Why take a plane from Joburg to KZN when you can put yourself through nine days of bum chafe torture? Roxanne Green decided to take on 900km of mountain biking to get form Heidelberg to Scottburgh all in the name of testing her true strength.
With only a few 80km training rides and a couple of stage races like Berg & Bush and Dusi2C under her belt, Roxanne committed herself to the gruelling but spectacular Joberg2C multi-stage race, crossing four provinces – a race known as “Ride The Beloved Country”. No small feat, especially sleeping in tents without the comfort of a cosy bed.
The Bum Diaries
“The state of your bum keeps you in the event – if you don’t look after it, that will stop you from riding.”
Honestly, how were your sit bones? “My bum bones were constantly bruised from under-training.” #TimeInTheSaddle
Did you use chamois cream? “I used ASS MAGIC, which was genuinely magical. You can get it at Mello Velo in Fourways, R150.”
What about saddle sores? “There’s literally a Bum Clinic at the medical tent. At joBerg2c, it’s absolutely okay to tell complete strangers about the state of your tender rear end. They won’t even look at you funny – they simply smile back with knowing empathy.”
So… why do a multi-stage race like this?
“Your entry into the race is automatically helping countless schools and charities just by you being there, and you can feel it. Members from the Bambi school baked traditional Marmite mealie balls for the last water point on day one and you could see and feel the pride in their effort to sustain us riders. I rode for Surgeons for Little Lives charity surgeonsforlittlelives.org – which also meant an instant community of new friends, amazing riding kit and a serious feel-good factor for helping the little ones at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.”
“There is a spirit at the joBerg2c like no other. There’s also the thrill of taking nine days out of ordinary life to do something extraordinary; for nine days you think of nothing else but pedalling your bike.”
“With 28 water points of buffet bliss, your tastebuds delighted at all combinations! Jelly babies, jam doughnuts… If you know your date balls from your drop scones, you’re in for a serious treat. Even the most discerning of palates will absolutely love it! Each community hosts you for the night and caters for you and over 1 000 riders and crew. This means lamb on the spit, Karan Beef steaks, oxtail potjies and an array of traditional food along the way. My personal favourite is the gluten-free, lactose-free options available each day – these guys really go out of their way to please!”
“Having just ended a long relationship, the race was therapeutic for me.”
“The prospect of Tinder, dating and generally meeting someone is honestly my worst nightmare. But having said that, sport is something different. If you’re single and tired of awkward dates, pubs and bars, then start riding your bike. With around 80 percent male attendance, there was plenty good to look at. Mountain bike events are an excellent way to make friends and, who knows, maybe more. I’ll keep you posted in that regard!”
“You actually get fit as you ride, believe it or not! I managed to finish each day with a huge smile on my dial. Don’t let the 900km distance put you off – you and your body can do it.”
The Ride Itself
“The heart of the joBerg2c is the trails. It’s a race organised by mountain bikers, for mountain bikers. That is the difference – these guys love riding their bikes and it shows when you ride their event! The trails aren’t there to break your spirit – they’re trying to get you from JHB to Scottburgh on the best trails possible.”
Entries for the 2019 event will open at 10 minutes to 10am on June 10 with a 10th year special which lasts for 10 days only – you can’t afford to be tentative. Enter at joberg2c.co.za
How To Prevent Saddle Sores
1/ Good-quality chamois cream.
2/ Standing up as often as possible on the bike.
3/ Making sure you ride with clean, dry good-quality bibs.
4/ Don’t wear underwear with your cycling shorts – the padding is anti-bacterial and designed to absorb sweat and prevent chaffing.
5/ Make sure you have a comfortable saddle that is the right shape for you and set at the right height.