OWN BACK:

When Kelson Da Cruz tracked down his stolen bike, he realised the only way to get it back would be by pulling a fast one.

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tape his saddle back in place with Elastoplast – he could finish, rather than being collected at 4pm by the sweep with all the other dead bodies. Kelson managed to attach himself to a B-batch group, and had to endure horrible stink-eye the rest of the way for riding in their slipstream and not doing any dog work up front. After the ride, he decided to meet an old friend for a pizza in Stellenbosch before making the mission back home. Great lunch, good chat. But when Kelson returned to his car, he discovered that his treasured bike was gone. The back window of his car had been smashed, and his bike had been removed. (They left his saddle.) “I shouted out to my mate, ‘Straight to the police!’” As they turned into the main road, Kelson noticed a security guard on a bicycle. It turns out the guard had been chasing the bike thief. So Kelson tried to continue

40km/h on a 60km/h road, and everyone behind is hooting. Yes, that’s me – the middlefinger collector!” Unfortunately, the chase led nowhere. The bike thief was gone. Kelson headed to the police station. “I’m pushing Mr Policeman to look at the security cameras at the crime scene, question witnesses, contact informants. I know if we move quickly, we can recover my bike.” But it’s a Sunday afternoon, and the cop isn’t really feeling the urgency. “We’ll let you know if we find anything,” he shrugs. “I had this sinking feeling, and I realised, Kelson, you’re alone in this…” So he packed up his things, slumped back into his car and drove home – a sick feeling in his stomach all the way. “All I want is to get under my duvet and sleep, I’m down big time – but suddenly I hear my guru Bob Marley singing, ‘Get Up, Stand Up!’” Kelson jumped on his

stolen bike – my bike became famous, trending, viral.” He received loads of responses; but they were all bicycling fundis who knew the pain of having a treasured bike stolen, commiserating with him. So he got under the duvet, and went to sleep.

GOING TO WAR… WITH A BUTTER KNIFE “I wake up in the morning and decide to go for a ride on my training bike. There’s nothing like a nice ride to lift the spirits. As I hit the road, I slowly make peace with the idea of never seeing my race bike again. I even contemplate racing with my training bike – which is like going to war with a butter knife, while my shaved-leg enemies have the latest hi-tech bazookas,” he laughed. But when he got home he checked his messages, and there was a lead: someone

YOU GONNA GET KILLED! AND THEN I THOUGHT ABOUT MY BIKE, MY BIKE, I WAS SO CLOSE...”

the pursuit himself – cutting corners, shooting through red robots, and ramping over speed bumps. “I’m normally that guy in front of you who drives at

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

computer and started to carpet-bomb the internet: Twitter, Facebook, online bike classifieds, Cash Crusaders, bike shops... “I flooded the network with photos of my

had tried to sell a bicycle to a cyclist in Stellenbosch – and it matched the description of Kelson’s bike. The cyclist forwarded the photo of the bike, and the cell phone number

of the person selling it. The photo was dark, and poor quality, but Kelson could clearly see that it was his bike – and what’s more, it had no saddle! “I made contact with the bad guy, and after a long negotiation on the phone (you got to be cool), we settled on a price of R8 000. The bad guy wanted to meet me in a dark alley outside Stellenbosch, but I refused, saying I wasn’t from the area, and downtown was the only place I knew.” Kelson was pumped. He dressed up for the meeting. He needed to blend in, so he put on shorts, a hemp T-shirt and flip-flops. Then he realised that flip-flops were no good if he needed to run for his life... so he put on a pair of running shoes! “As I was leaving home, this inside voice hit me: What are you doing, man? Are you crazy? You gonna get killed! And then I thought about my bike, my bike, I was so close...” Kelson figured he needed a bit of a back-up plan – or, as he put it: “Someone to watch over my ass.” He phoned his mate in Stellenbosch, and they hatched a plan. A few plans, actually. “Plan A: my mate and his friend are watching from a distance. When the bad guy arrives with my bike to meet me, they get there at the same time. We push the bad guy aside, and rescue my bike. “Plan B: I get my hands on the bike, and scream for help. “Plan C: I pay the bad guy the cash, and buy my bike back. (But I really don’t like this one!) “Plan D: the shit hits the


Kelson’s Guide to Theft-Proofing Your Bike: J Firstly, don’t leave it in your car. J Chain it safely to a very public immovable object, running the chain through the frame and back wheel; then remove the front wheel, and take it with you. J Pray. J A quick hack is to strap your helmet between the spokes of your wheel. This will slow a thief down – hopefully, long enough for you to stop him. J Racing bikes can be more tricky, because you don’t want to risk damaging them with a chain or bike lock – so the best option is to have the bike with you at all times. If I stop for a coffee and the coffee shop gives me a hard time about the bike, I just move on to another place, where I can have it close by. J Insure your bike. J Make sure your bike is identifiable, in case it does get stolen. Remove the saddle and front wheel and any other items to make it more recognisable. Thieves are unlikely to try to reassemble a bike; most often, they’ll try to sell it just as they stole it. J Always keep an eye on your bike!

fan, I throw some cash into the air, and I run for my life.” So Kelson arrived in Stellenbosch and met up with his friend, and they waited for the bad guy to make contact. The designated time came and went. Kelson’s mate had to go back to work – he was on his own. Of course, suddenly his pocket buzzed. The SMS told him to go to a Stellenbosch rugby-club car park. “Very soon, a skinny rasta guy arrives. About 1.7m tall, with dreadlocks down to his knees, but he’s empty-handed. So he explains the bike will arrive soon, and then the deal can be done.” They started chatting, and to Kelson’s surprise they got along quite well. “I check out his physique and think he has the potential to become a true cycling climber. If he just trimmed his dreadlocks (that would shave a few kilos off), stops the doobie, and maybe, maybe... Then I think, This guy’s NEVER gonna stop the doobie!, so I let go of my thoughts of social responsibility and focus on my bike again.” A few minutes later another bad guy arrived, driving an avocado-green Corsa Lite Sport. And on the back seat of the car was Kelson’s bike. “This guy, let’s call him ‘The Frogman’, he looked nervous. He was flabby; he had no hope of being a cyclist. If he worked hard, maybe an average runner. He was also about 1.7m, early 30s, about 90kg.” The Frogman took the bike from the back seat, and tossed it on the ground. Kelson winced. “I just clench my

teeth, man. I want to jump on his jugular, but Hold on, I think to myself, don’t blow your cover now, you’re so close!”

I LOVE IT WHEN A PLAN COMES TOGETHER The bike needed some attention. The chain was off, so Kelson got to work, putting the chain back in place and setting up the wheels properly. “It took some time to get the chain working and The Frogman started to grow impatient. He wanted to get the cash and get out of there, quickly.” So The Frogman bent down to try to help. “I said, ‘I know what I’m doing, I’m a cyclist.’ But I was really thinking, Get your dirty hands off my bike, man!” “Finally I get the wheel spinning, and she’s ready! But the odds are stacked, two against one. It’s time to make my move: I come up with a spontaneous Plan E. ‘Hey guys,’ I say, ‘I need to ride the bike, so I can check the carbon frame for any cracks. If it’s all good, it’s a deal.’ And to seal it, I pull the roll of cash out of my pocket. R8 000, in a nice neat bundle of leopards!” The bad guys’ eyes followed the money, and they agreed to let Kelson test the bike. “I get on and look around, try to assess the situation. The Frogman has no chance in a short sprint, he’s just too heavy. But if he got enough momentum he could be a problem. So the sprint can’t be too long. Rasta’s the dangerous one: light,

agile… but his lungs are full of doobie. I doubt they could sustain a sprint longer than 30 metres. “So, I decide my strategy: the sprint must be around 100 metres. I look around. Across the parking lot is the clubhouse, just about the right distance. And I know that’s the finish line, my goal. No second or third place. I need to win. This time, only a win will do!” Kelson threw his leg over the bike – and that’s when he realised the snag in his plan: there was no saddle! “But come on, I’m not doing a tour here, it’s only 100 metres. I can stand for 100 metres, easy. I relax. I’m ready for the sprint of my life – or is it for my life? “I drop all the power over the crank, and the bike responds beautifully, as if she was waiting for that moment. The sprint was so powerful, the bad guys had no chance. Both just stood there, dumbfounded. I look back and I know I’ll win this race, so I cross the finish line and ride the bike straight into the sports club’s reception area. I look back, and there’s no sign of Rasta and The Frogman – it’s all over. “The receptionist of the sports club looks up, surprised, and I shout: ‘Call the cops!’” But the thieves were long gone. Kelson packed his bike into the back seat of his car, and drove home. “I looked back and there it was, my bike, resting peacefully. I cranked up the music. I had just won the best race of my life…”

