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Everything posted by TyronLab

  1. Thanks for the feedback guys, much appreciated! I'm definitely not unaware that there's a mammoth task ahead of me and that I'm going to be in the deepest hurt locker I've ever been in. Luckily, that still sounds like fun! I only have the gravel bike at the moment, so I'll be throwing on a 48mm rear tyre to match the front one for a bit more cush, and a wider gravel bar for some more hand position options. Other than that, a saddle and top-tube bag, two extra bottle cage mounts (going to be using the luggage rack space on the fork for those), power bank and a spare light battery are what I'm planning on procuring. Oh, and borrowing a proper cycling GPS from a friend.
  2. So I've been offered an entry into the Munga Grit Cradle 2021 by a friend who has a sponsored position open. Now, I've been threatening to enter this race since it was announced as I'd love to do it, hoping that it'd push me to enter the full fat Munga, but funds for the entry haven't been on my side so far. So I'm super excited about this opportunity, but I'm not exactly trained to peak fitness at the moment and its two weeks away. I can probably go out and do a 100km gravel ride with some mild/easy climbing in 5 or less hours or do a 2h45m Suikerbosrand loop at this stage for some context. I wouldn't be looking at getting onto the podium, just finishing (even looking like death at 49hr59m, I don't mind). I've completed a Transbaviaans before (with a very unfit teammate) in 18hr. According to Intervals.icu I was at a prak of 45 fitness then, 37 before the race, and I'm at 30 now. People generally consider me a relatively tough SOB (with a hairy 13 year old's face). I also only have a gravel bike at this stage (a Rook Scout) that I've slapped some 48mm wide GravelKings onto and converted to tubeless. So, to the questions / advice from those with maybe some more experience: Am I mad for even considering this at my current fitness? How possible is this ride on a gravel bike? Keep in mind I ride a lot of MTB trails on my gravel bike so I'm used to pushing it out of its intended scope. What are the basic supplies/equipment I need to consider? I already have some Trans ready lights, probably need to slap a bottle cage or two extra to the scout. Pretty sure with some charging at race villages I could stretch my 735xt watch to do the whole race, and I'd probably use my phone for navigation. Can borrow a prpper Garmin cycling computer if need be. Any comments/suggestions/advice would be appreciated!
  3. You can get these for R50 at Decathlon, and they work a treat. What's more, they have guide indentations that you can use to bend the "wings" down. Makes them contour to the fork nicely, and makes the horizontal piece flat and not round. Looks lekker! So lekker that I even added one to my gravel bike (with a bit of custom trimming). A bit of moto is always welcome.
  4. Well done dude! That's a proper time up there. I usually take it easy up to the first pitch up (~30m before the boom on the first sharp right turn) and I've managed a 6:15 PB up there on the Hulkbuster which was, coincidentally, also yesterday. If ever there was a place I wish I had a skinny carbon road bike under me it's climbing up there! It's a pretty relentless hill but always a bunch of fun. The photo op halfway up is the GP equivalent to the ever-present Chappies stop photo for the WC guys. If you're a cyclist and you've ridden up there you must have taken at least one photo there. Exhibit A and B from yesterday: EDIT: Looking at it now, the bright red kit with the bright green bike makes me look like either a watermelon or Santa, weight dependent.
  5. I'm 100% behind staying off of trails that aren't well drained or get damaged when riding while wet. My local trail still has some awful sections due to dirtbikes riding through, and doing burnouts in, mud patches. Once dried they're basically unrideable for mtbs. What I don't get though is why everyone's so scared of water and mud. Getting super muddy, crossing streams, wading through mud bogs... all super fun! Maybe its because I ride a hardtail (partly why I ride a hardtail I guess) but I've ridden my bike through some apocalyptic dirt and it has never needed more than a good clean and a 1hr hub / freewheel clean and regrease. Modderfontein actually wasn't bad when we were there last week after some heavy rains. Seemed to drain well and little to no damage seen or caused by us. Otherwise your best bet is gravel out Bapsfontein way or "fibre singletrack" as I call it. When they converted our suburbs to fibre the covered trenches resulted in dirt walking paths, which can be super fun to ride at speed.
