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My Eselfontein Experience (long and boring post)


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Hi Guys,

Just thought I'd share my experiences at Eselfontein. Hope you'll do the same! By the way, this is not posted in the racing forum for a reason.....I don't race, I ride. I wouldn't wanna lower the standards!

Firstly, lets be very clear on the fact that I'm pretty unfit. Nonetheless, I decided to be brave and enter myself into the 60km event.

I must admit, I started getting slightly worried when, as I was pushing through the last 40k riders to get to the 60k startgroup, I heard someone remark ?60k....my sympathies?

For the first 10km all went well. When we hit the first section of forested singletrack things changed however. Halfway through this particular section, a hole in my front tire reopened(a week and four rides after cutting it and the Stan's sealing the hole) It sealed again, but shortly after started loosing air. I made it to the start/finish area and left the course at the boardwalk figuring I could get a floorpump at Action Cycles. They however didn't have one. He said it was the only thing they didn't bring (Funny....that's also what he said when I asked him for pliers to cut the excess length off the cableties holding my number before the race) They did however provide some encouragement as I was inflating the tire with my mini-pump, hoping that the Stan's would hold this time.

So optimism, as admirable a personality trait as it is, will never ever stop a pile of you know what hitting the fan. About 50m down the trail, it blew again. So I set about inserting a tube into that Stan's slop inside my tire once again(this happens all too often)

Got back on the bike. Entered the first section of forested singletrack after the start/finish area and was stuck behind slower riders. As usual, I asked in a friendly tone ?Track please, if it's possible?. The rider in front mumbled something I couldn't make out and kept riding in the middle of a singletrack that some of you might recall was in several places plenty wide enough for two riders to fit next to each other. I asked a second time, again in a very friendly tone. When I got no reply, I cut a corner to force my way passed him.

The next rider was even worse. After asking him a second time he replied with ?Are you number one??

What a flippen D@@$?!

Where does this arrogant idiot come from? I asked him if he'd heard of trail etiquette, to which I got some chirp I couldn't make out. I decided to bide my time and pass at the first opportunity I get. I was however fairly disappointed that there weren't any trees around when I passed him because I would really have loved to help this guy hug a tree(at speed!!)

Anyway, shrugged it off and continued on my way. Next incident happened on one of the singletrack climbs. My backwheel hit a rock at an angle and I heard a snapping sound which could only mean one thing....a snapped spoke. I stopped to make sure the broken spoke wasn't going to get tangled into anything and checked that the wheel was straight enough to ride. Funny thing is that I don't really bother getting my back wheel straightened anymore cos it's way overdue for a rebuild/rim replacement. Consequently it was quite far out of true before the race. It was actually running truer AFTER the spoke snapped!!!

The only thing that went wrong from here onwards, happened to the two pins that connect me to the pedals. At the 30k mark I started cramping....badly. I soldiered on, nursing my legs as much as possible and having a good social time at the waterpoints.

Had a classic moment while walking up Dead Man Walking. I was listening to music as usual. As I'm trudging along..........[trudge (truhj)1. to walk, esp. laboriously or wearily: to trudge up a long flight of steps. 2. to walk laboriously or wearily along or over: He trudged the deserted road for hours. 3. a laborious or tiring walk: tramp]..........I wasn't paying too much attention to what's blasting out my iPod when suddenly the following line leaps out of Radiohead's Street Spirit(Fade Out)....:?I can feel death, can see it's beady eyes? That made me smile : )

That pretty much sums up the rest of my race. Plenty walking when the cramps got too bad, feeling like death warmed over, but I finished. And not in some male ego kind of way because crawling over the finishline and sitting at the prizegiving with both legs cramping DOES NOT stroke the male ego. It just feels good to finish the damned thing!!!

Respect to anyone who rode the entire course, for sure!

SARA, (nearly) puking while riding the WHOLE of Dead Man Walking is something to be profoundly proud of!Clap

But what a course! I'm not a fan of rocky trails, preferring a cleaner, rollercoaster kind of singletrack like Lebanon or Dirtopia's new creation(Never Ending Story I believe it's called) at Jonkerhoek, but that probably has something to do with the fact I'm full of $h!+ (my friends are convinced since I don't eat tomato, olives, feta, salad blah-blah-blah)

Nonetheless, a GREAT course and HUGE thanks to the organisers!!!!! Thumbs%20Up

Talking about the course, I would truly not like to do this on a hardtail. I suppose I've been spoilt with 5 inches travel. Don't think I could ever go back to less travel....much less no travel! Except for the minor mishaps mentioned, my bike performed flawlessly. I'm so in love with this machine, it's not even funny! I mean REALLY....I LOVE MY BIKE. I have an actual emotional affinity for my steed.