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TO U R E L C Y C ECIAL SP

YOUR GUIDE TO

5 BREA


C Y CL E T OUR As the days left to the Cycle Tour count down, anyone in Lycra will undoubtedly be asked: what time are you going for? It’s an unfair question, because most cyclists don’t like to commit to times – it puts us under undue pressure. We do know that the racing snakes have their sights on a coveted

sub-3, the weekend warriors are planning to break a sub-4, while the social riders and Cycle Tour virgins want to cross the line in a respectable time of under five hours. So we’re going to take you through what you need to do to secure the time you’re going for… no pressure.

KING 3 WORDS JONATHAN ANCER & ANDRÉ VALENTINE OPENING IMAGE GARY PERKIN IM AGES BY JETLINE ACTION PHOTO

FACT ATTACK A TIME FOR WINNERS

2:27:29 The fastest winning time, set in 2008 by Robbie Hunter. 2:16:40 The fastest non-winning time, set by Wimpie van der Merwe in 1993, riding the 104km route on a recumbent. 2:21:42 What Van der Merwe’s time would have been on the current route, based on his average speed of 46.1km/h. 3:01:25 The time set by non-professional racer Mark Pinder in 1982, which was faster than the time set by that year’s winner, the late Ertjies Bezuidenhout.

30 The number of sweep vehicles made available along the route. Fourteen are MyCiTi buses, and 16 are minibus shuttles. All are equipped with trailers for bikes.

219 329 The number of new entrants to have entered the race since its inception.

32 821 The number of finishers in 2015 – the highest in Cycle Tour history.


RIDE COMFORTABLE

5

Sub -

You should have done a few longish rides before you line up on the start line of the Cycle Tour. (But hopefully, not in the week before the event. Unlike at school, ‘cramming’ is only going to make things worse.) For r iders tow a rds the blunt end of the field c r u i s i n g a rou nd t he Peninsula – first-timers, social riders, and people in fancy dress riding for charity – it tends to be ‘every man for himself’. But

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it doesn’t have to be that way. “Chat to the people around you, and encourage them to work together,” suggests Jarred Salzwedel, sports scientist and cycling coach at Science To Sport. He adds that backmarkers should encourage other riders to keep going – especially when they feel they’re on the limit. “The power of the mind is unbelievable.” Salzwedel says it’s important to try to ride within yourself, and

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

to expect that it’s going to be difficult; because if it’s too easy, you won’t ride the time you’re aiming for. “Try to relax on the downhills, and enjoy it. Look up and admire the scenery, exchange banter with other riders, soak up the atmosphere – it’s a fun ride, after all – but remember that you still need to finish.” Salzwedel recommends that if you’re able to, you should ride the route beforehand – this will give you the psychological knowledge that you can do it. If you aren’t able to ride the whole route, then at least ride up Chappies and Suikerbossie. If all else fails, get in your car and drive the route – that way, you’ll know what to expect, and where the tougher and easier parts of the route are. He advises sub-5 riders not to stop at every single feed zone. “Take enough food to last most of the race, and only stop when you run low. When it comes to hills, push yourself further back on the saddle, and be as relaxed as possible. Don’t rock from side to side, that’s just a waste of energy – energy that you could be pushing through your pedals. Think about being smooth, and don’t try to spin Chris-Froomestyle; ride the cadence you feel comfortable with,” he says.

G STEPHEN STEFANO, SUB-5 SAGE, 53, CIVIL ENGINEER Stephen Stefano has done every single Cape Town Cycle Tour, automatically putting him in the elite club previously known as the Magnificent Seven – now The Six Pack, after one member retired. He’s done all but one of his Cycle Tours in a sub-5 time, with a few sub-4s and even a sub-3 thrown in for good measure. He has a simple 12week programme to achieve a sub-5: ride four days a week for the 12 weeks leading up to Cycle Tour Sunday. “Do two long rides on the weekend, with the other rides on either Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday.” He also suggests doing early-morning rides, as there’s less traffic, the air is cleaner, and “it helps with getting out of bed on Cycle Tour Sunday”. Stefano’s best route tip: start slowly.


38

5 SUB-

TALLY

“Have you ever seen the Tour de France ‘shooting missiles’ from the start line? No!” He understands that this can be difficult – given Cycle Tour nerves – but preaches discipline, saying that starting slowly and working your way to the pace that will give you the desired time is the best defence against blowing later on. One gem his experience has taught him is to focus not on time, but on overall position. “With position, the time will follow.” Most of Stefano’s training knowledge comes from personal experience; but he recently employed a coach, and it’s changed his cycling. “It would have been so much easier if I’d had a coach in my prime years.” Now he’s optimistic about his 40th Cycle Tour, and hopes that he’ll do better than sub-5.

PENNY FARTHING Age-group racer Penny Krohn holds the record for the highest number of consecutive wins in her category: 25.

CLOSE IT OFF To ensure that road closures are adhered to, the Cycle Tour deploys 230 traffic officials, 40 Metro police, 182 South African Police Service law enforcement officers, and 766 marshals. Fifteen kilometres of fencing is used along the route, along with 800 traffic cones.

1988

The first year the Cycle Tour was covered on TV. 95% The percentage of the field who finished. DOUBLE TAKE Recumbent rider Lloyd Wright caught everyone off guard when he finished in 2:33:03. TV crews had to ask him to go over the finish line again, so they could capture his achievement.


THE GOOD RHYTHM

Day

going for a sub-3 – namely not getting dropped on the Smitswinkel, Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie climbs; not being reckless on the descents; and managing to stay in your bunch. “Ride within yourself ,” advises Salzwedel, “and when you’re riding up hills, don’t get too caught up in the moment when faster riders come rumbling past you. Rather get into a good rhythm that works for you.” Sub-4 riders will be out on the course longer

4

Sub -

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

SUB-4-HOUR TAPER WEEK

Make no mistake, says Jarred Salzwedel, a subfour is still a quality ride – you do have to put in some training in order to achieve it. With the Cycle Tour just a few weeks away, you should have a few longer rides under your belt. People training for a sub-3 would have put in between eight to 12 hours of riding a week, and riders going for a sub4 would have done six- to nine-hour weeks. The pressure points for achieving a sub-four are the same as for riders

Time

Monday

Session REST

Tuesday

1 hour

60 minutes Zone 2 and low Zone 3 only. Keep cadence high (>90 rpm)

Wednesday

1.5 hours

20 minutes warm-up in Zone 2 and 3: Follow with 4 x 4 minutes Zone 4, with 8 minutes rest between each. Follow with a 15-minute warm-down, Zone 2

Thursday

1 hour

60 minutes recovery – Zones 1 & 2 only

Friday

REST

Saturday

1.5 hours

90 minutes Zone 2 and 3, with 5 x 2-minute accelerations to bring heart rate up to Zone 4 for last 30 seconds of each acceleration (use harder gear than normal, with a cadence of about 70-80). Rest 5 minutes between each 2-minute effort.

Sunday

3:59:99

Race Day

than their sub-3 comradesin-pedalling, and that means you’ll be in the elements longer. So make sure you have sunblock, and enough nutrition. In terms of nutrition, says Salzwedel, focus on solid fuel sources, and use less energy drink and more water. If you drink too much energy drink, your stomach will do a lot of work trying to process it. If you are running low on nutrition, then stop at a feed zone. It’s tempting to spend time there, but don’t. “There’s no need to dawdle; just fill up and go,” says Salzwedel. “The good thing about the Cycle Tour is that it’s so big that there are groups going by all the time – so if you stop, you won’t have to wait long to catch another group,” he says.

