Coffee Stop

It's All About Riding the Bike!

Monday 3rd December 2012

Author: Sven Thiele, HotChillee Founder

Us cylists. We're seemingly incessantly in the news these days...winning, medals, "medication", positives, UCI skulduggery and motorist/pedestrian/sofa sportsperson outrage.

Somewhere in that tornado many have lost sight of the fact that most of us just love riding the bike. Last weekend, at the Coronation Double Century http://www.coronationdc.co.za/ was a great experience of just that. The "DC" as it's fondly called, is based out of Swellendam (3 hours from Cape Town) and is a 205km team event. On the sharp end of the race we entered a HotChillee Team who did extremely well, just missing podium. Read a great article here - http://www.velotales.com/2012/11/double-century-2012.html

5 am start had its benefits - watching the sunrise

I was fortunate to be part of a team that was named "Barely Moving" (sister team to Slow Moving), and sponsored by Canola Oil producer Southern Oil. The idea was not to win. Winning meant getting 6 of your 12 riders across the finishing line as quickly as possible. Our task was to ensure that all of our riders who started finished together...quite a feat considering that we were a bunch of journo's, celebs, writers, regional government and development riders...oh and 3 riders from Velokhaya http://www.velokhaya.com/ youth racing...who could ride. Considering the 40knot wind, rain, sleet, mechanicals and fact that most had not ridden a double century it was going to be an interesting experience. Read Kevin McCallum (Sports Writer of the Year) report here - http://www.iol.co.za/blogs/kevin-mccallum-1.2505/dam-fine-place-for-aches-and-groans-1.1430735

 

Peloton stays tight to keep warm and stay out of the wind

 

Real Teamwork up Tredoux Mountain Pass

Here's the point. It was a hard day out and some wanted to throw in the towel, particularly after 140-150km. But despite the fact we endured horrific weather conditions, and spent just over 9 hours riding we finished with our full team intact. We did not win (winning time was 5:12 by NuWater), but rolling across the finish line together it was clear that everyone was on a massive high. We'd spent 9 hours on the bike together, we never discussed medals, LA, drugs, UCI. We chatted about the joy/pain/legs/lungs/scenery/weather, love of the sport and the journey that each of us was on whether famous or novice. Our passion for riding. The day ended with a cheque being presented by Soill's Juan van Schalkwyk to Danville Pietersen in aid of community development and cycling, a fitting moment for all.

Development rider Danville Pietersen accepts the cheque from Southern Oil

The irony is that our Barely Moving Team, that started and finished with the full 12 riders, did end up winning and award, The Charles Milner award for the first team to finish with a full compliment of riders. Winners after all!

 

The full Barely Moving and Slow Moving Teams!

Author: Sven Thiele, HotChillee Founder