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WHEN TO PEDAL LIKE HELL… AND WHEN NOT TO! P.38

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INSIDE

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB & GALLO IMAGES/GET T Y IMAGES/DOUG PENSINGER | CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR TRUST | CHRIS GILES

M A R C H 2 0 1 6 // V O L U M E 1 4 // N U M B E R 3

48 EXTREME ELEMENTS!

58 CYCLE TOUR FAQS

70 A BROKEN RECORD

BY JONATHAN ANCER

BY JONATHAN ANCER & THE BICYCLING TEAM

BY JONATHAN ANCER

You can plan the perfect ride – but you can’t predict the weather. We’ve examined some of the most extreme cycling weather situations, and asked the experts for advice on how to survive any of Mother Nature’s mood swings.

Whether it’s your first Cape Town Cycle Tour or your 38th, you will have questions about it. We found the most frequently asked questions about the world’s biggest timed cycle race – and got our gurus to answer them for you.

In 2015, the record for the fastest cycle across Africa was broken twice: first by local cyclist Keegan Longueira, then Scottish adventurer Mark Beaumont. Beaumont’s record was formidable – until team Carocap set out to smash it.

FOR MORE CUTTING-EDGE CONTENT ON TRAINING, NUTRITION, MAINTENANCE, GEAR AND ALL THINGS CYCLING-RELATED, GO TO BICYCLING.CO.ZA.

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

3


INSIDE GEAR 80 | THE ILLUMINATI

Being visible is about more than just lights. Our Gear Editor found some innovative hi-viz kit, to keep you safe when you’re riding – day or night. By Oli Munnik

86 | REVIEW: HAIBIKE SDURO HARDSEVEN SL

We’ve been told that e-bikes aren’t welcome on our roads or mountains. You’ll change your mind after this review.

80

By Oli Munnik

88 | REVIEW: SHIMANO UNZEN 2

The hydration pack that makes hydration packs cool. By Oli Munnik

90 | REVIEW: GARMIN VARIA

This new gadget from Garmin has got your back – it’s tech to help keep you safe on the road. By Oli Munnik

92 | REVIEW: ION AERATION BAGGIES

Baggies so light and breathable, you might just think you’re riding starkers. By Oli Munnik

KNOW HOW

32

95

18 | BUZZ

Will cyclocross take over the South African cycling scene?

23 | ASK BICYCLING

26 | FETISH

Scott Shoes – with a South African flavour.

REGULARS

30 | IN MY VIEW

How Cherise Stander plans to honour Burry’s memory.

14 | Rants & Raves

32 | EAT

16 | Editor’s Letter

Why chocolate milk is the best recovery drink… ever!

34 | THE SCIENTIST

Is there such a thing as a natural-born cyclist?

36 | THE COACH

Forget about rest days. Ride every day, and reap the rewards.

38 | SKILLS

Everything you need to know, if you encounter a snake on the singletrack.

38

30 | Rider2Rider 30 | StyleMan 42 | Freewheelin’ 94 | Featured Race 95 | Race Calendar 96 | Recommended Races 98 | The Frame

40 | KNOWLEDGE

What’s the fastest bike colour in cycling history?

44 | 9 QUESTIONS

We go head to head with German MTB speedster Manuel Fumic.

46 | MY BIKE

Manny Fumic’s Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon Race. 4

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

ON THE COVER Manny Fumic whips it on his Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon Race on Lombard’s Terra, Bloemendal Wine Estate. Read more about Fumic on page 44, and about his bike on page 46. PHOTOGRAPH BY CRAIG KOLESKY

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB | JAMES GARAGHT Y | ISTOCKPHOTO | SUPPLIED

Is there such a thing as too much coffee? Our answer may please you!


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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Offer valid until 21 March 2016. Gift limited to 17 annual print subscribers. Gifts are not transferable for cash. Gift must be claimed within 6 weeks of notification. Discounts are only available to subscribers with SA postal addresses. Depending on the time of the month, regular delivery begins 6 to 8 weeks after the processing of your application. For overseas and neighbouring state rates please call +27 21 065 0033. All Bicycling subscribers agree to receive promotional material from Bicycling. As one of our valued subscribers, you’ll receive Bicycling for as long as you wish. However, if at any time you choose to discontinue your subscription, simply call 0877 401 040 or email bicycling_subs@media24.com. We may amend the fees payable from time to time. We will notify you before implementing a change. We may alter the payment instruction to correspond with any change in your fees.


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F IRE S QU A D IM A GE BY JU S T IN S UL L I VA N A common enemy unites – which is exactly what happened in January, when farm workers helped firefighters as fires swept through the Elgin Valley. The blaze destroyed acres of farmland, as well as some of the Western Cape’s most popular MTB trails. Pictured here is farm worker Francois Claassen, taking a breather after fighting flames for several hours in 32-degree heat, with the fire still raging in the background. WHERE Elgin Pine Forest, Western Cape WHEN 18 January 2016 METADATA 1/4000sec f/2.8 iso 450 35mm (24-70mm f.28)

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016


MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

11


W HI T E OU T IM A GE BY Z O ON C R ON JE This year, the annual Snow Bike Festival in the Swiss Alps took place in the magnificent town of Gstaad. The riders fully enjoyed riding fatbikes in the snow, and I had just as much fun shooting them doing it. I hiked between 18 and 25 kilometres each day in testing conditions – and the scenery was always impressive, even covered in snow. WHERE Gstaad, Switzerland WHEN 25 January 2016 METADATA Nikon D610 Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8 no flash 1/4000s @ f2.8 70mm focal ISO 2000

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016


MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

13


RANTS & RAVES F SO, W H AT D O YOU H AV E TO S AY TO US?

THE INBOX

LANE SHARING My family and I often drive to the Neck and Deck at the Cradle of Humankind to ride. But we’ve been put off by riders who ride in bigger groups, and who seem to think that because of their speed, they own the road and the cycle lane. Their harassment often takes the form of swearing and cursing at riders in their path. Guys, not all riders are at your level. Some, like myself, cycle for health reasons, some cycle as a family outing, some cycle to enjoy fresh air. Please be more tolerant. – RORY DE WET

ERIK KLEINHANS, 33

PRO MOUNTAIN BIKER FOR TOPEAK-ERGON, 2013 WINNER ABSA CAPE EPIC MIXED CATEGORY, MUESLI MANUFACTURER, AND OWNER OF THE COOLEST HAIRSTYLE IN MOUNTAIN BIKING. the long Smits (4.2km, 3% grade). He follows the Cycle Tour route to get to Chapman’s Peak, climbing both little Chappies and Chapman’s Peak (Noordhoek Side) (1.7km, 5% grade) before taking the Princess Street exit to take on Suikerbossie (1.8km, 7%). He continues through Llandudno and Camps Bay onto Beach Road, and takes the coastal road all the way back to the CBD.

R IDE S :

1 038

DISTA NCE :

59 367.2km

BIGGE ST R IDE :

268.4 km

BIGGE ST CLIMB :

1 838m

F E AT U R E D R I DE : PERFECT SUNDAY RIDE! ENDING IT OFF WITH BEER A N D A N U N B A L A NC E D 5 K M HOM E ;) – SUNDAY 17 JA N UA RY 2016

Email your RANTS – AND RAVES! – to andre.valentine@media24.com

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This ride has plenty of climbing and coastal views. Kleinhans starts in Cape Town’s CBD, and makes his way onto the M4 (Main Road) via Liesbeek Parkway. He follows the fast and undulating Main Road for 30km before hitting his first major climb in Simon’s Town, with the short Main Road Climb (800m, 9% grade) into

Distance Time Elevation Ave Power Ave Speed Max Speed

F 116.2km F 4:57:27 F 1 020m F 218w F 23.5km/h F 55.8km/h

ACHIEVEMENTS

PR on Rocket Kicker (51s) PR on Bridge to OK (Smoooooth) (1:05) PR on Rondebosch to Claremont (4:28)

“Over the handlebars, down a bank.” – Dylan Headrick “Spruit and 100km to Van Gaalens and back.” – Steven Morrison

“Cape Point Lighthouse.” – Rufus Peacock

W H E R E D I D YO U R B I K E TA K E YO U OV E R T H E H O LI DAYS ? 14

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

“Around Sun City. The perimeter fence jeep track is the most challenging. Thank goodness you can cool off in one of the many pools afterwards.” – John Erik Reed

SUPPLIED

“Took it down with me to East London, and used it to get around.” – Tando Nkunjana


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 KIRSTEN CURTIS (kirsten.curtis@media24.com) SENIOR DESIGNER ALANA DOYLE ASSISTANT DESIGNER MARK ARENDSE CHIEF SUB / MANAGING EDITOR DAVE BUCHANAN GEAR EDITOR OLI MUNNIK (olivermunnik@gmail.com) PICTURE EDITOR AMY MOSTERT DIGITAL ASSISTANT PENELOPE CAIRNS SCIENTIFIC EDITOR DR JEROEN SWART OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR LABEEQAH SULIMAN CONTRIBUTORS

MARK CARROLL, ZOON CRONJE, JAMES GARAGHTY, CHRIS GILES, RENAY GROUSTRA, ANDREW HILL, ERIK KLEINHANS, CRAIG KOLESKY, MIKE MAYTHAM, CHERISE STANDER, HENDRIK STEYTLER, JUSTIN SULLIVAN, NIC WHITE, GUGU ZULU, YURI ARCURS, TIM DE WAELE, BRYN LENNON, JOE LINDSEY, JOSÉ MANDOJANA, DOUG PENSINGER, VICTORIA WOL

PUBLISHING & MARKETING PUBLISHING MANAGER FRANCOIS MALAN 021 408 1228 (francois.malan@media24.com) MARKETING AND EVENTS COORDINATOR RICHARD D’AGUIAR 021 408 1242 (richard.daguiar@media24.com) PUBLISHING SALES TEAM COMMERCIAL MANAGER PREVONI NAICKER 011 217 3051/082 475 4052 (prevoni.naicker@media24.com) MYLES KELSEY (CPT) 021 443 9475 / 082 613 8498 (myles.kelsey@media24.com) LAMEEZ RAIZENBERG (CPT) 021 408 3960 / 082 909 9696 (lameez.raizenberg@media24.com) HANNES BURGER (CPT) 021 408 3078 / 076 152 4605 (hannes.burger@media24.com) KATHRYN MOLYNEAUX (BOOTH) (JHB) 011 217 3197 / 083 395 3442 (kathryn.molyneaux@media24.com) KYLEE ROBERTSON (JHB) 011 322 0799 / 076 263 9114 (kylee.robertson@media24.com) MEDIA24 CENTRAL SALES HEAD OF ADVERTISING SALES CRAIG NICHOLSON 011 322 0731 (craig.nicholson@media24.com) HEAD OF SALES BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT YVONNE SHAFF 021 439 4907 (yvonne.shaff@media24.com) DURBAN THERESA LAVERY 031 566 2442 (theresa.lavery@media24.com) DIGITAL ADVERTISING SALES CAPE TOWN: 021 468 8299 JOHANNESBURG: 011 993 8050 DURBAN: 021 468 8070 EMAIL: info@spacemail.co.za CONTACT US WEBSITE: WWW.BICYCLING.CO.ZA EMAIL: BICYCLING@MEDIA24.COM TELEPHONE: 021 408 3800 POST: BICYCLING MAGAZINE (SA), PO BOX 16368, VLAEBERG, 8018 CIRCULATION SALES & SOLUTIONS HEAD OF CIRCULATION GADIJA GAMIELDIEN HEAD OF RETAIL ANDRELINE VAN TONDER CIRCULATION MANAGER RIAAN WEYERS 021 443 9964 PRODUCT MANAGER GEORGE VAN BILJON SUBSCRIPTION MANAGER JENNY MARINUS 021 443 9821 SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES TEL: 087 740 1040 FAX: 0864 575 944 SMS: ‘BICYCLINGSUBS’ TO 32511 (R1 PER SMS) EMAIL: bicycling_subs@media24.com WEB: www.my-mags.com CALL CENTRE OPERATING HOURS: Mon-Fri 08:00 to 17:00 ALL SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENTS TO: BICYCLING, PO BOX 1802, CAPE TOWN, 8000 SHARED SERVICES PRODUCTION MANAGER (Health & Sport) KERRY NASH PROJECT MANAGER (Digital) FRANCOIS MALAN ADVERTORIAL COORDINATOR AMY MOSTERT MEDIA24 LIFESTYLE GENERAL MANAGER LIFESTYLE CHARLENE BEUKES CFO LIFESTYLE RAJ LALBAHADUR GENERAL MANAGER LEISURE LOUISE MENY-GIBERT PUBLISHERS OF MEN’S HEALTH, WOMEN’S HEALTH, BICYCLING, RUNNER’S WORLD REPRODUCTION MEDIA 24 REPRO PRINTING PAARL MEDIA CAPE DISTRIBUTION 0N THE DOT

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Editor’s Letter

Save Our Cyclists IS CYCLING ON SOUTH AFRICAN ROADS REALLY DANGEROUS? THE ANSWER ISN’T AS CLEAR-CUT AS YOU MIGHT THINK. LATE LAST YEAR OUR GROUP HAD BEEN DESCENDING CHAPMAN’S

PEAK, IN HEAVY WIND. It was one of those Cape days when a gust could easily blow you into the gutter, and brakes were being feathered by white knuckles. But that didn’t seem to matter to the young guy in the bakkie who came perilously close to hitting my friend Liezel, as she battled to hold her line on the road. He whooshed past harrowingly close, hooting loudly and gesticulating wildly to suggest that her line was too far from the kerb. At any moment a gust of wind could have pushed her further out into the road, and into his line of fire.

injury. He shouted back: “Do you people think you can just take over the whole road? I have to pay toll fees when I drive here, and you people pay nothing! Why should I care about you?” This callous reaction left me shocked, but there was no point in shouting back. “Do you understand that it’s windy today? Are you prepared to kill someone, just to be right?” I replied. “Imagine knowing that you had killed or injured another person!” Slowly, something clicked: an understanding of the consequences, perhaps, or just the knowledge that there were other factors at play. He started to soften.

…the biggest consequence of a cyclingrelated death on the road is the reinforcement of the belief that cycling itself is inherently dangerous.” As we continued down Chappies – an iconic section of road, filled with cyclists on most weekends – the driver in question was held up by a Stop-Go, and we rolled up next to him. Inside, I was raging. This young punk had put the life of a friend of mine in danger, and I was eager to put him in his place. I rolled up next to him and asked him to roll down his window. Forcing myself to be calm, I asked if he’d seen how close he had got to my friend on the descent. He seemed oblivious to how narrowly he’d missed causing someone’s death or

16

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

And as we waited for the Stop-Go to change, the discussion became more civil. He even apologised. At the time of writing, news had gone viral of two cyclists killed in Durban by a suspected drunk driver. A tragedy for the families involved, and a stark reminder of our vulnerability when riding on South African roads. But does that mean that cycling is dangerous? I don’t believe so. When you consider the growing number of cyclists each weekend, and the increasing number of cars on the road, the chances of an accident must

also be increasing exponentially. But perhaps the biggest consequence of a cycling-related death on the road is the reinforcement of the belief that cycling itself is inherently dangerous. There is risk in everything, whether it’s crossing the road or eating a dodgy curry, and I don’t believe the risks of riding a bike outweigh the rewards. More education, stricter penalties and more cycle paths will all help; but sometimes common sense, respect and understanding are the biggest buffer we have between cars and bikes. Mike

editor

@MIKEFINCHSA

3 WAYS TO STAY SAFE

1

OWN YOUR ROAD Sticking too close to the kerb can sometimes be more dangerous than riding half a metre into the road. On a road with slow-moving traffic, forcing cars to go wide is better than having them squeeze past you.

2 3

RIDE IN GROUPS The bigger the group, the more visible you are.

GET HI-VIZ Reflective hi-viz clothing is now trendy. There’s no excuse not to glow in the earlymorning light! Turn to page 79 for the latest in hi-viz cycling gear.

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BUZZ

F THE HOT TOPIC THAT GOT US TALKING WHILE MAKING THIS ISSUE

The Dawn Of Cyclocross Is South Africa ready for a new (but old) cycling discipline? BY ANDRÉ VA LENTINE

C

CYCLOCROSS IS AN INTRIGUING ACTIVITY, BUT MOST LOCAL CYCLISTS ARE UNAWARE IT EXISTS.