G SELWYN MAGGOT SUB-4 WIZARD, 53, FINANCIAL CONSULTANT Although Selwyn Maggot is the proud holder of the record for the most sub-4 finishes in Cycle Tour history, he sees that as 24 times he’s missed out on a Sub3. He still has a damn decent record of 12 sub-3 finishes. Maggot says riders going for a sub-4 should focus on improving their weaknesses with consistent, structured hard work.


A common mistake racers make when going for this time is not having a plan, and taking the easy way out. “Just doing coffee rides is fun, but won’t get you the results you want.” Simple tweaks can save you time in the race, says Maggot – like learning to fuel while riding so you don’t have to stop at feeding stations.

He stresses the importance of not pulling at the front of the bunch for too long. This will save you energy, and allow you to maintain a consistent intensity. “Do not ride in no man’s land,” Maggot stresses. “If you lose your group, wait for another one.” Ride in a group whose pace is just about comfortable for you,

then stay with it to the finish. “Do this even if it means over-reaching at times, especially on the climbs.” One of Maggot’s secret weapons is training on the course, and feeling his way around it. “The déjà vu from training on those sections of the course gives me a mental boost on race day,” he says.

The age of the average female participant.

.

The age of the average male participant. COKE HEADS In the 2016 Cycle Tour, the Hout Bay water point gave out more Coke than any other.

125KM/H

24

SUB-4 TALLY

The wind speed recorded at the start of the 2009 race, duly dubbed the ‘Tour Of Storms’. Nearly 30 000 braved the start that day, and just over 27 000 reached the finish.

40 METRES The shortest Cycle Tour ever. Ridden in 2016 by our very own Deputy Editor Jonathan Ancer, before a wobbly rider in a hurry barrelled into him. He didn’t even make it to the start line timing mat.

OOM JAPIE MALAN We call him ‘uncle’ for a reason. He’s the oldest person to finish the race in the allotted cut-off time of seven hours. He did it in 2012, and was 92 at the time.


3

FEEL THE BURN

Sub A number of factors must be in place for riders to get under the magical three-hour mark. Firstly (and ideally), they should already have done the hard yards, says Jarred Salzwedel, sports scientist a nd c ycling coach at Science To Sport. “Anyone out to do a sub-3 would have started training in December – focusing on longer, lowerintensit y r ides (three and a half to four hours). With a few weeks to go to the event they would be working on high-intensity, short-duration sessions, including 30-second to four-minute intervals.” This is impor tant for riding in the bunch and short, sharp surges. Salzwedel says recent research shows that highintensity riding at above threshold is the most

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effective training. Second ly, you have to pace yourself. The race really starts in the second half, and a sub-3 is yours to lose if you kill yourself in the first half, Salzwedel explains. But by far the most important sub-three factor is that you need a decent seeding, and be a competent bunch rider. Salzwedel says that riders up to D batch should be able to achieve a sub-3; but don’t rule out super-strong riders in E, F and G. “You get some strong riders who just don’t have a great seeding, but if they come to the front of their batch, find each other and form their own group, they have a shot at it – if they work together. They might have to do a lot more work, but they can do it. What you don’t want to do,

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

though, is to ride at the front, drag everyone else to a sub-3, and then you yourself blow up on Suikerbossie,” he says. While the bunch is your ticket to a sub-3, it could also be your worst nightmare. “A lot of riders at the Cycle Tour are nervous, so you need to be wide awake in the bunch,” explains Salzwedel. “So if you’re going for this milestone, with a couple of weeks to go before the event you should be practising riding in a bunch – and you do that by actually riding in a bunch.”

G LINUS VAN ONSELEN SUB-3 LEGEND, 65, OWNER OF FLANDRIA CYCLES Linus van Onselen has achieved more sub-3s than any other rider, and at 65 he’s still going out for more. He says the key is good prep before the race, and a settled race strategy. “Build your base between December and February, and do a few three- to four-hour rides in the days leading up to the tour,” he says. “You can’t achieve a sub-3 on your own. Use the bunch to help you.” Van Onselen states that staying within the top 10 riders of your group is crucial to this, as is working on your climbing, because this is where you can lose time. He says Chapman’s Peak and Suikerbossie are the most important sections. “It’s important to stay with the group over these sections, for any chance of success.” He also advises you not to overload your pockets with food, especially since you’re not planning on being on the road for too long.


Day

Van Onselen adds that it’s important not to lose your head when you puncture, as saving time in those situations is crucial. “If you concentrate on the problem, you can fix it in three minutes,” he says.

Monday

SUB-3-HOUR TAPER WEEK

He fuels meticulously, and suggests you do the same. “Two 750ml bottles filled with your drink of preference should do the trick. I drink every 15 minutes, and eat natural food such as nuts and raisins during the race.”

Time

Session REST

Tuesday

2 hours

2 hours Zone 2 and low Zone 3 only. Keep cadence high (>90rpm)

Wednesday

2 hours

30 minutes warm-up in Zone 2 and 3: Follow with 4 x 4 minutes Zone 4, with 6 minutes rest between each. Follow with a 30-minute warm-down, Zone 2.

Thursday

1.5 hours

90 minutes recovery – Zones 1 & 2 only

Friday

REST

Saturday

2 hours

2 hours Zone 2 and 3, with 5 x 2-minute accelerations to bring heart rate up to Zone 4 for last 30 seconds of each acceleration (use harder gear than normal, with a cadence of about 70-80). Rest 5 minutes between each 2-minute effort.

Sunday

2:59:99

Race Day

SUB-3 KNOBBLIES on

26

INISHES SUB-CL3UDIFNG 2015’S EX ORTENED FIRE-SH GUS’ ‘MINI-AR

Everyone knows someone who knows someone else who has a friend who did a sub-3 on a mountain bike with knobbly tyres. But we actually tracked ‘someone’ down: Martin Nel, who achieved the feat on a carbon Giant XTC hardtail. “Gearing on that bike was a 2x set-up with a 39x26 ratio on the front and 36x11 at the rear. The only change I made to the bike was to inflate the tyres to three

bar. I was seeded in A, but elected to start in C – the racing guys would have killed me, with my gearing. As it was, I really suffered trying to keep up with the bunch just after Smitswinkel; my cadence was in the 150s at times.” Nel says a large part of achieving his sub-3 was ‘riding smart’. “I’ve got a mate, Rodney, who has superb roadracing skills, and I followed his lead.

Things like picking the right start group, not trying to be the hero in the group, and trying to stay with the group when it matters. Also, if you get dropped, you don’t try to ride your group down.” He doesn’t remember any negative vibes from the roadies – in fact at Suikerbossie, a couple of riders on skinny tyres acknowledged his efforts. Nel’s average speed was 36.8km/h.


