Monday, December 21, 2009

it looks like rain, deer

It was the annual Dark & Dirty Xmas Ride. Decorate your bike, your helmet and yourself in Xmas attire and take the singletrack to Lawley Street to admire Pretoria's lights.

I braved the 2-hour-traffic to Pretoria to go empty my mailbox in Groenkloof. (I originally kept the mailbox as an excuse to go ride D&D - and it worked!)

I happened to have the bike on the car - still muddy from the 24 hrs.
Haven't been at a D&D ride for a very long time - was surprised (and relieved) to see so many familiar faces.

Dark rumbling clouds warned of wet weather to come. It was ignored, and QT made up songs as we rode.

Old familiar singletrack - I forgot what a joy it was!

End of the World, but the bridge looked totally different and crossing the road was scarier than i remember. Then Gauntlet, but perfectly good singletrack had to make way for Gautrain-excavations :(

Up King of the Hill to the old D&D centre, and then learning the Jinglebellride-song's words as we ride on tar up & down some hills.

singletrack, singletrack, riding in the night
oh, what fun it is to fly on singletrack at night

we riding singletrack
on our bikes at night
we're on our way to lawley street
where all the cars go 'beep beep beep'

*all together now*
singletrack, singletrack, riding in the night ...

On to Lawley Street, Pretoria's fairytale-Xmas-light-street - complete with horses pulling a pumpkin-cart - and some reindeers :)

Lighting-flashes, camera-flashes, xmas-lights, bicycle-lights.

When the rumblings became too loud to ignore, we headed back past the old D&D centre again - where the Hardies revealed their Xmas prezzie to us all: drive-through ice cream at macDonalds (where of course we all had to scream for ice cream)

The cloud rumblings became louder and the flashes more frequent, and bets were placed on whether we'll beat the storm to the Moo Mall.

We missed a turn-off and took a grass-route into the airforcebasewall-singletrack. Almost at the cemetry there were loud noises of surprise from Hardy. Legs on the singletrack. Don't know who skrikked the most - hardy or the body attached to the legs. Then the balancing act through the narrow-alley under the bridge and racing the rain on tar all the way to the Moo mall.

We reached the mall as the first drops fell. Still dry. The heavens opened. By the time all the bikes were on cars - about 4 minutes later - everybody was drenched.

Hot chocolate and all-day-Thursday-specials at the Spur. And some prezzie-exchanges.

Another uneventful D&D ride.

Here's to lots more for 2010.

Monday, June 8, 2009

ride report - intro ride 4th June

Can you hear the drums Fernando?
I remember long ago another starry night like this…….

(for the ones confused and thinking I’m totally mad…which I just might be…but you never know…you will understand this line a little bit later….but if you don’t…you had to be there…)

Well indeed it was another starry coolish Thursday night and by 18:59:59 (record time for DnD’ers) about 11 of us were ready…and by 19:01… Gadget arrived….quite surprised that everyone was already ready for another episode in the dark and dirty fun expedition series!
Proudly brought to you by our trail master Hardy and well supported by Q.T. making sure each and every one is awake and accounted for :)

Soooo there was some old folk….almost forgotten folk and brand new folk! A good mix for a good ride and lots of laughter to come. The old folk (nothing to do with age hey!! *grin*) Hardy, Q.T., Stealth (Nico), Gadget (Eric), Malcolm, Tigger, D1 and Johan. Then the almost forgotten folk was represented by Cat-I (Carine) & Fernando (*evil grin*…I can see the light bulb moments happening…. ) and then the brand new folk…last but definitely not least….Elton and Paul.

So after explaining the “rules of engagement” for the night, we were off into the darkness. Chatting away, catching up and getting the legs nice and warm. The first act for the night: Cruiser single track. Wow, this single track is just the best! We cruised up there and no we were
not laughing at anyone who ended off about 10m off the track to the right….ja boet…you only missed that one little turn in the road. At the top Hardy decided that change is as good as a holiday – and decided to take us around the koppie pass the Astro belt and down on
the other side – in the direction of PvR. We then hit ExtacyPark and made a couple of loops on the track… and then headed in the direction of the railway line. We…of course passed the “Zoid-Zone”…and the crowds were honored (or maybe horrified) with a version of the
Dinosaur song…. *grin* We cruised next to the railway line and everyone was yelling something about “wire” “wire” and then sort of swing to the right….Stealth made the comment…have you never heard of blue tooth? So we changed the “call” to “old technology in the road”… needless to say I don’t think the message made it to the sweeper.... ;)