JOSÉ MANDOJANA

This is the view of Dane Zijlstra, co-owner of Hunter Cycling, who – together with his partner, Jean Snoer – is trying to popularise the burgeoning European cycling discipline in South Africa. In 2015 the pair organised the inaugural Unofficial South African Cyclocross Championships at the Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair, and they have big dreams for the discipline this year. Step one is to increase the number of cyclocross (CX) events in 2016. Zijlstra says the growing popularity of ‘crossover’ bikes, or gravelgrinders – as well as the short duration of CX events, the spectator-friendly set-up, and the cross-training potential – makes cyclocross ideal for the South African market. He is especially optimistic that it will be a hit with

family-oriented locals. “You can bring your family, spend an hour and a half riding or supporting, and have a good time.” Cyclocross has been a staple on the European cycling scene since the early 1900s. It was initially used to keep riders fit in winter, but

soon developed into a discipline of its own. The first world champs were held in 1950, but France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg have had national championships since 1902. Zijlstra believes that the key to getting cyclocross on the local map will be exposure. “The CX community will increase with exposure, and the more people who get physically involved, the better,” he says. This is why the pair plan to host events in various locations, hoping to showcase the energy and grit of cyclocross to as many onlookers as possible. Getting sponsors is also high on their priority list, because “sponsors and prizes make events more attractive to participants”. Zijlstra sees cyclocross excelling as a spectator, recreational and professional sport that could open doors for cycling brands looking for a fresh avenue to explore. He believes CX has the best broadcast potential of all cycling disciplines in South Africa, with its short courses and spectator value opening up opportunities for exposure to riders and sponsors.But it’s a slow process. One of the biggest stumbling blocks is getting sponsorship, but Zijlstra remains hopeful. “Currently, there are very few companies focusing on this sport. But it could be developed – one could say the opportunities are endless at the moment,” he says.

HOW IT WORKS The format is a mishmash of cross-country (XC), MTB and criterium racing. Races take place around a short off-road course; and entrants race for a set period of time, with the rider who completes the most laps declared the winner. What sets cyclocross apart from XC and criterium racing is the man-made obstacles built into the courses, forcing riders to dismount and carry their bikes across the obstructions.

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • FEBRUARY MARCH 2016 2016


HELPFUL ADVICE FROM EXPERTS AND RIDERS

THE ONE THING THAT CHANGED IT ALL COMING FULL CIRCLE My relationship with cycling started when a friend – Arno Hugo – and I dared each other to ride the Cape Town Cycle Tour, in 1999. It developed to being mentored by Christoph Sauser, and came full circle when Namibian MTB star Arno Viljoen asked me to do the Absa Cape Epic with him in 2007. Thanks to GT Mr Price team owner Alan Hodson, it all come together – and changed my life. I fell in love with mountain biking, the trails, the mountains and the people. It suits my personality; I love being out there, and will always be thankful to all those people for giving me the opportunity. erik kleinhans , 33

/ pro mtb racer for /

SUPPLIED

te am tope ak - ergon

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

21


ALL YOUR RIDE QUANDARIES—SOLVED

HOW MUCH COFFEE IS TOO MUCH?

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB

Considering the positive benefits of coffee, you can never have enough (hooray!). Coffee is a good source of antioxidants, and has also been linked to reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes. For weight loss, coffee may be your new favourite diet food. Dave Asprey, author of The Bulletproof Diet and Bulletproof Diet: The Cookbook, points out that the polyphenols in coffee are a prebiotic for the good bacteria in your gut, called Bacteroidetes. This species of gut bacteria has been associated with thinness. “You can’t increase the population of that species with probiotic capsules,” Asprey explains. “You have to feed it.” Plus, the caffeine makes it ‘thermogenic’, meaning it helps you increase your resting metabolic rate and energy expenditure, leading to more kilojoules burned. But there can be side effects. If you need an official answer, then the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services suggest up to five cups of coffee a day – although if you take their advice, you may never sleep again.

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

23


Yes, but only until manufacturers get their hands on ‘microlattice’, a new metal created by Aerospace Boeing, which – at 99.99 per cent air – is on record as the lightest metal ever invented. It’s so light that a slab of it can perch atop a dandelion fluff, and barely bend the seed stems. At the moment it’s intended to be used to make space rockets – and maybe bicycles one day, says cyclist and innovation scientist Richard Sachleben. “The ultimate goal is to develop light, strong materials for commercial applications,” he says, which would include buildings, aeroplanes, rockets, cars, and quite possibly bikes. “You might see a Tour de France bike frame made from this technology even before an aeroplane flies with it.” So when the microlattice bike eventually comes out, you’ll really be riding on air…

1. GO SIMPLE AND COMPLEX… CARB-WISE

While we consider greasy breakfast sandwiches and tons of coffee ‘hangover food’, the best option is actually a combination of complex and simple carbohydrates: oats with a bit of honey or syrup and berries, suggests Ross. Alcohol increases insulin secretion, which causes low blood sugar. The food won’t help you ‘soak up the alcohol’, but it will help your blood sugar get back to normal, pre-alcohol levels. 2. EASY PACE, HIGH CADENCE

Ross explains that drinking also causes lactic acid build-up, which gives you that concrete-legs feeling before you’ve made it out the door. To combat this, he suggests keeping your pace easy but your

24

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

save the hard efforts for later in the day, once you’ve eaten, rehydrated, and recovered.

3. SKIP YOUR INTERVALS

Riding will make you feel so much better. The fresh air and sunshine can snap you back to being a normal, pleasant human being. According to cycling coach Shawn Adams, “My vast experience with this is that the first 30 minutes or so are rough – then you usually feel better.” But he adds

Your body is already working hard to recover – you could compromise your immune system by pushing yourself. If you hate to skip a workout, consider doing a super-easy ride in the morning to help your body regain equilibrium, and

F

F I go big on Fridays, but then I have a Saturday ride. Is there any way I can ride better with my hangover? Sports medicine expert Dr Michael Ross thinks riding itself might be the best thing to cure a hangover. But to head out the door without feeling completely awful, follow these tips:

cadence high, which flushes the lactic acid out of your legs. After a few minutes, you should start to feel more like your old self.

(UM...)

I’M A HEAVY SWEATER, AND HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT I NEED TO UP MY SODIUM INTAKE. IS THAT HEALTHY?

4. JUST PEDAL

In an analysis of more than 25 studies, involving more than 274 000 people, it was found that people who consume a range of between 2 645 and 4 945 milligrams of sodium a day had a lower risk of death than those who regularly had much higher or lower amounts. The issue is that some people are saltsensitive, and experience blood-pressure problems with high amounts. So if your doctor has put limits on your sodium intake, you’re wise to heed that advice. But many people are not sodiumsensitive, and in those situations, guidelines go out the window. A good rule of thumb is to consume only up to between 500 and 700mg an hour, which is about how much you can absorb within that time.

ISTOCKPHOTO

F Is carbon the pinnacle of bike manufacturing?


READER SURVEY

one caveat: if you’re still intoxicated when you wake up, stay off the bike until you’ve sobered up.

F With so many people getting into cycling, the industry must be at its peak. Is this actually so? A new study released by Johns Hopkins University reveals a sad fact: since 1981, the number of bike-owning households in the world has decreased by half. The study, published in the Journal of Transport & Health, analysed data from 1.25 billion households. While 32 per cent of households have at least one bike – down from 60 per cent, in 1989 – that leaves 68 per cent of households without one. Perhaps most drastic was the drop in bikes per household in China, where in 1992, 97 per cent of households had a bike, compared to 63 per cent in 2009. However, the study also shows that

HAVE YOU EVER BUNKED WORK TO SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME ON YOUR BIKE? SOMETIMES – DEPENDS HOW PERFECT THE DAY IS AND HOW FOOLPROOF MY ESCAPE ROUTE CAN BE. . . .............................. 47% NO – I’M TOO MUCH OF A WUSS, SOMEONE WILL CATCH ME.........30% YES – COINCIDENTALLY, I ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE 3PM MEETINGS ON A FRIDAY..........................................23%

there are countries and regions where bike ownership has remained high, including northern Europe. Lead author Olufolajimi Oke says the news isn’t all bad: “Looking to the past can really help policymakers – it can show them what worked. We have produced a database that we hope will give policymakers the information they need to take action.”

TALK TO US bicycling@media24.com Bicycling magazine SA @Bicycling_SA @bicycling_SA

Want more tips and advice? Visit www. bicycling.co.za for the latest news, bike & gear reviews, training & nutrition advice, and much more.

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BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTO BY JA MES GAR AGHTY

MZANSI MAGIC Scott Factory Racing powered by LCB team riders Philip Buys, Matthys Beukes, Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit were honoured – and incredibly stoked – to receive these Scott MTB RC shoes with custom South African graphics ahead of this year’s ABSA Cape Epic. Beukes, who is looking to win his fourth consecutive African Jersey, said these shoes were extra motivation, adding that “our main goal is to put the South African flag back on the overall podium in 2016”. Scott has made only five pairs – but if there is enough interest, they will consider offering the South African model to consumers… best you get in touch with your local Scott dealer, and let your patriotism shine through! SCOTT-SPORTS.COM //

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016


RIDER  2  RIDER F USEFUL TIPS FROM OUR READERS

WINNING  TIP

SMART PHONE PROTECTOR

To protect your smartphone while riding, put it in a mini-Ziploc bag to prevent sweat or rain from damaging it. – Janil Bowan

I like bags. I have a bag under my bum, and one on my top tube. I make sure there’s a bag waiting for me after the ride, and I may have a pre-ride bag. Can one have too many bags? Also, I wanted to carry three bottles on a long ride and put a cage on my seat tube that had the bottle horizontal to the ground. My riding partners laughed at me. Help.

Mashup

Mud Repellent

Want some carbs on a long ride or race? Make mashed potato or use Smash, put it in a small plastic bag, and tie the bag. Bite a hole in the plastic and enjoy.

After cleaning your bike, apply Spray and Cook. You’ll notice that mud won’t stick to your bike on a muddy ride.

– Bear Hansen

– Kosie Marais

WIN!

– Beverley, Camps Bay

Bev, I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: the bike is a beautiful, simple thing. Even timetrial and triathlon bikes are pretty – after a fashion, and too many grappas. The only accessory a bike needs is you, Bev. The top-tube bag is perhaps the greatest abomination on the style of cycling since Greg LeMond played silly buggers with those bars with the extra loop in the Tour. It is the fanny bag of cycling. It is a shackle, Bev. Let it go. There is a reason companies are designing products to hide tools, plugs and tubes on bikes. Be brave. Cast away your chains. As for that sideways bottle, Bev… the only time a bottle should be sideways is when it was once full of beer, has been dropped on the grass, empty, and you’re ordering another beer to replace it.

B

NAMING RIGHTS

After avoiding it for years, I’m finally on Strava. I’m not obsessed, but I do check it every time I upload. It’s the segments that fascinate me. I want one. I want to name one. Would this be too egotistical? And if not, what advice do you have for me when it comes to naming a segment?

– Sven, Llandudno

I have seen you on Strava, Sven. You are a little obsessed. The trick is to create a new segment on a road less travelled, or to divide an already recorded segment into a piece just for you and your friends. Do not force a segment, Sven. Wait for it. Ride it, and it will come. And when it does, the name for the segment will follow. Perhaps the “Iced Zoo-Lickers Lick-Off”; or the “Racing Snacks Munch”. It’s about creating a small bit of road and history for yourself and your friends. 28

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

AN APRES VELO T-SHIRT WORTH R599

Email your Reader Tip to bicycling@media24.com. For more Apres Velo and other cycling fashion, visit bicyclegear.co.za.

Cyclism: COG ROTTER

( NOU N/COLLOQU I A LISM ) W H AT IS I T ? A MOUNTA IN BIKER W HO NE V ER CLE A NS HIS OR HER BIKE – NOT ONLY LE AV ING IT LOOKING LIKE A N A B A NDONED B A KKIE IN A K A ROO KR A A L, BUT A LSO SUBJECTING IT TO AVOIDA BLE W E A R A ND TE A R, W HICH W ILL TA KE COGS A ND SPROCKETS TO A N E A RLY GR AV E.

ISTOCKPHOTO | JAMES GARAGHT Y

EXTRA BAGGAGE


IN MY VIEW BY CHERISE STANDER

HE A LT H

Beet The Pressure

A study shows that beetroot can lower blood pressure naturally – and make workouts easier. – BY V ICTORIA WOL

MTB LEGEND BURRY STANDER AND OTHERS DIED NEEDLESSLY ON SA ROADS. NO MORE...

O

ONE OF MY BIGGEST GOALS FOR 2016 IS TO TRY TO SAVE OTHER PEOPLE FROM THE HEARTACHE

I EXPERIENCED LOSING THE PERSON I LOVED MOST. The best way for me to do that is to promote road safety, which is why I have linked up with SANRAL’s ‘CHEK-iCOAST’ initiative. I am a very proud ambassador for this programme, and hope to grow it as the year goes on. It’s aimed at making motorists more aware of cyclists, and motivating both motorists and cyclists to respect each other. And since becoming a part of the programme, I’ve become more aware of how many cyclists don’t follow road rules. We cyclists can’t expect motorists to respect us if we don’t respect the rules of the road ourselves. That means stopping at red traffic lights, riding in single file where the roads are busy, and yielding to cars that have right of

way at a traffic circle. Please, fellow cyclists, always be as visible as possible when out on the roads, and never ride without a helmet. Just because we’re on bicycles, it doesn’t mean the laws don’t apply to us. I will do my best to try to help save lives through this road-safety campaign, and I urge motorists to pass

Just because we’re on bicycles, it doesn’t mean the laws don’t apply to us...

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

cyclists more cautiously – but we all need to work together to create safer roads for everyone. CHECK OUT CHERISE’S ROA D SA FET Y V IDEO: BICYCLING.CO.Z A/ CHEKICOAST Cherise Stander races for Team RECM, and represented South Africa at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

NEW STUFF

BIOSHIFT AUTOMATED BIKE SHIFTING SYSTEM Why can’t bikes have automatic gears? They can, and Barons Biosystems have proved it. They’ve created the Bioshift Automatic Bike Shifting System. According to Armando Mastracci, one of the founding members, the system works by collecting data from sensors and establishing the most efficient cadence, based on your own specific configuration. Mastracci says this is perfect for beginners unfamiliar with bike gearing – and can help seasoned cyclists train, using the system’s training modes. And you can still go manual by simply pressing a button on the shifters. The system is not yet available in SA, but don’t bet against it coming. – AV

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB

It’s About R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Research has shown that drinking beetroot juice just before working out can increase your tolerance for high-intensity exercise, thanks to its high concentration of nitrates. But researchers were curious to see how drinking it regularly can affect your body in the long term. To test this, they selected 14 men in their twenties. Half drank 70ml of concentrated beetroot juice each morning for two weeks. The other half guzzled nitrate-depleted beetroot juice. When they were put through highintensity cycling workouts, the ones who’d had the nitrate-rich juice had lower blood pressure. “Because their hearts weren’t working as hard to pump blood into circulation, they could push themselves at the same intensity for a longer period of time,” says study co-author Charles Stebbins, PhD. That same group of participants also had better blood flow and oxygen delivery to their muscles, he reports.


The Ultimate Recovery Fuel The perfect post-ride drink isn’t a protein shake or an energy drink… it’s chocolate milk. BY ANDRE VALENTINE

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

8.26G THE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN IN ONE GLASS OF MILK. SO IF YOU CAN’T GET YOUR HANDS ON CHOCOLATE MILK, ORDINARY MILK ISN’T A BAD SUBSTITUTE.

