Monday, November 16, 2015


94.7 Cycle Challenge

Having threatened to do this race since 1996 ( the first)   we eventually entered this year because a few friends had entered...
We did the training, 30ks then 55ks then 73ks and 2 weeks a really enjoyable 92ks...    So I thought we were ready...

This was a hard race,
Looking at the profile you think the first half is tough then the second half looks easier...Except for the wind , the wind was strong and more or less with us the first half.. that mean that it was against us the second half.. and boy was it..

Liz and I decided to cycle together, it was great to have her near me... I have managed to get her bike sorted, replaced a few worn out bearings etc, and boy does it go. That steep  hill at the peak is  going up the wilds into Hillbrow, she shot up there... With the heat the water stations were a disaster blocking the road and  forcing us to walk. saw a few cleated cyclists lying under their bikes. .. This frustrated  Liz at the wilds so she sped up the hill. We went past some interesting land marks. stopped on the Mandela bridge for a drink and snack, we decided before that we  would stop to drink as thats what we did in training..

Everyone says going down Jan Smuts is fast, we had to pedal on some down hills, on the downhill to  Sandton clinic I lost Liz she had been ahead of me but I could not see her so I stopped for a drink but then realised that if she did not have a bike problem  she must be ahead, I set off trying to catch her. Pasta another waterpoint... more congestion, started thinking how I would meet up with Liz at the end, when suddenly there she is.. She had stopped for water at the water point, but had seen me go past.

We struggled up Witkoppen hill into the wind, at least next week we go down this hill! I saw a lady doing hip flexor stretches on her bike down the next hill.. what balance! I wont be trying that. Liz kept pulling away from me. Cosmo city up to   the Lion Park was tough , the wind was really pumping , we had driven some of the route the day before which helped me a bit.. At 85ks there is a long up hill which we both went up quite comfortably, then I thought it was flattish to the finish. Oh no 3 of the 7 hardest kms were to come, I was drying up , my palate was bone dry  I drank going up the hill the 90th km was the first time I changed down from the big cog in the front, I needed some respite. Liz just powered up these hills, waiting for me at the last circle, and coastig next to me as I tried to pedal to keep up with her down the hill! She beat me by a whole second!!          

I was totally our of it when I finished. I could hardly walk..We wanted to go for a beer but I did not know if I would make it to the car afterwards.  I struggled back up the hill to the top and went left to orange car park. I tried to cycle downhill but my back started to spasm. My calves started cramping.. I was stuffed. Eventually got to the bakkie about a 2-3km distance. Liz had to help me load the bikes.. first time ever.. I downed half a 1L tonic water and some energade, Jane's pool was calling.  I cramped quite badly in the pool.  Quads calves sartorius all cramped, lower back was sore ... but after a Humdinger from Manchester and an Amber Ale from the Cape ,I felt much better. . I was dehydrated as well.

Worst I have ever felt after any race.. Liz however was fine. She waited for me quite a lot on the race.... I feel reasonable today muscles are sore but no damage neck a bit sore. My road race cycling days are probably over at 94.7 is.. Been there done that did not buy the t shirt,,,  I think I did not eat enough, but never felt hungry.. Blood sugar was low. Morale was low. 3 of the worst hills , most climbing were in the last 7 kms!  I managed to cycle the whole way, and realistically the way I felt a the end I would not have made it if i had pushed my bike!

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