Feb 202014

I am reminded of a time, way back, when I was into my mountain biking, big time. I rode everywhere. I rode to work, I rode at work, I rode home from work and then I rode for training and fun after work. At that stage I had a Giant ATX 770 [actually I still have the bike] and I wore out the drivetrain several times over the course of a few years. Life was simple and fun.

In those days it was only Sands and me. She worked in Jo’burg, still working trauma unit shifts every second weekend and so our only car was often unavailable as she needed to get to work. As a backup to the bicycle I had a little Kawasaki AR125, and so we lived our lives.

In those days I did as many weekend outrides and events as I possibly could. This specific weekend Sandy was at work and I was car-less. The problem was, there was a JMBC outride in the south that weekend and I was stuck at home in Vdbp. Or was I?

It’s amazing what is possible if you want it bad enough. I dismounted the wheels, strapped the frame and rims to my hiking backpack, climbed aboard the AR125, mountain bike and all, and headed north.

The stares, praise and incredulous comments had me feeling like some MTB ‘guru’. Unbelievable they said. Was it easy? No way. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

As life has become more affluent, fatter and comfortable, it’s easy to loose some of that drive. Would I do the same today? Likely not. Have I lost all of that make-a-plan at any cost attitude? Definitely not.

We are where we are, not just because we have been fortunate enough to earn a decent salary but also because there is, in large measure, still the willingness and ability to sacrifice and put in personal sweat equity.

Hard and difficult work never killed anyone. It’s what got them living the good life despite the odds !

Know what you want and put your back into it. Forget the money. Just do the work.

Feb 162014


I’m thinking along the lines of having a new set of wheels built for ‘the Gorilla’, super strong, super light, disc-brake wheels. But the problem with having a high-end frame and components is when things wear out and need replacing it’s all to easy to buy cheaper and end up with a downgraded bike.

Why do I need disc brakes? I rode for years, pretty much continuously and aggressively, with the standard Vees. Sure, the world may have progressed, the technology dishing up superb stopping power but you don’t need to stop if you never get going in the first place do you!?

So forget about the spend. Just get back on the bike and ride !


The hills in this neighbourhood are high and long! 11km, 48min. Nothing epic but a good workout nonetheless. And the new pads are stopping me a treat. Beautiful morning out!

Jan 222014

There is a lot of good kit out there these days! And a lot of exciting activities and adventures to be had.

Adventure Biking

Adventure Driving

Some choose the route of trying to cram as much of everything into life, ticking items off a to-do list. Others ‘specialise’ and focus on a few core activities. And some just never get past the arm-chair stage. And then there are the Joneses. You know, the guys who always have to have the best kit in the group and who want everyone to know it. They generally compensate for their inadequencies with cash.

In a time-scarce world of work and 2-week holiday’s a year, it’s easy to fall for the trap of advertising. That picture of a fully kitted 4×4 in the Namib, the GS1200 on a dusty track in the outback, the top-spec MTB climbing a forest trail…..you desperately want to be there, to do that and so the temptation is to buy the kit, to get ready, to be prepared. Then, maybe, just maybe, you get to be there – maybe just once or twice. But then, for the rest of life, the kit goes into storage gathering dust.

For me the key is to focus on the few activities and adventures that are really important .. important to me. The yacht, while not new, flashy or lavishly kitted out is seaworthy. The 4×4 truck is not decked out with all the gear but is capable. The MTB and shoes are old but still serviceable and the ZR7, while not top of the range, is still a blast to ride and a traffic-killer. And without time all of this is enough.

Top priority in life is to now engineer some time !