Thursday, December 31, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

A tale of Franschoek & wine

Since the images coming back from the Cape were so inviting, I was eager to join the 'travelling' half of team lickety split in Cape Town. So far the exercise which I have been getting, comprises digesting Christmas lunch and then subsequent masses of leftovers, with frequent forays on foot up the mountain, behind Somerset West. A trip to Franschoek led over the mountain pass to Betty's Bay, with a long walk in the Fynbos along the coast. Franschoek wine route and free wine tastings are to be recommended!

The Annual Orienteering Sprint Cup

For the past few years, whenever we have been in Gauteng for Christmas my family has made the effort to attend the Annual Sprint Cup. The vent has normally been held at the Witwatersrand Botanical Gardens but this year was held at the Kloofendal Nature Reserve.

This year my family, parents and one brother attended the event. None of us had previously been to the Kloofendal Nature Reserve so the terrain was new to everone. Our family entered myself on the mens course, my wife (Yolande) and daughter (Loreley) on the womens course and the reset formed into two teams.

I took the first leg very easily, unsure of my true level of fitness I walked as much as possible, and ran only when the paths were clear and easy. A lot of the route required trips accross country off the paths and in some sections the undergrowth was too thick to get through. I twice stopped and helped Loreley work out where she was, and Yolande also had to backtrack and assist Loreley with 2 points. Other than that she did quite well.

I finished the first leg in 50 minutes. It didn't feel that long but it had been a long time since I last did an Orienteering event.

The second leg of the event was started as a chasing start - so whoever finished first was the actual winner. I would have started some 30minutes behind the leader but the lower starts were changed to 1 minute apart. Coming to the second checkpoint I saw the two people who had started just before me, the had gone off the path too soon and I was able to catch up to them. The 3rd checkpoint was well hidden and I was able to get ahead of another 2 competitors, the 4th and 5th checkpoints seemed to be well of their actual plotted points but I was lucky to find them early and get ahead of yet another 2 or 3 competitors. Unfortuntly I overshot point 7 by quite a bit and lost most of the places I had taken.

The race got quite fierce with 3 of us (Craig Ogilve, David Pilling and myself) racing each other for the rest of the course. Slowly Craig and I dropped David and were purely racing each other to the end. On one of the very last points Craig made a navigational error and dropped back from me - needless to say I was looking over my shoulder for him right to the end anyway.

At the end of the second leg which took me 54 minutes, I had moved ahead David Pillign having caught up 6 minutes on him, and was just behind Craig having caught up 7 or the required 8 minutes on his time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas all crazy Adventurers!

Let us savour every bite taken in the next 48hrs! This trifle is tradition and serves up to 20 people. Luckily only 7 of us this year! Looking forward to an eventful 2010 to burn off the wonderful festive foods! Merry Christmas Lickety Split! Shalom

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dark n Dirty - Thursday 17 December

I don't mind falling, well not that much. I dont even mind getting hurt (I have walked 8kms on a broken ankle before). But tearing my cycling pants I really really dislike!

On thursday night 7 of us got together to do a Dark n Dirty ride. With a brave trail meister, a sweeper, 2 newbies, 1 nearly newbie we had a Dark n Dirty group. I left my light at home and had to buy a super cheap Pic n Pay special headlamp. The usual warning was given about first one to climb off their bike without meaning to gets to write the report.

Off we went into the dark... and the brave trail meister got lost, with a sudden stop he started looking around for the path. While everyone was trying to help find the path nobody saw me half fall off onto my knee.

So once the path was found we went peddalling off into the dark. But on the wrong path. This time I was seen to land on my knee. It wasn't so obvious as nobody really suggested I write the report. The brave trail meister realised he had the wrong route, and stopped to find the right route - over I went onto my knee again - my knee by now was sore from three gentle falls onto it - even the blood streaming down my leg didn't really let onto anyone that I had fallen.

So off the brave trail meister went - on the route he was originally looking for - and he fell badly, upended the bike, feet in the air, bike light disconnected and everything. "Oops" he says.

Down past cornwall hill we went. My not-so-super-bright light made it a ride of note - 30km (yeah brakes on) down a vertical slope when you cannot see the angles makes it a lot of fun!

Our super trail meister gave us a running commentary of what each hill was called (but I have forgotten most of them) so I sort of got to know which hill was which. With 3 pretty much newbies in the group we had to do the 'sprint to the light - it is only about 200m away' which is actually a 2km sprint but catches the newbies every time!

