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Team Laister rolled over the finish line of the 2012 edition of the Toti 69er tired and weather battered. It was a very tough race for 2 reasons: 1. My dad (stoker) had never ridden the route before and 2. (most important factor) there was 30km/h wind blowing. Being an out and back route along a coastal road, we got hammered on the outward bound leg and were too tired to bring it own strong.

 

The 2013 edition rolled around and we had not done the amount of training we would have like to due to illness and mechanical issues. We had  completed a few long rides on both the tandem and our single bikes which made up sufficient training to aim for a sub 3 hour attempt. The build up way dealt a blow when we read the weather reports for the day. A 20 – 25km/h SW wind with rain. Almost the same as last year!

An irritating blow was dealt when my parents dog ate the timing chip we use on the tandem. This was not a problem to our ride but more irritating because the results would not be “official” without it. More an irritation than anything else.

Getting up on the morning, we could hear the wind getting going but we bundled everybody into the car, made sure the bike was firmly strapped to the bike rack and headed off to Amanzimtoti to the start.

There was a plan this year. Due to the cold start, we would warm up over the first 10km or so and then average between 23 and 24km/h to the turn leaving enough in the tank to factor in tiredness and fatigue to break the 3 hour mark.

We headed off in warmer than expected ,almost perfect conditions. The first 1.5 km is brutal. You drift down a slight downhill and are immediately thrust into one of the toughest hills of the course – all before you can feel your toes. We knew it was coming so took it nicely at a steady rhythm. To our surprise on the day we overtook a lot of single bikes on the uphills – something that does not normally happen. Tandems are very quick downhill due to momentum and strength but that weighs against you going up!

Over the next part of the race we got into a nice pace and started to warm up and get our legs going doing a very nice speed which was well over the 23km/h needed. There was one major uphill going out that we were weary of but again – got into a rhythm and got to the top with relative ease. We crested the hill and with less than 4 km to the turn, I received great news from my stoker than we would be well under 1:30 at the turn.

Very smooth straight road was welcomed as we turned around and we hit the gas knowing we had enough left. With this burst of speed we dropped the tail we had accumulated along the outward leg. Our personal fan club made many appearances along the way and we felt like professionals when we passed because they were taking many photos and waving their arms. They also were taking photos on the way past as there was not full road closure. It’s probably going to be the closest we come to fame on a bike! It’s always a boost when people come out to support us and this time was no different. Some decent photos were taken too!

The remainder of the race was good with only 3 real challenges faced – 2 climbs and a short sharp incline to the top of a fast downhill to the finish. We hit the 2 climbs harder than normal because we were now pushing for a revised time of 2:45. We came through those well and knew there was only one little challenge left. We hit traffic problems half way up due to stupid and inconsiderate driving but came through okay. Counting down the km with sign boards I was looking for the “flame rouge” and it was a welcomed sight. The last kilometer dealt its own drama when we took the last bend to fast and went onto the other side of the road hitting a hole in the road. Crisis handled and last push was in order. Just as we pushed along the last 300m, a puncture struck. We could not continue on the flat so we got off and ran the last 200m – road cycling shoes and cleats and all!
It was an eventful end to the day and we felt like idiots but the crowd was cheering us on mainly because they too thought it was unfair we had a puncture! That was the only bad luck we had on the day. We ran across the line to finish in 2:41:00.

The moral of the ride – plan and execute your day and it will turn out good. Do what you can and let the rest happen. Don’t worry about the things you cannot change.

 

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I am a big Natal Sharks fan. The Sharks play rugby out of Kings Park in Durban. Naturally, being a Durban boy, I grew up supporting the local side. They are very good and normally are one of the top teams in the Super 15 tournament and are reigning champions in the local competition (The Currie Cup). We are lucky enough to hold season tickets and, barring any major event, are always at the stadium for any games played there. Therefore, every game that we sit at, we sit in the same seats. We have had those seats for as long as I can remember. (more…)

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Rib based pain is excruciating at times and anyone that has had a rib ‘pop’ out can vouch for this. The pain is sharp and sometimes burning in nature, can follow the course of the rib and wrap around the body. (more…)

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This is the second part of the blog post published yesterday called Never Drop A Brother. In that post, the first 2 principles were discussed. In this post, the third will be discussed. The principal is: Never squash enthusiasm.

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I have been exercising or involved in sport for quite some time. It started about 15 years ago when I was at school. I always played some sport but at high school I started going to gym. I was always interested in sport and training and did quite a lot of reading about programs and the training towards a goal. It was never any formal study but rather from magazines and articles from various sporting codes.

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