Sunday, 20 January 2013

Snow Riding

Picturesque Peaslake

It's been such a cold winter with so much snow. Not knowing if Summer will ever arrive we thought well at least with the snow we won't get wet. We as South Africans are the only people who still get excited when it snows in London. 

I ordered overshoes from Wiggle and they e-mailed me to say they can only deliver in April, well technically it should be Spring in April and they will be redundant by the time I receive them. Jason lend me a pair of his. 

The first time I rode in snow was last year with Simon, that was an experience in it's own. Riding in snow is hard work. It is such a weird consistency. Last year we were slipping in sliding a lot more as the snow was thick and lose. This year the snow was more compact and the consistency of a ski slope. It was awesome. 

Saam met die Van Niekerke

I wasn't that cold, I used some instant hand warmers that my cousin had left over from playing golf in the cold and was actually quite toasty, but my feet were ABSOLUTELY freezing and I even said to the others, I wish I could defer some of the heat to my toes, my ankles was warm, but my toes so cold that I was on the brink of tears. When I heard that they mentioned tea, I overruled the option to carry on riding, cause my feet was just so cold. 

A visit to Peaslake Village Store is always a highlight, but this time I was just so relieved to be there. I said hallo to Trudy, walked to the back of the shop and took the booties off just so that I can wiggle my toes. I discovered that my toes was literally on ice... The booties were to big, so the snow came in from underneath my shoe and formed a layer of ice. I'm not lost for words often, but my toes was so cold and started to defrost whilst I was having my tea at the bus stop in silence. :(

My poor tootsies were on ice
Tea at our usual Hangout
We went all over our local playground, it was totally different than normal. So serene, so quite, so peaceful. It was snowing softly all day and you were able to hear the snow falling... tap-tap-tap... It was so beautiful and a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. 

Video Footage compliments to Simon Osborne

Rich, our token Brit shows us in which gear you should ride in this weather - he is nuts
Steph & I on top of Pitch Hill

Albert on Barry Knows Best
Steph on Carpetland hanging onto Jason's tree

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Burry Stander Memorial Ride

On Sunday, 13 January 2013 we did a tribute ride of one lap around Richmond Park for Burry Stander. It was a freezing cold 3 degrees in London. 

We were all shocked about the news of Burry's passing and didn't want to belief it. I was so excited to see him in action at the ABSA Cape Epic and couldn't imagine the Epic without him. He was our hero and his combative performance in the Olympics was still fresh in our minds. I think we were all so deeply upset that nobody really spoke about it as it was to emotional for us. 

I personally just realised how out of control we are about our lives, God is ultimately in control of everything although it is still so hard to deal with the heart ache and loss of people close to us. 

Burry has left such a legacy behind and he was our hero whether we knew him personally or not. The one thing I noticed in all the articles that I've read about him before his tragic death and afterwards is that he was always the same. I've shed many tears about him whilst reading about tributes and articles of whilst watching all the complimenting tribute videos people have posted about him like this one. 

Rest in Peace Burry. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cherise & all of his family. 

We had a moment's silence before the Start @ Roehampton Gate, Richmond Park
Warmth, tea & toast at our house afterwards
Julie, Liezl, Jason, Nicole, Jamie, Paula, Bronwen, Simon & Johan

Saturday, 5 January 2013

How to get TC quiet?

Captain Bonty arranged for us to explore Surrey Hills.

Christiaan & I was about to embark on our first maiden voyage to the hills on roadbikes... Nerves was all around, but we were rest assured not to worry if we get dropped etc etc.

11 of us met on the bridge. Richard Hemmings our token Brit was there in his baggies and as expected did not get the nod of approval from Captain Bonty.

We went through Esher, Cobham up Hungry Lane & Staple Lane & onwards towards Peaslake.

Today I was riding on Saartjie's bike after Gerhard van Niekerk's recommendation on Boxing Day. Also a Specialized. It is the size of a child's bike & looks like a toy, but it strangely fitted me better. I was well chuffed as I fitted the pedals myself this time.

Like Julie's highlight on her first mountainbike trip was when Christiaan's chain broke, mine was when I had a flat tyre. I can not say how much I welcomed the stop. In Peaslake I was allowed to fill up my water bottle, but had no time for chitchatting or even a cheesestraw.

I've discovered that my hands are short. So when I'm trying to pull the brakes when my hands are on the bars I don't seem to feel in control at all. That freaked me out a little bit as I knew I'm pulling the brakes flat out, but not in control, it was also very frustrating as I want to go faster, but didn't feel confident enough. After the 2nd steep downhill I've decided I had enough of that, so I started practising going down in the drops when I go downhill, that was much better.

Gerhard Bonthuys decided to get us home, we have to do only one more hill, Whitedowns... Seriously a 20% gradient. Are you crazy people??? And with NO granny gear! I'll admit I got off & pushed my bike until Christiaan played psychological games with me & said you can do it... I maybe could've done it, but the problem was I didn't want to do it. So with the help of Christiaan & Bonty I made it to the top.

The home stretch was nice and flat and I was very relieved to get to Hampton Court in one piece & still alive.

Thank you so much for your patience & encouragement Gerhard Bonthuys, Christiaan & Steph.

Jules - if you are reading this, this is where you should stop reading!

We met up with the A-team at Hampton Court for coffee & cake & the C-Team also blessed us with there presence. Here I made the mistake to ask Bonty for a cuppacino with an extra shot of coffee. It ended up being a double espresso which I drank out of desperation. I was silenced for the first time in my life, 90km of road cycling took it out of me... In my need to be able to speak again I ordered another cuppacino with an extra shot just to get what I wanted the first time. Needless to say I overdosed on coffee & was shaking from all the coffee by the time we left the shop.

I got home still shaking & nauseous... Julie threatened me that I'm not allowed to go cycling again if I come back grumpy again to which I've said I'd rather be grumpy from cycling than from NOT cycling... If only she knew the problem was that I had about 7 espressos on that day. Sorry Jules. It won't happen again. :)

A-Team: Simon, Louis, Gerhard van Niekerk, Lee-Anne & Myburgh, Rich Hemmings & Dawie

B-Team: TC, Gerhard Bonthuys, Stephne & Christiaan

C-Team: Paula & Jason