Monday, 18 March 2013

Prepping for the race of a lifetime and a new adventure:

Last week I promised a great reveal:

I have formed a brand partnership with Ballistic Bike Trading! Ballistic Bike Trading, exclusive Importers and Distributors of Ghost Bikes, Bryton GPS, ESI Grips, HIRZL Gloves, Halo Headband, Chamois Butter, Buh Bump, Bike Medicine Ax-Lightness, Ass-Savers, Cratoni Helmets and Tyre Juice. These are all awesome products that I am sure you are going to be seeing a lot more of on my rides. (Check out my product review section for a review on the Bryton Rider gps device.)Especially since I have now acquired a Ghost road bike! Yes, Ghost have road bikes and they are amazing – in fact, if you are in the market for top range road bike at an affordable price, take a look at a Ghost! Seriously – just look at specs of the Ghost vs specs of other bikes…. I did. 

The partnership is an exciting one which I trust will be beneficial to both parties and look forward to the journey.

So a few months ago someone put a little idea in my head: go race in Europe. The initial idea was to go to France and do the Tour de France sportive since this year is the 100th edition of the legendary race. But, when the sportive route was announced we decided it was too easy (I would only have gone if they had included one of the legendary climbs such as Alp de Huez which is a climb I have always wanted to this climb as it’s the classic Tour de France climb where Lance Armstrong gazed into the eyes of his competition and simply rode away to victory). And, the sportive stage was at the beginning of the tour whereas the pros are riding that stage on the second last day of the Tour so we would miss seeing them ride that stage. We looked at the other options like Giro di Italia and the various classics. We eventually decided on Belgium which is host to some pretty awesome races and after much back and forth, we settled on Liege Bastogne Liege and I decided to play it safe and just do the 155km vs the full 271km.

Despite the shorter distance, it still makes it significantly longer and harder than any of the South African races so it has meant I have had to get my fitness to a level above anything I have ever needed. I have been training my butt off!! Although life has been a pain and often impacted the training which is a pain but hey, life must go on and I am a load fitter than I have ever been.

With 1 month to go, I essentially have 2.5 weeks of hard work before I have to taper. Think tapering is going to kill me as I really don’t think I am ready for this. Its actually scary to think that in 1 month, we will be on a Turkish Airlines flight to Belgium.

At the moment, I have to juggle life, work (am swamped and not sure how I am going to get everything done), training, spending as much time with KD as I can, my new challenge with Ballistic Bike Trading and I have to start thinking of packing!! Am totally freaked out that I have to pack a week’s worth of stuff into a single medium sized bag and with the weather in Europe at the moment, it may prove to be interesting as to what I pack as its not just cycling kit but also off the bike stuff. And, I have to pack for the bush.
To my brother Gareth: not sure if you read my blog (doubt it) but here goes… On the day we drive to the farm, everytime I drive down to the farm and we go down the pass, I dream of riding down the escarpment into the Lowveld and would LOVE to ride it from the top (the top of the hill where mom had her accident) to Manoutsa but would accept just riding it from the tunnel to Manoutsa. I have a pretty shweet deal on the cards for either option. And a bonus offer as well. J I have no fear you are gonna stop and not request bribery – cause you are a rockstar brother.

I have done my fair share of cool adventures but this one is going to beat them all in scale as I have never had to think of suck great logistics! Fortunately for me, like all my adventures I have an awesome support team behind me. From Andy who is my adventure partner, to my folks and my family who are always there for me, my family in Belgium, to my awesome friends and last but not least my new brand partners.
I still have a lot to get sorted like getting my visa, getting new gloves (think I need new long finger ones so will be looking at Hirzl gloves since I have recently had issues with my short finger gloves in hot weather and am naturally nervous of wet weather and loosing grip). Also need to spend quality time on Casper my new Ghost to get used to it.

So, if I am quiet for a while, apologies! (Will be tweeting my heart out so find me there but promise to send news as often as I can.)

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