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I didn't finish the Epic because.....and the after effects


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On my Sigma Rox 10. Being a typical male, lots of tapping on the screen and heart strap adjustment happened, thinking this would solve the funny readings... Lesson learnt!

Glad you’re ok.

 

 

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I love Epic when I am riding it, and I hate Epic when I am not.

 

I have a story about how my partner almost didn't make it - way back in 2008, the last of the Kynsna to Lourensford routes.

 

 

Race report a tad late but still a great read  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

26er, Bar-end, Camelbak, all that is missing is the saddlebag :P

 

Die manne was rof in die ou dae!!

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we did the Epic in 2010. the years have made me forget how hard it was. reading these stories make me remember !

I got into MTB via my partner who then suggested the Epic - I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I soon realised. I guess it is true what they say - the training is the hardest, and it is hard. I did hours on my own on the bike all lonely and suffering at my slow pace - twice round Suikerbos as an example a few times. Long rides in the Graskop/Sabie area also mostly on my own as my partner then lived in Durban. I dont know if it is still the same but in those days they had 100km+ races in Sabie and Barberton which we entered but could only finish the 70km odd races - that led to me in the top 10 for the 100km South African leaderboard as they took my shorter course time as a long course finisher!

stage 1 ended with the infamous railway line section - I can tell you we were properly stuffed - we took the view that we are not going to think about things and just do what we need to do. I can tell you if I had to think about it I would not have started stage 2. I bumped into a guy I know at the finish line - he was dazed and confused mumbling that his bike was stolen - he was taken off to the medical tent and treated for electrolyte disturbance ( he overhydrated) and that was the end of his Epic. We started stage 2 and it sort of got easier. we had problems with the bikes and my partner had a mother of a fall - buckled a rim and we had to push to the next waterpoint. but we scraped by and made cut- offs. I had my only fall a few km's from the end at Lourensford - luckily nothing too serious. will I do it again? - not sure I would be able to get so fit again, even if I could I am not too sure. for me that came from nowhere it was great to feel my body adapting to the training and feel you are getting stronger and fitter but hell it is a lot of work and time. what makes the race hard is the climbing - there is a lot of climbing and it is invariably steep and on bad surfaces - you need to be prepared for this and very importantly if you a backmarker hoping to finish - you need luck!

Edited by zuludog
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Race report a tad late but still a great read  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

26er, Bar-end, Camelbak, all that is missing is the saddlebag :P

 

Die manne was rof in die ou dae!!

Funny you should say that - I do in fact do have some race reports from back then

(I haven't read these stage reports in ages, so I apologise beforehand)

 

Start here:

https://www.velotales.com/2008/04/cape-epic-prolgue.html

 

I might have lost the Camelbak and gotten a 29er, but you'll never get me to lose the bar ends!!

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we did the Epic in 2010. the years have made me forget how hard it was. reading these stories make me remember !

 

I did 2010 with a slower partner. And to anyone who things riding slower is easier, you're wrong. I'd rather have a balls-to-the-wall, sit-on-the-rivet ride than a slow struggle.

 

Cut off calculations are a daily consideration, and I remember a few occasions in 2010 where we were less than halfway on the course, with less than half the time left. The scenarios going through your head are torturous - at what point do I leave my partner and make a dash for the finish? Do I push and pull him, only to have to do this again tomorrow? What works better - the carrot or the stick?

 

post-275-0-16576700-1553671981_thumb.png

 

(Does anyone remember the kids on the dam wall outside Ceres throwing apples at the riders below - my partner does, as he was hit squarely on the back of the neck - in that small gap between his helmet and his Camelbak. I had to do everything in my power to stop there from being a murder out on the route)

 

(And while I'm remembering, that was also the year where the Aussie died in his tent - RIP)

 

I did figure out one thing towards the end - a way to level the playing field. 29ers were just taking off - I'd had one for 3 weeks, but I had been to scared to ride the thing at Epic, just in case everything fell apart (me, not the bike). But, I had a change of heart with two stages to go. Going from a full sus to a 29er hardtail slowed me down enough on the climbs and the technical descents, and also gave my partner a good pocket to hang onto on the flats. And finally, we clicked as a team!

 

post-275-0-77159100-1553672000_thumb.png

(The first real Epic stage I did without a Camelbak - what a difference)

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Well if you enter the normal Epic then you kinda get the poor man's food of Stage races in SA, so that's a start?

I can confirm that .Basic nourishment like in a prison or dorm.I guess that is all you need anyway .Everybody in the world knows eggs ,bread,peanutbutter ,oats ext
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I love Epic when I am riding it, and I hate Epic when I am not.

 

 

The next day was Kynsna to Saarsveld, and we knew to ride slowly, ride within ourselves etc, and we mostly did, but once again we both suffered from mechanicals, a freebody that didn't want disengage, and a jockey wheel that didn't want to turn. Again manageable problems that we could deal with. What we couldn't deal with were the cramps that my partner was experiencing. Like little mice running up and down his legs. We got our massages, we recovered well, fixed our bikes, and started Day 2 with high hopes that our bad luck was behind us.

 

Saarsveld to Caitzdorp. We started off well again. Bikes were finally working properly. We had a good morning. And then we hit the big climb of the day. Back in those days, portaging was a thing. You kinda knew that Dr Evil was going to send up some unrideable climb every single day. You either pushed your bike, or pulled the adventure racer move and put your bike on your back. And so we started pushing. Except my partner wasn't making much progress. He hadn't popped, or bonked - he just pretty much ceased to exist. Like his life force left him. And it was hot. Super hot. My happy place, but my partner's kryptonite.

 

attachicon.gifsportograf-3970134-1024x1024.png

attachicon.gifsportograf-3968612-1024x1024.png

 

 

 

Epic is what you make of it. It's tough. It's emotional. It's exhilarating. The memories I have from this race alone will make for great stories one day when I'm old and cantankerous, as I sit in my lounger, recounting my experiences to my grandkids...

 

attachicon.gifsportograf-1823063-1024x1024.png

The finish in Lourensford

Lekker bru. I had some tales from that 08 Epic, too, did it with my brother, man there were some sparks that flew that year. He'd not prepped...I had...whoopsie. I remember that climb so well, too - about an hour or more's worth, we went up there alongside Johan Labuschagne and Yolande de Villiers. It was hot those days eh. EDIT here's the pic of me and bro going up that meeaaaan climb with Johan walking same speed haha.post-1046-0-88474000-1553740482_thumb.jpg

Edited by intern
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Lekker bru. I had some tales from that 08 Epic, too, did it with my brother, man there were some sparks that flew that year. He'd not prepped...I had...whoopsie. I remember that climb so well, too - about an hour or more's worth, we went up there alongside Johan Labuschagne and Yolande de Villiers. It was hot those days eh. EDIT here's the pic of me and bro going up that meeaaaan climb with Johan walking same speed haha.attachicon.gifsaas.jpg

We must have ridden around each other that year then - I had a little personal battle going on with Johan and each day (when we were firing on all cylinders) it would be a bit of a tit for tat grudge match.

 

He really used to annoy me because he would block anyone that wanted to pass, he'd ride 2 or 3 metres behind Yolande, creating a bubble for her to ride in. And, as you can see, he's a big guy that, while he's a monster on the flat, doesn't go uphill as well...

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