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB | JAMES GARAGHT Y

Research suggests that chocolate milk offers twice as much carbohydrates and protein as milk and energy drinks, along with enough sodium and water to top up fluids and stave off dehydration. It also has the bonus of bone-saving calcium. In a test at the Human Performance Laboratory at Indiana University, US, nine cyclists were asked to ride until exhaustion and then rest for four hours. During the rest period they were given either chocolate milk or an energy drink. After the rest period they were asked to cycle to exhaustion again. The tests showed that the riders who drank chocolate milk performed the same – and sometimes even better– than those who drank energy drinks. Not sold yet? Imagine you’ve just finished a long, hot ride and you get home and open the fridge… to find one of these five chocolate milks waiting for you:


EDITOR’S CHOICE

MILO

A lunchbox staple, Milo is a South African favourite and can be drunk hot or cold. (per 100ml serving) Energy 270.5kj Protein 2.6g Carbs 9.5g Sodium 49mg Fibre 0.4g Calcium 161mg

NESQUIK

Nesquik may be aimed at children, but is perfect for recovering from a long, hard ride too. (per 100ml serving) Energy 326kj Protein 3.6g Carbs 10.5g Sodium 55.5mg Fibre 0.45g Calcium 122mg

SUPER M

With every carb coming from sugar, this is the perfect drink if blood sugar levels are low. (per 100ml serving) Energy 256kj Protein 3.2g Carbs 8g Sodium 39mg Fibre 0g Calcium 128mg

WOOLWORTHS LOW-FAT CHOCOLATE MILK A low-fat option for those on a strict nolard diet. (per 100ml serving) Energy 253kj Protein 3.2g Carbs 8g Sodium 64mg Fibre 0.8g Calcium 123mg

STERI STUMPIE

Loved by the late, great Burry Stander, and it has its own song on YouTube (search for ‘Steri Stumpie song’). (per 100ml serving) Energy 241kj Protein 3g Carbs 9g Sodium 49mg Fibre 1.2g Calcium 129mg

BLOOD FLOW

The flavonoids in cocoa help the body process nitric acid, and prevent the platelets in your blood from forming clots. This helps to improve blood flow, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health.

M A K E YOUR OW N ½ cup sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

ANTIOXIDANTS

Everyone and his grandmother knows green tea’s healthy, right? Well, cocoa is healthier. A study at Cornell University in the US found that cocoa has two to three times more healthy antioxidants than green tea. Antioxidants fight free radicals that destroy important cells in your body, thus boosting overall health and fighting off chronic illness.

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 6 cups cold milk salt Make a chocolate syrup: combine the sugar and a cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then let it cool. Spoon about 2½ tablespoons of the chocolate syrup into each glass. Add 1½ cups of milk and a pinch of salt. Stir until the syrup and salt dissolve. MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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Natural-Born Cyclist B Y DR J E ROE N S WA R T

MY SON’S COACH HAS ADVISED HIM TO GO FOR A MUSCLE BIOPSY AND A GENETIC TEST TO SEE WHICH DISCIPLINE HE SHOULD BE FOLLOWING. IS THIS AN ACCURATE WAY TO ASSESS HIS TALENT? – Thomas, Newlands

I regularly receive requests for younger athletes to undergo a VO2max test to assess their potential. Recently this has expanded to requests for muscle biopsies to assess muscle-fibre type, and less frequently, requests for genetic testing. There is a growing number of commercially-available tests for genes that are associated with athletic performance. The key word here is ‘associated’; in other words, these are genes – or more specifically, single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs (pronounced ‘snips’) – that are more commonly found in athletes who excel

adaptability of VO2max (which is largely considered a marker of cycling talent) showed that athletes who responded to a five-month training block with the highest increase in VO2max (up to 40 per cent improvement) were also the individuals with the greatest frequency of 21 SNPs – which was proposed as a marker of genetic talent. But this is still a large number of different genes, and only explained 49 per cent of the improvement in VO2max. Distilling this total down to a single gene, or even a small number of genes, is not realistic. More importantly, if we take a group of athletes at the elite level and rank them according to their laboratory-measured

There’s no relationship between VO2max and performance at the elite level.”

DOCTOR’S ORDERS

at a particular sport. For example, a study by Claude Bochard on the

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VO2max, we are not able to predict their results in subsequent races. There’s

There’s another reason VO2max isn’t the best way to gauge long-term performance, especially over a cycling season. Due to the variables involved (age, gender, training history, etc), we often see large fluctuations in VO2max over the course of a single season. An example of this is the widely fluctuating VO2max values recorded by Lance Armstrong during his streak of Tour de France wins. These varied from 66.6 to 81.2 ml/kg/min, a difference of 22 per cent. VO2max and other tests of performance are therefore simply a snapshot in time that illustrate the athlete’s current physiological and mental state, among other factors.

UP AND DOWN

Dr Jeroen Swart is a sports physician and exercise physiologist at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa.

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

no relationship between VO2max and performance at the elite level. This is because sports performance is always linked to more than just one variable. These are diverse, and include age, sex, genetic limitations, quality of training, motivation, arousal, equipment, technique, and many others – including dumb luck. The best means of assessing an athlete’s long-term ability is to expose them to quality training with adequate equipment and skills coaching, then measure their progression over a long period. The athlete with the greatest talent will normally show a greater and more sustained progression over time. Performance gains will become less pronounced, and further improvements can usually be linked to experience and small changes in training, diet, psychology and equipment. Lack of progression – or limited progression – despite adequate training, nutrition, motivation and health is a sign that an athlete may possibly be reaching the limits of his or her genetic potential.

GET T Y IMAGES/GALLO/SCIEPRO

A


MANAGING FATIGUE AND IMPROVING RECOVERY If your typical training week is around seven hours (two short weekday rides, and a three- to fourhour ride on the weekend), then a daily training structure will feel more taxing. Here are four ways to manage fatigue and recovery: NUTRITION AND HYDRATION Junk in, junk out. What you eat

and your hydration will play a key role in your entire metabolic process. You can’t out-train a garbage diet.

MANAGING INTENSITY You can’t train hard every day, so at

the most, don’t do more than three high-intensity sessions in a week. That means separating intensity days by 48 to 72 hours, with the rides in between being either easy rides, or moderateintensity rides without race-pace efforts. SLEEP WELL A bad night’s sleep, or several bad nights in a row,

can really set your training back. To improve sleep quality, eat only a light meal in the evening, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and consider reading a book before sleep rather than flicking through an LCD screen on your phone or tablet. TAKE A DAY OFF Yes, the idea was to train an hour every day

The Riding Streak

– but a day may arrive on which you feel spent. This is when you just take the day off; freshen your body and mind, and pick it up again the following day.

HOW TRAINING EVERY DAY CAN TAKE YOUR RIDING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. BY M A RK C A RROLL

We all want to get faster – it’s why we train. But we also want to see those improvements quickly. While it may sound counterintuitive, one of the best ways to get quick results is to train every day. Fear of burning out is the main reason we incorporate rest days into training plans, but training every day can be effective if approached as a low-volume, high-frequency plan over a three- to four-week mini-block. It’s more productive to train seven days a week, one hour a day, than it is to ride the same number of hours over three

sessions a week. It also allows for better time management: almost all of us can find an hour that won’t impact on any other life commitments (like 5am, when the household is still asleep and the office doors are shut). WHY THE HIGH-FREQUENCY MINIBLOCK? // Your body responds to

varied training stimuli, and needs to be overreached (pushed a little further than it’s used to) in order to force the structural adaptations that translate into improved performance. Training

every day works well, provided you manage the intensity – and follow the guidelines for recovery, because it’s during recovery that the adaptations happen. Once you’ve finished a four-week mini-block, take a rest day or two and then feel free to test out your legs. Choose a group you’re familiar with, and compare your performance from that of a month ago. If this training method worked for you, then provided you keep variety and progression on the intensity days, follow on with another block.

The key to maintaining quality high-intensity training is variation and progression – you must constantly test and overreach your body in new ways. There are several options for this, such as joining a fast-paced weekday club ride. A local midweek criterium ‘race’ or short track MTB XC race will ensure a fair degree of intensity and suffering. A recovery ride the next day (at the very most) would be in order after one of these. Alternatively, you could join one of the many indoor studios offering high-intensity training sessions on bikes with power meters. Training with your power zones ensures high quality, and leaves you with nowhere to hide.

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

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

ISTOCKPHOTO

THE COACH

F I N D I N G VA R I E T Y


DR IVE N BE YO ND IM AG IN AT ION

20 servings, Acai Berry

INTRODUCING

CR7 DRIVE Cristiano ronaldo

herbalife-sponsored athlete

Hypotonic Drink Carbohydrates and Electrolytes for Hydration and Endurance*. Performance for active lifestyles.

For more information on Herbalife products and to reach your nearest Herbalife Independent Member, call us at 011 554 1000 or via Web at www.herbalife.co.za * Carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions enhance the absorption of water during physical exercise and contribute to the maintenance of endurance performance during prolonged exercise. EFSA scientific opinion EFSA Journal 2011;9(6):2211.


Snakes On A Trail When a serpent slithers its way between you and the singletrack – what do you do?

THE SHARP END Snakes may have two types of venom: CYTOTOXIC: Attacks the tissue of the bite area, eating away at it and potentially causing muscle weakness. NEUROTOXIC: Attacks the brain and nervous system, which causes seizures and can result in death.

Never mind the steep, rocky, gnarly descents, or that technical drop-off for some reason called ‘Widowmaker’ – what really scares mountain bikers is encountering fanged fiends on the trail. But the veld and mountains are a snake’s natural habitat, and we’re just guests. According to Arno Naudé, snake expert and chairman of the Transvaal Herpetological Association, venomous snakes are everywhere. “When you’re riding, you move so fast that the snake doesn’t have time to move out of the way,” says Naudé. “It gets startled – and when it’s startled, it strikes.” Most times, it won’t get you; but as a general precaution, Naudé says, “If you’re heading straight for a snake and can’t get out of the way, make sure you lift your feet as high as possible – and then once you’re over, ride like hell.” Here are a few more reptile-related tips that could save your life:

1 Don’t Turn Back / If you’ve ridden over a snake, Naudé suggests, just carry on. “At high speeds, bikes are too light to cause permanent damage to snakes, so it should still be fine.” Besides, after being ridden over, the snake may be “injured, pissed off, and looking for you”. 2 Stay Alive At 2.5 / If you have enough space – roughly 2.5 metres – then go around the snake, says

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

ISTOCKPHOTO | DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB | SUPPLIED

BY ANDRÉ VA LENTINE


Grant Smith, founder of Cape Snake Conservation. “The most important thing is not to startle it. Snakes are attracted to movement; so if you move suddenly, or too fast, it could attack.” 3 Take The Back Door / Smith suggests that when passing a snake, it’s best to do so going behind it. He says that when a snake is headed in a particular direction it is steadfast on its mission, and doesn’t care what’s behind it. Just remember not to startle it as you pass. 3 Abandon Ship / If a snake gets caught in your spokes, don’t try to remove it – even if it looks mangled. A snake can live for a long time without oxygen, says Naudé, so it could still be alive – and able to strike – after the head has been severed.

4 Ride And Die / Both Naudé and Smith say that if you’re bitten, do not ride away. Exercise elevates your heart rate, and spreads the venom more quickly. It’s important to keep calm, keep your heart rate down, and

T HE DA NGER FA C T OR PUFF ADDER

A medium-length, patterned, thick-bodied snake that’s sluggish, but moves with speed and aggression when threatened. FOUND: Throughout southern Africa VENOMOSITY (NO, IT’S NOT A REAL WORD):

Highly cytotoxic. Though not the most venomous snakes, puffies are responsible for the most snakebite fatalities in Africa. Venom can cause swelling that will paralyse a limb.

BOOMSLANG

A reclusive green (females are brown) snake that flees anything too large to eat. It has a long tail, is good at climbing trees, and has extremely good eyesight. FOUND: Throughout southern Africa, except the Karoo, Namaqualand and Western Cape. VENOMOSITY: Venom is high in haemotoxins, which stop blood clotting and cause death by internal or external bleeding. It’s slowacting, and symptoms present as neurotoxic (headache, nausea, sleepiness and mental disorder).

CAPE COBRA

A medium-sized yellow/gold/brown snake that moves quickly and is highly alert. Calmer than most, but will strike when threatened. FOUND: Cape, Free State, North West VENOMOSITY: This is Africa’s most dangerous cobra. Venom is neurotoxic, and can cause death within one to 10 hours after a bite, due to respiratory failure because of paralysis.

BLACK MAMBA

A fast-moving olive-brown to grey snake (‘black’ refers to the inside of its mouth), related to the cobra. Generally afraid of humans, and will run away if confronted. FOUND: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng. VENOMOSITY: The venom is neurotoxic, and highly potent. Can cause a human to collapse in 45 minutes.

RINKHALS

A short snake that varies in colour. Similar to a cobra, but scales are ridged and keel-like; can spit its venom up to 2.5m. FOUND: Southern Cape, Transkei, Lesotho, Free State, KZN, Gauteng. VENOMOSITY: The Rinkhals has both neurotoxic and cytotoxic venom. It spits its venom at the eyes, which is extremely painful.

contact emergency services, who should get you to a hospital ASAP. “Have your ICE information on hand – this is the sort of situation where it becomes important,” says Smith.

5 Tie It Down / Tie a tourniquet above the wound (between the wound and the heart), to prevent the venom from spreading quickly. “This will buy you time until help arrives,” says Level Five paramedic LeeAnn Bedwell. 3 Who You Gonna Call? / Snake catchers can’t remove snakes from trails, but they can still help you. If you’ve been bitten, identifying the species is crucial, says Bedwell, because this will help doctors administer the correct antivenom. Contact a snake expert ASAP – here are a few in key areas: Western Cape, Grant Smith: 084 328 1001; Gauteng, Arno Naudé: 083 739 9303; and KZN, Byron Zimmerman: 082 894 6783.

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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What’s the Fastest Bike Colour? For the limited-edition poster ‘Les Couleurs de la Victoire’, writer Kip Mikler chronicled the hues of every Tour de France–winning bike since World War II. Then Howard Smith and James Mason, better known as Massif Central, turned it into art. Here’s how the London-based design team transformed piles of data into this explosion of colour. BY JOE LINDSEY

The first graphic I created was in 2011 after a trip I took with some mates, riding Italy from top to toe. We’d talked about creating a memento that could reflect what we did. People collect all kinds of data on their Strava account or Garmin, but it just sits there. We wanted to think about how people could express themselves with data. – James Mason We try to create a piece that is beautiful and attracts the eye from a distance. But when you get close, it tells a story. – Howard Smith Our design’s similarity to a bicycle wheel is quite by accident. When James was working on the illustration from the Italy trip, it was the approach that worked best. To end up with a circle is counterintuitive. – H.S. With the radial system, everything has a purpose, and the beauty stems from that purpose. – J.M.

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

What was fun about the ‘Colours Of Winning’ job was starting off not knowing what it would look like. – J.M. What on the face of it is simple – what colour was the bike that won each Tour? – became an extended research project. And there’s one year – 1960 – that the brand is unknown. No-one knows what that year’s champion, Gastone Nencini, was riding, or even what he was supposed to be riding. – H.S. The print is not obvious at first glance. You need to take time to work it out and understand it. – J.M. The colour blue took the lead in 1981, but since carbon fibre frames were introduced, black is catching up fast. – J.M.


FREEWHEELIN’ BY JONATH A N ANCER

The Affair With Espresso EVERYONE’S ENTITLED TO A POST-RIDE COFFEE – EVEN GOOD HUSBANDS WHO PROMISE TO GO STRAIGHT HOME.

M

I TRY TO DUCK BEHIND MY ALMOND CROISSANT, BUT IT’S TOO LATE. Two minutes later,

my phone pings: it’s a Facebook notification. I don’t have to check it to know I’m in a world of trouble. Like most cyclists with non-cycling partners, I’m in a tug-of-war with my wife. Don’t get me wrong – we get on well. We agree on all of life’s fundamentals, and share similar values. We like the same movies, and hate the same politicians. She’s the yin to my yang, the chocolate sauce to my ice cream, the Renshaw to my Cavendish. But when it comes to cycling… she’s the Tom to my Jerry. What we’re constantly tussling over is time – or, more precisely, how much time I spend on a bike. It was particularly bad at first; but after a few years of struggling, she finally realised it was a lost cause, and accepted that I wasn’t going to give it up. I like to think I played my part. When my mates headed to the coffee shop after a ride, I’d go home. No dilly-dallying. I’d look at the flat whites

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

with their flat whites, and think they must be in loveless marriages. Why else would they be holed up in caffeine dens instead of making their way home? Then, one day, an uncharacteristic tailwind blew us back early, and I joined the Mamil brigade for a post-ride coffee. The moment the caffeine hit my lips, my life changed forever. I’d been doing it

ritual for months, coming home later and later, each time with some tired excuse: Pete had a puncture, Harry broke a spoke, Dave had a style malfunction, we had to wait for Rich and Wayde on the hills. With each sad evasion, my wife’s eyebrow would lift higher. But she had no proof – until Moose posted on Facebook the evidence for a swift conviction.

