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.