- By Oli Munnik
Waking up at 4:20am, driving in the pissing rain in the dark for 2 hours, almost falling asleep to an atrocious radio DJ bleating utter nonsense and then nearly running out of fuel is how I started Saturday morning. Awesome!
I was driving out to Robertson for the Robertson Winery mountain bike race, which formed part of the Wacky Wine weekend. It was my first time attending the race and was hoping I hadn’t made all the effort in vain. Fortunately things improved rapidly!
With registration a synch, I launched into my tights, complete with knee and arm warmers as well as a wind jammer. I wasn’t taking chances with the clouds looming over the surrounding mountain range! As the first light broke, I lined up on the grid alongside Greig Knox (UCT), Dave Morrison (Blend), Louis Bressler Knipe (Contego 28E) and in a brave move, the roadie, Chris Willemse Jnr. An unexpectedly fast start meant that the sharp end of the race was whittled down to Louis, Greig, Dave and myself in a matter of 100m’s!
The 42km route proved to be a real winner. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of terrain which saw us riding a combo of rocky (but rideable) single tracks and rugged farm roads. We NEVER touched tar once. The course was very lumpy; short sharp climbs with matching descents meant there was little time to recover. I most certainly wouldn’t want to do a 115km Ultra-Marathon on that type of terrain like the guys do in the Epic. In the end, a brave ride by Louis saw him attack early on and stay away to win. Greig Knox was 2nd while I rounded up the podium in 3rd place.
Despite a 5hr round trip in the car, I was stoked to have made the drive out to Robertson. Next year I will definitely stay in the area on the Friday and Saturday nights and take advantage of the many other Wacky Wine Festival festivities. That will be a killer combo!
So after a flat-out Saturday, Sunday arrived bringing with it another amazing winter’s day. It also brought with it a total shift in pace. The pace that Sundays should be – chilled out. So, in an untypical fashion, my day started without a schedule! It did, however, develop into an absolute pearler. Waking up at home on a weekend, with nowhere to be, is a rare privilege for me. This might sound ridiculous but if I’m not on an away match (read: up-country race), there is usually a training session to get done or a local race to attend. This Sunday bucked the trend. Modus operandi: wake up and simply ‘be’. Allow the day to sort itself out.
Waking up means feeding time, my favourite time of the day! I often go to sleep excited about being able to smash breakfast the following morning! Jumping out of bed and leaping into the kitchen, this past Sunday was no different. I emerged a while later, with a badass 3-egg omelette laden with almost everything I had in the fridge. With my culinary creation hot off the pan, I proudly passed Tommy Boy (my flatmate) in the corridor. My attempt at an omelette hadn’t turned into scrambled egg, he was impressed! So without having to rush off at some ungodly hour, I was able to sit back, chew slowly, and fully digest my breakfast. Not always a given in the mornings!
With my appetite sufficiently satisfied I was out of the flat and onto the promenade for a ‘game walk’. This ‘adventure’ took me to Salt Bar and the Sunday Times. I quickly realised why I spend my weekends riding bicycles in forests and shooting the breeze with my mates as opposed to reading the Sunday “misery” Times. It is not the most encouraging read. As time passed, I read about scandal after scandal but was finally rewarded with something worth reading, the print version of a powerful and amusing “Pro Diversity” Nando’s advert that has been banned on TV. Check it out at www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBIDkW2_FnQ. As usual, Nanado’s are on the money!
While getting my dose of ‘who swindled who’ in SA, an invitation to a family braai as well as a late-afternoon ride with Gary Perkin arrived via the interwebs. It seems crackberrys might not simply be the work of Lucifer, but rather, on rare occasions, quite a useful tool for communicating!
It was then on to the ride with Perkins. Well now, what can I say about our ride? We met at _____ and cycled through ____. We then rode passed _____, cresting _____. We ended with a descent down _____ to finish poked. Whoa, what happened there?!!
I’m afraid if I was to print the details of where we rode, I’d lose more than my pinkie finger, which is quite a harrowing thought. What I can say is that it was a legal and rad way to end the weekend. I’m sure that after your weekend of riding, you will be able to fill in the above spaces with sections from your local trail!
I would like to end by congratulating all those who have been selected to represent South Africa at the Olympic Games in August. To ALL the athletes, especially our mountain bikers Burry, Philip and Candice, Keep it Pinned!!!
Over and Out
Oli is currently living the dream as a professional mountain biker, racing for the GT squad based out of Cape Town. Keep up with Oli on his blog http://olivermunnik.wordpress.com