Hello South Africa or how I came to love 30,000km of travel for a mountain bike race

Continent number 6! Am I happy? you better believe I am! Now that jetlag has burned off a little and I'm recovering from 36 hours of travel and reorientation it's safe to say I'm super happy to be here. And man, it's nice to have a few days r and r before the race begins. Flashback 2 days later - [...]

By | November 25th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Race, Roadtrip, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 8 Monchique – Sagres 100km distance 1,533m climbing

I don’t like writing about the last day. It was the same thing in 2015. I left the last day’s report for months, unwilling to empty the cache and be done with the experience. A last thread connecting my experiences to the present.But the time has come and with all the riding I’ve been doing since the race it’s fair to say that new experiences are coming much faster than in 2015.The last day is not a happy start. I am sore. I see a hockey player at breakfast who is very sore. Very saddle sore. I

By | July 17th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Race, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 7 Albernoa to Monchique 138km distance 2,373m climbing

Himmel und Hölle in Bewegung setzen!!Wake up early again, and continue the pre-sleep fidgeting. The only drawback to having a roomie is that you can’t just get up and yawn and fart and wank the morning away. You have to act in a manner that resembles your mother being in the same room.At least breakfast starts early, so I drop the Playboy magazine in my mind and focus on more eating. I have left my kit on the fence overnight (the only person to do so) and consequently it is completely wet. It’s

By | July 5th, 2017|Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 6 Evora to Albernoa 100km distance 716m climbing

Eine Extrawurst verlangen  - please!I need my concierge, need my massage – before I get out of bed. Somebody dry me when I get out of the shower and cream me up please. I am slumming it in luxury here guys! Sleep last night was ok, nothing amazing on my little cot. All the rooms in Portugal so far have been really decent size, but the beds are always so small. Can’t roll over without bumping into my roomie. He’s a great guy, but a bit hairy for my taste in morning love.I feel the equivalent of

By | July 5th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 5 Castelo de Vide to Evora 153km distance 1,664m climbing

I wake sore and feeling like I’ve been mugged which is not a good sign. Even though I haven’t figured it out yet I am dehydrated and suffering badly. After the crash yesterday my body has kind of congealed, like old congee left on hot concrete and peed over periodically by passing dogs.My face is very puffy. A picture later that day reveals the extent of my new Asiatic face, which I grow quite partial to, adopting new nicknames and attracting a new legion of fanboys in the peloton. Other people

By | June 25th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 4 Penhas da Saude to Castelo de Vide 164km distance 2281m climbing

I’m woken in the middle of the night by the rain sound of a Caribbean carnival outside. No wait, maybe just the steel drum. It’s crazy. But I laugh in my half sleep, it’s not really worrying, actually comforting. For a moment I imagine sailing instead, but that passes and sleep resumes.The day starts well, in a good mood. Legs are still there. Breakfast here is one of the best, great full English and enough fruits and carbs to keep a small army going, which I suppose we are in many ways.It’s

By | June 25th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 3 Viseu to Penhas da Saude 100km distance 3,214m climbing

When I rode the race last time in 2015 day 3 was a special conflagration of all that was wrong with my racing ambitions. Too much beer the night before (and the night before that), and well, you get the idea. I also missed a critical water station at the bottom of the last big climb (a trick I repeated this time as well – more on that later). I cramped hard under the intense afternoon heat, and found myself wallowing in a kind of post-race delirium. There was lots of beer at the finish, so I

By | June 13th, 2017|Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 2 Peso da Regua to Viseu 90km distance 2,656m climbing

There is something pleasurable about waking up with nothing to do all day and the lazy cat feeling that comes from knowing you can loll around and do nothing other than be served breakfast in bed, hit the pool, catch up on some rays. Unfortunately for us, this is the total opposite of the expected agenda. The day starts early of course and breakfast is a wake-up affair with the first day’s efforts sitting on legs, and some disorientation setting in.We have the biggest single climb on the race

By | May 31st, 2017|Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments

Trans Portugal 2017 Day 1 Chaves to Regua 110km distance 1,795m climbing

Notes that afternoon: Just a flat out fun day in the saddle. Pushing hard. Excellent power, everything fell into place. Very happy with results. Short and sweet?First though, flashback to yesterday. We’ve arrived only mid-afternoon from Lisbon, after a 4 hour bus ride. Comfortable enough, but long to be in one small space, and not conducive to relaxing legs or minds, knowing how much preparation work lies ahead. It’s a recurring theme of this adventure, having to keep on top of your

By | May 28th, 2017|Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments

Stagecoach 400 – Thinking on the spirit of Juan Bautista de Anza

The waiting is over. Signed up for Stagecoach 400 this week and now the planning can kick into high gear. I have never bike-packed before, and have been looking forward to it for a couple years now. Popularity in this sport has increased a lot since I first became aware of it. Had planned to go to Korea in April, [...]

By | January 18th, 2016|Bike Packing, Mountain Biking, Stage Race|0 Comments