I got my Mojo Workin’!!!

‘What a long strange trip it’s been’ said the Grateful Dead back in the 60’s summer of love, and 60 years on it seems like we back on that ride, but without so much of the ‘love’ bit!

I’m going to start with some Chainsuck, since you gotta drain the swamp before we fill with clean water!

When the lockdown started I’m sure we all sat there and listened to Uncle Cyril’s rallying cry and like 1995 at Ellis park we all stood fist on chest, united against this common foe. Problem is the honeymoon didn’t last long before it became abundantly clear that our Gov was using the crisis as an excuse to treat the population like naughty school children with a new headmaster determined to rid us of our vices at all cost. At the same time the ‘State of disaster’ has enabled mass looting of tax payers money at all levels of Gov with no oversight or consequence since it dispenses with any tender process under the guise of ‘emergency procurement’. Added to this misery the Auditor General’s report of even higher levels of corruption at Municipal level has gone almost unnoticed. The 2018/19 report has shown R32 Billion in irregular, unlawful and fraudulent expenditure, and the only people dragged before a judge are a handful of surfers from Muizenburg. I could go on but lets get back to cycling, at least we can get out and enjoy that now!

I’m sure a lot of us went into lockdown determined to make the best of it, windows were cleaned, paint was splashed, gardens manicured, cars washed, dogs shampood and cats, did cat stuff. My road bike went on the indoor trainer and a routine was set up along with some friendly competition on Strava to get motivated. This and spending time learning some new guitar parts I’d always wanted to master. It was like being retired, and I think a lot of you secretly liked it. When it was announced that we could head outside between 6 and 9 and a 5km radius I was as fit as I’ve been for the last 5 years, I dismantled the indoor spin studio and headed out to a clear morning….to freeze my nads off! Whaaaaat? We got to escape but it was dark and cold, who needs that, what happened to balmy summer mornings prior to lockdown? So I’ve now done less cycling than during lockdown, I honestly did try to do the 7am thing but its too freeking cold, there’s no races to train for and the electric blanket is way nicer. I’m a converted weekend warrior, I’m not complaining though, I’m riding for fun and to blow away the cobwebs, if I wanted to be ‘training’ all I have to do is engage the willpower and get it done, oh and remove the electric blanket.

As some of you know I resigned from by 7 year position as MTB Director for Cycling South Africa at the end of last year, there was a concerted effort to change the organisation by individuals who, in my opinion had ulterior motives and it wasn’t worth the stress to fight it. Hopefully the ‘new guard’ (funnily enough consisting of ‘old guard’ players) at Cycling South Africa, can change it for good but I think they have a fundamental flaw in their strategy by their insistence on re-energising the club system like we had in the old days. The problem is that cycling clubs are now overwhelmingly ‘social’ clubs not ‘sporting’ clubs. When was the last time you ever heard of ‘Inter club events’ or ‘Club team trials’? There are less clubs because modern life takes so much time and stress away from people they haven’t the time to volunteer for anything. Clubs that exist are for the most part affiliated to bicycle shops (as in Nelspruit) or corporate vehicles for staff motivation and well being. They are mostly made up of middle aged or elderly members who just want to ride together and enjoy the occasional Pulitzer prize winning newsletter. The future of our sport lies, as all our ‘successful’ sports, in the schools, CSA needs to have two main long term strategies, firstly a strong partnership with the Department of Education and events such as the Spur Schools Series, and secondly establishing Township cycling clubs with funding to pay people to administer and manage them. Our future professional cyclists are not in our existing social clubs, they are in the Spur Series and the Townships, its up to CSA to dig them out.

I don’t see much in the way of racing happening this year, the number of infections is only going to increase and the Gov focus in regard to sport is to get the professional athletes back to earning a living, social sports such as cycling are not high on the agenda. The documents I have seen with certain recommendations paint a picture of requirements difficult to implement in our environment, but you never know, our Gov does some strange things… The Sabie Experience is scheduled for November so may be able to go ahead but who knows, the one race I’m hoping to present this year will be the Noon to Moon, it can be formatted to comply with a level of requirements and more than ever would be a great way to end off a year we will never forget, we’ll keep you posted!

That’s all for now, I’ll try send out letters every fortnight and hope you all keep well and love life!

PS I know some of you have been, or are going through really tough times due to the lockdown, it’s hard to put anything into any kind of perspective, but it’s still true that regardless of your situation, think of this like a race, there’s always someone suffering more than you and you’ll eventually get to the finish. Oh and if you have a mechanical, ask for help, someone will always step in with a tube and a bomb!

Social rides

Dennis Lawrie has become transformed from the local trail builder extraordinaire into the trail leader extraordinaire! Every weekend he takes a whole bunch of guys out on 7 hour epic rides all over the Lowveld! Give him a shout if you need some adventure in your life! 0781021680

The Valencia crew is doing Road Rides every Sunday for about 3-4 hours, all are welcome even if you only have a MTB, give me a call and I’ll add you to the WA list.0827745821 .

Alan Livingston still does his Saturday rides from Belladonna, it’s a small group of gentlemen and ladies who simply enjoy to ride in the forest, send him your number so he can add you to the social ride group and start your new life of health, wealth and happiness! Rides are chilled and fun filled, and accommodate the weak of leg and weak of will!

Send Alan a message and ask him to add you to the WA group.



Cheers Brett.