I now know which hill is the mine shaft - not nearly as bad as it sounds, the python - which we did as fast as we could, Look Ma no Brakaes - where I went straight over the handle bars, bike following until my foot slipped out of the shoe - by now I was getting tired of falling.

Then on the last simple little single track back to Moo Mall I fell again, smashed onto my elbow and shoulder BUT my shorts caught onto the sadle and ripped a hole the size and shape of Zimbabwe in my shorts. (Carine took a rude photo of my bum as proof - and there is far too much bum showing for a civilized race report).

So let me repeat, I dont mind falling (though 5 times in one night was a bit much), I dont mind getting hurt (blood running down my leg is fine), but I really object to getting my cycling shorts torn!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scouting the winelands.

Must add that i miss team. Know they would've loved the hills & sandy roads.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry christmas

William is behind Adri, as usual!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

24 Hours of Rietvlei - Official Race Report

So, team Lickety Split decided to do "24 Hours of Rietvlei Farm". It was to be last team event of 2009 and everyone rocked up with varying expectations. Emails flew around during the preceding week detailing plans and strategy. Key phrases in said correspondence ranged from ‘social’ and ‘taking it easy’ to ‘military precision’ and ‘tactical advantage’. Mostly, though, catering and gazebo decorations were discussed in the finest detail.

The racing team consisted of Mike, Nando, Adri and myself with William, Sue and Trish in support. Mike volunteered to arrive early and secure real estate for our camping effort. He did a sterling job of getting a prime spot with a massive front lawn thrown in to sweeten the deal, and only a stones chuck from the transition area. It sure beat camping out in the windswept sticks as many latecomers had to endure. As the team started to arrive our camp soon resembled a medium sized Bedouin village rounded off with Christmas lights.

Soon enough, thoughts turned to the task at hand and I went for a quick warm-up ride before the race briefing. I got tangled up in the twisty track purpose cut across a dry (for now) vlei and, when I finally found my way out, missed most of the briefing.

The start was of the Le Mans variety and bikes were positioned about 200 meters from the line. I positioned myself near the front of the bunch thinking the sooner I get to my bike the better to avoid the consternation and chaos that’s bound to happen. It worked well. I picked up my bike in the first group but was so winded from the flat out sprint that it took me half a lap to recover.

The course was nice and varied. After the somewhat pointless meander across the dry vlei the track headed up a short, easy (for a while) climb to the first bit of twisty single track. I never tired of this section and it was nice to try and negotiate the sweeping turns and energy sapping bumps faster and smoother every time. A fast, technical section followed that took the course behind the original farm building and down some fast and rocky single track into the first forest section. This section was perfect to catch ones breath as you could only go so fast between the trees. A short, brutal climb out of the forest lead to a nice, smooth road that delivered you to the crux of the course, an uphill section that just kept coming at you. In the heat of the day it was highly unpleasant as there was no tree cover. Soon enough, though, the course turned and started heading for home with a blistering downhill that put a smile on my face every time. Fast flowing single track lead to some more twisty forest sections. When you eventually popped out of the forest the camp and transition area seemed tantalizingly close but a ‘sting in the tail’ style climb and meander had to be dispatched of first before the super fast descent into transition. All in all it was a course I didn’t mind riding repeatedly and it was one that the solo competitors would feel in their legs for days afterwards.

After handing the baton over to Nando, I sat down for a well earned rest and discussed tactics with William. We agreed to best course of action would be to rotate on a single lap basis and only switch to double laps during the late night and early morning to give everyone a chance to get a bit of sleep under their belts. After Nando, Mike went out on a super fast lap and bettered my first lap time. This inevitably sparked an internal fastest lap contest that simmered all the way to the end. William, in his new role as cycling team manager, wandered around with a stopwatch, scribbled notes and muttered to himself while planning the demise of all other mixed teams on the roster. He predicted that our individual fastest laps would only come on Sunday morning. I disagreed stating there’s no way I can go any faster and that fatigue will surely slow us down steadily during the course of 24 hours. Sure as not, the whole teams’ final laps proved to be their fastest. The human body continues to marvel!

The rest of Saturday afternoon disappeared in a blur of riding, eating, resting, eating, lying down, eating, resting a bit more and doing the odd lap trying to better our personal best times. We’ve been eyeing a band of thunder clouds and for a while I thought it would bypass us to the south but by about 17h30 it was clear that we would be receiving some form of precipitative offering! And offer it did! I was on my third lap when the heavens opened and a storm of epic proportions presented itself. Lightning crashed all around and contemplated the isolating properties, or lack thereof, of rubber bicycle tires. Luckily, I avoided in-depth empirical research on the subject and found myself in transition where race organizer Dimitri told me the race has been suspended until the lightning subsided.

