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Epic Training: Week 28

Oscar Foulkes March 18, 2017 Cape Epic No comments
Last week was billed as Kit Week. In truth, our kit wasn’t entirely complete, because we still needed socks. Having pushed out a boat laden with pinkness, we couldn’t exactly suddenly turn demure in the sock department. However, we found that the availability of pink socks is extremely limited. Most of what’s out there is more in the line of neon pink, which doesn’t work with the muted pink of our tops.

OK, so perhaps there isn’t anything terribly muted about two men in their fifties riding the world’s toughest mountain bike race in pink, but we had to at least make the effort. The problem is that the sole candidate cost an outrageous R390 per pair. You must understand that I am hard pressed to buy a t-shirt for more than R250.

With a nudge from Piet, and a reminder to self of Henry Kissinger’s “there is nothing that clears the mind like the absence of alternatives” I went out and bought two pairs for each of us (as opposed to the three sets of kit).

One of the week’s to-dos was putting together our wine list for the week (neither of us has any intention of doing this ‘dry’). As I was selecting appropriately epic wines, it occurred to me that these R390 pink jobs are to socks what Pinot Noir is to wine. I can easily justify spending R390 on a bottle of wine for a special occasion. I don’t know what this says about my priorities.

The theme for the wine list is that they should be excellent wines that represent the route. I had a few candidates lined up, but mailed a couple of wine friends for suggestions, both of whom chipped in with gifted bottles.

So, here’s our list:
Alheit Vineyards La Colline Semillon – this Franschhoek vineyard is over 80 years old, and the wines are made by the Alheits, who are based in Hemel-en-Aarde (two boxes ticked)

Newton Johnson Family Vineyards Pinot Noir – fabulous pinot from Hemel-en-Aarde
Savage ‘Follow the Line’ – some of the grapes come from the Overberg region (and we’ll be following telephone lines for much of the route)
Domain de la Vieille Julienne Côtes du Rhône – gifted along with the Savage, because the grape varieties are similar. Not that one needs justification for pulling the cork, but the Tour de France goes through the region, and Cape Epic is like the Tour de France of mountain biking (just not as far).
Luddite File 13 – shiraz from Bot River
Paul Cluver Pinot Noir – some of the most fun single track we’ll be riding is on this property
Crystallum Peter Max Pinot Noir – made in Bot River from Hemel-en-Aarde grapes. Our house wine, in case Messrs Sauser, Platt or Hincapie pop around for a drink.
Mullineux Syrah – qualifies on a technicality because of the Leeu Family Vineyards connection with Franschhoek (and Piet brought a few bottles along to the Daisyway training camp in December).

During the week I did a couple of easy ‘leg loosener’ rides, the second of which was a spin to Hout Bay on Friday afternoon. I encountered a few other Epic riders doing the same thing.

With our registration now complete, the excitement of pre-race vibe is close to maximum.

Numbers are on bikes. One more sleep…

Wine update: while packing, I came across a couple of Hemel-en-Aarde wines – the sensational Restless River Chardonnay and Alheit’s Vine Garden white blend – that both got added to the selection.


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