Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quo Vadis mountain biking?

For 6 years, the mountain bike industry in this country has thrived. Participation has exploded and the standards of riding have improved substantially.

But now I ask, where to next. We have seen a plethora of events arrive on the calendar. There are no weekends without several events to choose from. Multi day racing has taken off, appealing to the long distance freaks that make up South African athletes.

But when is it enough or too much? Have we had enough of a good thing. I wonder whether the rest of the world has the intensity and breadth of choice we have locally. As a race organiser ( and, I find myself wondering what is the next big thing.

Having personally experienced touring and loved it, I don't want to let my bias colour my thinking. So I am asking you.

Answer on this blog or go to the online survey I created : Plan your future riding here

All in all, the responses should be fascinating. Oh, and send the link to all your riding friends too.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Time Running Out

I had the most terrible string of thoughts this weekend. They left me in a panic.

I worked out that I have about 20 years left to do significant things. That's only 20 big adventures if I work on roughly one a year. All of a sudden I can see the end of my life looming (if I don't crash and burn inbetween). This is scary and I don't want to waste a moment any more.

This sentiment is good in theory but there are so many other considerations that conspire to tie me up and allow me to make excuses. Family and work commitments. Decisions on what to do and where to go. Company - finding people who want to do something different and mad and can make the time.

How much time do you have left? Have you thought about whether your life is greater or lesser at the moment.  Me, I'm panicking right now. There are a couple of small adventures planned but nothing that will allow me to check off a year well lived.

Last year was the Freedom Challenge and I am so glad I got that done. It was big and meaningful. This year is still early and luckily, I have time to create something. What will it be? Dunno yet but I am looking for ideas and volunteers.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A few calm days

So the weekend stalled a bit. I took the toys but they were largely unused. It was hot in Nylsvley, Limpopo - very hot. This was good forcing us to veg out a bit.

Its a smallish reserve but well known for its birdlife. The vlei or marshy area had a lot of water and stretched across the valley. Apparently in the dry months, there can be no water at all. But frogs, birds and leeches (as all the kids discovered to their intense fascination) abounded as well as a gazillion mosquitoes.

The Myth and I went for a ride around the reserve and spotted zebra, kudu and disturbed a herd of Wildebees. I didn't get into the birdlife much but I figured it was ok to be lethargic for the rest of the day. Its helluva confusing in that area because all the town names have changed so you are pretty much guessing where you are in the country. A quick jaunt to the local town for ice and ice creams still didn't enlighten us. Mooph...- what ever its called was either Naboomspruit or Nylstroom in the old life. Even that is not a given. But the stores are all the same and you can still buy the ingredients for ice cold beer shandies.

Sunday (no - there were no Valentine's Day chocolates!) was a great chance to check out the bird life. Even the Myth enjoyed it "more than I thought I would". We found some hides deep in the vlei with long wooden walkways to access them. I spotted some new birds to check off my list and rued the fact that I could find the bigger binoculars before we left. Hornbills and crested Fancolin visited the campsite and wandered among our feet while we sat quietly watching them. Ants removed crumbs that were scattered on any surface. A Monitor Lizards and Golden Orb spiders also topped the list of sightings.

It was a different weekend from the usual head banging riding and running.

But there are only 2,5 weeks to the training camp for this year's MTN Panorama Tour and I realised I need to do some emergency training so I don't suffer too badly. Eek!

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Friday, February 12, 2010

I can't help myself

I was getting into the Monday blog post groove quite nicely but I've had such a cool two weeks of getting back into my personal "happy space" that I had to share.

You know when something is missing and you want it back but you don't know where to look. Plus, you don't have the energy to look either. I felt like that about my exercise regime. And my scale was feeling the love as well. But all of sudden, The Crazy Switch seems to have kicked in. (Thanks again Josh)

That elusive mojo seems to be back but without a specific goal just yet. And I'm loving being back in the exercise pond. The running is picking up nicely with a two minute improvement in my time trial time (boast, boast and thumping of chest). The dodgy calves are settled at the moment thanks to some intense massage and a bit of chiro tweaking. Leen-pie, running partner and friend, is hellbent on her Comrades mission so I have to hang in there. The ego doesn't like being left behind.

I'm only riding the road bike and its great to have a different vibe, different scenery, easier riding (those skinny wheels are just great for improved momentum). The 100km I did last week was ridiculously easy. I didn't even have to have a little lie down afterwards. So, its no wonder the world is shiny and bright and I am living in the moment.

This Valentine's weekend, the dust is coming off the mountain bike. Not sure if I'm ready to feel this lurve but we'll see. I'll take my trail shoes in case. The sad thing is that I had to buy my own chocolates. Myth...are you reading this?

Spoil yourself this weekend - I am.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Avatar Who?

I am not sure where this originated from - but oh, so recognisable!

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ok, I'm a day late

Gosh, its nearly Wednesday and I'm way behind in gathering my thoughts for this week.

I've been reading some really good stuff this week. Through Josh (The Worlds Strongest Librarian), I discovered another blog called Storyfix. As you may have read in previus posts, I have tried my hand at writing and this blog falls into that genre.

But what is really grabbing my attention, is Larry's deconstructing of the story of Avatar. You have seen it, haven't you? Even I, a once a year movie goer, have seen it. Now you might not find this interesting, but for me its given me more insight into the complexity of the movie and how its success is a large part of getting the story right.

There are a number of brilliant blogs out there and no doubt, I'll be sharing much of their wisdom with you. Your ideas are wanted too. I would hate to miss out.

(The Crazy Switch has flipped and I am, all of a sardine, fully back into the training mode. A 100km cycle and a 16km run - amongst other sessions - in the space of couple of days. Take that, my mojo!)

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