Monday, February 29, 2016


...And so we arrive at the end of February and the first two months of 2016!
Where has the time gone?

I am slightly disappointed with the slow going of the initiative to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town from my rural base in the Eastern Cape. Having said that, I am not despondent but rather in that I was so hoping to get the project off the ground properly like I did in 2014. I unfortunately have been dogged by other commitments which have distracted or also not given me the opportunity to focus my attention to the full extent of this cause. Yet I will continue with the plea for support.
As I always say! It doesn’t matter how much is donated or how much you can donate. It’s all about every little bit that counts and people getting involved and making a difference in a kids life! 

Please visit the AFRIVENCE facebook page and LIKE it.

To make a once off donation and make a difference in a deaf child’s life, just go to this link and look for the DONATE button, follow the prompts and you good to go!

If you are an international person and would like to make a donation, this can also be done. Go to AFRIVENCE facebook page and inbox me with a message and I will tell you how!

As I write, it is officially a 101 days to go to the Freedom Challenge start and race across South Africa! With my official start date being given as 10 June, I can now get on with the precise planning and structure of my training program.

After a direct engagement with a bee, swollen shut eye the result of, a 24hour tummy bug and a few days more than expected rest in the second half of Feb, it is still full steam ahead!
My main focus right now is attending and taking part in a one day ultra distance race to take place in April. The 15th to be exact! This race will take the form of a single stage mountain bike race over 360 km and whereby you only have 36 hours to complete the event from start. This will also prove good training for my Freedom Challenge endeavor!

My adopted 2014 Freedom Challenge friend, Fanie will also be doing the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa this year and has the same start date as I. I am looking forward to meeting up again. We have a strategy that we are contemplating but still need to sit down and discuss. Even though the race across South Africa is a solo event for riders, there is no stopping anyone from teaming up and racing together. This can prove very beneficial if you can work well together.

I have received my x 83 maps for the race and a reminder that no GPS is allowed and only a compass for assistance will be permitted. Having started re-studying the maps and using tools like Google Earth, there is a stark reminder to me just how tough this race will be and how diverse the terrain is.
A magnitude of mountains, spider webs of paths and tracks, back roads that can stretch out in a straight line for miles that could be enough to haunt you, rivers to cross and desolate valleys to negotiate are just some of the aspects of the race one can observe when doing the ‘homework. Yet, there is also that deep down sense of excitement and adventure but also the knowledge that it’s going to hurt but if you can endure you will be rewarded.


The month of March waits and the adventures that will come it…..

Monday, February 15, 2016


Mid month and 110 days to go!

Training into February has come with its surprises and mental fatigue, or would it rather be psychological fatigue?  In a small way it seemed to have found a way and crept into my alarm clock tune early morning. Getting up was not the burden but yet still a slight effort with my mind almost asking my body for permission to get up and not the other way around.

When I started my 40 day cycle odyssey back in mid October 2015 and ultimately laid down the foundation of my best base training for Freedom Challenge race across South Africa yet, it became the best four months of regaining my passion, my focus as well as my strength.
With all the on off training in the past year but mainly with bearing in mind that out of the 125 days to date from October to now, including rest days and at 102 days of training I did 98% on my own, training solo. Some have asked how the hell I do it! I guess having hearing loss all my life might be part of enduring it. Bearing in mind my world is a little quieter than most and spending long hours on the bike alone might have something to do with my ability to endure the silence while I spend time in my own head fighting demons and slaying dragons when those moments arise. The ability to hang in there also stems partly that we all have a story. It is our own story that many know nothing of. It can provide the will when you most need it, if you allow it to.

Having ruled out over training, I have pinned it at a slight case of boredom. The solution was to look at mixing things up. This I have done and it worked!

The past weekend, I took on some pretty decent climbs and two totally new routes opting to also ride along with 2 other mountain bikers on one of the training rides. Yes! It really helps to have a break from riding those long training rides on your own and popping the interval training like you chasing a ghost.

To top it all, for the first time I have felt I have chipped through the wall and I can move onto the next level. My weight loss has really instilled a better mindset and belief in one’s ability, especially ascents on the bike. Remembering, I have always detested the climbing part of bike riding. Now, I seem to sadistically enjoy them! However, some of the longer climbs I have started to learn that the key is all about patience along with the right tempo and cadence, especially with a backpack on your back. Patience is the key to keeping it all together. After all, you don’t have to be the fastest; you just need to move on up those climbs. With 32000m of total ascent on the Freedom Trail to gain over the 2300km in June, it is not a debatable discussion, your mind more than anything has to be strong….No negotiations!

The early mornings staying darker for longer may also have resulted in pulling triggers on the biological pattern of how your body functions. This will start becoming beneficial when getting closer to June and the long nights and short days of winter start pushing in, the cold and darkness will emulate the conditions of Freedom Challenge racing.

I have started small but never the less started on a nutrition plan mainly concentrating on my recovery after each training session, especially intervals and long distances.  It’s kicking in and starting to work. My fitness seems well balanced and seeing the quick recovery of my heart rate after a heavy extended exertion session is motivating!

My other focused passion……..Would still love more people to consider supporting my cause and help support Carel du Toit Centre – Cape Town – Deaf school where kids are taught to speak and ready them for mainstream schooling. Donations! Anything goes! Whatever can be afforded, no matter how big or small….

Monday, February 1, 2016


The past 14 days have seen a surge in training and as we head into February so the programs get vamped up a little more and becomes more refined! I could say a lot has happened in the past 20 days and all on the positive side of things!

