The lead up to SSWC has been great. I’ve met a ton of cool people from South Africa and all over the world and gotten to ride in both South Africa and Swaziland. On my first real ride down here at the Groenkloff Nature Reserve, I saw giraffe, zebra, ostriches, wildabeest, impala, hartebeest, kudu, mongoose and sable antelope all within the first hour. It was awesome!
I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. The course is true Africa. The trails are mostly just cow trails so they meander back and forth slowly making their way from A to B. There are tons of thorns, a good, hard climb, and some super fun singletrack descents. The REEB and belt drive are holding up spectacularly and people keep stopping me to ask about it. It’s a great conversation starter and has made me quite a few friends!
There is going to be some stiff competition tomorrow for the SSWC tattoo, but I think I have a good shot at the title. I know Garth (SSWC 2010 Champion) is here as is Dax Massey (finished 3rd at Breck Epic). There is also a rumor that Barry Stander (represented South Africa in the Olympics this year) will be participating…
I’ll let you know how it goes!
Yes, it’s a One Speed. I wanted to seek the place where I could ride no longer. And I found it. I felt pretty good going into the last climb. Made it to about 9,600 and my engine just shut down. We joke that Singlespeeds really have two speeds: Sitting and standing. There is a third. It’s called pushing. I recovered at the very end of the ride but I need to be on gears spinning huge rides. We leave on the 5th for a 10 day stint at the beach, with only rusty cruisers and family. I plan to be ready to settle into that without any angst.
Even on a hazy, deliriously gorgeous Monday morning after way too much riding….The Spot knows the way. Humid, cool clouds, a rocking climb over the back of Flagstaff in the early hours…legs came back nicely after about an hour of grimness.
A river runs through it
Honey, I'm ready (again)
We don’t get extended mud riding here. So, when we get temps in the mid-30’s and three days of hard rain….it’s an anomaly. A chained bike would have died on contact for the last three days. Thanks to the belt – and my stubborn nature – I got about 10 hours of riding ‘under my belt’ this weekend. I am exhausted, happy and looking forward to some sun.
Huge weekend on two-wheels with some 16 hours in the saddle. That, plus the 5+ hours on trail running, hiking, sleeping really made it feel like Spring. This morning’s ride was brutal and time-trial-esque as I sprinted to catch our carbon nuetral bus. The additional 7.5 miles of flat might have put me under. I tipped in at under 170 pounds this morning, which is getting light. Shenna warns me that The Vapor is a long way out, and I need to chill. Hard to chill. Gotta chill – but it’s hard to chill. I don’t want to lose too many notches in the belt too early. So, ice cream and beer – here I come.