  6. Man that thing is awesome! I'm yet to see an Evil that I don't love. Managed to find a bargain at Cyclelab this weekend. Was in there to buy a chain, ended up walking out with a smidge more than I bargained for . I'd been wanting to try something a little more svelte but aggressively knobbed, and as it happened they had ordered some 2.6 e-Agarro's for someone with an ebike, but hadn't had much interest in them otherwise. After a quick google I found that the e-Agarro and the normal Agarro are pretty much identical. I still asked for the discount from the R699 asking price, but the sales guy dejectedly told me that they hadn't marked them up right and they were being let go at cost basically (should have been R1400 a tyre). Let's see how they run on the stock 46mm rims. Profile still seems round enough, lets see how it goes when it tastes dirt! The Hulkbuster is now leaner (in profile at least, weight is unchanged by my gram-accurate saddle lift) and meaner. Also, I'm rather fond of the green lightning bolt on the tyre that matches my bike... Before: After:
  7. Drivetrain be damned, those types of super wet and muddy rides oftentimes end up as the most fun. Treating your bike like a 4x4, seeing what you can manage to ride through / over, so much fun!
  8. If they space out the start and don't have a bunch start I see the Trans as being dangerous health wise, well, for the 90% not racing and just riding to the finish. What I'm concerned about though is making the trip down to PE, and being told hard lockdown has started and I'm stuck away from my family in JHB. It sucks as my training's been going well, but the greater good and health of the society has to prevail.
  9. I need that Castle water bottle in my life.
  10. That looks like the little waterfall at the start of Modders (ahem, Taroko..)? I'm keen to head out there this weekend. What's the trail's condition like? After the heavy rains it must've been a bit slip 'n slidey on a gravel bike...
  11. To Suikerbosrand for a bit of wind, drizzle, and tempo/threshold climbing. While I'm not totally cooked, I'm definitely medium rare. The toughest part of the double loop is the knowledge, while riding the first loop, that you're going to have to do every climb again. Pretty proud of myself pushing the Hulkbuster around that place in 2h44 solo. When the event organizer saw me and my bike he did a double take, looked at the other waify-carbon-aero-helmet attendees, and gave me a "Seriously? Sheim" look. This grass is generally supposed to stick straight up out of the ground. "Maagies in, wys die tande, en maak darm of jy oraait is."
  12. Glad to report back that I survived, and actually surprised myself a bit. It was luckily quite cool and overcast, few spots of light drizzle, which at least made the heat a non-issue. BUT, the wind..... Man oh man, that wind. Luckily it being a circular route it balanced out somewhat, but the portion with the rollers after the climb from the parking lot was horrendous. Coming down the Mineshaft I was pedaling to keep at 40kph. Still, managed to take 16min off of my previous best time (which was on a much more efficient bike, and with a push up the Scorpion road climb) and did the first loop in 2h44. Started cramping a bit 20km into the second loop so slowed down a bit, but managed to finish pretty strong. The group I was riding with were all maer dudes on maerder bikes, so I got dropped on the way to SBR and was solo for the whole ride basically. Deffo going back for a proper double loop (think I could have managed it with this ride, but 6h15m of riding seemed like plenty for the day).
  13. Anyone riding the TCN Hillclimb challenge tomorrow? single loop, and double loop from the Circus, full loop, then a big loop, back to Circus. ~129km with 2300m climbing. If anyone else is riding the double loop, I'll see you there tomorrow! First time in a while at SBR, first time attempting more than one loop. Using it as a gauge of my fitness for 'Baviaans in January (if our Eastern Cape brethren stop coughing on each other and it actually happens that is).
  14. I don't know what's shorter, die broeke of die kouse. Siesa!
  15. Ja nee, we were there last year too where my brother-in-law bonked hard on the first fang, so I ended up sympathy-walking a lot from there, and the whole way up the MAC, until he and two others out of our 6-person group retired. We had the last rays of sunlight at Langwater, and were in total darkness from there. So I got to really experience a lot of the kloof in detail in the day hiking, and a whole lot of pitch blackness. A change is as good as a holiday, so I'm excited about the new timeslots. We're staying in Willowmore, so will most likely jump in the 5am start. Interesting thing is that we should be in the thick of the climbing when the day's at its hottest (hoping for a 12hr finish). The thing about this, and training for a goal time, is that its so far outside of a normal ride that you struggle to gauge whether you're fit / strong enough. Lets hope I'm doing enough!
  16. It's amazing what can be achieved when you want to prove your significant other wrong. I'm betting he had a great "See! I told you I could do it" speech lined up after 19 hours of stewing.