We reached Nelmapius drive, and the scene of 12 MTB’ers with lights everywhere shocked a motorist so much he came to a tire-screaming-halt! We were next to the road….not even aiming in his direction….but ja shame…the pure dude had a little skrik. After we let him pass us *grin* - we are nice people you know - we crossed the road and headed for Wash-a-go…but being winter…it it was a dry-run....more like a dusting-session where the grass just sweeps away the dirt on your face ;)

We reached Python single track, and the crowds went wild for a “ghost ride”! So we all obliged, we lined up in the track en then it was lights-OFF…camera…and ACTION ;) There were a few interesting moments and turns missed…you just here the guy behind you zig-zag over the
track as your eyes adjust to seeing the ghost track…. A w e s o m e stuffs….and at the end there were quite a few nervous giggles going around. Then we turned our trusty steeds around and had to do it all over again…this time it was LIGHTS, camera and CHASE!!! Gadget leaded
the pack and was away in a flash. The chasing group of Stealth and Cat-I tried their best….but he hold them off and took it by a mile!

From here we headed for quad-busta-hill….the first speed zone for the night. You see there….way up theeeerrrreeeee….that is the top of the hill…first one there – can rest the longest? *grin* So from the word go the guys hammered those pedals…and we just sit back and think…you are going to fast…way to fast… but hey – it should be a good show ;)

Mr. new Folk Paul took the lead with Hardy and Malcolm in pursuit. Now the definition of pursuit is: the act of pursuing in an effort to overtake or capture. But they could not do any of these things. Malcolm encountered mechanical failures in the last bit of the zone, and Paul managed to grind they teeth and make it to the top in first position. This of course, was viewed….from the bottom of the hill… spare me a few moments to reach the top and catch my breath…I’ve given up on this hill…the quads will be busted at the top…never to recover
again *grin*

*sigh* Ok…so after getting the inside scoop on all the trials, tribulations and excitement of the speed zone, we head for the famous – look-ma-no-breaks single track. Just before we start, Stealth was commanded to bring the back pack to the front – this of course is mos the “golden mile” for the DnD virgins – so they are permitted shoes and helmet… and off they go! This caused some serious panic for the new folk – which nervously looked around and stared into straight faces making them think this is their worst nightmare....this is not “look-ma-no-breaks” single track…this is “look-ma-no-clothes” single track! LOL!! But in the end everyone just burst out laughing….and they sighed the biggest sigh of relief imaginable…we even heard it way at
the back of the group *grin* Good one Hardy….good one!! :)

At the bottom of this track we hooked a left passed the cement factory and headed for the famous false flat. This is where we had to start getting creative so that the legs can rest and the brain can work overtime to remember the words of an old Abba song…we needed to serenade or do something to get going on this stretch of road… the crowds were entertained with the…. Can you hear the drums Fernando… then we struggled a bit….but found the chorus….
There was something in the air that night
The stars were bright, Fernando
They were shining there for you and me
For liberty, Fernando

Fernando tried his best to send the serenade in a more respectable direction and we tried versions of Bicycle…Bicycle…Bicycle….I want to ride my bicycle I want to ride my bike!....

But we soon reverted back to searching for lyrics for the Abba song, and Tigger helped along with Boney M’s Little Drummer Boy song….so in between Fernando and parum pum pum pum!! We composed our own little version of the next hit song…Drummer Boy Fernando? *grin*

But in the end he was forced to race the speed zone to get away from the serenade (that was totally in his honor) and we cheered him on with….. There was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernando…..

But it was not long before breathing and singing and riding your bike became problematic…so in the silence we made our way to the top…to get the inside scoop on who won and who was at the back….So first place went to Mr. new Folk Paul…and then second place was highly confusing…
Elton claimed he was at the back….but for the serenade group at the back…we in one voice protested to that statement….and seems like Elton was at the back of the winner….which gives him second place…and
Stealth powered in on third. Well done guys :)

We then headed for the last little bit of climb all the way to the Bill Boards next to the highway. Malcolm almost lost a wheel in tha single track but turns out it sounded worse than it really was. He said he was fine but we were more concerned about his bike! *grin*