The moment the caffeine hit my lips, my life changed forever. wrong all these years. The post-ride coffee is cycling’s happy ending. With that sip, I knew I’d never be able to go straight home again. It’s not just about the coffee and the almond croissant; it’s about the banter. It’s where we tease Dave about his fashion blunders, and where Iceman regales us with tales about his death-defying charges down steep, rocky descents. Unfortunately, it’s also where Moose takes photos and shares them on social media. I’d been indulging in the post-ride coffee

I looked down at the notification, which informed me that my wife had ‘liked’ Moose’s photo. A ‘like’ seems so innocent, but this one was filled with subtext and metatext. It was her way of telling me: “You’re a bad man – a very, very bad man – and you’ll be paying for this cycling felony for a long, long time.” Only one thing for it – I went on the offensive, and sent her a message: “I’m just exercising my rights, as enshrined in our Constitution. Thanks to our hard-won democracy, I have the right to Freedom of Espresso.”

YURI ARCURS

MOOSE POINTS HIS PHONE AT ME.


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WITH OUR COVER RIDER

O MANUEL O 33 O GERMAN

FUMIC

M T B CH A MPION, 3X OLY MPI A N, ABSA CAPE EPIC CONTENDER, BAGGIE ADVOCATE INTERVIEW MIKE FINCH PHOTOS CRAIG KOLESKY

You’re famous to South Africans for wearing a hydration pack and baggies during the 2013 ABSA Cape Epic, when all the other elites were riding in Lycra and carrying bottles. I don’t do it that often, but during the Cape Epic it’s really helpful. It was super-sunny and super-hot, and you don’t really have time to grab a bottle when you’re racing, because of the terrain. It’s just way easier to use a hydration pack and be able to drink easily. It’s the same with the baggies… I just found them more comfortable. What’s the best advice you can give to young riders? Have as much fun as you can. That’s all. When I first started riding it was about exploring the area, meeting up with buddies, and just having a good time. The rest – the performance element – comes with time. You spend a lot of time training in South Africa. What do you like about our country? It’s one of the best places to be at this time of the year. The weather, the food, the people… it’s all in one place. I love the mentality. People here just love cycling, and it’s so easy to get in touch with

the community that rides. Everyone is really welcoming.

What do you love about riding a bike? There are some days that I really don’t want to ride my bike; but most of the time I’m happy. When I jump on my bike it’s like an escape, and I always have a great time. I’m just blessed that I can make a living doing it. It was always a big dream of mine to become a pro rider, and I’ve been doing it for 15 years now. You were gunning into the corners pretty hard in our photo shoot (and even crashed out after a particularly fast entry into a berm, scaring the daylights out of our senior designer. – Ed). You seem committed to riding fast. I love speed, whether it’s on a bike or in a car or whatever. Just being on the ragged edge, and pushing your own limits. That’s what it’s about. What are you aspirations for this year’s Cape Epic? It’s Olympic season, so that’s the big focus for the year. The Epic fits into my schedule perfectly, and is the perfect block of intensive training, with a good amount of time to recover. By the time the first World Cup happens, I should be in great shape.

WATCH MANUEL FUMIC’S INTERVIEW AT BICYCLING.CO.ZA/FUMIC


M A N N I F U M IC’ S

CANNONDALE SCALPEL 29 CARBON RACE WORDS OLI MUNNIK | PHOTO CRAIG KOLESKY

Bicycling caught up with Cannondale Factory Racing’s Manuel Fumic, a regular visitor to the World Cup XC podium, in Stellenbosch, as he was preparing for the 2016 season – one that includes the biggest prize of all: Olympic gold. He will also be returning to the Cape Epic (in baggies and CamelBak) with Brazilian teammate Henrique Avancini. A regular on the roads and trails of Cape Town in December and January, Fumic loves life in South Africa. FOLLOW MANNI ON INSTAGRAM @MANUELFUMIC

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EPIC GE ARING (Groupset)

A 10-42T SRAM cassette is paired with a 36T front chain-ring that needs an adapter to fit onto Cannondale’s Hollowgra Si crankset, which runs on a PressFit30 BB. Fumic uses a 36T throughout the season, but jokes that given the length and severity of the Epic, he will most probably swop it for a 34T to give his legs some respite. A Stages power meter is fitted to the non-drive-side crank, and is synced with a Garmin 520 (not pictured) to capture the critical ride metrics. Stopping power is provided by SRAM XX brakes, paired with a set of 140mm rotors.


Standing 1.74m tall and weighing in at 67kg, Fumic races the world’s best on a stock-standard medium Cannondale Scalpel. Up front, the reigning German National XC Champion raves about his Lefty 2.0 suspension fork, saying its adjustability allows it to be fine-tuned for each specific World Cup XC track. Fumic says he’s reduced the travel to 90mm to achieve a lower, more aggressive racing position, which mirrors his position on Cannondale’s F-Si hardtail. In terms of lockout, Fumic chooses a single hydraulic lever that firms both front and rear shocks simultaneously – he prefers medium firmness, as opposed to total lockout. KEEP LEF T Y (Frame & Fork)

A highlight of Fumic’s Scalpel is the Mad Max-looking Leonardi stem, which is 100mm in length and features a staggering minus-25 degree drop. As with the Lefty’s travel, dropping the stem helps Fumic achieve a more aggressive position, bringing it in line with his F-Si hardtail. A 48g chain-guide is fitted to prevent disaster when the going gets rough. One bottle cage is all Fumic needs, as he will be riding the Epic with a CamelBak – again! The silicon grips, 720mm handlebar and Evo X8 TR saddle are all from Prologo, while the carbon seatpost (with zero setback) is from FSA. A set of Shimano XTR pedals finish off the build. MAD MA X (Parts)

GROUNDED (Wheels & Tyres)

DT Swiss 240S hubs are laced to droolworthy carbon Enve M50 rims that Fumic describes as “simply brilliant. No matter what the conditions – World Cup XC or Epic – the wheelset’s versatility allows us to get the job done”. The M50s spread his tyres nicely, improving their volume and traction, and ultimately Fumic’s confidence. Keeping the Scalpel planted to the ground is a set of Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. In March, Fumic will run the SnakeSkin version to counter the Epic’s brutal terrain. As far as tyre pressure goes, 1.45 to 1.5 bar is the norm for Fumic, but he will increase this slightly for the Epic. MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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Cyclists have to contend with cold, wet, wind and heat – sometimes, all in the same ride. As climate change plays havoc with the planet, we have to roll with whatever Mother Nature decides to hurl at us. Jonathan Ancer looks at ways to defy the weather gods.

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ISTOCKPHOTO | GALLO IMAGES/GET T Y IMAGES/BRYN LENNON

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO BAIL IN WIND?

DON’T BE TOO QUICK TO BAIL, BECAUSE RIDING INTO A HEADWIND WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER (JUST TREAT IT LIKE A HILL) AND IMPROVE YOUR HANDLING SKILLS. HOWEVER, WHEN GUSTS ARE CAPSIZING PORTALOOS AND FORCING ROADIES FROM THE SHOULDER INTO THE TRAFFIC, NO-ONE WILL TELL YOU TO HTFU IF YOU DECIDE TO STAY IN BED. BAILING RULE OF THUMB: WHEN WIND SPEED EXCEEDS 40KM/H.

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EXTREME ELEMENTS!

THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS: TIPS FOR WINDY RIDING Port Elizabeth may be dubbed the Windy City, but Cape Town has the Cape Doctor – the Black South Easter, which has lifted many a skirt and caused a fair number of riders to bite the dust. Example? The 2009 Cape Town Cycle Tour, dubbed the Tour of Storms, was no breeze: fences lining the starting pens were blown over, banners were ripped to shreds,

IF YOU DON’T LIKE WIND, THEN AVOID: Cape Point, which – according to the SA Weather Service – is South Africa’s windiest place. Cape Point has calm conditions for only 2 per cent of all the hours in the year. The strongest wind gust ever in South Africa occurred at Beaufort West on 16 May 1984, and measured 186km/h. The world’s windiest place is Cape Denison in Antarctica, where the average wind speed is gale force. Barrow Island, off the coast of Australia, once recorded a gust of 408km/h.

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tents collapsed, scaffolding crumbled, and portaloos were blown over, leaving the road sticky with blue goo. One portaloo went down with someone inside – a case of the shit hitting the cycling fan. It was gusting and disgusting. Winds of up to 60km/h wreaked havoc, with gusts that reached up to 120km/h. The cut-off was extended, but the race was eventually stopped at Chapman’s Peak at 4.30pm, due to “extreme weather”. But thousands of cyclists who had entered chose not to get out of bed in the first place. Wind happens to all cyclists at some time. Anglers have fishing stories, cyclists have wind stories – but unlike fishing tales, our stories aren’t just bluster… Like that ride home after work when a group of us rode into a headwind from hell. I put my head down and inched my way, pedal-stroke by pedal-stroke, up the hill. I looked up just in time to see Iceman crest the top – only for the wind to whip him around 180 degrees, so he was facing me. Then a gust of wind almost shoved me over the edge of the trail. After summiting, we had to push the bikes down the hill. A windy mountain-bike commute home is one thing, but a road race into a headwind is something else altogether. Being spat out of the group you’re seeking shelter in, with 30km to the finish line, is one of life’s nightmares. Suddenly, you’re pedalling into a brutal block of solid air; it’s like cycling up a hill in your toughest gear. With your brakes on. Of course, wind comes with the cycling territory; but riding into a headwind can be a soul-destroying experience, one that can sap your energy and kill your will to live. One bit of advice to consider when planning a windy ride: headwind out, tailwind back. (Also, find the biggest bloke you can, and sit on his wheel.)

P Sports scientist Devlin Eyden, from Pretoria University’s High Performance Centre, says riding in a group and drafting one another can be a huge advantage. “If you sit on the wheel in front of you, you can save up to 30% of your energy expenditure. But it comes with risks. You must be skilled enough to ride in a bunch, and comfortable to sit on someone’s wheel in the drafting position.” P Riding in a peloton takes practice: you can’t get too close, but if you’re too far you won’t maximise the slipstream. Rule of thumb: between 15 and 30cm off the next guy’s wheel. Don’t overlap wheels. If you do, it’s likely you’ll hit the tar; so, advises Eyden, be alert, look up the road so you have an idea of obstacles and sudden turns ahead, and be prepared for anything. P Also, you’ll need to share the workload – and do some time in the front. “Don’t be that rider,” he pleads. P There’ll be times in the wind – as in life – when there’s no-one to hide behind. When that happens, drop down a gear or two to maintain a smooth, steady cadence. Your legs will be grateful.


WHEN IS IT OKAY TO BAIL IN RAIN?

“We ride Continental tubulars and generally inflate them to 9 or 10 bar (130 to 145psi),” says OricaGreenEdge team mechanic Craig Geater. But in the rain, he lowers them to 8 or 8.5 bar (116 to 123psi). This keeps the tyres pretty hard, but allows the riders to feel a boost in traction, as well as more secure. When rain is forecast, the team mechanics add waterproof grease to the chain and the derailleur pulleys. This ensures that water doesn’t penetrate the bearings and links, and prevents road grit kicked up from wet roads from rubbing the drivetrain like sandpaper. “We always keep the bikes well-lubed anyway,” says Geater. “But after a day in the rain, make sure you re-grease the headset, the derailleur pulleys, and the chain.” When you’ve spent a day in the mud and rain, it’s tempting to clean up with a high-powered professional washer. But be careful not to aim it directly at moving parts like the headset, the derailleurs, or any surface where there are bearings. “Otherwise, you risk just stripping all of the lube away,” says Geater. Dirt and glass gets stuck to your tyres more often in the rain, so check them methodically after a wet ride, says Geater. “You’ll probably have little cuts and scrapes.” If a cut goes down to the Kevlar, replace the tyre. If not, fill the cut with a little superglue. “It’s the best way to seal and cover up a minor cut in your tyres,” Geater explains. – James Startt 52

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.

I S T O C K P H O T O | G A L L O I M A G E S /A F P / D E WA E L E T I M

A WorldTour mechanic shares five secrets to bike prep and repair for wet rides.

NEVER. REMEMBER, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER; ONLY INADEQUATE GEAR. AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW IS THAT IT’S OKAY TO BAIL WHEN VISIBILITY IS LESS THAN THREE METRES IN FRONT OF YOU; AND IT’S OKAY TO HIT SNOOZE IF YOU WAKE UP TO THE HEAVENS LASHING THE EARTH, AND THEY INTERRUPT MORNING TALK RADIO TO ISSUE STORM WARNINGS.


EXTREME ELEMENTS!

There has only been one day on a bike that I’ve actually hated; that I wished I’d stayed in bed instead of riding my bike. Two years after That One Day, I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat – and I still find mud in places on my body I didn’t know I had. That One Day was the first day of the 2013 Wines2Whales Adventure.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE RIDING IN THE RAIN, AVOID: Cherrapunji, India, which has the world’s highest monthly rainfall: 9 300mm. Locally, the wettest place is Matiwa in Limpopo, which measured 1 510mm of rain in January 1958. The most rain in 24 hours was at Fac Fac, Réunion Island (1 825mm); and in South Africa, at St Lucia (597mm, on 31 January 1984). The highest rainfall in a year in SA was measured at Jonkershoek (3 874mm, in 1950).

There had been steady (and by ‘steady’, I mean ‘hammering’) rain in the run-up to the start, which turned the 76km course into mush. As we headed out of Somerset West, and through endless tracts of sludge, the rain continued. The clay sucked at our wheels, making us slip up hills and skid down them. (In addition to slipping and skidding, we were sinking, sticking and sliding.) Mud also means mechanicals like chain suck, gears that don’t shift, destroyed brake pads. Mud got into our eyes, teeth, hair, and between our toes – and this went on kay after kay, hour after hour. Rain keeps us humble. The thing about riding in the rain is… you need to make peace with the fact that you’ll get wet. Once you’ve made that mental shift, rainy riding can be thrilling (as long as you’re prepared). Waterproof gear won’t keep you dry, but it will make you a bit more comfortable – or to put it another way, a bit less uncomfortable. A few years ago I headed to the Mast in Tokai in pea-soup-thick mist, and got caught in a torrential storm. About 500 metres before the top, the rain was coming from all directions; it was like cycling through a car wash. I decided, belatedly, to get off the mountain. Unfortunately, as I was making my way through the deluge, a tree stump jumped into my path. I squeezed the brakes and went over the bars. I made it in one piece, but my bike wasn’t so lucky; my wheel was buckled. I walked to my car, the longest, most miserable trek of my life. When I eventually saw myself in the rear-view mirror, my lips were blue – it looked like I’d been kissing Smurfette. I’d been knocking on the chilly door of hypothermia.

RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD: RAIN RIDING TIPS P You can limit the risks associated with cycling in the wet, says Devlin Eyden, by wearing a waterproof jacket that will help reduce the wind-chill factor, keeping you a little warmer. “It helps to ride with clear-lens glasses – to protect your eyes from stinging raindrops as well as the spray off the road, which often carries dirt and grit,” he says. P He adds that whether you’re riding on- or off-road, be cautious at speed. “The surface becomes slippery, and more thought needs to go into your line choices. When riding off-road, rocks and roots become treacherous obstacles to negotiate, as well as cornering in the mud. Make sure your tyres allow more grip.” P He advises roadies to avoid riding on the painted road markings, which become highly slippery in the wet; it can be like riding on an ice rink. “Also, make sure you’re adequately visible to other road users – as we know, rain tends to hamper the driving ability of most South African drivers.”

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EXTREME ELEMENTS!

I woke up and made my way to my bike. There was a sheet of frost on my saddle. I picked up a towel to wipe it, but the towel was frozen solid. It was day two of the 2014 Joberg2C, and we were riding from Frankfort to Reitz in the Free State – in sub-zero temperatures. I’d only been colder once before; at veld school, when I had to do guard duty at three a.m. in the dead of winter on a sheep farm in Mpumalanga. At a few degrees below zero, this was the frostiest weather I’d ever cycled in. It was colder than an eccentric old lady’s bosom (I think he means ‘a witch’s tit’ – Ed.) and twice as nippy. I wore a thermal vest, a cycling shirt, arm warmers and a jacket, as well as tights and long-fingered gloves. And I may have been frozen, but I still managed a sneer when an even colder rider took her place on the start line – wearing oven mitts. Fleece-lined, sheepskin oven mitts. A few kilometres into the ride, we cycled along the misty Wilge River, and that’s

when the ice hit the fan; a brutal wind chill swept over us. It was the kind of cold in which you cease to believe you will ever be warm again. My toes were numb. My ears had frosted over. I sneezed an icicle. My brain had become a slush puppy. But all of that was nothing, compared to the ache in my fingers – they were so cold, they were burning. I stopped to peel off my gloves, fearing some fingers might be left inside. I breathed on them, but nothing could stop the sting. And that’s when the rider wearing the oven mitts rode past. I had to do everything in my power to stop myself from mugging her. (A few months later – after my fingers had thawed – a doctor I met on a ride told me how to give finger-pain the finger: get your hands on a pair of surgical gloves, which are made out of latex, making them windproof and waterproof, and they trap the warmth that comes from your hands. Then put on your warmest cycling gloves.)