Back at camp the rest of the team also had epic tales of saving our encampment from blowing to downtown Alberton. We decided to make the most of the lull in racing by exchanging Christmas gifts and singing some carols before getting busy with the most important part of the day: Dinner! William, cycle manager and chef extraordinaire, prepared perfect roast chicken and vegetables on the Weber. Before it was 100% done, though, the race was restarted and Nando had to go ride on an empty stomach. We sent him off and tucked in only to be surprised twenty minutes later by a returning Nando dragging something that resembled a bicycle behind him. Apparently the (used to be dry) vlei had turned into a quagmire that severely impeded forward progress with the stickiest mud imaginable adhering to all moving parts of the bike. Some people apparently took half an hour to do the 1.5 km vlei section. Nando gave up the good fight and returned in order to save his bike from certain demise. As Nando sauntered off to find a tap to clean his bike, we stood around looking at each other sheepishly, wandering what to do next. I sat down and opened a beer while contemplating the situation. No one wanted to go out and wreck their bike. An announcement that the offending section of the course was to be cut out didn’t spur us into action either. We all knew those forest sections would be as bad as it gets. I opened a second beer after dinner and severe nafi-ness kicked in big time. Members of the team that hoped for a more social event had their wish granted for the next hour or so while we sat around goofing off and chewing the fat. Mike worked his way through a few Savannahs, secretly building courage. At some stage Adri realized that the course was actually open and rideable and confronted us with the inevitable question: “Why are we not out there…riding?” This simple yet eloquent question had the desired effect on Mike. He finished his ‘how-many-th’ Savannah with a deep swig and loped off in the direction of his bike, thus ushering in the late night part of our race……

As our esteemed manager and fearless leader William rightly noted, 24 hour races are won or lost during the night. The ability to efficiently circulate at a consistent pace and smoothly rotate in the dark quickly separates the experienced teams from the wannabees. We did OK during the night, doing 2 laps each before handing over and going for a well earned hour or two of sleep. The amount of mud on the course, and the sections in the forest especially, slowed us down considerably. Soon enough it was getting light and I had the pleasure to do the sunrise lap. I’m sure it would have been more pleasurable if I had actually been awake. That only happened after Sue handed me a cup of steaming moerkoffie and I could dunk a few of Francina Kruger’s finest.

The stage was set for a showdown of OK Corral-like proportions. We were lying in sixth position and realized we could make up some positions if we put our heads down. Adri passed Team Bravo soon after breakfast to move us up to fifth. We decided to set our sights on fourth place as our goal for the morning. If nothing else it would keep us out of mischief. We started chasing and raced hard all morning, bettering our lap times all the time as the course was drying out nicely by now. Fearless manager William devised a strategy for us to get the maximum amount of laps by allowing me to ride a fast lap after Mike and coming through the timing tent with about 2 minutes to spare. This allowed Adri to do a leisurely final lap as this would still count towards our final total. Well, no-one told Adri that and she proceeded to better her best lap by almost 2 minutes. We still ended a lap and a half behind fourth place but this also meant that we had gained a lap and a half since early that morning. A job well done, even if I had to say so myself.

We spent a full day riding in circles, created nothing of any worth, spent calories unnecessarily, our productivity index hovering around zero. To most people on the sidelines what we did must have seemed like a complete waste of time and they would surely ask: “but.… why?” My philosophical answer to this would be simple: “If you have to ask, you’ll never know!” Of course there is a more practical answer: “Because it feels so good when you stop!” In the end it is all about hanging out with good friends and celebrating with some not-cake! Thanks to the team and supporting cast for a great weekend!

Team Results:

Pos Laps Time Team

1 39 2009-12-06 12:12:22 Team Teen

2 38 2009-12-06 12:24:48 Goldfish and the Bowls

3 33 2009-12-06 12:19:15 Full-of-Beanz

4 32 2009-12-06 12:03:40 The Good The Bad The Old And The Ugly

5 31 2009-12-06 12:35:04 Lickety Split

6 28 2009-12-06 11:17:21 Team Bravo

7 24 2009-12-06 12:16:34 JMBC Blue

8 20 2009-12-06 11:21:06 Rhino-Soreass

9 20 2009-12-06 11:45:13 4 of a Kind

10 16 2009-12-06 12:26:06 Glen Fowler and Team

11 15 2009-12-06 11:19:47 JMBC Virgin Shock

12 13 2009-12-06 11:51:59 N.O.W (NIGHTMARE ON WHEELS)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

24 Hours (Race Report) - Nando

Hi all,

It’s been a hectic Monday for me hence the non response.

