Crime and cronyism, why the apathy?

Our country has degenerated from “IF I ever get affected by crime” to “When I get affected by crime, the question is how violent will it be”

A while ago I stared into the barrel of a gun for the second time in my life, and could see the intent of the guy holding it….”fight me and I pull the trigger”

So I decided that he can take what he wants, and whatever is not insured I will have to replace out of my own pocket.  I originally insured my bicycle in case I crash in a race, my thoughts never covered the possibility that someone would want it enough to take it from me at the business end of a gun.  But luckily it was insured, and I was able to replace at least some of what was taken from me. Continue reading “Crime and cronyism, why the apathy?”

Guess what I’m collecting tomorrow

I first saw the Cervelo S5 last year November.  WHAT A BIKE!

I’ve been ogling it whenever I get a chance since.  2 weeks ago I got bikejacked (wrote a whole post about that, but never clicked publish, way too morbid).  Luckily I was insured, and luckily I found some sympathetic people in the industry willing to give me some discount and advice on how to get this bike within my current budget.

Cervelo S5

I picked up the SRAM Red groupset today, with an ITM handlebar and stem (in white).  Tomorrow I pick up the frame and can then start building, hopefully having everything ready for the Saturday morning ride.  For now I’ll have to use my race wheels, but will get a new set of training wheels soon.

Bike Upgrade Before Joberg2C

Seeing that my budget did not allow me to buy myself a dual-suspension 29er for the Joberg2C, I’ve had to choose some new weaponry for my current bike to get at least some comfort.

Fulcrum Red Metal 3 WheelsetFirstly, I’ve upgraded my wheels to Fulcrum Red Metal 3, these are strong, and more importantly, they’re tubeless ready.  I’ve been riding with tubes all along, but seeing that my bike is a hardtail, I’m trying to get the tyres to take a bit more of the shock, instead of my backside.  A tubeless setup allows me to run a much lower tyre pressure, give the sidewalls more flex, and more shock absorbing ability.

Continue reading “Bike Upgrade Before Joberg2C”

People say I’m mad, but the voices in my head says I’m getting better

After an absence of over a week, I'm back and writing.  The reason for my absence?

I did a cycle tour from Joburg to Durban.  690km in 5 days.  And what fun the tour was.

Therewere 13 of us riding, with the last stage being the Amashova race fromMaritzburg to Durban.  On the Saturday night we decided with the tiredlegs, we'll ride the race as a group, so we all hung back and took overthe D bunch, and controlled it from the word go.   In the end, therewere 5 of us who pulled the whole group to a 3:03 finish, which is byno means a bad time for the race.

This was something that I'dbeen looking forward to for a long time, and will definitely do again. By far the longest tour I've done, but now I want to go bigger andbetter.  So I need some suggestions on start and end destinations for alonger tour, I'm thinking around 1000 – 1200 km 7-8 days.  Preferablyonroad, I don't have the budget at this point to buy a MTB good enoughto do a tour like that.

What makes a cyclist tick

Padraig from BKW has written a few posts about the things that make a cyclist tick.  These can also be applied to other aspects of life.

Motivation : Yes, we do ride a roller coaster between a huge amount of motivation to go ride, enough to brave any weather, any time of the day, and so little that you can't drag yourself out the door on a perfect day.  I suppose there a lot of contributing factors to this roller coaster, including your diet, and the amount of training you're doing.  As well as how you place in the races you compete in.  A race where you feel like you're pulling out all the stops and still get dropped can kill your motivation for riding quite quickly.  On the other hand, some days you feel like you're just cruising, and you have no issues staying in the race.

Pride : This is what ultimately drives your motivation, the will to show the world what can be accomplished.

I can just say that Padraig is spot on, and I can't wait for the future posts here… 

Drugs in sport

I've been very quiet about the subject, even though my sport of choice has been the one in the spotlight because of it for the last few years.

After reading this article I have a few things to say.

Even though cycling has been by far the worst looking as far as doping goes in the last few years, I'm of the opinion that it is also the sport code that is doing the most to get rid of the problem.  And unfortunately it is getting the bad publicity because it perceived to be getting more positive tests than any other code.  Of course if the other codes started doing as many tests as cycling does things would probably look different.  But, name one other code that goes as far as cycling.  Just looking at the Tour, 800 tests on 189 athletes in 20 days.  That is ridiculous, the riders must start to look like hardcore users with all those puncture marks.

Then you have a lot of the other codes, and to name a few, like cricket, baseball, american football, shall I go on?  They all seem to sweep the problem under the carpet and the athletes get away with a small fine or short ban, but they keep it quiet enough so that no-one really knows what is going on. 

