Cape Town Cycle Tour 109 km via BMX – 11 March 2018

58 kilometres per hour/36 miles per hour. That was my top speed while traversing the 109 km Cape Town Cycle Tour on a single speed BMX. Like trail running, I just feel really good and free riding a BMX. It’s simply fun, and I could not resist riding the world’s largest timed cycle race without anything else.

For the downloadable GPS track and waypoints, visit here.

This Tale depicts these highs and some lows that comes with riding over one hundred kilometres with no gears on the smallest bicycle on the course, within a 7 hour time limit. Time and speed may have been important, yet I soon found out that the journey was probably not only more important, but a whole lot of fun! Enjoy!

Wheels on wheels – taking the mid morning train ride into the City of Cape Town.

This annual event starts at the Grand Parade in the center of the city.

BMX, otherwise known as a bicycle motocross (20 inch wheels, no gears). Small bike? Getting to this point took two years of planning, practicing and fine tuning. What could possibly go wrong? (extended seat post to minimise knee damage and keep me in one piece for trail running).

Making ones way to the start line. The Cape Town Cycle Tour attracts 35 000 cyclists, with start times spread over 3 to 4 hours.

No comparison. Just reflect, then pedal and have fun!

Wynberg Hill – no gears required.

Meeting my family on this hill was a certain highlight – its always they who usually sacrifice the most when undertaking an adventure like this.

I opted for my trail running apparel and equipment which was to minimise stoppage time and ensure I make the finish line within 7 hours.

Head shot taken over my head looking back. I found that by having no gears I was often cycling along with no one being able to keep up or I wasn’t able to keep up with others.

Smitswinkel. Hangklip across False Bay in the centre.

Its not everyday the major roads of Cape Town are closed to traffic and cyclists can have the roads to themselves…

The first half of the route takes a southerly direction along the False Bay coastline. The Cape Town Cycle Tour is synonymous for the infamous south-eastern wind cyclists have to navigate through during this section of the race. However, the north-eastern wind was endured as we made our way northwards along the Atlantic coastline…

Misty Cliffs looking north…

Head shot taken over my head looking back south along the Misty Cliffs section of the route.

Coasting along the coast known as the Atlantic Seaboard, I could not help but just enjoy the day even a bit more because of the BMX I was on!

Chapman’s Peak Drive

About 90 kilometres into the race I was in my element having real fun – even up Suikerbossie Hill, a hill of significance, evidently. I was on track to complete the race well within 6 hours! However, this was about to change…

Total blowout – tube and tyre.

If mentioned one has completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the usual question is: “what was your time?” The fastest time completed is usually the best answer. However, the backwheel blowout I experienced with 13 kilometres to go gave a whole new meaning to the time I was probably going to complete it in, into the time I had left to actually survive the cut off time limit of 7 hours.

After changing the tube, another rider kindly gave me Duct tape to keep the tyre in tact.

With three kilometres to go the Duct tape wore through and the tube punctured again. With about an hour before time runs out, I decided there was only one best option – run!

An adventure in more ways than one –  a privilege to complete any race in any time. It’s about the unseen lessons learnt that always remain.

2018 marked the 40th edition of the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

For results visit here.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

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Coffee, science?

Some of our supporters of relational artisan coffee think coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil. Not all things are seemingly what they seem to be simply because no matter which way we look at that thing, numbers, facts and figures cannot and do not tell the full story. Is it science? There’s more to a cup of coffee…

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This Tale highlights our stewardship of Creation by exposing the chosen roaster Trailblazer Trailer uses as we make a difference to peoples lives one cup at a time. Usually the difference made would be to those who drink the cups of coffee which we brew – which Trailblazer Trailer does, but this difference is also made at the origin where this coffee is grown.

“What coffee are you using?” This common question is usually answered with the mentioned origin the particular beans come from that we brew. Together with Science of Coffee, Trailblazer Trailer supports these origins and makes a difference.

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More than agronomy, coffee is extensively handled, sorted and inspected for defects by people. By supporting the origins, we support the people who cultivate the coffee plantations, increasing yield and quality and ultimately their livelihoods. The coffee we brew is roasted by Science of Coffee….

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Science of Coffee are more than scientists. They epitomise more than branding or a coffee culture, but precision in sourcing, roasting and knowledge from ground to cup. This is backed by exceptional service, attention to detail and relationship which is evident in where their and our hearts lie – the farmers of the coffee’s they source.

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What’s behind the Latte art of your cup of coffee? Is it the view? The interior of your local cafe? Or is it about the people who hand picked and sorted each bean to ensure optimum quality? Maybe you don’t drink coffee, then, what legacy are you leaving behind with what you have been given?

Trailblazer Trailer specialises in the artisanal craft brewing of this coffee. It’s more than science…its relational artisan coffee.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15

What coffee race are you running?

Hangklip

Resembling a hanging mountain, its peak precariously points towards its mirrored counterpart on the opposite side of False Bay.

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Enjoying Hangklip looked too good to skip and so we took a few hours to enjoy this day hike together.

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For the downloadable GPS track visit here.

It was one of those magnificent, simple days doing what we like to do. Enjoy this Tale!

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The trail passes through the residential Fynbos areas of troops of Baboons.

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Hangklip, 454 metres above sea level.

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Cape Hangklip

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Pringle Bay

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Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond.

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Point to point across False Bay – distant far left: Cape of Good Hope, most southwestern tip of Africa; just inset: Cape Point; centre: Cape Town; right: Hangklip summit.

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Technical underfoot, the trail makes its way along the crest of the massif.

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A simple day on Hangklip…

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Ultra-Trail Cape Town 35 km – 2 December 2017

It was that usual butterflies-in-the-stomach moment as we made our way to the start line of this iconic event. Perhaps it was the hype around this anticipated day or maybe it was the slight trepidation that’s typical of a new event one just isn’t sure how will pan out. Maybe it was these factors, but it was also the mountain, 2000 metres of vertical ascent over just 35 kilometres, but more importantly, it was the sheer joy and privilege of being able to run together.

UTCT 35km

For the downloadable GPS track and waypoints, visit here.

This Tale is about doing what we just simply love to do together: trail running in the purest of what Creation has in store for us, all along the Ultra-Trail Cape Town’s 35 kilometre route.

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Kloof Corner

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The trail makes its way along the Contour Path below the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.

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Heading up Platteklip Gorge

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From the vast open spaces of the mountain faces to the flat tops of the table, we traversed clear skies high above the city that is home to more species of flora than most floral kingdoms on the planet. The North-Eastern wind brought about its billowing clouds which seemed to join in on the dance we were having together.

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Woodhead Dam

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Temperatures fluctuated that is usual for any mountain climate far above the city below, yet as we made our way back down to the Contour Path that circumnavigates the massif, so we warmed up and enjoyed pristine technical single track path under our feet nearing the finish.

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Nursery Ravine

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It’s always a privilege to run together!

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For the results visit here.