Monday, October 12, 2009

Calories burned aplenty

I think the biorythms were cooking this weekend - good hard riding and running and the legs didn't flake out.  We rode 75k on Saturday taking in one of our regular routes towards Chicken Pie before heading around on the Cradle road to Teak Place.  For those who don't know this spot, its quite magnificent with plenty of value for everyone - runners, riders, drinkers, eaters, kids.

Ironically, my only other two times for a visit were road cycling related so I had yet to experience their mountain bike routes.  Gadget led us around the garden path until he found the start of the single track (err - right where we entered) and we were off.  We had done 30 odd kms to there already and my legs were feeling the week's running and spinning but soon I forgot them with the windy single track cut through the bush crossing the stream.

Springtime is simply awesome.  The shades of green are luminescent and wild flowers decorate the veld.  We came across several huge oaks casting benevolent shade over the tracks and interspersed were many indigenous trees also breaking out in new leaf.  Following the black route brought us to the floating bridge which we had to cross twice - just for kicks.

The adrenalin made it worth it but we were disappointed when Gadget managed to correct his skid and not fall in.  It would have been priceless. Eventually I called it a day (mindful of my run the next day) and headed back to the restaurant area to meet up with Aileen and the largest rock shandy I have ever seen.  Time passed, the sun shone and the wind pumped in my face.

I realised we had made a huge tactical blunder.  All around me, other riders were showering, swimming and feasting on large breakfasts.  The thought of riding another 30kms home was distressing when all I wanted to do was kick back for the afternoon.  Aileen had not brought a bike rack.

There was no short cut home.  Worse still, it was on tar which is not right.  Knobblies do not go on tar. The End.

But having almost double the amount of gears for the hills on the home route compared to my road bike made for an interesting change.  I found a second dose of energy in my legs and rode the hills pretty strongly - managing to keep Malcolm in sight (he of a million Jagermeisters/tequila/late night before fame).  Funny how some people ride well on alcohol residue.

But by the time I got back to Broadacres, my legs were a bit wobbly so I grabbed a lift home and promptly slept all afternoon.  You know how it goes, the siren song of the I thought that I was going to suffer mightily the next day.

Sunday's run was a jol (blast for non-south african speakers). We started behind several thousand women with another few thousand behind us.  Women broad of beam walking four abreast made sure we couldn't start too fast and so we picked our way around them and eased into the running.  My legs felt surprisingly good but it was my arms that felt weak from the bike handling which was pretty amusing.

We cruised our way around and I decided to push the last 2kms and it felt good.  So good that I was getting those goosebumps from effort.  It wasn't a great time but we were all pretty happy with a good morning's work.  Each of the friends had achieved a goal and we now had a handle on what additional training we had to add to the mix.

So I am looking for a 15km and a 21km to do in the next two months but I had better not neglect the riding as the next time, it might not all come together so well.

Oh yes, and on the way home we saw lionesses with two cubs - only in Africa!

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