IF YOU DON’T LIKE RIDING IN THE COLD, THEN AVOID: Vostok, Antarctica, according to the South African Weather Service, where the world’s lowest temperature – a frosty -89.2°C – was recorded in 1983. South Africa’s lowest temperature ever was -18.6°C, recorded at Buffelsfontein, Eastern Cape, in 1996. However, if you laugh in the face of extreme chill, sign up for the Yukon Arctic Ultra, aka ‘The Coldest Race on Earth’. It’s a 700km race up Canada’s frozen Yukon River, where temperatures plunge to -27°C.

FUNKY COLD MEDINA : TIPS FOR COOL RIDING P Sport scientist Devlin Eyden says when it comes to cold riding, you’ve got to remember three things: kit, kit and kit. P “There are many thermal-garment options, ranging from arm and leg warmers to full-on winter jackets. One of the main problems when riding in the cold is your minor extremities, like your fingers and toes. Your body’s natural form of heat retention is to send most of your blood to vital organs, to maintain optimal core body temperature.” P This, Eyden explains, is why it may feel like your toes and fingers are about to fall off. His advice: thermal gloves are key. But look for ones that allow for breathability. “Also, shoe covers or toe caps keep the wind off your feet, and reduce the numbing pain experienced when riding in the cold. A good windjammer jacket is also key to being comfortable.” P Eyden says one of the greatest accessories in cold weather is a buff. This simple piece of equipment can be a scarf, headband, balaclava or neck warmer. If you have only one buff, he advises, go for ‘headband’: your comfort will significantly improve from not having painfully cold ears. Alternatively, by wearing the buff over your nose and mouth you can humidify the cold, dry air you’re breathing, and reduce the risk of an upper respiratory tract infection. P According to Eyden, there are a few cheat moves that are simple, effective and affordable. “Use several layers of newspaper as a base layer over your chest. This breaks the wind and keeps you warm – and when it gets warmer on your ride, you can pull the newspaper out and throw it away without the hassle of carrying excess clothing. Similarly, plastic oven bags over your feet on those chilly morning rides – just put your socks on, then the oven bag, followed by your shoes. It’s amazing how much you can learn to love a plastic bag.”

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WHEN IS IT OKAY TO BAIL IN THE COLD?

DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB | YUKON ARTIC RACE

WHEN IT’S COLDER IN YOUR FRIDGE THAN IT IS OUTSIDE. IN SOUTH AFRICA IT WILL NEVER GET SO COLD THAT YOUR FREEWHEEL PAWL SEIZES, BUT ANYTHING BELOW FREEZING POINT (0°C) MEANS IT’S OKAY TO STAY IN BED. YOUR MATES WHO DO VENTURE INTO THE BIG CHILL MAY CALL YOU A LIE-IN BASTARD, THOUGH.

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DOLL AR PHOTO CLUB | GALLO IMAGES/GET T Y IMAGES/DOUG PENSINGER


EXTREME ELEMENTS!

THE HEAT IS ON: TIPS FOR HOT RIDING

In early January a few years ago, when the Western Cape was experiencing a heatwave, I started my ride at five one morning, and headed off around the Peninsula – the Cape Town Cycle Tour in reverse. The heat quickly burnt off the cool air and I was already hot when I hit Misty Cliffs, which felt gloriously like stepping into a bottle-store beer fridge. But the respite didn’t last. It was a slow, sizzling solo slog as I made my way towards Cape Point. I could feel the heat coming off the tar. It was 40°C and climbing. The air was oven-like, and I felt like I was starting to boil in my own skin. I had run out of water and energy, and foolishly, I was cycling alone. I considered calling for help, but figured this was good training, and decided to see how far I could push myself (the heat must have turned my cognitive abilities to mush). Pretty soon I regretted not making that call; I was melting – this wasn’t a hunt for ‘personal bests’ anymore, this was now survival. Every pedal stroke of the eight kays from the bottom of Redhill to Smitswinkel was hell. For some cyclists, though, hell is not hot enough. Each year thousands of cyclists line up in Wichita Falls, Texas, for the Hotter’N Hell Hundred – a 160km race in which temperatures approach 40°C.

I’d never be one of them. I got to Smits, found a shady place to rest, puked up a lung, swallowed my pride and phoned for a lift home.

IF YOU DON’T LIKE THE HEAT, THEN: stay out of the kitchen, and out of AlAziziya, Libya, which according to Weather SA measured 57.7°C on 13 September 1922. The highest temperature in South Africa was recorded at Dunbrody (Sundays River Valley, in the Eastern Cape): 50°C, on 3 November 1918.

WHEN IS IT OKAY TO BAIL IN HEAT?

IN VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA, APPARENTLY, IF IT REACHES 38°C, WORK STOPS AND EMPLOYEES GO HOME. OBVIOUSLY WE’RE TOUGHER (AND HAVE THICKER SKINS) THAN AUSTRALIANS, BUT THERE ARE SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH CYCLING IN EXTREME HEAT (HEART FAILURE, FLUID LOSS, BLOOD THICKNESS INCREASING, ETC), SO WHEN THE TEMPERATURE HOVERS NEAR 35°C, IT’S OKAY TO JUMP INTO THE POOL INSTEAD OF ONTO THE BIKE.

P Devlin Eyden says that as with any sport, it’s important to make sure you have the right equipment – starting with your helmet. “Look for one that allows for maximal airflow through the helmet. We tend to lose a large proportion of body heat through our heads; allowing for more airflow will make you body’s thermoregulation a bit easier. P “Secondly, ensure your shirt and bib are made of a good, breathable material, and aren’t heavy. Your choice in gloves is also important. Full-fingered, or shortfingered? For those of you who are mountain bikers and prefer fullfingered gloves for the added protection, there is a wide range of, thin, light and breathable gloves on the market that will help you avoid the feeling of your hands overheating.” P It’s critical that cyclists smear on sunblock (SPF30 or higher), says Eyden – and go for a waterproof option that will last a bit longer when you’re sweating. P “Stay hydrated before and during the workout. Aim to take in about 150ml of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during training. As well as water, try to take in some form of isotonic sports drink, to replace the minerals your body loses through sweat.” MORE TIPS ON RIDING IN THE HEAT: BICYCLING.CO.ZA/HEAT

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Retro Ref lections In the early days of the tour, helmets resembled hairnets, and fashion-conscious riders wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one. But back in the day, people also thought smoking was cool, and a mullet was the greatest hairstyle ever!


*

WORDS JONATHAN ANCER AND ANDRÉ VALENTINE ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF THE CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR TRUST

* ( FREQUENTLY

ASKED QUESTIONS! )


E X PERT: A

DIRECTOR OF THE CYCLE TOUR TRUST

What’s the one thing everyone forgets? To pump their tyres.

What’s the most unusual thing someone has forgotten? Someone once arrived at the start with only one shoe!

What’sthemostcommonpre-eventmistake? Trying new things before the event – like new supplements, training gear, new diets.

What’s the most common rookie mistake? Not spending enough time in the saddle.

What are the windiest spots along the route?

The windiest parts of the Cycle Tour are on the Foreshore, around Chapman’s Peak, and the descent of Suikerbossie. If there’s extreme weather, we urge people to become more aware on the bike and we slow them down, to make it less dangerous.

Some race-day transgressions that could get you banned?

Riding with somebody else’s number. Riders may not start or attempt to start before their designated start group. Any rider who does may be disqualified. A rider may not participate while under the influence of alcohol, or any drug or medication that prevents or might prevent a rider from properly controlling his/her bicycle. See capetowncycletour.com for the full list of rules.

What’s the best way for me to improve my seeding for the 2017 Cycle Tour? Train well, and ride the seeding events you’ll find on capetowncycletour.com.

Does my result from last year’s 47km Cycle Tour count towards my seeding?

Yes it does.

Who’s been the oldest finisher?

Japie Malan, who was 93 at the 2012 event, and Mary Warner, 86 at the 2015 event.

Who is the oldest person with a sub-three?

Vernon Leigh in the 1995 tour (which was 104km), aged 68. On the longer route (109km), Ralph Calitz and Len Watkins, both 66, in 2008.

Who has notched up the most sub-threes?

Linus van Onselen: 26 sub-threes in total.

What percentage of the field finishes? 95% of starters finish.

What is the breakdown in terms of finish times? Based on the 2014 event, a Sub-3: 1.5% a 3 to 3.30: 9% a 3.30 to 4: 17% a 4 to 4.30: 17% a 4.30 to 7: 55.5%

Has someone ever gone fastest around the course, but not been the winner (i.e. from a group behind the pros)? J 1982 Mark Pinder had a faster time (3:01:25) than the recorded winner, Ertjies Bezuidenhout (who crossed the line first, in a time of 3:02:29).

J 1993 – Wimpie van der Merwe recorded a time of 2:16 on an unconventional bike.

What Do You Mean I Have To climb THAT Hill? The event was originally planned to be 140km, including a leg to Cape Point, but was reduced to 104km. It’s now a quadcrunching 109km.


Unconventional... (and so is my bike) Recumbent bikes were all the rage in the early 90s, and Wimpie van der Merwe still holds the record for the fastest time around the course riding this bad boy. Wayne Burgess, the official winner, crossed the line 16 minutes later.

HOW MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE RIDDEN ALL OF THE CYCLE TOURS WILL BE AT THE START THIS YEAR? Seven. The ‘Magnificent Seven’, who have cycled every single Cycle Tour since the first event in 1978, are: Neil Bramwell, Stephen Stefano, Steph du Toit, Louis de Waal, Alex Stewart, Neville Yeo and Gareth Holmes.

1 HELMET 2 START CARD 3 RACETEC CHIP 4 BICYCLE STICKER 5 OFFICIAL RACE NUMBER PAGE 61


When The Going Gets Hot... A hosing down comes as a welcome relief for a rider taking part in the 1980 Cycle Tour. Over the years, the Tour has thrown up all sorts of nasty weather – notably in 2002, when it was stopped after temperatures topped 42°C, and in 2009, when gusts of wind reached 100km/h.

E X PERT: SCIENTIST SCIENCE TO TOSPORT SPORTCOACH COACH

I’m nervous about riding in a bunch – can you give me some tips? Look forwards! Try not to look behind you, as you could end up crashing into riders in front of you. Make sure you’re comfortable with where you’re positioned in the bunch. If you’re particularly nervous about bunch riding, rather try to ride on the side or at the back of the group. Avoid braking sharply or unnecessarily, as this could cause riders behind you to crash into the

back of you. Rather, slowly reduce your speed, by freewheeling if necessary. If you need to move within the bunch, make sure other riders don’t have their wheels overlapping yours. And remember: Look forwards!

What training do I need to have done to finish? Tricky one to answer, because it will depend on each cyclist’s background. Some people can hop on a bike on the day and be fine.

Others might need at least a few rides to get through it.

I haven’t trained – should I dust the cobwebs off my bike and ride, or should I laugh it off?

I don’t think I would ever discourage anyone from riding a bike, so yeah – go for it. Just manage your expectations appropriately, and know that you may experience some discomfort on the day (and for a day or two afterwards).


What’s the best way for me to save time along the route?

What’s the best way to handle the:

HEAT S Dress appropriately. Don’t wear extra layers that will increase your heat storage. S Check the forecast in the days leading up to the race, and ensure your water bottles are cold (keep them in the fridge overnight).

Ride in a bunch, or stick with a bunch. This will conserve your energy, and help you cover ground a little quicker. If you stop at water stations, don’t hang about. Get what you need, and get going again.

I’m not interested in a good time, but I am interested in a safe time. What’s the best way to get to the finish line without any incidents? It would be difficult to ride the world’s largest timed cycle event in isolation; so you should be comfortable with other riders around you. Pay attention, and don’t do anything silly. Look ahead of you, and don’t take any unnecessary risks on descents.

What’s the best post-race recovery drink (I’m hoping the answer is ‘beer’)?

S If there is spare water

Can’t go wrong with a chocolate milk. Get your recovery drink/meal in first, before the first cold beer. Alcohol has a negative effect on recovery.

RAIN S Pay attention to your speed in corners, as your handling may be affected.

What are the nutrition no-nos I should be aware of?

at the water stations, pour some over yourself to cool down.

S Avoid riding on painted lines and islands, as these can be very slippery with a layer of water on them. S Ensure your

drivetrain is lubricated appropriately, so you don’t suffer from chain suck. WIND S Bring your sense of humour. S Stay with a bunch. This will make it a lot easier. S Be aware of gusts on roads like Smits and Chappies.

Don’t use anything new on race day. While your mate might swear by a particular product, if you haven’t used it in training before, it could cause some negative side effects for you. Don’t get fooled by the hype or claims around certain products – rather use products backed by good science.

How many bottles should I take with me?

I see little value in taking more than two bottles. If it’s particularly hot and you run out of water, just refill them at the next water station. Make sure your bottle cage is secured – dropping your bottle during the race can mess with your hydration and nutrition strategy, and become a spinning ball of terror for riders behind you.

What’s the best way to prepare in the last week before the Cycle Tour?

Keep your legs active. Don’t rest fully; rather, include a few low-intensity rides, to keep the legs awake. Throw in a few midweek ‘efforts’ of two to four minutes where you gradually increase the intensity, ending at about 8 out 10, with 10 being a maximal effort. A pre-race ride the day before is a good idea too. Nothing long or hard: one hour, with two to three twominute efforts to get the heart rate up, will help wake the legs up for race day. PAGE 63


EXPERT: SPORTS

SCIENTIST AT HIGH PERFORMANCE CENTRE, PRETORIA UNIVERSITY

Do you have any last-minute advice to help me climb better?

Get climbing. Make sure you are doing sufficient hill training well before race day. Interval work also has huge benefits for strength in the legs on those nasty climbs. Ride within yourself for the majority of the race. Don’t get too caught up in the moment when the racing snakes come rumbling past you. Hold back and get into a good rhythm that works for you, and recover on the descents.

So, now that I’ve got up the hills… how do I get down them safely?

Make sure you take care when descending at high speed, as there will be slower riders on the route who may be too exhausted to pay attention to their surroundings. Ride within your limitations and skill level. Stay on the right-hand side of the road if you’re passing people, and look around you when changing direction or swinging out to pass other riders.

How much slower will I be if I ride the CTCT on a mountain bike?

Significantly slower, and your bike will be heavier and have more rolling resistance. Slick tyres would help. But if you’re more comfortable and more confident on your mountain bike as opposed to your road bike, then stick with it.

What does it take to be a contender?

Hours and hours of training and more training, with the Cycle Tour being your main goal. It’s advisable to get a structured training programme and a coach to assist you.

Gel or no gel?

Use gels only if you have trained with them and are used to them. Don’t try anything new on race day. Also, the timing of your gels is important, as you will get an energy spike from them – if you use them too early and can’t maintain energy intake, you’ll hit the wall, and suffer for the rest of the ride. Lots of water is also important when using gels.

E X PERT: THE

Life’s A Hose Almost as old as the tour itself is the institution of fans lining the roads to cheer the riders on. It has become a Cycle Tour tradition for some residents on the route to cool the cyclists down (and give their bikes a free wash).

Pedal For The Medal Many celebs have completed the Tour. Is this Robbie McIntosh – or an ex-Beatle who took part incognito? If so, it might explain how the ‘The Long and Winding Road’ came to be written...

EVENT’S RACE DOCTOR What’s it like working on the Cycle Tour?

Cape Town comes to a standstill, and it’s a celebration of everything that’s wonderful in this country.

When should a rider not participate in the Cycle Tour due to health reasons?

You should rather be a spectator if you are unwell in the week before the race, or have a medical illness that is not under control, such as uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart or lung disease, to name a few. You should also carefully consider withdrawing if you are carrying an injury that could result in permanent damage should you ride.

What health and safety measures are in place on Cycle Tour day?