I was so overwhelmed from our wonderful weekend together that to come back to the “real” world always comes as a big bang for me, and today was no exception. From a leaking pipe at home to the horrid traffic trip to JHB. Anyway enough said about my start of what will be my last week at the office for 2009.

To our weekend. Let me start with a big thank you to :

Sue and William for looking after our needs. I kept thinking how difficult it must have been for you to be there and not be participating with us. You actually showed no regret and only received so much positive support from both of you. You both deserve a medal for spoiling us with your time and efforts in looking after us.

Trish, I did not know you that well until this weekend. Mike has always mentioned you and I am very pleased that I got to know you a bit more and that you were able to join us on our “crazy” weekend. Thank you for your support and contribution to the team spirit and especially looking after Mike’s needs as he can be a handful. Oh, how can I forget, thanks for giving up your 5-man tent. I did not want to question how of you both fitted inside the “hankerchief “ but it must have been snuggly. Although I did notice Mike having difficulty getting out of the tent at 02h30 in the morning!

To my fellow teammates (Mike, Con, Adri), you were just awesome and am proud to have shared this experience with you. I will definitely not forget this experience we had together….as mentioned afterwards, please warn me if you want to race a race and not just go for a finish. I was pleasantly surprised by all your abilities although I knew inside all of you, you have this “killer” instinct. Adri, you constantly surprise me in your abilities and growth in MTB. I am also pleased that I was able to see you grow from a very weary rider to a now gutsy one. Well done and may you continue to inspire others around you. Con and Mike you have proved your point as strong MTB’s and will sit back and wait for the right moment to surprise you again…just joking!

Con, there must be so much “pressure” on you to write a report. With the photo’s that have already been sent already and others still to come, I can’t wait to hear your side of the story. Some of my memories were:

· Setting up camp and especially my gazebo which took a brain storm to get it up.
· The storm that came and almost blew my gazebo away and getting wet holding it down.
· Con being out there in the storm and wondering how he was doing under those conditions.
· The long wait for the race to re-start after the storm.
· Me being the first rider after the storm and riding in thick slosh of mud bringing back memories of Bonamanzi only worse. The worst was to have to resign from riding further to save the bike from destruction. However was pleased that the organizer decided to cut out this 1.4k section as it was actually a boring section.
· Sharing a Christmas song and gifts to add to the occasion.
· All the wonderful food that was available however my appetite was somehow missing!
· My last of the 2 laps at night with my headlamp power diminishing rapidly.
· The sunrise lap after having a cup of coffee which gave me lots of energy.
· Attempts at beating Con’s and Mikes lap times and having to resort to excuses that I had "heavy” traffic…actually it was partly true but honestly could not match their performances.
· 4 of us sleeping in the tent of which some had snoring competitions…no jokes!
· Trying to sleep and always thinking of the time factor. Need to practice more on those power naps.
· Driving home afterwards that took forever as my sleep factor was catching up to me and resorting to opening car windows and loud music to keep awake….scary moment.
· Arriving home unloading bike (only) seeing the family for 5 minutes, promising to take them for a waffle at 6 to make up for last time as I needed to sleep…which I did and actually worked!

Thank you all for another memorable event. I am truly pleased and honored to have shared this experience with you and mostly for the great teamwork we had together. I have always wondered how a team can get together and just work out as well as we do. It feels like I am in a dream world but actually I can pinch myself and know that its real and hope that whatever happens in the future, we will always remember what we shared and gained from our experience together.

On a final note, I left my ARKZN white bandana on a chair after my night ride which was wet with sweat. If any of you would be so kind as to check if by mistake got into your baggage would you be so kind as wash it and let me know so I can thank you for it.

I am away for the day to Durbs tomorrow…again so chat to you when I get back.