CRUSH 109 KAYS

Jarred Salzwedel, sports scientist and coach at Science To Sport, takes you through the Cycle Tour’s ups and downs, and shares advice on nutrition, bunch riding, splits – and the hottest new cramp remedy. NAIL THE CLIMBS It’s easy to get caught out on the hills – and lose time. This is where you have to be smart, explains Salzwedel. “If you struggle with climbs, then a good strategy is to start at the front, and slide back slowly through the bunch.” Here, Salzwedel breaks down the Cycle Tour climbs. Edinburgh Drive // “Edinburgh Drive is sharp but short. Place yourself in the first quarter of the group, and you’ll be over it before you know it.” Smitswinkel // Salzwedel says Smitswinkel is the first real test of whether you’ve brought your climbing legs – it’s a long, gradual drag. “Sit near the front; and ride behind someone who has a smooth pedal stroke, and focus on that. Don’t move about on the bike, that’s just a waste of energy.” Chapman’s Peak // You can divide this iconic section of the Cycle Tour into Little Chappies and Big Chappies, says Salzwedel. “One of the biggest Cycle Tour mistakes I’ve seen is at Little Chappies: when riders tackle the climb, they shift into the small chainring at the front too quickly – and that puts them at risk of dropping their chain. What happens is that

68

when you shift down, the chain line is running at an angle; and then when you put too much pressure through the pedals, the chain drops. “I’d suggest that you power up in the big ring; but if that’s too tough, don’t destroy your legs. If you need to shift to an easier gear, then back off the power when you shift . You may lose a little momentum, but it’s better than dropping a chain. “The advantage of being in the big chainring is that when you crest Little Chappies, you’re ready to take on the fast section that takes you to the start of Big Chappies.” Don’t dig too deep on Big Chappes, though – there’s still a fair bit of the race to come. Suikerbossie // If you’re going for a sub-3, Suikerbossie is a five-minute all-out effort. “Do your best to hang on to the group – because if you don’t stay with them when you get to the top, you will lose them (and your sub-3) for the fast, easy ride to the finish.” For sub-4 and sub-5 riders, it’s still a tough climb, because it comes when you already have almost 100 kays in your legs (but at 2km, it’s actually not that long). Let the cheering fans motivate you. Get into an even rhythm, and pace yourself to the top.

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2017

SEEKING SHELTER: THE ART OF BUNCH RIDING The bunch is your best friend. “Research has shown that you can save about 30% of your energy by being in the slipstream – that’s why not many people can achieve a sub-three solo,” says Salzwedel. “Ride as close to the front as possible – that’s the best place to be, safety-wise. The bunch is massive, and if a guy in the front slows, there’s a ripple effect as everyone behind him hits their brakes; and because of the reaction times and movement, it’s much more dramatic at the back. “The bunch will shelter you from the wind, but don’t be scared to take a turn at the front. You may be expending a bit of energy, but ultimately it will save you; because the pace is more constant, and there isn’t that jerking, stop-start effect of being in the bunch to contend with.” Salzwedel says it’s good to encourage those around you to form a rolling pace line – where you get to the front, then fall off, and no-one’s on

the front for too long. It’s important to look forwards, too. Try not to look behind you, as you could end up riding into riders in front of you. Avoid braking unnecessarily, as this could cause riders behind you to crash into the back of you. If you need to move within the bunch, make sure other riders don’t have their wheels overlapping yours. GET FUEL-HARDY The main thing to remember is not to do anything differently on race day. It’s a nutritional no-no to try products you haven’t used before, because they could cause negative side effects for you on the day. If you want to try something, do it on a hard training ride a few weeks before the race. Breakfast // Go for carbs. Our bodies use carbs more readily than other fuel sources. Oats is the perfect pre-race meal. You should eat two hours to 90 minutes before the start time. 30 Minutes To Go Time // Top up with half a protein bar or half a banana 30 minutes before the start. Also, drink 500ml of an


electrolyte drink – sip it slowly. During the race // The general principle is 60g to 80g of carbs an hour. Take small sips very often of a high-carb electrolyte drink, and eat the other half of the protein bar or banana. A common mistake is that during the first hour, you get drawn into the race and forget to eat – or you get overexcited, and stuff your face. After Misty Cliffs, there’s a short climb where you’ll have to dig deep to hang with the bunch. But know that when you turn right to Ocean View, there’s a moment for recovery as you head to Chapman’s Peak. Take advantage of this time to eat something solid, and drink your energy drink.

After the second hour, riders going for a sub-3 and who are used to gels should consider taking a gel. You should train with gels if you are considering using them in the Cycle Tour. It’s important to train your gut – you don’t want to get caught short. Gels are a highenergy source, and will give you a spike. So continue taking them every 20 to 30 minutes. If you take gels, it’s important to remember to drink a lot of water during the race – and/or straight after. At the bottom of Chappies, top up with your electrolyte or energy drink, because Suikerbossie gets quite hot. Recovery // Don’t head to the beer tent just yet – alcohol

dehydrates you, and you need to be rehydrated. First have a chocolate milk and 500ml of water, and something solid to eat – but not too high in carbs, as you would have had a lot of carbs during the race. Biltong is a good choice. Now, go and get that beer (or three). AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR CRAMPS BAY You’ve done everything right. You’re ahead of your splits, and feeling strong. You’re in a great bunch that’s working well together. Your target time is within reach – and that’s when your hamstring seizes like nobody’s business. Cramp

has struck. “Click down into a harder gear,” advises Salzwedel, “and give a short burst – a little acceleration. It will hurt a lot, but you’ll be recruiting bigger muscle fibres for a harder force, and we’ve found that this can help cramps go away. Then go back to the gear you were riding.” Many people swear by Rennies, but Salzwedel says there’s no science to back up the antacid as a crampbuster. “It’s the power of the mind. But researchers have found that there’s a chemical in chillies that stops cramps. So if you can handle the hot stuff… pop a chilli.”

Mpumalanga Marathon Series


IT TAKES TWO TO TANDEM ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE WHEN THE LAUREL AND HARDY OF CYCLING DECIDE TO WOBBLE ABOUT ON A BICYCLE MADE FOR TWO. By Jonathan Ancer and Oli Munnik / Images James Garaghty


IT’LL BE FINE,” HE SAID.


“it’ll be fine,” he said. I swallowed hard. It was the last thing I wanted to hear. When the lead actor in a movie tells someone ‘it’ll be fine’, you know that it’s going to be a lot of things, but ‘fine’ ain’t one of them. I was about to pop my tandem cherry, and I was nervous. It didn’t help that when I told my mate Chris about my proposed double-trouble adventure, his response was a spontaneous, “Ohhh boy!” Chris, who has ridden a tandem with his wife, hung up the bike for good after flying down Ou Kaapse Weg at almost 90km/hr. I was relegated to ‘stoker’ – the sucker on the back of the bike. My ‘captain’ – as the front rider is called – was Oli ‘Pinner’ Munnik, Bicycling gear editor and notorious hooligan on two wheels. Rumour had it that Oli had ridden a tandem only once before – and for just seven minutes, before breaking it. And a few days before our tandem date, he’d gone for a ‘gentle’ mountainbike ride with his wife. She returned covered in

I

PILOT VS STOKER Gear Editor Oli Munnik Explains: Pilot vs Stoker – the Pros and Cons STOKER

Pros

J You can relinquish all responsibility to your pilot. J You can switch off and admire the view (but don’t forget to pedal!). J When the heavens open, you’re largely sheltered from the rain. Cons

J You’re at the mercy of your pilot. J NO control over speed, pedalling, cadence, steering or braking! J You sit close to the pilot – it takes getting used to, and can feel cramped. PILOT

Pros

J You’re in total control! J Seating position mirrors that of a normal bike, making transition easier J Uninterrupted vision and views of the road. And eye candy. Cons

J You can’t see if your stoker is stoking! J You bear responsibility for the stoker’s safety. J Being in front, you catch all the wind, rain and road debris.

