Monday, 5 March 2012

Fact or Fiction - The Cape Argus MTB Challenge

Fact or Fiction is the theme of this years Cape Argus MTB Challenge and here's why - As you guys and girls know I'm sure, it's Argus fever in Cape Town. As the main event gets closer and closer, the mother city is buzzing with all types of riders. This of course I am sure of it, is taking a toll on a lot of drivers, but please guys, I know the riders can take up everything from a little path to a major highway, just be patient, soon it will all be over and then roads can be back to normal.

Rather gloomy weather

Anyway back to the good part (for you Lone-Rida). As it is Argus season, that means we have the good old faithful Cape Argus MTB challenge, which took part last weekend. Every year this race seems to leave a strange feeling when one completes it. The best way I heard it being described this weekend was "It's a very commercial ride" quite simply that is spot on.

I entered the 32Km leg for the race, which I thought was going to be challenging enough to work the body but still really good fun. Well all I can say was that it was a bit of both and then still different to others races so far this year.
Iron-man and DC at the start!

As the gun went off at 8:00am, there was a good buzz in the air. People were excited to get going and seeing what the course will be like this year. Last year, the 25Km was also a very commercial ride and was a bit of a tricky one to pace yourself as I expected a fairly steep climb, which actually didn't happen. So naturally I thought this year would have the long and difficult climb in it, which without fail it did, and it did not disappoint, but it was fairly early in the race, so I figured there was another tough one coming up, which never appeared.

So why was this a very strange and different race for me. The main reason I think was the pacing. With most races over 30Km you never quite know what you gonna get, you think it will be difficult enough to make you work but still have the ease of finishing with a good time. Well this race did have that, but in very small quantities. Where my pace was thrown off, was using the water points as a distance marker. Apparently it was said there were 3 water points on the course and spread on an avg of 10 Km a part. when I hit the first one, it was definitely not 10 Km into the race, so I thought this was for the 54 Km or we would do a loop and hit it on the way back, which we eventually did. However when the "first" water point came up (actually the second), it did feel as if 10 Km had gone by, only later finding out that this was actually the second water point. To cut a long story short, the 3 water spots, in my opinion, were actually 2 and if, looking back, I had paced my self using that idea as a pace marker, I do feel I could have done it a bit faster.

In the end however, the race was a fun race. The track was mainly nice an smooth with a good technical climb and some rocky and bumpy downhills, which always gets the nerves and the blood pumping.

Final time was about 2:15 (left my timing chip behind but my better half came prepared as she always does, followed my time, thanks my love :-) ) Was not unhappy with the time; but next year, possibly a longer distance but definitely a faster time!

Anyway Guys and Girls, if you are going for the big one this weekend, enjoy it, ride safe, have some fun, but most important......STAY DIRTY!

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