Anyway, since I'm listening to them as I write this, I'll finish with these words from the inimitable Pink Floyd:

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be



Cheers everyone!


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I must apologise, I rode up Dead Mans and I think I made Sara do it as well, I got badly lost after the second loop (my fault). And ended up riding the rest of the course with Sara. Was good fun! Cool course, cool event, cool people, see you all on your bikes next time.

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I must apologise' date=' I rode up Dead Mans and I think I made Sara do it as well, I got badly lost after the second loop (my fault). And ended up riding the rest of the course with Sara. Was good fun! Cool course, cool event, cool people, see you all on your bikes next time.[/quote']


Probeer jy dalk die thread hijack? - daai was nie 'n long boring post nieConfused


Anyway - Ek het een keer baie baie lank gelede die 60km Eselfontein Experience gedoen, so ek weet deesdae van beter en skryf eerder in vir die 40kmEmbarrassed.  Ek wil net byvoeg dat 40km van Eselfontein op 'n snikhete dag soos Saterdag, self die wind uit menige ou/vrou se seile sal vat.


Die 40km ouens moes agter die 60km ouens staan vir die wegspring en oudergewoonte gun ek toe maar die GT vir 'n rukkie om by so veel as moontlik van die slower 60km riders verby te kom.  I did a good jobBig%20smile


10km later is ek so moeg ek sukkel om voor die ou agter my te bly, en die ou voor my sien lankal nie meer 'n threat in my pace nie.  HRM het so geskree ek het die beeper vroeg vroeg al afgeskakel.  Die nuwe roete, langer flat loop voor die berg, pas my beter.


Net voor die top van daai bergie, net voor "Death Drop", vang die 2nd place man my en van toe af voel ek nie meer net 2nd hand nie, toe is ek ook 2deCry.  My DH skills was nog nooit iets om oor te skrywe nie, en Saterdag was geen uitsondering.  Ek was net bly om onder te kom in een stuk en sonder flats.


Die laaste 10km was louter hel.  Na my energie opgeraak het, het die krampe begin oorvat en die laaste loop deur "Dark Forest", dankie vir die skaduwee, het ek net try surviveDeadDeadDead.


Na Lilo my ingecheer het by die finish line het ek in die swembad gaan spring net om te leer dat koue water jou krampe eerder vererger as verligShocked.


'n Baie goed georganiseerde event soos gewoonlik met meer single track as wat my liggaam op een dag kan absorbeer.  Defnitief op my lys van must do MTB events vir volgende jaarBig%20smile.

MWdeJager2006-10-30 01:20:43
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Yip a fantastic event as usual, definitely one of my favourites. I love all the single track. I kinda got distracted by it and forgot I was supposedly racing. May have started getting cold shivers and goose pimples (ah I believe they may call that heat exhaustion) but it's all good fun.

Hey Ti, I would have walked up that hill anyway, I HATE getting off my bike. Thanks for giving me a little extra motivation, there's nothing quite as motivating as someone waiting for you with a grin at the top of every hill.
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Nice going with your 2de place MW and to SARA/Titus and every1 else who could climb Dead Man WALKING!!! I had a terrible ride, should have known I was going to suck with a runny nose and sore throat, I thought it was just hay fever and still did the 60km race only to realize I have a cold or flue or something else.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

My HR was extremely high and I had a hard time keeping it low, AV 170bpm for the race and I was going snail pace. 30km into the race I was ready to call it a day but then I saw the watering point, so after 2cokes and 3waters I was feeling good again and decided to carry on....2mins later I was kakking myself again, I have never walked so much in my life, it was truly sad, I looked at my HRM only to see I was doing 178bpm walking, now that was scary.


I don't know how I finished this race, I recorded 42C Max temp, the only thing that kept me going was the next 4 water point, must thank the organizers for the cold coke and water!!! The other blessing was the little streams during the last 5km?s to the finish, I must?ve jumps / rolled in all of them!


Every1 that finished that race have my utmost respect! I'm feeling a bit better today, nose is still a bit stuffy but my throat is not sore any more, my legs are still sore from all the cramps I got..will possibly not do the 60km again?


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May have started getting cold shivers and goose pimples (ah I believe they may call that heat exhaustion) but it's all good fun.


FREAK ALERT......I mean that in the nicest possible wayWink
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Yeah, the girl's special that's for sure! Hey Marius, sorry to hear about your tale of woe, that's never good. Better luck next time.

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