bruises and roasties. And Oli loves her! He only likes me. I think. I had an image of us hurtling down the sharp bends on Chapman’s Peak in blustery, windy conditions, at 100km/hr. Maybe I should invest in a downhiller’s helmet, elbow pads, and one of those biker’s jackets that comes with a built-in brace... The question is, why ride a tandem in the first place? I couldn’t see any obvious advantages. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before even mounting the thing, our first challenge was getting our double-barrelled weapon – the Raleigh Duo Tandem – down the office stairs. It had arrived in a box, and was assembled in the office. Going down five flights of a spiral staircase was not an option, so we decided to take the lift. Fortunately I have great Tetris skills, and managed to manoeuvre this much-longerthan-normal bike – and its two riders – into a suddenly very small lift. We touched down, and rolled the Raleigh out of the building. “Now what?” I asked. “Now,” said Oli, an evil glint in his eye, “it’s Go Time. Don’t worry – it’ll be fine.” So we hopped on the bike – and that’s when things got decidedly wobbly. Oli leaned over to the left, and instinctively, I tried to correct and leaned to the right. We lurched forward – about to hit the tar – when Oli shouted: “Foot off!” (At least, I think that’s what he said.) Unfortunately, he didn’t specify which foot. He went with the right; I stuck out my left. We were like Doctor Dolittle’s push-me-pull-you beast as we ground to an awkward stop, and a group of spectators on the side of the road guffawed at this Laurel and Hardy team. That was the moment we discovered the secret to tandeming – communication. You need to do everything in, er, tandem. We tried again. “One! Two! Three… AND PEDAL!” shouted Oli. We pulled off and eased our way down the road – and had just got into a comfortable cadence when we approached a traffic light that had just turned red. “What do we do now?” I shouted. “I don’t know!” Oli replied. We were heading towards an intersection at speed. “Freewheel!” said Oli finally, hitting the brakes – and, having learned a lesson, as the tandem came to a spluttering, shuddering stop he shouted: “LEFT foot off.” Despite the fact that in my confusion I then stuck out my right foot, we managed not to topple over. And then we were off again, making our way through the heart of the CBD, into Sea Point, receiving a gentle sea-breeze slap in Camps Bay as we headed towards Llandudno. Riding in town is not tandem territory – there are too many stops, and it’s only when a tandem gets going that it comes into its own. There were some challenges. The frame flexed a lot; and I kept sliding down the saddle (finding myself, at times, literally ‘on the rivet’),

and it took a bit of awkward shifting to get my arse back to the sweet spot. And at times – forgetting the communication requirement – Oli ramped up the cadence without warning, and my feet would fly off the pedals. But the thing about being the stoker is that you have to relinquish control. You have no brakes, shifters or steering. You’re at the captain’s mercy. The stoker’s job, first and foremost, is to trust the captain. Then it’s to provide pedal power, to lean WITH the captain (not as easy as it sounds), and occasionally to alert him to a car that has decided to stop without warning when the captain is otherwise occupied (checking out the talent on Camps Bay beach, for example, but don’t tell his wife). The novelty factor is great, though, and the reaction from the public was awesome – we were greeted with smiles, friendly chirps, thumbs-ups and at least one wolf whistle (what can I say – I look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle made for two). One guy on the side of the road pointed out that I was the one who was doing all the hard work. This is not every stoker’s experience. My mate Chris’s wife (and ex-tandem partner) Nikki says if she had a rand for every time a person on the side of the road yelled out to Chris, “Hey, captain, she’s not pedalling!” she’d be on the Forbes Billionaires List. As we eased back to the office, I realised that I’d solved the mystery of why people ride tandems – it’s a great way for two people who have different cycling abilities (like a parent and child, say) to ride together – there’s no dropping or waiting. It’s also a terrific way for someone who would never be able to ride, to ride – like Douglas Sidialo, who lost his sight when al-Qaeda bombed Kenya’s US Embassy in 1998. Douglas and his captain John Mwangi have tackled many tough MTB events together, on a tandem. And then, of course, it’s great for spousebonding. Besides, there’s so much potential for tandem use – how about a reality TV show, called ‘Survivor Tandem’? Put an unlikely pair on a twoup and film their attempt to make it to the end of the Cycle Tour – 109km on a bike together could make for some interesting footage. The first contestants could be Helen Zille and Julius Malema, though they might not make it past the start. “Why are we not moving, Julius?” Helen would ask the EFF’s commander-in-chief. “Because I’m a revolutionary and you’re a counter-revolutionary,” he’d respond. “No, Julius,” Zille would say, wagging her finger at him, madam-style. “It’s because I’m trying to go forward, and you keep backpedalling.” Maybe not. In the end, as the stoker – I had so much stoke. And the captain was right – it was fine. In fact, it was mighty, mighty fine.

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DOUBLE TROUBLE

IS TWO BETTER THAN ONE? WE FIND OUT – ON A TRIO OF TANDEMS. The first thing we noticed about the Duo was that, weighing in at 16.5kg, this is not the sluggish beast you might expect. Furthermore, fitted with sturdy 48-hole rims and 28C tyres, our ride was not a jarring one. The gearing, too, left us impressed; the triple crankset allowed a few intimidating gradients to be conquered – as long as both riders put in maximum effort! The Duo’s performance was overwhelmingly positive, but the experience of riding a tandem is very different – and can be even more so, depending on whether you’re the pilot up front or the stoker at the rear. The pilot and stoker need to operate as a unit, and like assembly-line robots, pedal to the same beat. So there were some ‘ooow!’s and a few ‘eeeeeek!’s. But when pilot and stoker got the communication right, the Duo tandem hummed along the coastal road to Hout Bay without a worry in the world.

W H AT Y O U NEED TO KNOW J Available in two sizes: Small/Large and Medium/XL (with the orientation of riders being passenger/driver). J A triple ring (52/39/30) paired to a 12/25T cassette comes into its own when the road gets steep. J Shimano mechanical disc brakes provide just enough stopping power. J The Duo is not as heavy as you’d think: it weighs 16.5kg, which is light considering it’s powered by two human engines.

RALEIGH DUO TANDEM PRICE: R29 999 RALEIGHINTL.COM


SURVIVING BORIS READ WHAT HUSBAND-AND-WIFE TEAM RICHARD AND ROBYNNE MCMARTIN HAD TO SAY ABOUT SPENDING NINE DAYS TOGETHER ON BORIS – A 26” MTB TANDEM: BICYCLING.CO.ZA / SURVIVINGBORIS

FOR THE RACERS

CANNONDALE TANDEM 1 When you’re hurtling along at 80km/h on a tandem and you’re the person on the back, pedalling your heart out and hanging on for dear life, you certainly want to trust the equipment you’re using. Cannondale’s Tandem 1 is a proven speed machine, with the quality assurance of one of the best brands in the business. A 29er wheelset keeps you up to speed, while tandem-specific disc brakes with massive rotors make sure you stop in time. A triple crankset (52/39/30) paired with a 10spd 12-30 cassette ensures you never run out of gears, even on the steepest climbs. Price: R44 000 / Supplier: omnico.co.za

A NEW SPIN ON MTB’ING

AVALANCHE ENVI 29 MTB TANDEM While tandems are not completely unknown on South African roads, spotting the mountain-bike equivalent cruising through the veld is as rare as finding a fourleaf clover. Well-priced at under R14 000, the 19.5kg Envi 29’s novelty factor certainly doesn’t disappoint in terms of ride experience. Pedalling two-up along wellmaintained gravel roads is a pleasure; but throw in a few dongas, ruts, or – if you’re brave enough – singletrack, and the going becomes difficult. (And if you’re not careful, potentially dangerous.) But for those looking for a chilled spin with their usual tandem partner away from the dangers of the road, the Envi provides the perfect escape. Just be sure to stay on gravel roads or paths, and ride within your limits! Price: R13 900 / Supplier: avalanchebicycles.co.za

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Gear

A LIGHTER LID So you’ve ridden your helmet in the past 15 Cycle Tours, and it’s survived. But despite it appearing to be in reasonable condition, it’s sure to have received a good few bumps and knocks over the years, which over time will damage the EPS foam that’s meant to be protecting your noggin. And let’s not forget to mention the strong possibility that the pong emitted by your helmet’s pads could strip the paint off your bike, if left too close for too long! Invest in self-preservation, and upgrade to a helmet with modern protection, ample ventilation and new padding – like Giant’s Rev helmet, the choice of the Giant Alpecin professional road cycling team.

GIANT REV HELMET

R1 525 GIANT-BICYCLES.COM

12 Ways To Upgrade Your Ride FROM R 100 T O R 18 000, HERE ARE THE BEST WAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR BIK E – F OR A FA S T E R , S A F E R A ND MORE COMFORTABLE RIDE. By Oli Munnik, Gear Editor

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ANKLE PORN

TRACE SOCKS R100 • TRACE-APPAREL.COM As the Cycle Tour route threads its way around the Peninsula, with its spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Trace Apparel’s ‘Ocean is Calling’ sock design couldn’t be more appropriate for the occasion. They’re style for miles – for only a hundred bucks!


