Upcoming: ABSA Cape Epic

The 16th edition of the Absa Cape Epic will take place from 17 to 24 March 2019 and will be as challenging as ever. Local and international mountain bikers will tackle the demanding eight-day adventure through the Western Cape region in South Africa. 

The Absa Cape Epic must be completed by both members of a two-person team with only 650 teams allowed to ride the race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 700 untamed kilometres of unspoilt scenery and 15 000m of accumulated climbing.

The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start – all riders need to think about is riding.

ABSA Cape Epic

 

Upcoming: The Pioneer MTB Stage Race

2018-ThePioneer-RiderBadge

The Pioneer Mountain Bike Stage Race through NZ’s Southern Alps has proven to be a true pioneering race. All those who compete love the stunning scenery, the brutal nature of the challenge, and they leave heaping praise on this epic event through New Zealand’s pristine high country.

The third edition of The Pioneer will take place from 25 – 30 November 2018 and will be as challenging as ever. Local and international mountain bikers will tackle the six-stage race in teams of two. Riders must stay no more than 2 minutes apart for the entire race.

Many riders push themselves to their absolute limits and then ride beyond to discover new limits for themselves and their teammate.  The level of camaraderie that develops amongst the riders around the social lounge in camp every day is staggering and heart-warming. We don’t exaggerate when we say life-long friends are made on this journey.

Pioneer MTB

The Strength of Together

My last blog consisted of a list of equipment needed. While the right gear is extremely important for any journey to be successful, there is something significant and powerful that cannot simply be put in a list. Nonetheless, here it is. Just some of the people who helped my complete this crazy adventure in their own special way. Both friends and strangers.

  1. Ryan Corry. If you know Ryan, you know that he would give the shirt off his own back … and does. Ryan have a lot of similarities, including sharing the same birthday, height, bike setup, shoe size and love of coaching others. Ryan has given and lent me so much over the years including much of his own gear, new and much loved. On this trip Ryan offered his Ortelib Saddle Bag. This bag was a lifesaver as it had more storage space than the tardus and was designed so well that you wouldn’t know it was on the back of your bike.
  2. Evan Corry. All my Bike Equipment is purchased through Corry Cycles and Ev manages to source what I need or offer a better product and a better price time and time again. He’s also able to perform the odd miracle and get obscure equipment delivery at extremely short notice in time to travel away to Race to take off on an adventure.
  3. Dave Arnold. I don’t think I’ve ever cycled with Dave before, but he loves everything cycling and didn’t think twice about offering me his Bivy for the trip. I had no idea what a Bivy was at this stage but knew that if Dave swore but it, it was be good. Yes, it was hot, but it packed smaller than 2 tennis balls, kept the bugs and snakes out and I was very grateful for it when it rained at Elliott Falls.
  4. Once I rolled into Bamaga, I was really looking forward to having a shower, sleeping in a real bed and eating real food again. I was so thankful that my good friends Robi & Mel Tamwoy (Sito, Santi & Eve) opened their home (and the best coffee shop in the Northern Peninsula Area!!!!). I always feel at home at their place and so enjoy their company and are always inspired by their commitment to strengthening Indigenous Communities.
  5. When your doing it tough with hour upon hour suffering corrugations, dust or dead straight bitumen that goes as far as the eye can see, a “goodie bag” makes the world of difference. My good friends from the Mackay & District Mountain Bike Club, the Scoble’s, left 4 of these surprise parcels where I most needed them. Lollies, mandarins and water were never so well received!
  6. Emma & Leon. When the ferry was booked out and I couldn’t get to my return flight from Horn Island they cruised over from POW Island and picked me up in the dinghy with bike. They also looked after my son with their family for the week.
  7. The lovely caretaker lady at Moreton Telegraph Station who still served me dinner after they had closed for the day and brought out wheetbix for breakfast.
  8. The woman camping at one of the creeks on the Southern Section of the OTL who filled both my Bidons.
  9. The Catetaker lady at Hann River who upgraded my camping accomodation to a cabin. Very much appreciated as it allowed my an early start the next morning.
  10. All those Facebook & Instagram Friends and Family who liked, shared and commented on my posts along the way. It was a great source of encouragement.
  11. My wife Priscilla for giving me a leave pass for the week and not doubting my ability to make it. Also for allowing me to pursue this passion and purchase the equipment needed to compete the journey safety and enjoyably.
  12. My good friend Lincoln Carolan and Family for hosting me in Cairns both pre and post trip, including meals, airport transfers and entertainment. Also for the encouragement pre and during the Tip. Much appreciated!
  13. Frank Falappi and the Queensland Police Service for ensuring I made it to my start location at Lakeland’s safely and able to to reach the Tip by the week’s end.
  14. Graeme and Charmaine Bourke in Coen for a bed, lovely dinner and big bowl of porridge in the morning. Loved catching up with them again.

