Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I wish I was a Transformer. Though, if I was one Id like a better name than Bumblebee.

I am in the process of moving from Paarl to Somerset West. However, I still have my business in Paarl and soon I will have to commute everyday between these two towns. I have been commuting on and off for the last two weeks by mountain bike. It is one way of getting some hours in the saddle.

Wind is one thing to deal with, but peak hour traffic can be fatal. I know most people reading this ain’ t cyclists and you may have strong views on cyclists taking up the road. This topic is after all a age old debate. All I can say is that I have come close to being run over on four different occasions within two weeks. I keep in the yellow, I keep aware of vehicles around me and I don’t jump traffic lights. That said, it really does feel like a battle field out there on the roads and respect for each other is lacking big time. I don’t want to dwell on this topic for much longer (I might start getting hate mail), but know this; If I was a Transformer ( Bumblebee or not) there would be a certain truck driver, driving a certain truck with a certain number plate s#$&*ng his pants right now.

So the Epic is 31 days away. That is one month. For some it will be too soon. Others (mostly Pro’s) will not be bothered. For us, well we would want to start next week if we could. Every year we get to this stage where we just cant wait to have a crack at it. Yes, we are tired from putting in all the hours. I am personally hurting at the moment and need some tlc for my legs (Im a bit of a wuss when it comes to massages). All in all though we are ready. Nico is on the up and is clearly stronger than ever before. He has dropped a bit of weight, and whilst I was initially sceptic, the people at PVM has helped him with his diet and it seems to be working wonders.

If you feel you are not ready yet, I can honestly say, you will struggle to get there within 31 days. There will always be the guys who will have a go at it with minimal training behind them…only talent and awesome genes (not the levi type) will get them through it. Every year numerous teams drop out. Not just because of mechanicals, bad luck or injury, but because they didn’t put in the hard yards. I always say that anybody can finish this race. Some people disagree. But if you are willing to train hard and be dedicated you will finish the Cape Epic. It truly is a beautiful race in many regards. I wish more people had the opportunity to take part in it.

This will more than likely be our last Cape Epic for some time. Whilst the Epic has been a priority for us the last three years we now have different ones to consider. We want to make this our best one to date. That’s a shame for Nico, because he can only go as fast as the weakest link in the team…and that’s me! I will give it my all to keep up though!

Happy training boys and girls. A Epic time is around the corner!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snakes+Training= Good times

I am considering carrying toilet paper with me on rides. Strange you might might think, but a month ago (we really should update our blog more often) I managed to ride over a live Cape Cobra. Some of you know about this, but I cant help but write about it. The short of the long is that Im still alive…which is good right? I only went over its tail and although it “flaired its cheeks”, for some unknown reason it didn’t have a go at me. And so our “wild life files” continue…

This time of year most Epic riders ask themselves, is it all worth it? Why do I have to get up at 4:45am? Why does “milk’o balm” feel so cold at 5am in the morning? (don’t ask) Do I really want to go cycle 5hours tomorrow after cycling 5hours today? Can’t I switch from “light” to “lager” tonight? Will motor biking not be more fun? For us normal folk training for this event really tests ones love for the sport. That said, we are on course for our 3rd ABSA Cape Epic and when thinking about it we cant help but get excited!

We have BIG news in that PVM Nutritional Sciences ( ) has come on board with Cranks of Glory. They are well known and respected for their training and race nutrition products. We have been using their awesome products for the last 3years and we managed to convince them that we are awesome too! : ) We really are very privileged to be sponsored by great brands such as adidas, Bemer, MET and now PVM.

It has been a very up and down year as far as training is concerned. We have done more mileage and put in more hours than any other year. However, I have been battling with flu, sinus and a stomach virus whilst Nico has not been feeling very good on the bike lately. We both managed to finish the MTN Attakwas (135km and 2750m climbing from Oudtshoorn to Grootbrak). Its widely regarded as the toughest one day race in South Africa. I had a solid race and was quite happy with a respectable time of 7hrs35min. Nico had a poor race by his standards, battling with cramps and general tiredness…however, he still beat me by 12mins!!! I don’t know if I should be embarrassed or just in awe of him.

Lastly, we just want to say that we hope everybody are safely back home and into the swing of normal life again. May 2010 be a good year for you all with many blessings!

49 days till ABSA Cape Epic 2010 … nice …


Friday, January 29, 2010

PVM Nutrition

Thanks allot to PVM for helping us out with all our nutritional requirements for this years ABSA Cape Epic presented by adidas. They have an awesome range of nutritional products catering for a wide variety of sports. (

Its been ages since we have done a proper update and I have made it my mission to do so this weekend!



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Check out our new Header!

Hope you like our new blog header. Thanks to Sven Martin for the awesome pic!

Got to or page through any major bike mag to see more of his awesome pictures!



Friday, November 27, 2009

Attakwas 2010

Our next big event is the 2010 Attakwas Extreme Mountain Bike Challenge on the 16th of January.

The guys at Dryland uploaded the route details and profiles a few days ago and it looks like they have tweeked the route a bit. In 2010 it will now be 135km long with 2950m of climbing! I have now officialy renamed the race to Atta"eina my"kwas! Considering that we have set ourselves a goal to do a 6:30 hour ride, it's going to hurt allot!

Training is going very well for myself and very bad for poor Jaco. He has been struggling with his sinuses for three weeks and has skipped some longer rides. I have had a really good month clocking over 1000 kms on the mtb, nearly twice as much as I did last year.