BIGGER IS BETTER Fitting highervolume tyres to your ride is arguably the most effective upgrade for improving ride quality and grip. Tyres with bigger volume can be ridden at lower pressures, which helps to absorb bumps and vibrations without negatively affecting rolling resistance. Specialized believe the optimum tyre volume to be 26C, providing the perfect balance between weight, rolling resistance and comfort – which ultimately translates into you going faster. These 700x26C Turbo Pros feature Specialized’s supple Gripton rubber compound, Blackbelt puncture protection, and a smooth tread pattern, making them perfect for hurtling down the Blue Route.

SPECIALIZED TURBO PRO 700 X 26C R470

SPECIALIZED.COM

While there are some things cyclists can live without, quality chamois cream should always be part of your pre-race routine. Chamois cream’s job is to reduce the chance of infection, friction and the dreaded saddle sores, by lubricating the contact points between your nether regions and your padded shorts. World-renowned for their luxurious bib-shorts, Assos also manufacture Chamois Crème, using a unique formula that will help to make your training and Cycle Tour experience more enjoyable and comfortable, by reducing chafing and preventing bacterial and fungal infections on your skin.

CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

ASSOS CHAMOIS CRÈME R316 • JJCYCLING.CO.ZA MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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METRICS MATTER Cycling computers are the best way to gauge your effort in order to manage your level of exertion and thereby maximise your performance. Taking the next step up from the sort of entry-level computer that offers only basic metrics such as speed, cadence and time to a device like Sigma’s ROX GPS 11.0 allows you to effortlessly record and manage all your Cycle Tour training and racing metrics. From crushing KOMs and QOMs via Strava Live segments to exploring new roads using the navigation function, the ROX GPS 11.0 will have you covered.

SIGMA ROX GPS 11.0 POA • OMNICO.CO.ZA

NO MORE: KEEP LEFT, RIDER PASSING Bicycling reckons the humble bicycle bell could be the most underrated upgrade of all. Though they’re usually confined to city commuter bikes, we’re increasingly hearing the cheerful ping of bike bells fitted to the handlebars of every type of rider, from professional to weekend enthusiast. Bells are great for a few reasons; they let you say howzit to passing riders easily, they warn other road users of your impending arrival, and on a mountain bike on dual-directional singletrack, they let other riders know you’re approaching. In big bunches – like those commonly experienced in the Cycle Tour – a bell can make a significant difference in allowing you to communicate your position to avoid collisions, making it safer for everyone. Specialized’s Brass Bell offers a friendly ping, with just the right tone, in the most stylish of ways.

SPECIALIZED BRASS BELL R160 • SPECIALIZED.COM


GET WHEELY FAST

DARKHORSE SLF 36C R17 595 • DARKHORSEWHEELS.COM When it comes to significant upgrades, the industry’s unanimous answer is to look no further than your wheels. And when it comes to wheels, ‘upgrading’ means a set of hoops that are lighter but stiffer than the ones you have now, which simultaneously reduces your bike’s rotational weight and increases its stiffness – two of the most important factors in making you faster. Of course, the big drawback to upgrading your wheels is that they’re relatively expensive – especially the carbon variety. Enter DarkHorse’s new Strong Light Fast (SLF) 36c carbon wheelset, which Bicycling has been riding over the past few months. At under R18k for the pair, the SLF 36cs offer some darn good value for money, considering that for many other brands – Zipp, ENVE, Roval – you’ll get only one wheel for the same price. The 36cs are the shallowest of the three depths offered in DarkHorse’s SLF range, and we chose them for their versatility; most of us train and race on a range of routes, which require a balanced wheelset that will climb well, accelerate on a dime, and descend with confidence. Our first ride aboard the SLF 36cs was a six-hour, 160km criss-crossing of the Cape Peninsula, where the wheels were forced to seriously perform. Fitted with a pair of Vittoria’s 25mm Rubino tyres, the 36cs offered noticeably sharp handling, while comfortably soaking up road buzz on rougher surfaces. Whether we found ourselves hurtling down the bends of Chapman’s Peak, outsprinting the group for line honours or chasing the guys up Suikerbossie, Bicycling’s testing revealed the SLF 36cs to be genuine value for money.

POMPING MADE EASY If you’ve ever tried at home to top up the pressure in your road tyres (to about 110psi) with a hand pump, you’ll know that it requires a wide stance, deep breaths, and more than one or two strokes of the chamber. Take this burden off your shoulders (and biceps, forearms and hands), and upgrade to a quality floor pump built to take the hassle out of inflating tyres. Lezyne’s durable Alloy Floor Drive floor pump is exquisitely designed, with an anodised high-polish finish and varnished wooden handle. While obviously it’ll optimise the efficiency of your wheels, and maximise tyre grip and your bike’s overall stability, the Floor Drive’s greatest attribute is that your wife won’t ask you to store it in the garage!

LEZYNE ALLOY FLOOR DRIVE R1 150

TWOWHEELSTRADING.CO.ZA


NO GLOVE, NO LOVE Gloves not only provide you with better grip, especially in hot, humid conditions where you’re sweating, but are also critical in saving the skin on your palms if you happen to crash and use your hands to stop yourself. A high-wearing product, gloves collect a lot of sweat, sun cream and greasy grime over a lifespan of protecting your hands – not to mention the gel padding getting harder over time. It makes sense then that upgrading to a new pair of snug-fitting gloves should be an annual investment.

GIRO BRAVO R400 • OMNICO.CO.ZA

WRAP IT, GRIP IT

FABRIC KNURL TAPE R350 • OMNICO.CO.ZA Fresh, clean new bar tape is one of cycling’s most underrated upgrades. Too often we endure months and months of riding with tape that’s filthy, or sweaty, or starting to unravel, or… holy moly, all of the above. Life is too short, friends. New bar tape will not only make your bike look rad, giving you a go-faster morale boost; it will also keep you safer, with a more comfortable, secure grip. Fabric’s Knurl tape is made of high-grip rubber, with a shock-absorbing layer of silicone gel for increased comfort. Bicycling likes the Knurl Icon bar ends, which are secured with a 3mm Allen key to keep your tape securely wrapped. Available in black, blue, red and green – there’s a colour to suite any palate. Or palette.

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GO BOA Upgrading your shoes can do wonders for your efficiency – and comfort. Competitive riders generally opt for shoes with a rigid carbon sole and lightweight uppers that offer minimal padding; but for most riders, comfort is far more important than weight, which means a mid-range shoe with a nylon sole and generously padded upper is more than adequate. Scott’s Team BOA shoes are designed for all-day comfort, with an easy-to-use IP1 BOA dial retention system that’s a great upgrade from your old buckle or three-strap system. The outsole is a mixture of nylon and fibreglass, to give you the sweet spot between rigidity and compliance.

SCOTT ROAD TEAM BOA R2 899 • SCOTT-SPORTS.COM

Look’s Keo range of pedals offers a secure fit that’s well suited to all riders, from beginners to experienced. The Keo 2 MAX pedals feature a large, moulded stainless steel contact surface area, which is a stable platform for maximising power transfer and comfort while pedalling. The tension at which the pedal secures to your cleat is adjustable (through a range of nine to 15), allowing you to find the fit that best suits the way you ride. Additionally, three different Keo cleats are available, offering 0° (black), 4.5° (grey) or 9° (red) of float – which is the amount of movement your cleats have when clipped in. Red cleats offer the most movement, while black cleats don’t move at all. At 130g per pedal, they’re great value for money.

LOOK KEO 2 MAX

R2 000 • LOOKCYCLE.COM

P R O T IP Sometimes you don’t realise how much play is in your pedals until you get new cleats. Most cleats have wear indicators that show when you’re due – check these regularly, and replace cleats before they’re dangerously worn out. Mark Blewett, former professional and now owner of SwiftCarbon, suggests marking the position of your old cleats (e.g. with Tipp-Ex) before removing them, to make sure your set-up doesn’t change.