As far as testing goes, I'm still convinced that it is done the wrong way around.  Don't look for things that shouldn't be there but is.  Rather look for things that should be there but isn't.  A lot of the masking agents out there actually remove proteins that should be there as well.  So if you find something that should be there and it isn't, you get an automatic positive test.

This way the athletes would be able to establish a baseline for themselves over a period of testing, and could therefore be easier to prove that they are clean.  On the flip-side, it is also easier to test for an unknown drug like mentioned in the article.

As far as guys stating categorically that they've never tested positive…I'm starting to think that you're hiding something with your choice of words.  Rather state that you've never used any performance enhancing product or method, to your knowledge.  That is more believable, and still clears you for the time that your doctor makes a mistake when giving you flu medication, which happens.

It is getting particularly difficult to go to the doctor these days, because I insist that he does not give me any medication with any type of banned substance, even if the cycling unions allow it with doctor's clearance.  So quite a few times I've walked out of his office with no medication, and just have to ride out the illness.  Obviously this is not a choice I would make for anything life threatening, it is quite an easy choice for flu or allergies, and I've found that medication actually makes those types of ailments take longer to heal.  I've asked my doctor what benefit I would get out of any of the medication he's not allowed to prescribe, and he stated that with the volumes involved, none.  But unfortunately, tests cannot tell what the maximum level was in your body, and can only tell what the level is at the time of testing.

With the money involved, I don't think the problem will ever go away, but we can only hope that our heroes are clean…and stay that way.
 

Part of unofficial statistics

So, I’ve finally become part of statistics (unofficially, more about that further down).  Me and one of my teammates were riding out in the South of Johannesburg, trying to get in some base mileage before the next Vets tour in two weeks time.  When on the Eikenhof road two guys crossed the road in front of us, pointing a gun at us, and telling us to stop.  The one holding the gun asked for 50 bucks (looks like he knows the exact amount us cyclists normally carry on long rides).  I tried to get the money out of my pocket, but with the winter gloves on it is an impossible task.

The second guy came around behind me, took my hand out of my pocket, and helped himself to the money my mobile phone, and a packet of jelly babies.  And then started pushing the bike telling me to go.  I went slowly at first, listening for sounds behind me, because they hadn’t let my teammate go yet.  So I was kind of waiting for a shot, or shouting, or something, not wanting to look around in case they do start shooting then.  About 200 metres down the road I snuck a quick look, and very relieved saw my teammate not far behind me, also riding.

We carried on down the road and stopped at the police station about 10 km further.  When we told them we’d just been robbed at gunpoint, they looked up for a few seconds, and turned around and carried on talking amongst themselves.  Nice service SAPS.  Don’t tell me to at least report a crime, and then not even be willing to take down my statement or let me use your phone!

Maybe the police should have a website where we can report these crimes, without having to go to a police station, since they’re not going to do much anyway.  At least then we’ll have more accurate crime statistics in this country, and not the bullshit (this is my site, I can say what I want) they’re feeding us at the moment.

Assos clothing

Over the weekend I took the plunge and bought myself a pair of Assos longs to go ride on these cold winter mornings, and took them out for the first time this morning.  I can only say that they are worth every cent I spent!  It feels like you're floating in the air, not sitting on a bicycle seat, and not a hint of cold.  Temperatures were warmer this morning, with a minimum of 4 degrees, so I'll put them to the true test tomorrow morning with temperatures expected to go below zero.

I'll definitely be buying more items of this make, as the savings allow.

Translate cyclist speak

Cyclists are the biggest sandbaggers and secret trainers around.
They'll say anything to soften you up for the kill. Don't let this
happen to you. Study this handy rider's phrasebook to find out what
they really mean when they
say:

"I'm out of shape"

Translation: I ride 600 kilometres a week and haven't missed a day
since Muldoon was PM. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your
shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

"I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape"

Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling
and whimpering like a baby. I will win the line sprint even if I have
to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I
have to grab your seat post, and spray energy drink in your eyes.

"I'm on my better bike"

Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using titanium
blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It
weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce.

"It's not that hilly"

Translation: This climb lasts longer than coalition negotiations. Be
careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over — backward. You
have a 39×23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon.

"You're doing great, honey"

Translation: Yo, lard ass, I'd like to get home before midnight. This
is what you get for spending the winter decorating and eating
chocolate. I shoulda married that cute Cat 1 racer when I had the
chance.

"This is a no-drop ride"

Translation: I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-
and-rescue dogs.

"It's not that far"

Translation: Bring your passport.