November 29, 2010

Back in the groove…


It has indeed been a few interesting weeks. Much change has been happening and many plans constructed for 2011 and well, beyond. Schemes devised and changes to schedules made, fires put out and feelings returned, long forgotten. Very little training has been done in the last few weeks and on the weekend, I was fortunate enough to get back on the mountain after a few weeks hiatus in lieu of planning, partying and spending all my spare time focused on the first moments of a new relationship. Seeing as you never get them back, those first moments are to be savored like a plate of perfectly prepared pork belly with 4 (or more) glasses of Palladius & great mates to laugh with.

I can tell you about some of the amazing things I have planned for 2011 already and some are still a work in progress. I have reconfirmed some amazing partners to Urban Ninja already with more increased involvement from both sides. A big part of this was to find a cause worth talking about in 2011 and as such, I am committing to a new upstart cause called Pure Planet. If you aren’t already aware of their Car Free Friday initiative for this Friday, then make the commitment and pledge to ride / walk / other to work this Friday.

Along with partners the aim is to take racing around the world to the next level in 2011 and do it by leaving no carbon footprint. Whilst I am endeavoring to race in South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and possibly Australia in 2011, Pure Planet and Urban Ninja will rally to raise awareness to their cause as well as create enough carbon credits to facilitate this dream of racing the planet without leaving a footprint under the banner of Pure Planet Racing. I will be including various team “partners” for team events as well as special team members for races where I cannot participate. What a champion cause, right?

In addition to this, we will be documenting the entire year through a photography book which will be available for holiday season 2011. Some truly incredible photographers will be brought to document the cause, the races as well as the events to raise awareness for Pure Planet. This enables the dream to live on and the cause to be “seen” around the world.

This initiative has really got me going and is something I believe is truly unique. It is something I hope to look back on in 12 months time and be extremely proud of.


Then today is the day I officially got back into training, but first I have to rewind 24 hours and boast, just a little, at the amazing company I had for a ride yesterday. I got TheHousemate up just after 7:30am, both of us in a mild tequila haze, for what was supposed to be a group ride in Stellenbosch with Dan Hugo & the boys. When they caught us coming down one of the singltracks, the group was quite big and I thought I recognised one or two of the faces. Once we regrouped at the bottom of an insane 20 minute technical singletrack descent in Jonkershoek, I was mildly in awe at the crowd I was riding with:

Conrad Stoltz – 4 times Xterra World Champs
Dan Hugo – Multiple Xterra Champ
Giniel de Villers – 2 Time Dakar Champ
Jan Frodeno – Olympic Triathlon Champ

I was in awe and wanted to get going, but apparently we were waiting for someone to arrive. She was new to mountain biking, apparently. When Emma Snowsill rode out the forest, we all smiled. 3 times world champion, current Olympic Champion and multiple World Cup winner.

We rode every bit of single track in Jonkershoek over the next few hours, some of it far more hiking trail than single track, but after a few falls (read: completely and utterly ran out of talent) and some seriously scary moments, I was left smiling and excited. Lunch afterwards was amazing, just spending time with these absolutely world class athletes. How fortunate am I, right?

So back to training and back to working with a powermeter and a new coach as well. Based on my goals for next year, I had to stop advising myself to get the next level of performance out of this body as the clock ticks on. So we go all in this week. You will be able to keep track of the numbers via Garmin Connect and I will advise when you can get onto that, I promise.

Getting back into training involves more than just training and it means that little extra care that goes into eating, sleeping, packing bags, scheduling time out and making sure I am building the correct functional strength to carry my body the distance over the next 12 months. I am quite excited to have someone else think of my training for the entire period and teach me things about my body I had no idea existed.

2011 is without a doubt, going to be an amazing year. There is great energy around, I feel I have the right balance of partnerships and now with the focus on Pure Planet , a cause worth talking about. I look forward to finding new routes, trails, races, places, people and experiences. I will be hosting talks, camps and racing things which you have never heard of, but will from now on, never be able to forget.

The boy is back, with a whole new bad of toys… can’t wait to share them, with you.


…and all the photos of mountain passes? The road my life is currently taking truly excites me. Like a good mountain pass, the challenges presented are tough, but oh so worth the effort to get to the top and reflect.

One Comment on “Back in the groove…

December 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Wow – awesome company – would love to have just 5 minutes with Emma Snowsill – just to know what its like to have achieved what she has…


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