Monday, 10 June 2013

England's 1st XTERRA - Up for the challenge?

Dear All
I've first seen this advertised on XTERRA's Facebook Page, it is now official, England will present it's first XTERRA basically on our doorstep. 8 September 2013.

Conrad Stoltz
For those that are not familiar with XTERRA, it is a triathlon, but offroad (an open water swim, mountain bike ride and offroad run). South Africa's Conrad Stoltz has won the World Championships four times already and the sport has really grown back home over the last few years. I've been following his career and that is why I'll be entering into this race regardless of the fact that I can't really swim.

Dan Hugo in action

This past weekend a younger South African, Dan Hugo won in Richmond, USA.

There are different races on the day, so you can basically enter whatever tickles your fancy, you can enter as a team of you can do the offroad run or 6hr mountain bike race.
A few of us have already been egging each other on for this, so if you are up for a different challenge, then please join us?
Myburgh kindly arranged a discount code for us with the organisers, so please drop me a line  at if you are keen to do this and I will provide you with a discount code. The code will only be valid if you enter the full or sprint XTERRA Triathlons.
It would be so much fun if we can do it as a group under the banner of Tango Cycling. I'm hoping to have cycling shirts available before then.
Ps. If only Paula had a mountain bike, we could possibly have a champion friend amongst us. :-)

Pss. Just to make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for... :-) 

Friday, 7 June 2013

Cat Attacked...

Apologies for a non-cycling post... 

On Tuesday evening I had the privilege to go along to a Safari Wine Tasting evening at the last minute. It was an amazing evening with great food and wine. We also had the opportunity to meet 4 of South Africa's finest winemakers. It was so nice to kuier (spend time) with them. These guys are as passionate about making wine as I am about mountain biking. They tell such good stories and anecdotes. Ken Forrester demonstrated how a bottle of wine in Tesco can cost £5. Lets say the farmer who produce that bottle of wine, does not make a profit. Bruwer Raats entertained us with stories from when he worked on a farm in Tuscany. They are 2 of the 15 winemakers that formed PIWOSA. Premium Independant Wines of South Africa. 

On my return home from the station I walked up our street and right opposite Kerryn & Christiaan's flat I saw this rather posh looking cat sitting on his own, minding his own business. I love cats and I'm always trying to make friends with them. Most of the cats in our street are posh fat cats with long hair. This one was grey & his long hair was shaved. He had a bit of moer-my-gesig. 

I either tried to pick it up or stroke it, but it was not happy with me. It started moaning meaaa-oooww at me. I'm a fighter, I don't like giving up. So I tried to chat to it, I was a bit weary of touching it again, it really didn't look happy or SOUND happy. I don't know who ticked it off, but this was not a happy cat. So I even recorded his moaning on my phone whilst I was trying to speak to it. 

My talking to the cat was not so successful, so I thought I'll pick a leave and try and tickle and play with the cat while I gain a bit more distance between the two of us. Even that didn't work to win it over for a bit of tlc. 

The cat continued to miaaaw and hiss at me, but I was determined NOT to give up even though I could see that this cat was planning an attack. 

The next minute this TIGER launched itself onto my bare leg and scratched me with all four paws. I thought it was not going to get off me. I uttered a loud EINA and it ran away and sat and watched me from under the nearby parked car. 

The pain in my leg was unbearable as I limped back home, with blood flowing down my leg, I managed to get a myprodol from my handbag and drank that immediately. I planned to wake Saartjie, my in-house nurse, to clean my wounds cause I felt so sorry for myself. 

I got home, got over my neediness, cleaned the wounds myself, it looked bad. You can trace the wingspan of right front claw on my leg, it covered about a 12cm radius. The left claw went into my kneecap, he really got stuck into my knee!!! I have 4 deep cuts on my knee.

His left back foot scratched the back of my hamstring and the right back left a few scattered scratches on the bottom of my leg. 

I woke up on Wednesday morning and couldn't stop giggling at myself. Seriously... who gets attached by a cat like that!!! I told Jules & Saartjie what happened and they couldn't belief it. 

I limped into work and told my colleagues what happened. My boss just kept shaking his head in disbelief every time he saw me and said, that is exactly why he hates cats. They are nice to you while their owners are with you, but as soon they turn their backs, their claws come out. 

Last year I had an infection in my left knee after stupidly falling off my mountain bike on tar!!! Emphasis on stupidly... it seems to be a common demeanour in my life. After that wound got infected I thought to myself, I never ever want to go through something so painful again! So as I sat at work yesterday I wasn't sure if I felt tingling in my knee or if I was just getting goosebumps from the cold air. I decided to play it safe after last year's debacle and made an appointment at the doctors. I was eager to go so I can get it sorted as I didn't want to miss out on a ride this weekend. The doctor waited for me after hours so I could see her and prescribed me anti-biotics. Yay, we are going to sort this infection out in no time. She did check with me, "You said, a cat scratched you?" :)

Even after taking the first anti-biotic tablet, the knee still got angry last night from walking around too much so I popped another one of my BFF's, Mr Myprodol. 

I think I expected the anti-biotics to do miracles and that the pain will go away instantly. Sadly I was still in so much pain today and felt quite jittery, queasy and head achy at work. 

As a rule of thumb I don't normally cancel riding, but today was one of those days where I had to make a sensible call and cancel my riding plans. :(( Albert wanted to know what happened after I cancelled the ride. I responded: "Catfight Cat - 1 surprisingly TC - 0" 
He cheekily responded back: "Who would've thought, TC 0. Don't want to meet that cat!"

My mother confirmed that I've only had one Tetanus shot as a child after our neighbour's dog chomped off a bit of my bum. So tomorrow morning I'm going to get a Tetanus shot. You never know what this crazy angry cat has been up to. 

Almost a year later and here I sit with an infection in my right knee from a bust-up with a cat, oh no I mean a lion and I have to miss a ride because of that. 

Lessons learnt: 
1. Never let me walk home alone
2. Never talk to strangers or strange cats
3. Never trust your flatmates to not make use of the opportunity to update your facebook status

I'm hoping to make a quick recovery and I'm looking out for the culprit everyday when I walk past the crime scene. He should be very afraid, a big catastrophe is going to hit him! 

Ps. This is a true representation of the sequence of events.