Mediclinic provides free medical assistance from start to finish. We have 15 advanced medical care centres – 14 at the refreshment stations on the route, and one at the finish – providing full medical support, w ith doctors, nursing practitioners, physiotherapists and first-aid staff.


What advice would you give to cyclists… IN THE RUN-UP TO THE RACE: Be realistic about the training you‘ve done. There’s no point in pushing yourself on the day and then having an injury, or being unwell. Practise your nutrition strategy prior to race day, including your prerace preparation, race food (not commercial high-sugar products), and recovery food. Train in all environmental conditions, and prepare yourself for heat. ON RACE DAY: Avoid alcohol the night before the race, don’t miss breakfast, give your body two hours from your last meal to exercise. Do a gentle stretch to warm up prior to racing. Don’t forget your sunblock. If it’s raining, wear eye protection. Do not race if you are unwell. Perform a ‘neck-check’, i.e. if your illness is above the neck, you may proceed. If you feel feverish or have a headache, or your heart rate is above the rate you’re used to, stop and spectate. If your illness is below your neck, spectate, and cheer on your friends. Don’t take antiinflammatory drugs during exercise. AND AFTER THE RACE: Have a good meal to recover, and restore your fluid balance. If you’re not urinating within an hour or two of the event, or if your heart rate doesn’t recover, come to the end tent for evaluation. Avoid alcohol.

EMERGENCY NO:

What should a cyclist do if she or he is injured during the race?

Phone 087 820 2911 for medical emergencies, or 087 820 2453 for general emergencies. Save those numbers on your phone. Please try to furnish exact details of what happened, your location, and the nearest corner (if available). If you witness an accident, please inform us too.

What are the emergencies you plan for?

Cardiac emergencies, and trauma and environmental emergencies. We also plan for the small things, like cramp, blisters, chafe, and diarrhoea. These minor issues can also ruin your day.

What are some of the most common medical issues you’ll face on race day?

The most common issues a re minor problems like strains, cramps, abdominal complaints, falls, dehydration and heat illness.

Any tips on how to avoid cramping?

Make sure your bike is set up correctly, maintain adequate hydration with a balanced electrolyte solution, consider your race carefully if you have a niggling injury, stop to stretch if your muscles start to complain.

If I do cramp, what can I do about it (other than cry)?

Cramping is most often related to overuse, and occurs in muscles that are working hard. If you are cycling hard and your legs cramp, then stop, stretch, and ask one of the physios to massage the affected muscle group. However, if you are experiencing cramping in more than one muscle group, it’s likely you may have a more systemic problem, such as an electrolyte abnormality. Stop, and let one of the medics evaluate you.

#Winning Ertjies Bezuidenhout, who won the tour twice, acknowledges the crowd in Camps Bay. These days the fans who come out no longer wear bellbottoms, but they still line the streets, turning the event into a cycling carnival.

How important is hydration – and is there such a thing as over-hydration?

Hydration is very important, and overhydration is definitely a serious issue. As a rough guideline, drink to thirst, drink a balanced electrolyte solution, and avoid very sugary drinks and gels. There are many refreshment stations along the route – you don’t have to stop at all of them. PAGE 65


Dealing With Inf lation On Cycle Tour day, hopefully, the only pumping you’ll experience will be filling your tyres with air, and not the southeaster. Remember to check that your bike is roadworthy. Also, and this is important, don’t forget your shoes – both of them.

E X PERT: BIKE

MECHANIC, OWNER OF MARX CYCLE WORX

Should I take my bike in for a service before the Cycle Tour?

Yes, a minor service at least will be necessary, as most people doing the Cycle Tour ride literally once a year, just for this event. Also, just to make sure it’s ‘roadworthy’ and safe.

How do I do the perfect pre-race bike check?

Make sure your tyres are pumped to the correct pressure. Tyre pressure is normally stated on the sidewall of the tyre, but roughly, a road bike is around 8 bar. Take your multi-tool and check all the bolts are tight; and go for a quick spin the day before, just to make sure everything works for the race.

What basic mechanical skills do I need to know? The most common issues that can be repaired roadside are how to join a broken chain, and how to change a tube – many people don’t know how to do this.

So, how do I do this?

The easiest way is to inflate the tube slightly, to give it some shape. By hand, fit the tube inside the tyre, and work it around so it’s completely inside the tyre. Try to fit the tyre without tyre levers as far as you can. The last bit is always a struggle; but if you’ve made sure the tyre is seated all the way around, that should make life easier. If it’s too tight, use a tyre lever for the final section of the tyre that needs to hook onto the rim. Be very careful not to pinch the tube with the tyre lever!

What are the essential tools I need to take with me?

Multi-tool, chain breaker, paper money (can be used as a gaiter for your tyre if it gets cut), tyre levers, and a pump.

I hear there are some Cycle Tour ‘institutions’ along the route – who (and what) should I look out for?

The route is lined with cheering fans, but look out for the guy who rings a cowbell – and the women who lift their tops at the bottom of Chapman’s Peak, which makes Chappies go by in, um, a flash. Also, you can’t miss the ladies in pink, who are raising awareness for the fight against breast cancer, stationed at the bottom of Suikerbossie – their energy gets you to the top of the hill before you can say “Cramps Bay”.


Ride On No helmets, no sunglasses, just hairy legs: Although bike tech and cycling safety has developed since the early days of the Cycle Tour, the riders’ passion for two wheels endures.

Sunglasses or no sunglasses?

Definitely sunglasses. Not only will they keep the sun out of your eyes, they will also mask your pain when you climb the hills. Please note that the arms of your sunglasses must always be placed over your helmet straps. No exceptions. It’s just the way it is.

Should I shave my legs?

Definitely maybe. It depends on your reasons. If you’re doing it to go faster, then no. A 1987 study concluded that the aerodynamic improvement due to shaved legs is roughly 0.6 per cent, which could result in a savings of around 5 seconds in a 40km time trial ridden at 37km/h. How much saving for an amateur? About a quarter of a third of an eleventy-millionth of a second. However, looking down and seeing shaved guns will make you think you’re a pro, which might actually make you go faster. Most pros ride with shaved pins because hairy-legged massages hurt like

hell. But the real reason not to shave your legs is so that you can feel smug when you cruise past shaved riders. Besides, if Peter Sagan can sport hairy legs in the peloton, you can too.

I’m more than a little embarrassed by the bulge that comes with wearing tight Lycra – can I wear baggies?

While many mountain bikers are turning their back on Lycra, wearing baggies on a road bike is one of cycling’s most serious fashion crimes. Don’t run away from the moose knuckle – own it; just stay out of view of small children and the easily offended, who may be scarred for life.

Okay, okay. I’ll wear bib shorts. But can I wear undies underneath? Certainly not. It’s commando, or don’t get on your bike. And that’s not just because of the aesthetic – it’s actually about comfort.

Should I apply bum cream? And if so, what are the rules? Yes. Chamois cream minimises friction, and helps prevent saddle sores. Just dab and apply where body meets chamois. It will absorb quickly, so there’s no need to rub the cream in. The main rule, though, is don’t double-dip if you share bum cream with someone else.

What’s the toughest part of the Cycle Tour route?

People mutter darkly about Suikerbossie, and yes, after you’ve got 80km or so in your legs it’s a biyatch of a climb; but actually, the toughest part of the tour is the first 10km. You’ve spent a lot of nervous energy in the queue for the loo, finding your chute, and not getting squashed by wobbly riders at the start – and now you have to deal with the undulating climbs up the Blue Route. PAGE 67


TOURS COMPLETED 14 BEST TIME 2:27:38 2016 GOAL Winning time – in other words, be

TOURS COMPLETED 11 BEST TIME 4:31:21 2016 GOAL To ride for charity with my

TOURS COMPLETED 6 BEST TIME 3:25:36

in contention for the sprint. TRAINING The Cycle Tour is part of my training for the Cape Epic, so it’s not a goal in itself. But as we all know, there’s something very special about the Cycle Tour; and on the day, everybody gives it their absolute all. I will have just come off the five-day Tour of Good Hope, so I’m hoping my legs won’t have been blasted to smithereens.

sister-in-law, and soak up the vibe! TRAINING Seeing as my goal isn’t for a specific time, I’m being fairly relaxed in my training. At the moment, it involves one or two 20km commutes to and from work a week, a spinning class, and a longer group ride on the weekend. I’m hoping muscle memory will kick in!

marks – I’m employing the ‘Four Cs’ training plan: Climbing, Cadence and Cramp-avoidance Conditioning.

OLI MUNNIK

KIRSTEN CURTIS

JONO ANCER

GEAR EDITOR

ONLINE EDITOR

DEPUTY EDITOR

2016 GOAL 3:25.35 TRAINING It’s a bit like my matric

BICYCLING STAFF ARE TAKING ON THE CYCLE TOUR! TOURS COMPLETED 5 BEST TIME 3:20 2016 GOAL Sub-3:40

TOURS COMPLETED 4 BEST TIME 3.01

TOURS COMPLETED 0 BEST TIME N/A 2016 GOAL To finish, without feeling like

TRAINING 8-12 hours a week total time, including long weekend ride of three hours plus, a day of intervals once a week, and maybe some ‘hurt-box’ sessions at the Killarney criteriums, to hone bunch-riding skills.

2016 GOAL Ride with mates, take a couple

MIKE FINCH

MYLES KELSEY

ALANA DOYLE

EDITOR

ACCOUNTS MANAGER

SENIOR DESIGNER

What’s the most heartbreaking moment on the route?

When you’re riding up Chapman’s Peak and you see the summit, you look down at your splits and you see you’re ahead of schedule, and your spirits soar. But then you realise you’re not at the top – it’s a false summit that looks exactly like the real thing. And that’s when your heart breaks. No matter how many times a rider has climbed Chappies, they always get caught by the CFS (Chappies False Summit).

When is boasting about your Cycle Tour acceptable?

When you’ve reached one of these three Cycle Tour milestones: you’ve completed your first one; or your 21st one; or you’ve won.

of beer stops, enjoy the views. TRAINING I don’t quite understand this question. ;)

For how long is it acceptable for me to wear my finisher’s medal?

Fornolongerthanthetimeyouspentonthesaddle.

Should I care about who wins?

Yes, the tour is one of the most prestigious bike races in the world, with a veritable Who’s Who of celebs and pros taking part. The winner is a big deal in the cycling world – and you can tell your mom you raced against him.

What bodily functions are acceptable in the bunch?

Farting is fine – after all, it’s nature’s call, so just get on with it. Snot-rocketing is okay, but remember to drop to the back of the bunch so you don’t snot on someone. Weeing in your

my legs have been ripped off TRAINING Most of my training time is

taken up with running – but rumour has it that runners make better cyclists than cyclists make runners, so I’m banking on that strategy – and to just keep pedalling when it comes to Cycle Tour day.

shorts should only be done if you’re on track for a personal best – and even then it’s a last resort. If you really have to pee in the saddle, unclip one foot and bend your knee, so the pee will flow off your knee instead of running into your shoe.

What’s the deal with people shouting “Hold your line”? I mean, we’re cycling, not fishing.

It’s a warning to cyclists who wobble dangerously all over the place to ride in a straight line, to avoid taking the peloton down with them.

Should I put it on Strava?

Of course. After all, if it’s not on Strava, it never happened.


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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016 2016

HENDRIK STEY TLER

LIP SERVICE: An emotional Mark Blewett kisses the tar as his incredible world-record trip across Africa nears its end.


A BROKEN RECORD ON 8 OCTOBER 2015, A TEAM OF CYCLISTS LEFT CAIRO. THEIR MISSION: TO BREAK THE WORLD RECORD FOR THE AFRICAN CONTINENT’S FASTEST HUMAN-POWERED CROSSING. THEY BRAVED SCORCHING TEMPERATURES, PACKS OF VICIOUS DOGS, ISIS, ROUGH ROADS, LACK OF SLEEP, CORRUPT OFFICIALS… AND EACH OTHER. BY JONATHAN ANCER

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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CAROCAP STATS 341 G TOTAL 10 600km G LONGEST DAY 438km G AVERAGE MILEAGE PER DAY 280km G AVERAGE SPEED 31km/hr G KILOJOULES BURNT 1 577 368 G TOTAL CLIMBING 51 000m G MAX ELEVATION 3 100m G MAX TEMPERATURE 48˚C G MIN TEMPERATURE 4˚C

DISTANCE

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

CHRIS GILES

TOTAL TIME 38 days, 12 hours and 16 minutes G HOURS RIDDEN


Mark Blewett got off his bike and kissed the tarmac. He had rolled across the border from Botswana into South Africa, and could smell the finish. The only thing standing between him and a world record was a headwind from hell. Oh, and another 1 500km or so of riding. This had been a ride of immense proportions; it was a race against the clock, and against various other demons – and Blewett and his two remaining cycling comrades from the Carocap team were almost there. On 15 November, Blewett (a former South African pro cyclist), Englishman Nicola s B ou r ne a nd Z i mbabwea n David Martin rolled into Cape Town, and into cycling mythology. But their accomplishment had come at huge physical and emotional cost. I meet Blewett a day later. He has a faraway look in his eyes – fittingly, as he’s just come from very far away: from Cairo, 10 600km to the north. The trio pedalled every one of those 10 600 kays, at breakneck, teeth-rattling speeds, from one corner of Africa to the other, beating Mark Beaumont’s record by almost three days. In the process, they burnt 1 577 368 kilojoules (that’s the equivalent of 700

but I’d be okay after a rest. But I was fine; there was a lot of euphoria and adrenaline. Now, my body is finally shutting down.” Blewett lost 10 per cent of his weight – seven kilograms (from 72kg to 65kg) – and says he’s going to lose the nails on his big toes. He’s only now starting to get the feeling back in his feet and hands. So, why did he do it? The short answer is: because African sunrises. B le we t t ’s f a m i l y a nd bu s i ne s s commitments mean he needs to live in Italy, South Africa and China (he’s the founder of SwiftCarbon). He’d been in China when Bourne approached him to get involved in Carocap’s gruelling Ca iro -to - Cape Tow n world-record attempt. C h i n a ’s b u i l d i n g s , p o l l u t i o n and crowds were ma king him feel claustrophobic. “I thought of African sunrises and being in the middle of nowhere, which was the exact opposite of my life at the time, and I started to romanticise the journey,” he says. He agreed to sponsor the SwiftCarbon Ultravox Ti road frames for the attempt, and then wondered if he could manage this life-altering journey – and how far he could push his body. “It was a human

“I LEARNT AMAZING LESSONS IN APPRECIATION, HUMILITY, AND BASIC SURVIVAL.” MARK BLEWETT

Big Macs, or 18 Big Macs a day). “ I le a r nt a m a z i n g le s s on s i n appreciat ion, hu m i lit y, a nd ba sic survival,” says Blewett. We meet again two weeks later. Reality is setting in. He’s not well. “I thought that when I finished I’d be really tired,

experiment. I had a morbid fascination with how much my body could endure,” he says. The experiment almost ended before it began. There were terrorist attacks in Eg y pt, the starting point for the 10 600km trip. A nother factor that

MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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almost stopped Blewett in his tracks was his wife, who freaked out about the whole adventure. “Every reason I had to do it, she had 20 reasons why I shouldn’t,” he says. Ne ver t hele s s , Ble we t t decided to go on. “I still don’t know why, but I just couldn’t let it go.” Seven riders were meant to take part, but only five came to the start, in the shadow of the Giza Pyramids.

but not by terrorists. One evening Kip Thompson, the team’s driver and medic, noticed a pack of desert dogs moving swiftly over the dunes – and they came charging straight at the riders. There was no time to warn the team. Thompson put his foot on the accelerator, managing to squeeze the Hulk between the dogs and the riders in the nick of time. B esides t he do g s , t he main challenge was getting

him ice water. Because of the heat, we decided to start riding earlier. It was 43˚C in the shade, so when we stopped, we’d just lie there, dripping in sweat. We’d drink 500ml of water at a time. You had to drink the water immediately – if you waited, it would begin to boil. We went through 20 litres of water a day.” Anyone who has ever seen

AFRICAN SKY BLUE: (ABOVE) The Carocap riders experienced many magical moments, and had a front-row seat to landscapes that changed from deserts, to mountains, to the lush southern Sudan. SHATTERED: (BELOW) The team were always under pressure – day in, day out, week after week – and fatigue took its toll.

