the Baviaanskloof from M.A.C

Epic, tick… What next?? This was my state of mind after the post-epic depression had subsided. (caused by not being able to ride my bike) My body had recovered and now I could immerse myself in bicycle adventures again. Then, I got an email from Jody and Damon, some lads who had done epic alongside me. “You and Kat keen for TransBav??”. hmmmmm 230km mountain bike race, one go, I’m IN!!!

One long ass drive to J-Bay, Kat and I met Damon, Jody and the best second ever, Jeanine for another long ass drive to Willowmore, the start of the Transbaviaans. For Willowmore it was Xmas, New Years, everyone’s Birthday and Eid rolled into one. There were bikes squeezing out of every door in the town. It seemed that every house is in fact a B&B for the weekend.  There were a lot of people willing to subject themselves to a LONG day in the saddle! (It’s not just me!! thank Goodness!) Registration, beer and pasta done, we were set for tomorrow’s voyage to J-Bay.

the Boys Tussling

A generous 10 am start and we had hit 100km before I even looked at my odo. That was one fast ass 100km! I had a sneaky suspicion that the next 130km would not be so easy! They weren’t, the climbing had just started. Thank goodness though, because it was a struggle to keep up with Jody on the flats. My biggest mare of the race occurred about 20km from water point 3. I ran out of juice leaving me dehydrated and without a steady carbohydrate flow to keep my blood sugar stable. AND it was why I wanted to puke all the way up M.A.C. (the Mother of All Climbs) well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…




 At the top of MAC is where the race got interesting… I remember saying to Ledge “this race is not for sissies” and it is not. It got dark up there and we had to strap on our lights and warm gear for the descent. I adjusted my insulin basal rate here as my blood sugar kept rising throughout the ride. Things were also changing as we were past the 6hr mark. It was here that Damon was very unhappy! He was more unhappy than I have ever seen him! The way he was dressed though, wow!

Damon at the top of M.A.C. a sight for sore eyes…

The descent from MAC was awesome. But it was also the start of the relentless “are we there yet?” question. It was kind of like I had a 5year old safety belted down in a seat in the back of  my brain who was now really bored! This carried on throughout the night. It might have lapsed only once- When our AMAZING second met us at the next check point, kitted out with a selection of everything from ZOO biscuits (yes ZOO biscuits, epic!) to salami sarmies.

 

The Spread…

“The Never-ender” was not called the never-ender for nothing. The insistent and relentless gradient was a sure test for nearly 200km legs. At this stage I was stoked to have my CGM. It just gave me the confidence that I could push and my sugar was stable. More importantly it reminded me that I wasn’t in the middle of a mad HYPO, I was just broken….

 

my pump with my blood glucose graph at the top of the “never-ender”




The end could not come quick enough!!! It was one awesome feeling crossing the line with Jody, Legend (Kat) and Damon. 14hrs 20mins was one long ass time to spend on my 130mm saddle. It was one massive test for my blood sugar management. I was broken and one thing was for sure, I wouldn’t be riding the next day…

www.transbaviaans.co.za