At the top of the highway the silence fell over the group as everyone was getting mentally prepared for the next speed zone. Tha Shabeen Queeen speed zone….. Everyone was still sort of thinking of tactics….but the moment we made the turn the race was one…lead by Q.T. from the word “this is a speed zone…..” Everyone thought this can only be a “mock-charge”… but then Q.T., Elton and Paul was off in a flash!
Malcolm was with them but encountered some serious chain slipping noises…. It was like a U.F.O. taking off….you see those red flickering lights disappearing into dust and the gap between you and them increases with what feels like the speed of light! In the chasing bunch was Cat-I, Malcolm and two more…..but their best efforts was not good enough…. So…you speed down the hill…not to reach your max speed of the night…but because you want to know what happened… as we reach the bottom of the hill they stand there already recovered! But
there is silence….who won who won??? And the total disbelief and utter surprise and aura of respect written over those faces were absolutely CLASSIC!! Q.T. out powered the oaks and destroyed Paul’s hope of a clean sweep in the speed zones by taking “Shabeen Queen” speedzone. It was an insane hard and fast chase all the way - but in the end at the right time she made the attack and left the boys wanting.....what a chase!! As everyone arrived there were high-five’s and congratulations going around. This will definitely go down in the record books as a
very famous en legendary DnD speedzone chase! Well done Q.T. :)

That was absolutely the highlight of the evening! We had one more tour-da-tar-speedzone down to Rietvlei, but everyone was just cruising. We then headed to the moo-mall and loaded the bikes and still kept on talking over that chase over hot chocolates and beers till late :)

What an awesome night! Starry skies…crisp fresh air (some places more fresh than others ;), buddies, laughter, fun…what a privilege!! :)

Total distance for the night: around 27km of smilage!

No known crashes

No fatal mechanical problems

And that’s all folks!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

ride report 28th may- malcolm

The race report for Thursday the 28th, Late again!!!

But this is anyway how I started my cycle! I was franticly peddling up Nelmapius to Irene Village Mall as I was late for the cycle. I caught the group just as they were leaving, luckily!!!! I quickly had to drop off a Bulls jersey with my Fiancé which is how I earned the ride report. Apparently someone tried to snail race a single track while I rode to Ocean Basket and the fell. This was my fault and so I must write the report.

Fine!!! so we headed up the hill opposite Cornwall hill and our fearless leader Erick took us to a nice little play track which felt like we were riding in circles, probably because we were riding in circles!!! We then cut across to Nelmapius were we headed down towards the mall. My batteries for my headlamp were flat so the entire ride was a ghost ride for me which made it interesting to say the least. Never the less with the light on some peoples bikes you hardly need a light! Anyway we headed down the velt along side Cornwall hill estate to the river below were we crossed under the R21. This is were Clint challenged us all with the “Monkey Nuts Award” (not to put a foot down the entire ride!!!) I don’t think any one managed it but a good challenge for the future.

We the completed our first of three speed zones, up the tar road towards the Doorigkloof Oos turn off. This speed zone was poorly contested. We then cycled up the dirt road and once we had passed the shebeen entered the second speed zone of the evening. This lead us up the dirt road parallel to the R21 till the T junction where there is the bridge over the highway. Old “Tigger” with his huge 29” took the speed zone. The next section was a jeep track still along side the R21 till we turned off onto the “Blare Witch track”. This took to the point were we rode under the R21. A humbling experience as we were met by two gentlemen with wheel barrows filled with containers to collect water from the bottling water sponsored tap on the other side of the R21. Makes us appreciate running water, rather than having to fetch it at 08 o’clock at nigh. Anyway after their dogs chased us a it we headed back along side the R21 now towards the mall. This is a great quad track which offers a nice speedy ride.

At the bridge we turned left away from the bridge and left again onto “the track that has no name”, a slightly more technical track especially if you don’t have a light, but good fun. As we hit the old tar road we went along towards the cement factory. After crossing Boeing street we cycled down the dirt road and turned left onto a jeep track. This was a steady incline towards Smuts House. A DnD virgin then explained to me how he really did not have a clue as to were he was, which is generally a normal experience on your first ride. The next track was a wicked fast single track back down towards the cement factory. The soft tails lead the way with the rest following at high speeds. This track did take a few casualties with its many ruts, huge rocks and of course the infamous ant hill.

We then found ourselves on our way home, obviously we needed to enjoy the sway of the “python” and cycled along its wonderful curves. And finally last but not least the infamous “Tour de Tar” on the tar road from Smuts House towards Nelmapius was our final speed zone. At the first speed bump after the bridge was the start of a high speed race to the first stop street. Once again “Tigger” using illegal slip streaming techniques took the zone!!! (I can say that because he slip streamed me) I then left the group to cycle home to Irene and the rest of the group headed on up to the Mall.