“I HAD A MORBID FASCINATION WITH HOW MUCH MY BODY COULD ENDURE.” Support came in the form of a crew who dealt w ith logistics, and the Hulk – a big g reen tr uck, which didn’t exactly blend into the background, making them an easy target. The organisers arranged for an armed escort through Egypt. The riders were targeted,

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BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

through the 45˚C-plus heat to the Sudanese border and through the Nubian Desert. “It was like opening an oven,” recalls Blewett. “The heat tested us deeply. At one point Nic’s body temperature w a s d a n gerou sly h ig h – around 41˚C. We had to wrap him in a cold towel and feed

CHRIS GILES

MARK BLEWETT


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DAY 2: Transfer to the top of Moteng Pass in Lesotho. Then we ride, meandering along the top of the Malutis and dropping down into the Malimabatsu Valley. (The vehicles will be with us all the time, for those who don’t want to pedal the total distance.) Short transfer to Katse Dam Lodge, our home for the next two nights, and famous for their trout.

A C C O M M O D AT I O N

DAY 3: Pedal around sections of

THE TEAM

Guest houses and lodges.

ITINERARY DAY 1: We meet at a guest farm in

Clarence, eastern Free State, an easy halfday drive from Johannesburg or Durban. There is safe parking (the trip finishes here too). Those flying to Johannesburg will be transferred to Clarence for a small fee. We’ll get to know each other, and the guides will explain the rest of the trip over a glass of wine and a homecooked meal.

magnificent Katse Dam on hardly-used roads, and even on the 185m-high dam wall. En route, our knowledgeable guides will inform you about the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. DAY 4: Ride out on a contour gravel road above the river feeding Katse Dam, through breathtaking scenery, then transfer to a wonderful descent into the Senqu River Valley. Our next transfer is to the top of Black Mountain Pass, leaving

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a 10km ascent to iconic Sani Top Lodge, overlooking KwaZulu-Natal. DAY 5: After a border crossing, pedal down the awe-inspiring Sani Pass to the little town of Himeville; then transfer back into the Free State and ride through Golden Gate National Park, back to our guest farm in Clarence. DAY 6: After breakfast we say our goodbyes and go our separate ways. Those with flights to catch will be transferred back to Johannesburg.

COST R14 450 PP SHARING R18 785 PP SINGLE R7 225 CHILD UNDER 12 WHEN 4 TO 9 APRIL 2016

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PLEASE NOTE: A valid passport is required for entry into Lesotho. Apply for a passport at the Department of Home Affairs, preferably at least six weeks in advance. Travel regulations for minors have changed – specific travel documentation from the Office of Home Affairs may be required.


a spaghetti Western knows there’s nowhere to hide in the desert. As Blewett puts it, “We were so far out of our comfort zone.” The first casualty occurred at t he E g y pt ia n b order, when Egyptian rider Adham Mahmoud withdrew because he’d received an army call-up – if he’d been found trying to leave Egypt, he would have landed in jail. And then there were four. Blewett was nearly the next casualty. On Day 6 he got sick. He’d picked up a bug, and had an upset stomach and was caked with crusty vomit. After taking a rest day, the team soldiered on, but now they had to make up even more time. The plan was to make the trip in 34 days, which meant over 300km a day. But border crossings

delayed them, with officials trying to extort money. The cyclists refused to give in, and decided to wait it out. Blewett says there were many moments of magic – like having a front-row seat to landscapes rich with wildlife, and seeing how Africa changes, from deserts to mountains to the lush southern Sudan. “In a car, you’re so isolated; you really experience it on a bike, because you’re going fast enough for the scenery to be changing, but slow enough to absorb what’s going on,” he says. In Ethiopia, they started climbing – and the temperature started to fall. The heat was no longer a problem, but the climbs were never-ending, and the rutted roads were treacherous. Besides t he ex pec ted obstacles – the heat, packs

of vicious dogs, the threat of terror attacks, rough roads, lack of sleep, and corrupt officials – the cyclists had to manage each other, which was often more difficult than all the other hardships put together. “Fatigue took its toll,” says Blewett, “and people didn’t make the best decisions. It’s the kind of situation that brings out all sides of your companions – and you get to see people at their very worst.” Morale hit rock bottom, egos blew up, a nd r iders began to clash. “ We were always under pressure – day in, day out, week after week. We each had our survival bubble. After the day’s ride I knew what I had to do: get clean, eat, find a place to sleep, and spend 10 minutes communicating with my family. That was my bubble. If I did that, I would survive. It was a mind game.” The next rider to bail was Kenyan David Kinjah – Chris Froome’s former coach – who retired after a crash and injuries. His survival bubble burst. And then there were three. When the trio crossed into

Tanzania, they realised that in order to break the record, they would have to ride 370km a day. “By this time, I was suffering from a deep fatigue. We’d sleep at 11.30pm and get up at 4am,” says Blewett. He survived by focusing on short-term goals. “You can’t think about the next 160km on bad roads – if you do, you’ll never do it. It’s about the cold Coke at the next 20km. You have to break it down into manageable chunks. This wasn’t a 10 600km ride; it was a string of 50km rides.” And they did it. Blewett believes he was the weakest rider, but says he finished the strongest because he always rode within himself. “It was a great opportunity… and life is about grabbing great opportunities,” he says. Although the title of ‘fastest human-powered crossing of Africa’ is great, for Blewett this “ human experiment” wasn’t only about smashing the world record; it was much more than that. It was deeply personal. “I know now I can handle much more than I ever thought I could. I know now that I can endure,” he says.

A test of mind, body, and bicycle It’ll take a little longer than 38 days,* but you too can follow in Blewett’s pedal strokes and do a Cairo-to-Cape-Town crossing. The 2016 edition of the Tour d’Afrique started on 15 January and ends on 14 May, but sign up for next year. You’ll cycle along the Nile past ancient temples, through the Sudanese desert, and up and down the biblical landscapes of Ethiopia’s rugged Simian Mountains. After crossing the Equator in Kenya, you pedal past Mt Kilimanjaro, to Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, and along the edges of the Kalahari and Namib deserts, en route to the finish of your epic journey in Cape Town. *At 121 days, the Tour’s a mere 83 days longer than the Carocap world record. tdaglobalcycling.com/tour-dafrique

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CHRIS GILES

NOWHERE TO HIDE: (TOP LEFT) The riders take a nature break somewhere deep in the Nubian Desert, after pedalling at teeth-rattling speeds. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Making their way through traffic in Khartoum – best seen from an armoured vehicle. (BOTTOM LEFT) Wherever the team went, the back-up crew in ‘The Hulk’ kept an eye on them and gave them shelter from the 45-degree heat.


ULTRAVOX

RS-1

THE WHOLE PRO EXPERIENCE FOR HALF THE PRICE As cycling wisdom tells us, the single biggest performance factor when it comes to bike spec is the wheelset. That’s why we fitted Zipp Firecrest clincher wheels to our new Ultravox RS-1. Get the same sure-footed handling, startling responsiveness and smooth ride quality as the pros, now at a more reasonable price. Choose from Zipp’s 202, 303 or 404 models.

Shop online at www.swiftcarbon.com/za RS-1 Race stock is limited. To contact call 021 426 6000 or email southafrica@swiftcarbon.com facebook.com/SwiftCarbonBikes

@swiftbike

swiftbike

SWIFTCARBON RS-1 RACE

R 64 900

ZIPP FIRECREST WHEELS SHIMANO ULTEGRA 11SP RITCHEY WCS KIT


ALL THE GOOD STUFF

THE ILLUMINATI (The Science of Being Seen)

To be seen is to be safe – and manufacturers are showing that you can still be cool, even in hi-viz kit. Bicycling gear editor Oliver Munnik goes out to be noticed

PHOTOGRAPHY / JAMES GARAGHT Y

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VOLVO LIFEPAINT BY ALBEDO100 Swedish car manufacturer Volvo are so confident of their promise

to create the safest driving experience ever, they claim that “by 2020, no person will be killed or seriously injured by a new Volvo”. A component of this 2020 vision is LifePaint, an innovative waterbased reflective safety spray that promises to light you up like a glitter ball in the direct glare of a car’s headlamps. Developed for Volvo by Albedo100, the spray is invisible in daylight, but superlight-reflective in the dark. Testing revealed that LifePaint was most effective on darker clothing, after a generous application. We also applied it to our socks, shoes, helmets and hydration packs, and found that the more spots you ‘hit’, the better. It also washes out of clothing without any problems. Albedo100 also produce a heavier-duty spray called Permanent Metallic, which is better suited to spraying your frame and tyres to maximise your road presence. Invisible Bright: R299 Permanent Metallic: R399 albedo100.co.za

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SPRAY IT ON!

BES T FOR: Riders who commute or train on dimly-lit roads, as well as in rural areas where there are no street lights. Don’t be tempted to spray it on body parts.

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EASY UPGR ADE

BES T FOR: Your first choice in handlebar tape

SUPACAZ SS KUSH BAR TAPE Refresh your

grip on visibility by wrapping vibrant neonyellow tape around your bars – handstitched, and with a layer of shock-absorbing EVA foam. Your hands will love the ride, and most importantly, you won’t go unnoticed on the road. R519 supacaz.com

BES T FOR: All-day riding. And visibility from space.

POC OCTAL AVIP HELMET WITH MIPS With their unique, oversized design, the POC Octal helmets are hard to miss. Add into the mix this ‘Zinc Orange’ colourway, and you’ll be rolling with what looks literally like the flaming tip of a matchstick on your head. And quite frankly, that’s exactly the point! The Octal’s striking orange colour is the basis of POC’s AVIP (‘Attention Visibility Interaction and Protection’) collection. The company’s research has shown that fluorescent orange (as part of a colour palate that also includes ‘Optic White’ and ‘Navy Black’) is the most effective colour for catching the attention of approaching motorists, by optimising visibility and contrast in both natural and urban environments. R4 995 puremotionsports.co.za

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THE THREE CORNERSTONES OF VISIBILITY Swedish brand POC was established on the principle of creating the safest possible products for adventure and outdoor sports such as cycling and skiing. Their safety-focused AVIP range is designed specifically for road cyclists, and the research behind the tech provides valuable insight into the science behind visibility. It’s based on these three elements:

1

FLUORESCENT COLOUR

While conventional bright colours reflect up to 90% of our visible spectrum, fluorescent colours can reflect as much as 200 to 300%, which allows our eyes to perceive a far more intense colour. What this means is that a rider wearing fluorescent clothing is more likely (POC suggest 5.5 times more likely) to be seen by a driver – i.e. a driver will see a rider wearing fluoro clothing 550 metres away, as opposed to only 100 metres for a rider with regular clothing. PERCEP TION AND RECOGNITION DISTANCE

2

POC found there’s a fundamental difference between being seen, and being recognised. Part of their research investigated the differences between the time our brains first register seeing an object, and when that object is actually identified. This may seem like splitting hairs, but the difference between avoiding an accident and tragedy can be milliseconds.

3

CONTRAST

Contrast is one of the most important factors affecting visibility. According to POC it gives the brain visual clues, ultimately resulting in an earlier and more informed decision about the identity of an object – such as a cyclist. There are two aspects to contrast: the prominence of a colour compared to its background, and the difference between a colour and adjacent colours. The aim, therefore, is for your clothing to maximise colour intensity and difference, relative to your environment.


PROVIZ REFLECT360 GILET The Reflect360 marries

form and function perfectly, offering a technical cycling gilet with a twist. While featuring all the usual benefits (wind-proof front panel to block cold air, perforated rear panel to exhaust hot air, as well as zippered storage pockets), its stand-out feature is without doubt the ability to transform from a matte grey colour in daylight to an astonishingly bright silver when caught in a car’s headlamps at night. The Reflect360 material uses millions of miniscule but highly reflective glass beads to maximise reflectivity. Also available in the Proviz range is the ‘Switch’ gilet, which is reversible, offering fluoro yellow on one side for daytime visibility and Reflect360 material on the other for after-dark awareness.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

BES T FOR: Low morning/ evening light, and night riding.

R1 328 spdistributors.co.za

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SPECIALIZED REFLECTIVE TYRES

When we think of visibility, often we focus only on catching the attention of drivers approaching from the front and rear. What about those cars entering our space from the side? Specialized’s commuter models – Sirrus for the guys, and Vita for the girls – are all fitted with 700x32C Specialized Nimbus reflective tyres, with a band of reflective material that runs the full diameter of the tyre. The aim is for drivers’ headlights to illuminate the tyres at intersections. Specialized also supply the Infinity Armadillo Reflect tyre, which also features a reflective band. But conveniently, it’s compatible with 29er rims, making them ideal slick tyres for your mountain bike. Sirrus Sport Disc: R9 499 | Vita Sport Disc: R9 999 | Infinity Armadillo Reflect Tyre: R409 specialized.com

BES T FOR: Low light, night-time riding, and side views.

CAMELBAK ROGUE HYDRATION PACK

Mountain bikers: don’t think we’ve forgotten about you! CamelBak produce four of their hydration packs – the HydroBak, Classic, Rogue and Mule – in an attention-grabbing lime-green colourway. It’s an ideal colour to have on your back when approaching motorists need help to see you riding on or alongside the tar. Like all CamelBaks, the Rogue pack featured here sports reflective strips that sparkle in front of headlights. Remember: just because you mountain bike, that doesn’t mean visibility isn’t important. R1 195 capecycles.co.za

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BES T FOR: All-day riding for mountain bikers and commuters.


SPECIALIZED SL WOMEN’S EXPERT

Not forgetting the ladies – fuchsia pink will make sure you’re noticed. R139 specialized.com

SOCKS TO BE SEEN IN

4

ALTERNATIVES TO UP YOUR SOCK GAME

DEFEET AIREATOR SOCKS

Welcome to DeFeet’s fluoro range of accessories. DeFeet, best known for their dizzyingly broad range of socks, also offer a host of super-bright, eye-catching fluorocoloured arm warmers, gloves and shoe covers that truly stand out on the road. You may think they won’t match any of your cycling outfits – but in fact, on dark, cold wintery mornings, that’s exactly the point: their loudness creates contrast between you and your surroundings, to maximise your visibility. R218 defeet.com

ASSOS YANKEE

Yankee G1 summer socks in Volt Yellow are sure to keep you in view. R318 jjcycling.co.za

BES T FOR: All-day riding, low-light conditions, 80s rave parties.

FINNI FLIGHT 1969 NEON GREEN

Unleash the green mamba in you, with Finni’s elegantlydesigned neon-green socks that offer just the right amount of ‘pop’. R99 finni.co.za

SAKO7 ROSES EDITION

Sako7 offer a wide (and sometimes outrageous) array of sock designs, to suit every rider’s style and visibility needs. R395 puremotionsports.co.za

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BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTO BY JA MES GAR AGHTY

Haibike SDURO HardSeven SL Zoom Zoom. We didn’t think we would, but we loved every minute on the SDURO HardSeven SL. MYTH-BUSTING I bet the first thing you thought when you saw this E-bike was ‘this is for lazy, unfit people looking for a short-cut to success’. This may be true for a small minority of people, but after spending two weeks on Haibike’s SDURO HardSeven SL, a 27.5+ hardtail, we found that E-bikes are the perfect tool for making cycling more inclusive. And at

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Bicycling, we believe the more people riding bikes, the better! NO FREE RIDE The HardSeven’s sturdy alloy frame houses a reliable 250W Yamaha motor and detachable battery, which runs the length of the frame’s downtube. The motor only engages when torque is applied to the crankset – what this means is that it’s

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

not a case of ‘twist and go’, like a scooter; the pedalassist motor requires the rider to be pedalling in order for the motor to engage. The amount of pedal assist is based on torque, which means that if you’re on a very steep hill you’ll be supplied with more power (which uses more battery life), and on flatter sections (which require less torque) the motor reduces the power supply. The motor’s initial power surge, for example when taking off from a standing start, is evenly distributed, eliminating being jerked forward when the motor kicks into action. THE JUICE Battery life and range

depend heavily on the nature of your route – on/ off-road, steep, flat or undulating. Our real-world experience taught us that two hours was a safe bet for the average ride. You could probably eke out another half-hour, but you don’t want to find yourself running out of juice 10 kays from home! Charging is easy using a standard 220V supply, with times ranging between two to three hours to recharge fully. THE RIDE The ride experience is probably what impressed us the most. At over 20kg, this is not a whippetthin racing bike, but the efficiency of the Yamaha motor makes the weight of

the bicycle irrelevant. Distributed as it is around the BB and downtube, the weight of the battery and motor doesn’t affect handling as much as you might think. And given the weight, the bike handled well on both open gravel and tame singletrack. It’s important to remember, though, that the SDURO range is not built to endure the demands of techie trails; rather, it’s intended to

give people (especially commuters) the chance to ride further, faster and higher than they would normally on a standard bike. PRICE

R39 990

SUPPLIER

evolutioncycling.co.za


W H AT Y OU N E E D T O K NO W

JUICE BAR Battery life is displayed as a percentage on a handlebar-mounted head unit, as well as on the battery itself. The 3.5kg lithium ion battery is removable, making recharging a cinch.