Boa noite, goeie nag, good night,

Via con Deus,


Monday, December 7, 2009

A few thoughts re the past weekend's 24hr MTB

few thoughts re the past weekend's 24hr MTB:

  • I was still doing rolling hills and muddy corners until I eventually fell asleep last night
  • I feel like I made my own "This Is It" movie
  • My mind is willing, but body very weak today
  • Appetite is completely out of sync
  • Appreciating everyone in the team's hard work
  • Happy to have no bruises, although it could've served as proof for my "condition" today
  • Race box never made it upstairs yesterday
  • Off naartjie flavour for a while
  • Laughing as thoughts about every team member randomly pops up
  • Missed sunrise completely this morning
  • Like the team photo
  • Looking forward to our report & pics
  • Thankyou again, my life is richer knowing everyone of you
  • Cant seem to change the font on this post (William Edit - I can :) )
  • Mike: I suggest we save the 3-bean salad till after the race next time
  • Thankyou William for pushing our bikes to & from transition everytime

24 Hour - Christmas Team Photo

The team photo from the 24 hour. Only Mike is wearing 'official' team gear. The 24 hour was the team's Christmas event and some of us still have our Christmas hats on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

13:30 - Christmas not cake

The team's traditional Desert - not-cake (look on this blog for the recipe)

07:00 - Early morning

Mike looking good after a good nights sleep.

02:00 - 2am

Mike on his way out

Saturday, December 5, 2009

22:15 - William killing time at 24hr MTB.

So we each did about 2 laps at Rietvlei farm and then the heavens opened on us. Now waiting for officials to open altered course. Dinner was super. Exchanged Christmas gifts with the team, even mince pies.

20:00 - 24 hours in the rain

Con got caught out on the course in the pouring rain!

13:54 - 1 lap each

11:45: Team Lickety split is at it again.

Doing laps.

09:00 Its busy and getting crowded quickly

Narrow muddy beachhead established.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

10 tips for passing Nando on a mountain bike.

Nando can be very difficult to pass and even more difficult to beat on a mountain bike race. Here are some tips on how this may be achieved.
1) Tell him it’s your birthday. Tie as many balloons to him and his bike as you dare. Nando the party animal will play along. Ride away from him as wind resistance takes its toll.
2) Pretend you’re riding as a team in a group. In casual conversation mention how nice it is to be part of the team. On a narrow track create an instant bottle-neck group of cycling traffic by riding more slowly than usual. Nando the team player will stick with the group, not wanting to break the comradeship. Ride-off from the group at your leisure.
3) Point out someone who needs help. Assist someone to need help if necessary by swerving in front of them and putting on your brakes. Nando the gentleman will stop and help. Ride off.
4) Pour water on the track before a race or do a rain dance to make a muddy patch. Nando the high flyer will fly off his bike and roll in the mud. Pass him while he cleans up.
5) Race at night. Nando the cool will be wearing his racing shades. In the dark he will not be able to see the track. Pass him as he rides off in the wrong direction.
6) Sneak up behind and ride behind in his blind spot. Listen to Nando sing Afrikaans Liedjies. Nando the trusting will be happily content and unprepared for your well timed surge past onto narrow single track.
7) Falsify a weather report and mention rain and cold. Nando the prepared will opt-out of the race for trail-running. Enjoy a ride without competition.
8) Create a long list of “Race Instructions”. At the starters gun give the list to Nando. Ride off while Nando the planner is reading.
9) Pretend you need help with planning. Say you’re not sure what to take with you on the race. Nando the organized will write a list for you. Pump. Water bottle. Buff. Shades. Maybe shades will be first on the list. Ride off while he is writing.10) Mention how Giant have developed a new type of cleat. Watch Nando the techno-junkie struggle with his ‘old’ technology. Ride off on your normal pedals.

The Not Lickety-Split Race

Urban Kinetic 4

2 separate teams were there, the Goofy team (Goofy Mike and Con) and The Rock and Rollers – as pictured (Stef, Nando and Sue).

The weather was mild, expectations high and the venue not terribly well marked from the road. However, Stephan Muller had sent us all detailed directions, so I don’t think anybody had too much trouble finding it – the field was a mass of sponsors flags, easily visible from the road. The Waterfall Estate in Midrand, is currently mostly undeveloped and a perfect venue for a Sprint Adventure race.

The Mullers are experienced organisers and everything ran like clockwork, from the registration to the race briefing. The only thing he could not organise, was the level of water in the river – unfortunately the usual Highveld thunderstorm had not materialised the previous day and so we were informed that the paddle leg was to be scrapped – at least that was the initial briefing in the race instructions.