Thanks again to Erick our ride leader and Clint and Co for your enthusiasm!!! It was as always lots of fun!!!

This week we are doing the INTRO route, a great route for folks that are new to the whole riding in the dark thing and yet is still has some fun stuff for the regulars to keep their edge...

Highlights for the night..
Cruiser Singletrack;
Xtacy Park;
Python Singletrack;
QuadBusta Hill Climb ;
Look-ma-no-brakes singletrack;
Shabeen Queen ;
Singletracks back to MooMall.
!!!!!Please note for all the newbies...if it is not a speedzone// it is considered very uncool to ride ahead of the trailmeister..
hehhehe offenders will be banished to 10 minutes of granny gear... :-)
Seriously, the pace of the SOCIAL -ride, set by the trailmeister for the night, is about keeping the group safe and together.
So sit back and enjoy.... save your self for the speedzones.. you will not be dissapointed :-)
So lets go have some fun out there.
C ya in da DARK
>>> June 2009 NIGHT RIDES <<<
Thurs 4 - 25km INTRO Route------------<<>>

Thurs 11 - 35km Mild2Wild

Thurs 18 - 40km Rock&Roll (technical)

Thurs 25 - 35km Northern Lights


Friday, March 27, 2009

Ride Report: 25km INTRO Ride 26 March 2009 by Rob Strange

Good day folks.

So this was my second D&D, and Donald, whose birthday wish it was that one of us newby's got to do the Ride Report, chose yours truly!!! Happy Birthday Donald, but more of that later. This report should be interesting as I must have spent 90% of the ride eyes riveted on the path immediately in front of me and the remaining 10 hoping I was still in the Pretoria municipal area. Night riding is very disorienting!!! So if I get names of people and places wrong, please forgive.

15-20 persons left from the mall 19h00'sh. The same amount returned. Well done! I was told 2 of them were virgins, which seemed sad considering their respective ages. Temp. stayed above the 17C mark, and made for a beautiful evening.

First attraction was a grassy area with smooth sweeps and a nice drop off. Iam guessing 'Xtacy Park' from Hardy's description below. This got things warmed up. And I was already lost, does incentivise one to stick with the group though. The next part is a bit of a haze this morning, but I do remember horses and some passers by shouting "Beautiful!". On realising this was not for me or my bicycle turned round to see the multitude of lights from the D&D's. It was indeed cool. We stopped on top of a hill and the ladies x2 hauled out cup cakes x many, candle x1 and bottle of champagne x 1. Very impressive this is the way to ride!!! Happy birthday was sung, candle was blown out, well done Donald.

From here on there were washing machines, pythons, and I could have sworn I saw a bush pig. One section on the road to Smuts museum had grass at about head height. I can now categorically state that smiling whilst riding through this is not advisable. Unavoidable, but not advisable. It would seem my teeth spacing lends itself to a seed harvest size of 3mm x 0.26mm. I will let you know if this is an optiml germination size. Up past Smuts museum and the old age home at the end of the tar road, a nice climb where I was sucking air like a V8. Then past the St Georges hotel on the airport side, down a 43km/h corrugated road, fantastic. Over the river and back up to the mall by 21h19'sh I think.

1 or 2 minor stops but lets leave the feet in the cleats falls. I did a 12.9km/h moving average. Great mixture of jeep and single track. It was an absolute pleasure riding with such outgoing positive people. Awesome to see a club going after 4 years founded on the principal of for the people, by the poeple. Just Awesome!

Moo mall led to long cold draughts, hot chocolates, deep discussions on where to focus on the path for optimal ride and then ultimately ascending to the literary skills of the Loslyf editorial staff. Hope ihave done the evening justice and definitely aim to be at the next intro ride.


Dark and Dirty at Blogspot

Can you believe it. My first blog. I thought this an opportune time to establish some blog Dark and Dirty presence on BlogSpot... I hope viewers will comment on the posts, etc. Let's see. Will be better than the limited functionality available on our Wiki based website; I guess there are different purposes to the blog and to the site. I wonder if I can RSS push blog content into the website... hmmm. Anyone?

Well wasn't last night fun? We had an Intro ride of 22km, led by Hardy and swept by Nico. Wow what a wonderful warm evening.

We're still waiting for the ride report from the new people. I will publish ride reports here as well. I'm sure more than one person can blog here as well, I just don't know how to handle that yet. Hardy, QT, other D&D regulars, I'll gladly allow everyone access if I can figure out how!