T T H E 2 50W MO TOR H EL P S YOU PEDA L ; I T DOE SN ’ T PEDA L FOR YOU T A LT HOUGH W EIGH I NG OV ER 2 0KG, T H E BI K E R I DE S S U R PR I SI NGLY W EL L T B AT T ER Y L I F E A L L OW S FOR A BOU T 2 HOU R S R I DE T I M E – BU T T H I S I S NO T A N E X AC T SCI ENCE T R ECH A RGI NG T H E B AT T ER Y I S V ER Y SI M PL E T BE ST FOR COM M U T I NG A N D R ECR E AT IONA L R I DI NG .

THE ENGINE ROOM Yamaha provides the extra voooooma, with a rechargeable 250W motor.

Photograph by  A R T I S T N A M E

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BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTO BY JA MES GAR AGHTY

Shimano Unzen 2 Hydration Pack

Because hydration bags aren’t only for backmarkers. LIGHTWEIGHT AND LOW-PROFILE Shimano’s lightweight, low-profile Unzen 2 pack is designed to take the hassle out of having your pump, tube, car keys and food bouncing around in your shirt pockets – something that can drive you bonkers when you’re concentrating on your ride. And with many dual-suspension MTBs only able to carry one mainframe-mounted water bottle, the Unzen’s two-litre bladder makes carrying – and more importantly, accessing – your ‘second’ bottle a lot easier and safer. Plus, your hydration pack won’t suddenly bounce off your back, as seatpost-mounted bottles tend to do on rough terrain. COMFORTABLE AND ADJUSTABLE All Shimano packs use the ‘Rider Fit X-Harness’ design, in which two straps fasten together, using a small buckle positioned between men’s pecs and women’s you-know-whats. The buckle has three clip positions, which are easily adjusted – looser for climbing, and tighter for descending. Something I really liked was the independent height adjustment for the Unzen’s harness, which allows the pack’s fit to be fine-tuned to any shoulder width or length of back. EASY-REFILL BLADDER The high-quality two-litre Hydrapak bladder never once leaked, featuring as it does Hydrapak’s bulletproof ‘fold and slide’ sealing system. A detachable hose, coupled with a vertical zip running the length of the pack, made refilling a breeze. In terms of storage, the Unzen features two zippered pockets, ideal for small tools, your phone and your car keys, while an elasticated strap will hold your raincoat or gilet. This is not a high-volume, all-day pack; but it will suit riders looking for a great-fitting, lightweight storage and hydration solution. PRICING R1 700 SUPPLIER

coolheat.co.za

W H AT Y OU N E E D T O K NO W A H IGH LY A DJ U STA BL E A N D COM FORTA BL E CROS S -H A R N E S S S Y ST EM K EEP S T H E PA CK STA BL E, NO M AT T ER W H AT T H E T ER R A I N. T L IGH T W EIGH T A N D W I T H A T WO -L I T R E VOLU M E, T H E U N Z EN 2 I S PER F EC T FOR C A R R Y I NG T H E B A R E E S SEN T I A L S DU R I NG E V EN T S OR SHORT R I DE S – BU T I T ’ S NO T FOR A L L -DAY M I S SION S. MARCH 2016 • BICYCLING.CO.ZA

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AVAILABLE FROM:

www.generaltire.co.za GeneralTireSA

@GeneralTireSA


BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTOGR APHY BY CR AIG KOLESK Y

R ADAR SAFE T Y Rear-approaching vehicles are detected by radar, and displayed on this handlebarmounted display unit or compatible Garmin device.

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Garmin Varia

Garmin’s latest gadget gives you eyes in the back of your head.

B

icycling got its first taste of the Varia (then known as ‘Backtracker’) in 2014. The radar system was the brainchild of iKubu, a group of Stellenbosch-based engineers, who developed the technology. At an international trade show, Garmin caught wind of the technology and were so impressed, they bought the rights from iKubu. Seven months and some tech tweaks later, they unveiled the Varia Rearview Bike Radar. INSTALLING The radar unit, which detects rearapproaching cars, mounts on the back of your bike, ideally on the seatpost. It integrates with a small handlebar-mounted display unit (or compatible Garmin device) to warn you of vehicles approaching from behind. Both units attach via a quarter-turn mount, making it easy to transfer the Varia between bikes. HOW DOES IT WORK? The unit searches for approaching vehicles, ignoring ‘false positives’ such as trees, poles and parked cars. It transmits information wirelessly, and can track multiple cars simultaneously. The rear-view radar unit also acts as a constant or flashing tail-light. It’s a traditional light when no cars are approaching, but as soon as the radar identifies a car it flashes from the centre outwards, to warn drivers of your presence. The closer the car, the more vigorously it flashes. Once the radar picks up a car, it beeps to let you know

that the vehicle is approaching. Simultaneously, an orange light illuminates at the bottom of the display and moves upwards, indicating that the vehicle is getting closer – the light turns red when the car is about to pass. When no cars are approaching, it remains green.

“WITH THE VARIA FITTED, THE NEED TO LOOK BACK IS REMOVED – MAKING RIDING SAFER.”

OUT ON THE ROAD The first time we took the Varia for a spin the system didn’t beep, giving us only a visual warning. In order to get the full benefit, we had to keep looking at the display unit – something that wasn’t practical, safe or easy. But when switching to an Edge 1000 and performing a firmware update, we were stoked to find a beep function had been included – an audible warning system makes sense in the real world (curiously, the Varia’s own head unit omits this feature). We found the Varia performed well in all conditions, having the biggest impact on riders who struggle to look behind them, such as tri-athletes in the ‘tri’ position – and people who just have stiff necks. When looking back, riders often veer into the road; the Varia reduces the need to look back. The radar unit can talk to multiple display units at once, meaning that you and a training partner with a compatible device could use the same Varia Rearview Bike Radar. All in all, a valuable (albeit pricey) tool for reducing road-accident risk. PRICE R2 999 (RADAR ONLY), R4  499 (WITH VARIA HEAD UNIT) SUPPLIER garmin.co.za

W H AT Y OU N E E D T O K NO W E A S Y TO I N STA L L A N D U SE . T COM PAT I BL E W I T H DI SPL AY U N I T S U PPL I ED A N D EDGE 10 0 0; F I R M WA R E U PDAT E S ON T H E WAY FOR EDGE 810, 5 10 A N D 2 5 . T BE ST FOR T R I AT H L E T E S U SI NG T R I-B A R S – A N D R I DER S W I T H ST I F F N ECK S W HO F I N D I T DI F F IC U LT TO T U R N T H EI R H E A DS A N D L OOK B A CK AT T R A F F IC . T F I R M WA R E U PDAT E I N STA L L S BEEP F U NC T ION (ON LY ON COM PAT I BL E COM P U T ER S ) TO I N DIC AT E F I R ST DE T EC T ION OF A C A R . T B AT T ER Y L I F E COU L D BE L ONGER .

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BY OLI MUNNIK PHOTO BY JA MES GAR AGHTY

Ion Aeration Baggies Hip baggies. Also, light and breathable – you’ll hardly notice you have them on.

THE ACID TEST Towards the end of 2015 I joined my friend Matt Beers on a 785km journey, from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town’s city centre to Knysna – which was in full-blown December holiday mode. Our five-day adventure was the perfect culmination to Bicycling’s longterm test of Ion’s new super-light, minimalistic Aeration baggies, aimed at Lycra bandits looking to make the switch to a more relaxed outfit. With at least six hours a day in the saddle and temperatures in the high 30s, maxing out at a thirst-inducing 42, the trip was an acid test second to none. Ultimately, the shorts came through with flying colours – no chafing, not a single loose thread, and their slim fit made pedalling a breeze. WAIST MANAGEMENT I have to admit, when we first received these baggies I was sceptical about the waistband, because it didn’t feature a traditional-style fastener with Velcro straps on either side. I needn’t have worried though, because after months of riding and many machine washes, the self-adjusting waistband, which Ion call the FLEX_ WAIST, proved more than up to the task of keeping my shorts exactly where they’re meant to be – comfortably positioned around the hips. Most importantly, the waistband’s never lost its elasticity, so the fit is still as snug as it was the first time I pulled them on. The key to the FLEX_WAIST system is choosing the correct size in the first place – try them on before you buy. PRICING R1 995 SUPPLIER

ion.products.com

W H AT Y OU N E E D T O K NO W LIGHTWEIGHT, WITH A SLIM FIT, THEY DON’T CATCH THE WIND. T IDEAL BAGGIES FOR MARATHON AND STAGE RACING. T SELF-ADJUSTING, ELASTICATED WAIST REMOVES NEED FOR FASTENERS AND DIDN’T STRETCH, AFTER MONTHS OF RIDING AND MAN Y WASHES. T STORAGE IS LIMITED, WITH ONLY ONE POCKET. T ZIPS ON EITHER LEG PROVIDE ADDED VENTILATION WITHOUT SACRIFICING FIT.

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PUT WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED TO GOOD USE

SAPPI HOWICK MTB CLASSIC THE ORIGINAL MTB CL ASSIC

40KM, 20KM, 10KM, HOWICK HIGH SCHOOL, K ZN

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SUPPLIED

While claims that this is the “original and first” mountain-bike event in the country can’t be verified, we do know that it is the oldest race on the KZN calendar. The 40km route is known to be tough despite its short length, and there’s also a 20km and a 10km race for novices. There’s 30km of technically challenging and tough singletrack taking you through a variety of terrain, and famous sections between Howick and Karkloof such as Suicide Slide, The Face, Rushalot and Pines. Don’t miss your chance to get into this one.


KWAZULU-NATAL MTB

5 MARCH KZN MTB PROVINCIAL XCO SERIES #2 Waterfall, Hillcrest, KZN Contact KZN MTB info@kznmtb. co.za, 082 896 6864 Online Entries kznmtb.co.za

6 MARCH SAPPI HOWICK MTB CLASSIC 40km, 20km, 10km Howick High School, KZN Contact Gordon Beard gordonb@comfylounge.co.za, 071 517 4349 Web howickmountainbiking.co.za

19 MARCH SAFIRE BERG 100 MARATHON 100km Nottingham Road Primary School Contact Katie katie@bikelife.co.za, 061 433 5786 Web and Online Entries berg100.co.za

NORTHERN CAPE MTB

12 MARCH HENNIES SENTRUM MTB CHALLENGE 55km, 18km De Aar High School Entries close 10 March 2016 at 23:00 Contact Minè: info@karoofees.org, 053 631 3691 Online Entries cycleevents.co.za

MPUMALANGA

5 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR JUNIOR Youngsfield Military Base Contact Race Office 087 820 7223, info@cycletour.co.za Web capetowncycletour.com

6 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR 109km Cape Town Stadium Contact Race Office 087 820 7223, info@cycletour.co.za Web capetowncycletour.com

University of Cape Town Contact 021 426 4373, registration@cape-epic.com Web cape-epic.com

GAUTENG ROAD

21 MARCH 2016 SPRINGBOK PLANT HIRE HUMAN RIGHTS DAY CYCLE CHALLENGE 80km, 40km, 10km Midvaal Raceway Contact Wimpie van Niekerk 083 460 9338

armando.ribeiro04@gmail.com, 082 385 7798

EASTERN CAPE MTB

19-20 MARCH RED CHERRY 200 Port Elizabeth Contact Siska van der Bijl siska@redcherry.co.za Web redcherryadventures.co.za

LESOTHO MTB

MTB

FREE STATE

27-28 MARCH CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR MTB

MTB

55km, 40km, 30km, 20km, 14km Le Bonheur Wine Estate Contact Race Office 087 820 7223, info@cycletour.co.za Web capetowncycletour.com

50km, 30km, 15km NG Kerk, Taaibosspruit Contact Armando Ribeiro

19 MARCH TAAIBOS VASTRAP

4-6 MARCH AFRISKI ROCKYFEST 30km, 32km Afriski Mountain Resort Contact Jaco Ferreira jaco@afriski.net 083 245 4412 Web afriski.net

MULTI-STAGE

28 FEBRUARY-3 MARCH CAPE ROULEUR 600km (5-day stage race) Franschhoek Contact Wendy Bole wendy@ hotchillee.com, 082 324 5410 Web caperouleur.com

28 FEBRUARY-4 MARCH TOUR DE BOLAND 675km (6-day stage race) Stellenbosch Contact Events Office experience@tourdeboland.com, 021 865 2029 Web tourdeboland.com

19 MARCH SAPPI MANKELE MTB CHALLENGE

29 FEBRUARY-4 MARCH BESTMED TOUR OF GOOD HOPE

60km, 35km, 22km, 12km Mankele MTB Park Contact Mark Meyer mark@mankele.co.za, 086 572 1591 Web mankele.co.za Online Entries entrytime.co.za

515km (5-day stage race) La Paris Estate, Paarl Contact Race Office eventsupport@asgworld.co.za, 076 621 1807 Online Entries asgevents.co.za

WESTERN CAPE

13-20 MARCH ABSA CAPE EPIC

ROAD

647km

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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O U R E X P E R T GU I DE T O T H E B E S T R A C E S I N M A R C H

–Renay Groustra

LESOTHO

AFRISKI’S ROCKYFEST 4-6 MARCH Besides being a fun mountainbike weekend, this will also be a great opportunity for Epic riders to get in some lastminute high-altitude training. The trails at Afriski are well-marked and creative. The Friday’s 30km ride in the lowlands takes riders through technical descents, short climbs, and freeriding over rolling sandstone hills, and is suitable for all skill levels. Saturday is a ride to the escarpment, 32km and 960m of ascent, at altitude of over 3000m. See more at afriskl.net for bookings and packages.

– Nic White

KWAZULU-NATAL

SAFIRE BERG 100 MARATHON 19 MARCH If you’re not doing the Epic and you have a buddy who is, I’m sure you’d like nothing better than to shut him up. There’s no better way to do it than to ride a 100km offroad race, and then boast about it. You can do just that by entering the Safire Berg 100 Marathon, between Nottingham Road and Himeville. The 100km race is ‘rewardingly’ untechnical, but offers some of the most scenic views of the Southern Berg from a bike. For more info, visit

berg100.co.za –Andrew Hill

DUSTFEST The Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge promises some good dirty fun at Le Bonheur Wine Estate.

See what others thought about your last race – plus, your feedback means an improved race next year! Head to www.bicycling.co.za/past-races to rate and review your races.

96

BICYCLING.CO.ZA • MARCH 2016

CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR TRUST

WESTERN CAPE

CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR MTB CHALLENGE 27-28 FEBRUARY Adding to the biggest month of the SA cycling calendar is the Cape Town Cycle Tour MTB Challenge at Le Bonheur Wine Estate, part of the greater Simonsberg Conservancy. Run over two days to accommodate different distances, this one’s for the whole family – choose from 14km, 20km or 30km routes on Saturday, and 40km or 55km on Sunday. On the longer routes, expect fast, flowing singletrack and challenging climbs; the shorter routes are considerably tamer, geared to those newer to fat tyres. More info at capetowncycletour.com


JHB 51782/OJ

As seen on DStv

THE 2016 VODACOM SUPER RUGBY SEASON

5 WARRIOR NATIONS. 18 TEAMS. 1 VICTOR. This year, Vodacom Super Rugby welcomes 3 new teams, from Japan, Argentina and South Africa, setting the stage for a bigger and better season. To up the stakes, there’ll be no automatic qualification and everyone will go through a knockout. Watch this epic battle unfold live in HD, on SuperSport 1. 26 February to 6 August.


THE FRAME R E A L

I M A G E S

F R O M

R E A L

R I D E R S

PHOTOGR A PH BY GUGU ZU LU W E #HL A SEL A A M A FU TH A (AT TACK THE FAT ) DA ILY W ITH M Y W IN N ING CR E W FROM # CHILLIL A N EC YCLEGROU P A N D #PAU LSHOFCR E W

 Share your good times with us on Instagram. Tag @Bicycling_SA with your ride photos, and next time it could be your pic featured in an upcoming issue! (Remember to mention where the shot was taken!)


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