Here is the route map and profiles. Read more about the race at



Monday, November 9, 2009

Belgium Summer

The 2010 route has been announced and again the Epic has not disappointed with their continued quest to re-invent themselves year after year. Here is a short run down of the stages:

Stage 1: Diemersfontein (Wellington) to Ceres, 117km / 2190m

Stage 2: Ceres to Ceres, 90km / 1625m

Stage 3: Ceres to Ceres, 115km / 2280m

Stage 4: Ceres to Worcester, 86km / 1640m

Stage 5: Worcester (TTT), 27km / 860m

Stage 6: Worcester to Oak Valley (Grabouw), 123km / 2230m

Stage 7: Oak Valley to Oak Valley, 99km / 2160m

Stage 8: Oak Valley to Lourensford (Somerset West), 65km / 1640m

Total: 722km / 14625m

Get the full route detail here:


At first glance the route does again look a bit easier. It’s definitely shorter, there is less climbing and its one day shorter than last year! I again do not think it will be as tough as the 2008 race but it is definitely not going to be easy!

The team time trail on day 5 looks like a lung buster, 860m in 27km is no mean feat, but we will have some extra precious hours to recover that day. We are definitely going to be in a warmer environment for the first few days. Ceres is well known for its high temperatures and rocky technical riding.

Training is again in full swing. Getting back in to the early morning training routine is not going to bad. We came through our winter hibernation in much better shape that last year. We both started this years training leaner and stronger than last year. I’m now just desperately waiting for summer to start! We have had a mixture of gale force winds and rain for the last couple of weeks!

The strong winds caused havoc in Eden forest, one of our favourite riding spots. An insane amount of pine trees were blown over and is now littered across the trails. The trails are pretty much unrideable at the moment.

For the moment it looks like we are going to be missing the Desert Dash in Namibia. This is an awesome 340km non-stop race from Windhoek to Swakopmund ( We did it as a four-man team in 2007 and were looking forward to trying it solo this year!

Our next major race is the Attakwas Extreme MTB challenge on the 16th of January ( It’s a gruelling 126km / 1220m race from Outshoorn to Klein Brak. It always a great way to see how your preparations for the Epic is going. This year we have set ourselves the ambitious goal of doing a 6:30 ride!
So happy training to all our Epic comrades!

If you are looking for a truly unique, awesome African mountain bike experience go and check out houseMARTIN Mountain Bike Adventures ( Anka and Sven are putting together an unforgettable trip through South Africa and Botswana in March 2010.

Oh and one more thing! Lisa had been given the opportunity to re-open the restaurant on Eikendal Wine Estate (on the R44 between Somerset West) over the December holidays ( Please come out and support her! They have an awesome breakfast and lunch menu and they do pre-packed picnics! It’s a great coffee stop whilst training or bring the misses for a picnic on a Sunday afternoon to make up for all the time spent away on the bike!



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reality check in October

The Lourensford mtb race came and went over the weekend. Like I said last week it is a special race for Cranks of Glory, as it happens to be in Somerset West, our hometown. There were the usual faces, some seriously fast and some simply they’re to conquer this mighty beast of a race. It really is a privilege to ride in Lourensford wine estate. There is so much history within the borders of that farm.

Earlier this year rampaging fires caused havoc on the farm. The farm still carries the scares and it will do so for quite some time. Even so, with the backdrop of the Helderberg mountains, seemingly unending vineyards on rolling hills and water streams its beauty is very striking indeed. It is a very fitting finish for the ABSA Cape Epic!

Coming back to the race, what a dynamic sport don’t we have!?! One moment you may feel as strong as Mr. Armstrong himself cycling like a demon and then later, maybe not even 5minutes later, feel as if all the power has been drained from your body. It humbles you. In this sport you reap what you sow. That is the beauty of cycling…and it seems I need to sow a little more.

Nico had a fantastic race. His time 3h33min, and from what I heard on the day 16th overall. Truly a very good result! Hein, my cousin, also had a very impressive outing finishing only 7minutes behind Nico. Myself though, managed to NOT finish the race. A first for me. Maybe I needed my coffee last week after all OR make it an espresso next time? : ) At 38km’s I was struggling and fighting to stay positive. Soon after I got a flat on a downhill. I tried fixing it…but I couldn’t manage.

I then walked for little over 20minutes before Jane Seggie and Henning (from Merida) came to my rescue. He got his hands “dirty” on my Trek and sure enough, I was mobile again. “MAGIC” I thought, only to remember that I needed to take my parents to the airport at 13:00pm. By now it was 11:25am and we had about 700m’s of climbing left. To tell you the truth…I was “gatvol”. I slowly cycled to the next water point and from there I got directions on the shortest possible route to the finish. Disappointing all in all for me…but still a great day out! Thank you to Jane and Henning for helping out, I owe you!

Even though I didn’t finish the race I now have a clear idea of what to work on over the next few months. I need to do LOTS and LOTS of base. NO, not the Mitchell’s Plain Taxi type of base… I’m talking long slow miles in the saddle. So YAY for me…. Ha! It’s officially October and now we start training specifically for the Epic. This will be our third and I can’t believe it’s that time again.

For those embarking on their Epic adventure for the first time I want to say ENJOY it. The Epic itself is the tip of the iceberg…its your “holiday” and “reward” after months of gruelling training and sacrificing. See these next few months as EPIC. You will meet many interesting people on your journey to the Epic…one always do. When you lose a bit of heart along the way, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be able to do this race. Many dream of doing it but never gets the opportunity or cant be it physical reasons, financial etc. So give it your all!
Cranks of Glory will be stepping it up in training now. Bring on the mountains!