Gear

With literally hundreds of lube options available, here’s Bicycling’s pick of the best for an instantly-smoother ride. By Oli Munnik

T Squirt Dry Lube

Developed and manufactured in South Africa, Squirt’s wax-based lube is 100% biodegradable, keeping your chain running smoothly without harming the environment. PRICE R90 SUPPLIER squirtlube.com

T

Rock n Roll Gold Designed for both road and mountain bikes, Gold creates a protective membrane to seal out dirt and moisture from your chain’s moving parts – for longer chain life, and super-smooth shifting and pedalling.

PRICE R159 SUPPLIER nsquared.co.za

T

Boeshield T-9

First, T-9’s paraffin formula flushes out grime; then it dries to a wax film that coats and protects your drivetrain, for optimal performance. PRICE R180 SUPPLIER boeshieldlubesa.co.za

T

Smoove Universal Chain Lube Smoove claim that just one of their 125ml bottles of wax-based wonderment will last you up to 5 000km of riding. We may have to report back on this one. PRICE R120 SUPPLIER smoovelube.com

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EDITOR’S CHOICE K

THE 7-STEP LUBE PROCESS Lubing your chain might sound like child’s play, but doing it incorrectly is ineffective and causes excessive wear. Marc Carr, from MarX Cycle WorX in Cape Town, employs this 7-step method: 1 // Clean drivetrain thoroughly with a degreaser such as Cleen Green. 2 // Rinse off degreaser with water, making sure your drivetrain is 100% dry by wiping it with a rag or leaving it to dry for a few hours. 3 // Apply lube. Start by positioning your chain in the big blade in front, and small cog at the rear. 4 // Hold onto the rear derailleur’s cable to steady your left hand while applying the lube, as you pedal backwards with your right hand. 5 // Apply lube for two full revolutions of the chain. 6 // Leave the lube to dry for a while, to ensure it penetrates and coats all of the chain’s inner workings. This is best done overnight. 7 // The final piece of the puzzle is to wipe off any excess lube from the outside of the chain, including the derailleur’s pulley wheels. The only lube you want on your chain should be in the rollers and between the chain plates.

Images J A M E S G A R A G H T Y

4 Best Lubes By Far


PUT WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED TO GOOD USE

FEDGROUP PEPLETT ALL ALONG THE COASTLINE

Photograph S U P P L I E D

Offering stunning scenery and amazing trails all along the coastline from Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay, the PEPlett has a way of distracting you from the hard work with its visual appeal. Now in its fifth year, there are two options to go for: The Lite One (240km) or The Tough One (320km). While distances vary from stage to stage, each option offers the same mixed bag of great singletrack, windy gravel roads, jeep track and manmade bike-park trails. Previously the routes were kept short, to accommodate the Lite participants. But this year the organisers were able to expand the route, creating a longer experience for those doing the Tough One. Both events allow you to enter solo or as a team, and even Lite riders mix it with the pros, allowing them to experience the fandom of a pro finisher. 2-5 MARCH, FROM WOODRIDGE SCHOOL, PE, TO THE CRAGS, PLET TENBERG BAY, 320KM, 240KM

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WESTERN CAPE

MTB

ROAD

11 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR JUNIOR Youngsfield Military Base, Wynberg Contact Cycle Tour Offices info@cycletour.co.za, 087 820 7223 Web capetowncycletour.com

12 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR 109km Cape Town Civic Centre Contact Cycle Tour Offices info@cycletour.co.za, 087 820 7223 Web capetowncycletour.com

19 MARCH CYCLO SPORTIF #1 Malmesbury Contact PedalPower Association rozanne@pedalpower.org.za, 021 671 6340 Web and Online Entries pedalpower.org.za

4-5 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR MTB CHALLENGE 55km, 40km, 30km, 20km, 14km Le Bonheur Wine Estate, Stellenbosch Contact Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust info@cycletour.co.za, 087 820 7223 Web and Online Entries capetowncycletour.com

18 MARCH FINE BREEDE MTB 60km, 30km, 18km, 5km, 17km night ride Laerskool Breerivier, Breede River Valley Contact Carlen Vorster Email: carlensv@gmail.com Phone: 083 688 3005 Online Entries pedalpower.org.za MULTI-STAGE

5-9 MARCH CAPE ROULEUR

600km Franschhoek Contact HotChillee jane@hotchillee.com Web and Online Entries caperouleur.com

6-10 MARCH BESTMED TOUR OF GOOD HOPE 490km La Paris Estate, midway between Paarl and Franschhoek Contact ASG Events

WESTERN CAPE

CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR MTB CHALLENGE 4-5 March 2017

For those of you looking for a trail alternative to the Cycle Tour road ride, the MTB Challenge is a definite ‘to-do’. Le Bonheur Estate plays host for the two days, and with the famous Simonsberg as part of the race, you’ll have plenty of fun. The track offers fantastic compact singletrack with some challenging rocky and loose climbs up the Simonsberg, before heading back through a lush forest or two. The shorter events are held on the Saturday, to ensure the racing snakes have a clean track on the Sunday. – Mariske Strauss

THE RACE CALENDAR IS COMPILED TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RACE DETAILS, VISIT WWW.BICYCLING.CO.ZA/CALENDAR

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Photograph S U P P L I E D

THE ALTERNATIVE Tell your mates you did the Argus – and the singletrack was great.


eventsupport@asgworld.co.za, 076 830 5578 Web and Online Entries asgevents.co.za

17-21 MARCH TRANS OUTENIQUA 3 MOUNTAINS 5-DAY MTB TOUR SUMMER 338km (5-day stage race) Pine Creek River Resort, Great Brak River Contact Race Office admin@trisport.co.za, 083 662 2022 Web and Online Entries trisport.co.za

100km, 60km Bielie Mielie Show Grounds, Reitz Contact Race Office bieliemielie@bouttime.co.za Web and Online Entries bouttime.co.za MULTI-STAGE

18-21 MARCH 3 MOUNTAINS CHALLENGE 70-80km or 40-50km per day Clocolan Show Grounds Contact George Stroebel info@3mountains.co.za, 082 442 4988 Web 3mountains.co.za Online Entries onlineentry.co.za

19-26 MARCH ABSA CAPE EPIC 691km Meerendal Wine Estate, Hermanus, Greyton, Elgin, Franschhoek Contact Race Office registration@cape-epic.com, 021 426 4373 Web and Online Entries cape-epic.com MULTI-SPORT

18-19 MARCH WEST COAST WARM WATER WEEKEND West Coast National Park Contact Electric Ink warmwaterweekend@electricink.co.za, 021 438 5972 Web electricink.co.za Online Entries thewestcoastwww2017.myactive.co.za

FREE STATE MTB

Photograph S U P P L I E D

25 MARCH LYDENBURG HERITAGE MTB RACE

KWAZULU-NATAL ROAD

25-26 MARCH KZN SUMMER SERIES FOR MEN 110-140km Pietermaritzburg Contact Alec Lenferna alec@realem.co.za, 082 909 6909 Web and Online Entries cyclingsa.com MTB

FOREST BUMP Take on Karkloof’s testing terrain at the Sappi Howick MTB Classic, KwaZuluNatal’s oldest MTB race.

