So the first batches of riders have set off, and by all accounts ridden straight into a cold front. Fortunately for us in group H (17th June), the weather looks to be clearing with few showers and highs of 14 and lows of 2 degrees over the first 5 days traversing Transkei and Lesotho.

As with all of the these events nerves start to creep in – you start hearing noises in your bike that you are convinced is a frame cracks and the body begins aching in weird and wonderful places. Unfortunately this time round I have fallen foul to paranoia becoming all to true.

1. The blasted front fork: I have been hearing a slight knocking sound on the headset area of the bike under light load. Unable to find the source of the noise I took the Niner into Cycle lab Fourways where Mauricio is aware of the fact that I am doing FC and so did a thorough strip of the front half. It finally emerged that my fancy new DT Swiss fork is prone to the steerer tube having play in the crown assembly – the source of the ‘knock’…..young Helet Conradie as per usual jumped into action and sourced a new Rock Shox RTL Reba. This particular fork is the Hilux of the suspension world and in hindsight is actually the right tool for the job…..more cash added to the FC budget, but rather now than out on the trail !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The dreaded ITB: The knee pain and myself are old friends, a running injury from years ago that I thought I was well shot of. I broke the cardinal rule of endurance racing – I changed my shoes and thus my set up within a month of race start. In my defence I struggled to find the appropriate trail/MTB shoes that took my fancy, net result, they arrived late and I promptly did 2 x 150km weekends and hey presto that niggling pain down the left knee emerged when applying watts to the pedal stroke. Fortunately I had ordered a back up pair online, these feel far more natural on my feet and I have also tweaked the saddle height to accommodate for the thicker soled shoes. A test ride this weekend yielded good results and knee looks to be getting back in shape. What an ejut !!!!

The revised anti-ITB tekkies (Gaerne Lapo’s):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from the knee, I am very happy with my fitness and all other kit and clothing. I feel prepared and excited, and a little thankful that in group H we have some true FC gentleman who will hopefully guide this ‘newbie lytie’ along for the first few days.

Next post from PMB !!!

 

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