I have not felt this good in a long while but also cautious of over extending and getting ahead of things with where I am headed. I have been blessed with good health, event free training and just general positive vibes coming from one and all. My family, as I may have mentioned this before, is a special family. What family supports you with the sacrifices that need to be made in the quest to prepare mind, body and spirit for an endurance event like the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa? I am no seasoned athlete but am into fitness and like most, just your average guy who also finds thrill in the human spirit and its ability to endure challenges. 4 Months to go!

As I write, I have just come off my biggest training week to date but this is where we are at from now onward. Other than the normal full week of training again and off the back of an early 3.30 a.m Saturday rise and shine, completing a hard but worth it 160 km solo ride with back pack and all in searing heat, (if 40 degrees is not searing when it reached its peak, then I don’t know?) with a moving time of 6 hours and 42 minutes, with the mid morning temperatures in their 30’s, it took perseverance to pull it off and I am so glad I did! While the sweat poured, my mind was playing all its tricks and pulling all the cards to get me to succumb to weakness and mediocrity. But as said, guess who triumphed! A blissful 60 km on Sunday with no signs of soreness or fatigue from the day before indicated my body is recovering well from the stress it is placed under from time to time. For a working class individual, its been a good eighteen hour plus week of training session!

I also got to test my new back pack received from Adventure Inc. and was really chuffed with these guys as it had also arrived ahead of the weekend.

I have tried a few packs out in the past and I would be lying if I said I was a little nervous of how my Osprey Talon 22 was going to fare. But here I had it in hand, a neat coded blue pack with waist belt and all as well as designed for mountain biking and adventure racing, I was eager to test it on a long training ride.  This I got to do the past weekend!!

I will be writing a short review from my first test run, coming soon.

Another development in the past number of days is that I had entered and then totally forgot about a competition I took part in, in November 2015. The competition was to send a photo to an event organization, the 36One that also has an annual bike race organized in April every year. I attempted this race in 2015 but failed miserably due to serious lack of training. 

As some may know, I love photography and so I had the opportunity to submit one of my pictures which also features herein my blog in an earlier post in 2015. With me and my bike, standing over looking a valley on a mountain top, I won the competition and a free solo entry into the event!! Here is the blog post with the picture:
And yes! I will be trekking off to the start in April to take part! A single stage 360 km of mountain bike racing in a limited time of 36 hours!! Will be good for the Freedom Challenge training I'm sure.....

I did a self analysis and training comparison from over the past 3 years with where I am currently and with the type of training, the volume, intensity and any growth or losses that may have occurred with my performances. Measured over a defined time frame over a three and a half month period over three years in each year, there have been positive growth in this new era I find myself! With that I have felt really good physically as well as mentally which also enhances my positive outlook to the challenges that lie ahead.

To date in 2016 here are some of the stats;
I have had a 43% growth on 2013 and 73% growth on 2014 this year in the training miles I have covered. I have had a 40% growth on 2013 and 65% growth on 2014 this year in the amount of hours I have spent training. I have had a 47% growth on 2013 and 68% growth on 2014 this year in the amount of ascent I have covered in training. I have had a 64% growth on 2013 and 78% growth on 2014 this year in the amount of calories I have burnt up in training; hence I am sure a big contribution to my weight loss!

There are so many other comparisons not listed but all the same, show good growth and form of which just motivates me more and more!!

NOW! The Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town!

As I always maintain, this is still ongoing and things are a little slow but I am still very optimistic good things will come!

I could really do with some help as well as any sharing of this information as much as possible. I am trying to raise funds for this centre which teaches deaf children to speak. I was also born deaf with nearly half my hearing lost in both ears and with me doing the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa, which is my challenge, I wish to extend a challenge out there to anyone and everyone to assist me and help make a difference and to consider making a donation.  I have had some donations from some fantastic people already and anyone can help because there is still a way to go! 

The donations can be made through the GivenGain Foundation from the link provided and rest assured this is a secured payment site of which all funds donated are transferred into the Carel du Toit Trust.

Please read my cause profile:

Raising funds for The Carel du Toit Trust ensures the sustainability of the services of the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town, where children with hearing impairments are fitted with appropriate hearing technology and learn to speak.

This Centre is the only facility of its kind in the Western Cape to offer deaf children an all-encompassing, structured pre-primary school environment with an early intervention programme and foundation phase. Since established in 1973, the Centre’s belief is that deaf children can learn to speak if a hearing impairment is detected early and there are no other complications. The parent guidance programme offers early intervention to engage, encourage and empower parents to be a partner in teaching the deaf child to speak.
In so doing, children with hearing impairments have the opportunity to be intellectually, socially and emotionally prepared for integration into a society of hearing people.

Learners fees are payable according to the family’s income and so there is an enormous need for donations and sponsorships for the Carel du Toit Centre to continue its effective work. On-site professionals such as audiologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, assist children to overcome various challenges and work closely with the teachers to facilitate progress in speech-language acquisition.

The funding needs include:
School Fees and Transport Costs
Hearing Aid Consumables
Technological Repairs for Hearing Devices
Therapy Costs – Audiology, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
School Maintenance Costs

Important Note: South African citizens donating R100 or more will receive a Section 18A tax certificate for tax rebate purposes.

 My closing note is this: I always understand that people are skeptical with making online donations or just contributing in some way but this is a genuine cause, a genuine organization doing good things and close to my heart and I would like as many people to be part of this, those willing!

I have been given official permission by the Carel du Toit Centre to undertake this cause.

I am open to any questions and any questions can be logged by messaging my inbox/sending me a personal message at:

Don’t forget to share!!


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