Now here is something all future Cape Epic entrants might want to take note of.
When you enter the Cape Epic, your right of passage is lined with past Cape Epic participants as well as future hopefuls who will all tell you that you are going to die out there, that your equipment is going to fail on you and that you will cry. Plenty.
I took the warnings to heart when I went about seeking the best partnerships for my Cape Epic experience, including my robust riding partner, who had a tendency of being a juggernaut. The basic test for being part of our support team was a simple sentence:
“Can Brett break it?”
Nice and easy eh. Not so much when you are the product manager. His reputation precedes him. After some vigorous testing and some tense moments, we have come out with the following plan to make sure we get to the end in one piece, with zero mechanicals.
We will both be on these bikes, albeit with slightly different specs.
Fitted SRAM, Rock Shox, Continental Tires and our own personal bits and pieces (including some amazing Industry Nine Wheels on mine) we are ready to rumble. The bikes got through Sani2c without a single issue. They are completely amazing. Morewood, we love you!
Equally as important is our nutrition. We have gone with a two-prong attack. Our biggest concerns are replacement of glycogen, blood sugar levels, focus after 4 hours on the trails and constipation. Yes, you read that correctly. Here is the attack strategy:
On the bike we are fueled by Whasp Nutrition (energy drinks and gels and special little caffeine boosters for hour 6) as well as controlling our lactic acid levels and blood sugar levels with Sport-X‘s Endurance Packs for in race and recovery. We have been playing with both sets of products over the last 4 months and have both had the same, favorable results. Consuming 6-8 gels a day, 6 bottles of energy drink and about 20-30 tablets a day takes special preparation and a bit of HTFU when it gets over 33 degrees out there and the last thing you feel like is warm naartjie juice with 2 pills. yum. We are lucky to have such great partners.
Nothing kills vooma quite like Whaspgel… no wait, wrong comparison. Nothing kills your momentum quite like a puncture. We have been extremely fortunate and we are aiming to keep the good fortune (of puncture-free days) going with Sludge products in our tires every day. Seriously. If you are not using Sludge, no matter what the man says, you are cutting yourself a little short. Local is lekker if you haven’t noticed all our products are local and Sludge is no different.
The last thing to really keep an eye on is intensity in the first few days. Cape Epic is for us, about days 5, 6 & 7. The real time gaps will appear on these days, so its best we watch our intensities in the first few days.
My trusty Suunto T6 is going to keep me going and we are itching for another one, hopefully it`ll arrive in time. Suunto have done such a great job with the T6 that its almost permanently out of stock. I`ll be watching my cadence, speed, heart rate all simultaneously all day, making sure the effort is measured, rather than powered like it was at Sani2c.
So we have done our 6 hour days out there in the heat, drinking, riding, watching ourselves, taking pills and trying not to die. We are being looked after post-riding every day by two amazing companies.
First off is Biosport, who are going to massage our legs in the first few days and I am told that by day 5 we will be skipping legs for hands and neck massages, such is the nature of this beast. Line and her team are looking after a huge contingency this year, giving us lunch and shakes and general words of “don’t quit freak!”
Line has been instrumental to my entire season and I cannot thank her enough for believing in us.
Our bikes will be getting some daily service by the only guy I let work on my bike. Kyle from Legacy Cycles has walked a long way with both Brett and myself. Kyle understands bicycles and the way they move out on the trail and where any issues come from better than anybody I know and we are excited to have him restore the beasts to working order after banging over Western Cape rock for 6 hours a day.
That’s it for today. I`ll talk about our title sponsor, our kit, our special recovery tools (beer and wine) tomorrow. Have an amazing day.