Nando was being his usual efficient self and ran through the instructions very carefully and more than once, so that we did not make any nasty errors out on the course. Some of the legs could be done in any order and some had to be done exactly in numerical order. Also carefully discussed was when to don wigs and the possibility of heatstroke on the course. We elected to wear our ‘fun gear’ only on the last leg.

Unfortunately, the venue has no toilet facilities either, so we were told to exercise our adventure racing skills and ‘find a bush’. This was when we discovered that they were inflating dozens of crocs behind the obstacle course, so it looked like we were going to be doing a paddle leg too – much to my delight. Con just looked inscrutable at this development.

Actually the Goofy team were so inscrutable that I have no idea of their race plan or which legs they were going to do when. We never even passed them once on the course – just a casual hello when they had finished and we were transitioning for the final canoe leg.

Our race plan was to do the long (difficult) run leg followed by the long MTB leg, then move onto the easy legs. In reality the legs seemed almost the same length and skill levels, but maybe I was just getting tired towards the end? I overheard somebody say that Sprint races seem more difficult than a multiday event, because you go much harder – I think I have to agree with that!

I have no intention of dealing with the race blow-by blow, only proportioning high praise to my fellow team mates. We had some serious team work going, with members working together to get bikes over the barbed wire fences (seriously missing William’s skills here!) and taking turns to hold up spiky wire, to avoid damaging tender posteriors, going through! The transition was located on an oval rise, high above the road – leaving the option of either going around by road - some 500m or straight up the grass embankment – something I cannot do carrying a bike! Thank you Stef for coming back to fetch me each time.

The venue is also grazed by cows and it amused me to blow/MTB past Nando and Stef gingerly picking their way (on foot) through a stinking ditch of manure and mud and who know what else, to cries of “Go Sue’ from Nando. There was no way I was getting off and putting my feet in that water – better by far to have it spattered all up my back – maybe if I went fast enough, I could be off before it landed! Anyway, the second time we passed by that hole, everybody rode through it without a second thought!

When I envisaged the team ‘tasks’, I saw Nando as the Beagle, plotting out accurate courses to each checkpoint, Stef as the dependable Rottweiler and myself as the cheeky Chiwahwah. Always behind, running as fast as my short legs could carry me (I’m coming!). In reality, the men took turns to navigate in excellent fashion, while I was left with the important task of just being there every time Nando checked over his shoulder with a cheery ‘How are you doing Sue?’ Aah! The position of the pacemaker – probably the most important task in adventure racing. It fell to me to keep the men to a comfortable pace (mine) so that they could be fresh and ready to be able to handle any unexpected surprises, like being trampled to death by stampeding Wildebeest! Oh! wrong race – that was a couple of weeks ago, trail running at Groenkloof!

We had been warned by other teams at the transition that the canoe leg was actually a porta-croc. Luckily team Rock and Rollers had a lightweight weapon in their arsenal – I was small enough to canoe almost all of the way, so the men waded while I enjoyed a light paddle. Even managed to avoid a large tree with hanging branches in the riverbed, too! The Bonamanzi fright was not going to be re-enacted.

Nando and I still managed to have a watery ‘moment’ however. While the rest of the group we were with chose to use the drift crossing of the river, Nando and I elected to cross over the dam wall, little realising that there was a broken section in the middle, with the full force of the river running through it. While it is not difficult to wade through knee-deep fast moving water, it becomes a problem when your bike floats free and tries to force you off the 3 metre high wall! Luckily Nando and I are both experienced racers and with level heads, rose to the occasion and pushed through without incident. ‘You OK Sue?’ ‘Yeh, I’m fine thanks, Nando!’

The obstacle course was as always, a bit of an obstacle! Some of the places I shot over with William’s help last time (Kinetic 2 - sometimes a handy shoulder and William insists I actually used his head!) became a bit of a nightmare. Our shoes were wet from the river and the vinyl was slippery from the teams before us. Once again team-work came to the fore! Nando with a broad back and Stef hauling from the top, got us all over without disgracing ourselves! Those of us from the ‘top teams’ prefer to leave that to the novices!

The Mullers get only praise for the whole event. Well thought out routes, maps you could follow easily and support from the announcer at the finish. The cream on the top, is the generous sponsored prizes and lucky draws, where (nearly) everybody went home with goodies ranging from hard drives valued at over R1000, to good quality waterbottles. Nando stayed to the bitter end in spite of having other plans, in the hope that he could be the lucky winner of the Meridia bicycle. Well it will have to be next time Nando – we were rooting for you!

Now for the next Lickety Split event – 24 hour MTB!