It’s nice doing life with such generous people and I hope that they know that I’d return the favour any time.

BIKEPACKING from CAIRNS TO CAPE YORK. What to Bring?

BIKE SETUP (All Bike related product available from Corry Cycles)

• GIANT Anthem Pro 29er 0 with Eagle 12 Speed.

• QUARQ Power Meter (36 Tooth)

• SHIMANO XTR Pedals

• MAXXIS IKON 2.2 Tyres

• ESI Silicone Grips

BIKE ACCESSORIES

• SPECIALIZED Bottle Cage with multitools (Downtube)

• SPECIALIZED Top Cap Tool with Chan Breaker and Spare Quick Link

• SPECIALIZED MTB Pump (Mounted on Bottle Cage)

• 2x TOPEAK Versa Mounts (Bidons on Forks)

• 3x 950ml ELITE Ombra Bidons

• 2x Backcountry Research Velcro Race Straps (for securing 2x Spare Tubes)

• 2x MT ZOOM Velcro Straps (for securing Bidons in cages on Forks)

• 2x Spare Tubes

• K-EDGE Wahoo Mount

HYDRATION

Consumed as much as I could at Roadhouses

• SKRATCH LABS Hydration Mix Sachets

• SKRATCH LABS Energy Bars

• SHOTS Electrolyte Tabs (5 Tubes)

• ENDURA Energy Bars

LIFESTRAW (Drinking from Creeks)

FOOD

Consumed as much as I could at Roadhouses

• BACK COUNTRY Dehydrated Food (Dinner, Dessert, Breakfast)

• Trail Mix Cups (Nuts, Seeds, Sultanas)

RIDING APPAREL

• Shimano Sphyre XC9 Shoes

• Kit x2 (only wore 1)

• Socks x2 (only wore 1)

• POC Octal Helmet

• POC Do Half Blade Sunglasses

• POC XC Full fingered gloves

• SO1O Sun protectors for arms

• CAMELBAK Chase 1l

BAGS

• TOPEAK Frontloader Handlebar Bag

• ORTLIEB Watwrproof Saddle Bag

• Stubbie Cooler Chaff Bags (made from Stubbie Coolers for accessible food)

• B-SOUL Waterproof Small Triangle Frame Bag (Cheap off Internet)

SLEEPING

• Hiking Air Mattress (BCF)

• Tropics sleeping Bag

• BLACK WOLF Inflatable Pillow

• Bivy (with Poles to keep off face)

• KATHMANDU Silk Inner

PERSONAL

• RIDE MECHANIC Moonshine (But Cream)

• Sunscreen

• Small First Aid Kit (inc. Snake Bike Bandage)

• Insect Repellant

• Baby Wipes (Used for Toilet Paper)

• Glasses Len Wipes

• Contact Lenses

ELECTRICAL

• WAHOO Elemnt Bolt (with Routes pre-loaded)

• APPLE IPhone (with HEMA Maps)

• NITERIDER Riding Light (bar and helmet mount)

• Riding Light (Solar Recharge)

• GOAl ZERO Venture 30 Recharger (with USB cables)

• GOPRO Hero Session 5 (with USB Cable and Bar Mount)

• Small Solar Panel

• APPLE IPhone 240v wall charger.

• Retractable IPhone Cable

BIKE CONSUMABLES

• RIDE MECHANIC Bike Milk

• STANS Sealant (Race)

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

• Leatherman (with Flint)

• Makeup Wipes (to start fire)

• Electrical Taps

  • Cable Ties

• Cloth Tape

• GIANT Puncture Repair Kit

• Small Bike Lock

• RIDE MECHANIC Tyre Tufts

• Tyre Lever

• Cable Ties

• Small Billy (for Boiling Water)

CLOTHING

• POC Light Tee

• POC Raceday Jacket

• Sports Shorts x1

• Underwear x1

• Small Travel Towel

• Thongs

Day 6. Cairns to Cape York. Bamaga to the Tip

The day started with waking up to a house in the neighbourhood blasting Slim Dusty’s “Pub with no beer”, then improved dramatically after a Thupmul Coffee and muesli.

I took the long way to the Tip riding the Back trails to Seisia, Loyalty Beach, Punsand Bay before reading my destination.

826k. 52hrs. Solo. Unassisted.