4-5 MARCH SAPPI HOWICK MTB CLASSIC & ENDURO 40km, 20km, 10km Howick High School Contact Howick MTB Club info@howickmountainbiking.co.za Web howickmountainbiking.co.za Online Entries roag.co.za

12 MARCH THE LIONS MTB CHALLENGE 40km, 20km, 10km Giba Gorge MTB Park Contact Lions Club of Gillitts info@highwayfestival.co.za Web and Online Entries highwayfestival.co.za

40km, 17km 10km, 2.5km kids Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve, Lydenburg Contact Charlene Coetzee mtblydenburg@gmail.com, 078 384 0330 Web facebook.com/mtblydenburg Online Entries entrytime.com

18 MARCH SAFIRE BERG 100

26 MARCH BIELIE MIELIE MTB CLASSIC

100km Himeville to Nottingham Road Contact Katie

KWAZULU-NATAL

SAPPI HOWICK MTB CLASSIC 4-5 March 2017

The racing schedule is jam-packed with exciting events, but none with the heritage of the Sappi Howick Classic. Undoubtedly the oldest race on the KZN calendar, the passionate trail-building crew of the Howick Mountain Biking Club boasts over 30 years’ experience of trail honing and shaping – and it shows, in the raw, unplugged and technically challenging singletrack on offer. If all the rock gardens and bridges sound like too much, fear not, as there are two other events to ease the racer out of you: a 20km intermediate and 10km kiddies race. – Andrew Hill

THE RACE CALENDAR IS COMPILED TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RACE DETAILS, VISIT WWW.BICYCLING.CO.ZA/CALENDAR MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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GAUTENG

POWERADE ARGUS COUNTDOWN CYCLE CHALLENGE 4 February

Hosted at Stonehaven on Vaal, this race is indeed shorter than the 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour. Be that as it may, the 60km will still be a good final test before you head south for the biggest Sunday on the local cycling calendar. It’s a flat to rolling course without the climbing you’ll experience in the Cape, but there’s a good chance of wind, which can be a factor during the Cycle Tour. What this race will give you is the opportunity to add some leg speed into your final preparation. – Brad Potgieter

katie@bikelife.co.za, 061 433 5786 Web and Online Entries berg100.co.za

25-26 MARCH KZN MTB PROVINCIAL DHI & ENDURO SERIES #2 Giba Gorge MTB Park Contact KZN MTB info@kznmtb.co.za, 082 896 6864 Web kznmtb.co.za MULTI-STAGE

11-12 MARCH ROUTE SIX 2 TWO TRAILS MTB RACE 130km (2-day stage race) Oaksprings Farm, Mooi River Contact Tyrone tyronetho@gmail.com, 079 529 3746 Web six2two.co.za Online Entries entryninja.com

LIMPOPO 4-5 MARCH SONDELA EXTREME MTB, TRAIL RUN & DUATHLON 65km, 45km, 20km Sondela Nature Reserve, Bela Bela

5 MARCH POWERADE ARGUS COUNTDOWN CYCLE CHALLENGE

NISSAN TRAILSEEKER GP1 - LEGENDS

60km, 40km Stonehaven on Vaal, Vanderbijlpark Contact Wimpie van Niekerk 083 460 9338 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

70km, 40km, 20km, 10km Legends MX, Donderhoek, Pretoria East Contact Advendurance 0861 990 001 info@advendurance.co.za Online Entries advendurance.com

21 MARCH HUMAN RIGHTS DAY CYCLE CHALLENGE

25 MARCH LAND ROVER MIDRAND ROVER RIDE

80km, 40km Midvaal Local Council Offices, Meyerton Contact Wimpie van Niekerk 083 460 9338 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

50km, 30km, 10km Modderfontein Trails Contact Trail Hunter Events 063 686 7315 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

MTB

4 MARCH

18 MARCH

GNC XCO CUP SERIES RACE #3 XCOSA Bike Park, Voortrekker

Contact Sondela info@sondela.com, 014 736 8900 Web sondela.com Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

MPUMALANGA 11-12 MARCH RECCE MTB MISSION 205km in 22 hours Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate, Dullstroom Contact SA Special Forces Association mtb@recce.co.za, 086 730 6535 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

29 MARCH LAKE UMUZI COSMOS 3-IN-1 MTB CHALLENGE 63km, 28km, 15km XCC 1 .3km Laps Lake Umuzi Waterfront, 1 Kiewiet Street, Secunda Contact Sandy Korb cycling@megchem.co.za, 084 804 8749 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

GAUTENG ROAD

THE RACE CALENDAR IS COMPILED TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RACE DETAILS, VISIT WWW.BICYCLING.CO.ZA/CALENDAR

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Monument, Pretoria Contact XCOSA pierre.xcosa@gmail.com, 072 868 4885 Web xcosa.biz

Port Elizabeth Contact Cheeky Armstrong cheeky.armstrong@gmail.com, 071 491 3600 MTB

EASTERN CAPE ROAD

18 MARCH NMB DISTRICT ROAD CHAMPS EVENT #1 Hi Tech Automotive, Port Elizabeth Contact Cheeky Armstrong cheeky.armstrong@gmail.com, 071 491 3600

21 MARCH NMB DISTRICT 2-MAN TIME TRIAL Port Elizabeth Contact Cheeky Armstrong cheeky.armstrong@gmail.com, 071 491 3600

25 MARCH NMB DISTRICT ROAD CHAMPS EVENT #2

KOM The Trans Outeniqua: three days, three mountains, and breathtaking scenery.

11 MARCH THE CABBAGE PATCH CYCLE, RUN & WALK 40km, 20km Komga Showgrounds, Government Avenue, Komga Contact Bradley Malherbe cabbagepatchrun@gmail.com, 073 755 3012 Web facebook.com/ cabbagepatchSA Online Entries entrytickets.net

25 MARCH SHS RANCE TIMBERS 65km, 45km, 30km, 20km, 10km Stutterheim High School Contact Julie Bennett shsadmin@stutthigh.co.za, 043 683 1144 Web and Online Entries stutthigh.co.za

MULTI-STAGE

2-5 MARCH FEDGROUP PEPLETT Tough One: 320km; Lite One: 240km From Woodridge School, PE, to The Crags, Plettenberg Bay Contact Red Cherry Adventures team@redcherry.co.za, 041 581 5335 Web andOnline Entries peplett.co.za

Photograph C H R I S H I T C H C O C K

18-19 MARCH COMPASSBERG 100 100km Graaff-Reinet Contact Andre Cilliers sneeuberg24@gmail.com

31 MARCH - 1 APRIL BAMBOESBERG MTB CHALLENGE 25KM NIGHT RACE

50km, 25km, Kiddies race Bamboesberg farm, near Hofmeyr, Eastern Cape Contact Sanet Sanet@tidyworld.co.za, 082 578 6638 Online Entries bamboesbergmtb.myactive.co.za

NORTH-WEST MTB

25 MARCH THE ARAMEX KGASWANE MTB RACE 50km, 35km, 20km, 5km Protea Hotel Hunters Rest, Rustenburg Contact Race Office mc@ltp.co.za, 083 284 4308 Web rustenburgcycling.co.za

115km endurance challenge, THE RACE CALENDAR IS COMPILED TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE. FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE RACE DETAILS, VISIT WWW.BICYCLING.CO.ZA/CALENDAR MARCH 2017 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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REAL IMAGES FROM REAL RIDERS

S U B M I T T E D BY @ T H A B O _ H O U S E C AT Z | I M AG E C O U RT E S Y O F TH ABO MSHENGU LIFEST Y LE C YCLING IS C YCLING A ROUND THE COOLEST L A NDM A R KS IN YOUR CIT Y W HILE INCOR POR ATING YOUR SWAG – A K A CLOTHES A ND COOL BIK E . THIS CUSTOM-BUILT SINGLE-SPEED IS M Y BIK E SWAG: IT’S THE COMING TOGETHER OF A POW DER- COATED PEUGEOT FR A ME , H A LF-LINK CH A IN A ND W HEELS I OR DER ED FROM THE UK ( W HICH TOOK AGES TO A R R I V E). I A LSO H A D A STA NDA R D SA DDLE TH AT I H A D COV ER ED IN BROW N LE ATHER . OH, A ND THE LEFTOV ER LE ATHER W ENT ONTO THE H A NDLEBA R S. M Y FR IENDS A ND I STA RTED A CR E W, W ITH THE A IM OF INTRODUCING LIFEST Y LE C YCLING IN SOW ETO…

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SLIMMER. SLEEKER. STRONGER.

Stages carbon. Look out for our Campagnolo range arriving March 2017.

THE POWER METER FOR EVERY RIDER

OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR WWW.OMNICO.CO.ZA


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