  17. Few more to add. 1. Leave enough room between you and the guy in front of you. I've seen (and been involved in) a number of crashes that have happened in instances where two guys of similar ability and speed have collided because the one at the back just didn't leave enough following distance. This means not enough time to react to a feature / obstacle / turn, which you would have otherwise been able to navigate safely if you were alone. The more technical the trail, the bigger the gap. Leave drafting to the road. 2. Call out unexpected / hazardous obstacles on the trail with enough gusto that other users can hear you (which is usually a bit louder than you think it'll need to be). Then, be a decent human and stop and remove that obstacle from the trail. I've seen plenty of riders riding around a fallen tree limb or toppled over rock on the trail and not stop to remove it. If you're on a paid trail you can still be decent and help out, and if you're on a free trail then you're morally obligated to help out. 3. Don't be so terrified of getting wet / muddy / dirty! Nobody is going to expect you to come to a complete standstill on a straight, uneventful piece of singletrack because you don't want to ride through a shallow puddle. Unexpected things cause crashes. If you're not comfortable riding through it, make your way off of the trail gradually and well in advance and walk around it off-trail. Even better, learn to pop a small manual and blast that mofo (if you're not in close proximity to others). Getting muddy is one of the best parts of riding a mtb, you should totes try it out!
  18. Anybody doing the SBR double loop "race" thingy on the 28th? I'm pretty excited about it. Only ever done single loops, and always with someone who bonked prior to the last big climb (or, in one instance, being the guy who bonked), so excited to see what its like when I can go at my own pace. Out of interest, what's the yearly permit at Thaba NSBB? I've fallen very much in love with that place, and having a yearly sub might save me some dosh.
  19. HEY HEY HEY, I though I had first dibs on the Slade yoooooouuu sannavabich! And its my birthday tomorrow, so it's like a double-whammy.
  20. That first image gives me flashbacks of the MAC in the Transbaviaans. Except by the time we got there it was the middle of the night and freezing.
  21. Ahoy hubland. I've got an issue with my bike's (2017 Trek Stache, stock brakes) SRAM Level TL brake lever. The pin which fixes the lever to the body (circled in red below) is loose, and walks out during rides. I can press it back in with my thumb usually, and luckily the lever's return spring tension causes it to rotate slightly and jam into the hole, stopping it from falling out completely. This is obviously no bueno, but I'm not finding a lot of advice or information on this on the intermatronz. Its only the one lever doing it, and judging by the other lever this should have some form of retaining mechanism inside as that pin rotates too but doesn't walk out. Is this a replaceable component? Common issue? Recommended fixes? Thanks in advance!
  22. I think the paint job kinda spoils it. The red's a bit much, especially with so much gold (ahem, Kashima) on the rest of it. While that's cool and all, it's not really impressive. The engineering behind the individual parts is impressive, that's for sure. But there's no skill in buying a bunch of expensive parts and bolting them on. With that being said, I don't know why, but I need rope spokes in my life. Maybe its just jealousy as my dik gat would break the axle spindle off with the first pedal stroke (I am 3kg over the weight limit).
  23. Man this looks super fun, but I think It'd be frowned upon rocking up with the Hulkbuster, 3" tyres, 800mm wide bars and all... Also pretty sure I'd have a serious prang in a relatively short span of time, even on a road bike.
  24. Went and got a voluntary ass-kicking at Thaba yesterday. Managed to ride up the brick road on the Twin Tower climb seated, which I didn't manage previously. Also smashed a bunch of PRs on the downs, but I'm pretty sore from my shoulders to my pinkies today. I'm starting to get more comfortable with this bike on the descents, and have realised it has a lot more headroom than my skillset allows. Just let the brakes go, don't manhandle it, and just let the monster truck bounce and ping and drift all over the show. It's the Motley Crue of bikes, rowdily hurtling forwards in a very loud, very rough, semi-out-of-control fashion unexpectedly quickly. So, this https://youtu.be/NrOemQaEJGU but with bicycles. Still haven't explored all of the blue routes, but I've covered probably 70% of them. This photo doesn't do it justice, but this is a super tough little sharp climb (which are littered all over the blue trails). So tough but so much fun! And in Jozi, even our mtb trails have traffic.
  25. Had another Kathu trip, managed to squeeze in two quick 1hr rides. Blasted around the dorp streets yesterday evening. Managed to be lucky enough to get rained on, in the Kalahari of all places. Realised that these 120tpi Chupacabra tyres and the ever-present thorn trees aren't amigos. I was lucky with this one but I picked up the vast majority of every other pointy thing on their roads. Went out early today too into an absolute stunner of a morning. The redness of the earth, the massive skies the lack of elevation creates and the harsh nature create a sunrise that's greater than the sum of these parts. And one especially for my kiddos and nephews.
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