Archive for April 2013

BLOOD SWEAT and GEARS….

GIANTS CASTLE MTB – Jeannie & RMB Change a Life rider Sizwe Mkhasibe….

For the last month I have been hearing my Zulus say, “Eeish, training is very hard….”.
Fair enough, this discipline on two wheels is new to them, but the reality is, it ain’t gonna get any easier.
Brainwave I thought – “Get them to do a race or weekend of racing that is so hard, it will make all the ‘hard’ training we doing, seem easy.”
Looking at the KZN Mtb Calendar, the 75km Giants Castle is just that race – massive climbs, 600m bike portage up steep goat track, gnarly descents and natural “ungroomed”single track due to zero human intervention taking place in a Nature Reserve.

RMBCAL ZULU, JOHN NTULI, CATCHING ME UP & THEN PASSING US ALL….

JOHN – SUPER STRONG ON THE PORTAGE SECTIONS….

SABELO STRIDING UPHILL…. 

We journeyed to the Drakensberg to take on this Challenge. Hats off to the RMBCAL Zulus for their ‘never give up’ attitude, and how beginner Mthobisi Mzolo placed so well in his Hi-Tecs on flat pedals, I just don’t know – the youngster oozes talent. Thanks to Wildlands for their generous hospitality, 4 complimentary entries & providing tents for us. Leaving the spectacular mountainous Park, John sitting next to me says, “Mart, that was a Life experience!” I replied, “Ja, you’re right, but how awesome is this area, and you know what, it yours, mine, it belongs to all of us. And at that moment they all broke into a smile – super Proudly South African.

SIZWE GOT STRONGER IN THE SECOND HALF….

John had an incredible race – placing 2nd overall 3hr 44min, 3rd-Mart-4hr 01, 5th-Sizwe-4hr05, 8th-Mboneni-4hr15, 9th-Jeannie-4hr21, 14th-Mthobisi-4hr44, 15th-Mbongmusa-4hr54, 18th-Thembani-5hr, 25th-Sabelo-5hr20, 32nd-S’busiso-5hr35.

THEMBANI WAS PLAGUED WITH NUMEROUS PUNCTURES – damaged rim….

We returned to Pmb and stayed in the Backpackers. The following day the RMBCAL Zulus took part in the fast paced 40km Intaba Ridge Mtb Classic. Even with tired legs to begin, no complaints were uttered and again they gave their all. It was such a good confidence boost for them to know that it was still possible to do back to back races.

With fitness levels increasing, training sessions have gone up a notch and having my Wife Jeannie, making regular guest appearences – just keeps things honest. She rides magnificently and my old saying “Steady wins the game”, rings true with her approach to pacing herself perfectly to the finish line. Jeannie is my ‘default bar’ of where my boys fitness is at.

LONG RIDE – SHATTERED – HOT AS HELL….

Six weeks ago, Jeannie beat all but one of my RMBCAL Zulus in the 62km Wartburg Mtb Classic. Now at Giants, 3 RMBCAL Zulus managed to pip her to the finish line – you have no idea how chuffed they were. In my books, thats progress….

The logic of riding the tough Giants, showing my Zulus that the training we are doing is ‘normal’, is paying dividends. But with Joberg2c in a couple of weeks, we need to take it up yet another level…. Two teams will be riding the full 9 days….

INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL – MFULA STORE TO THE TOP OF NGUMENI….

With a local bike shop closing down, we managed to get important bike tools at bargain prices, enabling us to  do much of our own repairs, straightening bent deraileur hangers, removing rear cassettes, truing a wheel etc….

Danie from Squirt lubricants, generously offered to sponsor our Mtb Academy with their product – which is so lekker, as we have currently been purchasing that exact chain lube – thanks a mil.

 

Excitement looms with the prospect of their new GT Zaskar 29″ bikes arriving in 10 days and cycling kit. But as with my CAL Zulu paddlers, handouts are not part of the deal, they have to be earned and thus deserved. So not all will be receiving a new racing machine . Three criteria have to be met:

  • 1 Finish within 15min of my fastest RMBCAL Zulu on a particular 2 1/2hr ride in the Valley
  • 2 Complete a X-country lap in under 22min at Cascades Mtb World X-Country Course in Pmb
  • 3 A-Batch rider according to Roag ranking.

As it stands, 4 Zulus will be smiling….

regarding the others, some are close – just a little more BLOOD, SWEAT & GEARS….

 

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