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Epic Training: Week 27

Oscar Foulkes March 12, 2017 Cape Epic No comments
The Velominati Rules leave no doubt about what type of kit is appropriate for which cycling discipline, but the sole prescriptions relating to looking great are reserved for the bike itself. Nevertheless, there is a requirement for team members taking part in a stage race to wear custom kit. One can’t pitch up at Cape Epic wearing matching Wines2Whales tops, even if they are of vintage provenance.

No, nothing less than specially made up shirts, with matching bib shorts, gilets and arm warmers, and the relevant year’s Cape Epic Riders’ logo, will suffice. If you are travelling with a support team, whether masseuse or mechanic, those people should have matching t-shirts. WAGs, too, should have appropriate kit (matching pom-poms optional).

This was Kit Week. On Monday, we took delivery of our Sergeant Hardy kit (see related post here). On Friday, we received our ABSA Pride goodie bags (a total spoil in the kit department). And, for good measure, Piet gave me a full set of RECM kit (complete with Epic rider logo).

I also picked up my Jenna Lowe Trust top (you can still donate here), bringing the tally to seven new tops and six new bib shorts, as well as four new gilets. The Velominati have a rule relating to the number of bikes one can own, but not the number of sets of cycling kit. My cupboard space (a fraction of that available in the master bedroom) is already full to overflowing, but I’m not going to test the possibility of the “S-1” rule by encroaching on the other cupboards. I may be living out of a suitcase for a while.

We’re on the ABSA Pride list thanks to Piet’s banking relationships. I bank with FNB, and have regarded myself as being on the winning side of the equation, thanks to my Ninja use of eBucks. The level of spoil from ABSA is on another level (but, in fairness, so is the scale of my use of FNB’s services – ABSA aren’t doing this for holders of savings accounts).

The structure of the week followed the usual pattern, with gym on Monday and Wednesday. I did a toned-down session of hill repeats on Tuesday, and similarly less intense intervals on Saturday.

I joined Piet for a road ride on Thursday with his gym trainer, Kate (comparisons with my trainer, Derek, would not be fair). Due to the strength of the wind we turned around at the Twelve Apostles, and rode up The Glen.

During this ride Piet made his decision about which bike to ride for the Cape Town Cycle Tour (mountain bike, because he’s had so little time on the new Santa Cruz). I deliberated for a few days, until the wind made up my mind for me. The Yeti would be more stable in the wind, plus I’d get some valuable distance riding in advance of Epic.

As it turned out, the choice of bikes was irrelevant. I feel for people who have trained hard with a target time, and especially for those who travelled from overseas. On my ride back from the start I passed a particularly disconsolate Italian.

The fact is that people were getting blown off their bikes at the start. Even if this was because of the wind tunnel effect on the Foreshore, the more social end of the field would have had a tough time getting around the course in a gale force south-easter. Also a factor was the possibility of fires in Hout Bay necessitating the use of roads for access by emergency vehicles.

For some, it would have been a relief to not ride in the wind. For others, it was all blow and no happy ending.

One week to go (and then it will be eight days of Rule 5) …

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