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Urban Sprawl


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One of my training partners and i do what he has termed an "Urban Sprawl " circuit from Boksburg through Kempton Park and Benoni which are the towns that surround OR Tambo . We have 3 versions 35 , 45 and 70 km . We ride only on the pavements , sidewalks and short sections of  single track on the oncoming side of the traffic . We do not venture onto the tar except for crossing major intersections or cross roads . Its is hard riding because you cannot relax at any stage you are watching for pedestrians , pot holes , missing man hole covers , puddles from the rain the day before  , jumping off and up pavements as you cross over intersections and off coarse the traffic has to watched carefully . We always give the traffic a wide berth when crossing roads , we in fact sometimes go up a road untill the end of a traffic line and cross there . Respect the commuters they are on their way to work we are not . We normally ride from about 6.30 am and decide on distance as we go along .Its a good workout because you need to be allert and you generally do not stop working your legs and lungs . If you have a Mtb try doing your normal road route off road as a Urban Sprawl you will be surprised at the difference in intensity required . 

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When I was still studying at Stellenbosch I would ride back to Paarl on Friday afternoons where my parents lived. The entire way from Stellenbosch to Paarl I rode footpaths and singletracks right next to the R44, and then the old N1 Road tarmac section right next to the R101 all the way into Paarl where I'd have to get on the road for the first time.

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I do this on my gravel bike from time to time - it has a completely different feel to it. 

 

One of my training partners and i do what he has termed an "Urban Sprawl " circuit from Boksburg through Kempton Park and Benoni which are the towns that surround OR Tambo . We have 3 versions 35 , 45 and 70 km . We ride only on the pavements , sidewalks and short sections of  single track on the oncoming side of the traffic . We do not venture onto the tar except for crossing major intersections or cross roads . Its is hard riding because you cannot relax at any stage you are watching for pedestrians , pot holes , missing man hole covers , puddles from the rain the day before  , jumping off and up pavements as you cross over intersections and off coarse the traffic has to watched carefully . We always give the traffic a wide berth when crossing roads , we in fact sometimes go up a road untill the end of a traffic line and cross there . Respect the commuters they are on their way to work we are not . We normally ride from about 6.30 am and decide on distance as we go along .Its a good workout because you need to be allert and you generally do not stop working your legs and lungs . If you have a Mtb try doing your normal road route off road as a Urban Sprawl you will be surprised at the difference in intensity required . 

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One of my training partners and i do what he has termed an "Urban Sprawl " circuit from Boksburg through Kempton Park and Benoni which are the towns that surround OR Tambo . We have 3 versions 35 , 45 and 70 km . We ride only on the pavements , sidewalks and short sections of single track on the oncoming side of the traffic . We do not venture onto the tar except for crossing major intersections or cross roads . Its is hard riding because you cannot relax at any stage you are watching for pedestrians , pot holes , missing man hole covers , puddles from the rain the day before , jumping off and up pavements as you cross over intersections and off coarse the traffic has to watched carefully . We always give the traffic a wide berth when crossing roads , we in fact sometimes go up a road untill the end of a traffic line and cross there . Respect the commuters they are on their way to work we are not . We normally ride from about 6.30 am and decide on distance as we go along .Its a good workout because you need to be allert and you generally do not stop working your legs and lungs . If you have a Mtb try doing your normal road route off road as a Urban Sprawl you will be surprised at the difference in intensity required .

I'm pretty sure we've crossed paths while you were riding that route, usually on Yaldwin road.

 

I too have taken to exploring the sidewalk next to my usual road routes, especially now in the silly season where I'm riding later than usual and getting nervous about my fellow road users.

 

I refer to it as fibre-singletrack, as the recent fibre rollout has left hardpacked, smooth paths on a bunch of sidewalks that are surprisingly fun. So far I've discovered a few really fun sections. Its a pity they dug up the footpath next to the Boksburg stadium down Dudley Smith, that used to be pretty fun!

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