Belnori-Train-Bridge Excursion, 120 km later!

Sunday, 20 March 2022, Belnori-Train-Bridge Excursion ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿค ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ๐Ÿš‚๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒพ๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ›๐Ÿ๐Ÿž! Fabulous ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ•บ๐Ÿฅณ! It started out as a ride to the Cheese Farm (Belnori) for lunch. The day before, we raced the 70 km Munnik Meerkat MTB Challenge. My body was still tired from the race, and a tiny mishap on race day left me with a bruised ankle and wrist. The Cheese Farm ride was nearly aborted at around the 10 km mark ๐Ÿคฃ. I was ready to take a left and head back home instead of a right to Belnori ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

My Partner in Crime, ever supportive, offered to join me on a shorter ride ๐Ÿ˜Š. The five-year-old brat inside of me quickly left my being, and the rebel surfaced. I opted to proceed to Belnori, no matter what. The motivating factor, a freshly baked artisan mince pie, crunchy salad, and as a treat after, a scone with cream and strawberry jam. Who can resist ๐Ÿฅง๐Ÿฅ—๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฅ›๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ˜‹!

‘You can do anything you set your mind to.’ – Benjamin Franklin 

Riding to Belnori is always refreshing! The ride takes one on gravel roads, into the countryside, past farms, with beautiful horses and cattle and at this time of the year, fields of Cosmos flowers. The pink and white flowers creating large blankets of colour in some areas. Spectacular ๐Ÿคฉ!

We made it to Belnori, had a great lunch and chitchat, lovely! An idea popped up. Letโ€™s be adventurous and not take the same route back. Iโ€™m all for adventure, and off we went ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ! We had some fun cutting through maize fields, routing us away from tar and traffic ๐ŸŒฝ๐Ÿ˜…! It was like a maze ๐Ÿคฃ! Up-and-down a few times, slipping and sliding through mud puddles ๐Ÿ’ฆ๐Ÿ˜…. The vlei previously a dry detour, was now flooded from all the rain weโ€™ve experienced over the past couple of weeks โ˜”๏ธ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜ƒ! The beauty of this, it attracted all sorts of birdlife ๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿคฉ! Awesome! We did get out of our slippery situation, eventually, to proceed on route ๐Ÿ˜ƒ!

Exit maize fields, next, gravel riding at its best! Weโ€™re now on about 60 km of 120 km, direction home ๐Ÿ˜…. The route makes it worth it and allows me to forget about my tired body and little niggles in the ankle and wrist. En route, thereโ€™s a beautiful train bridge, we couldnโ€™t resist. It’s a detour of about 2 km to experience magnificent views over a picturesque valley. Excellent!

Back on gravel road, weโ€™re flying, itโ€™s downhill! Happy place! We stop to take pics of a beautiful herd of calves roadside ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿคฉ! Then zoom off again. Next stop, Slap Chips, with no Chips ๐Ÿคฃ! Itโ€™s a little garage with a shop, and one of the stops popular with cyclists. Here we fill up on water, ice for our hydration packs and snacks to revive the body, on long rides in the area. No slap chips ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜ƒ. Bodies fueled, we now have about a 35+ km stretch home. It’s a mix of gravel road and jeep track. Mind over matter, letโ€™s do this! We arrive home, 120 km later, the body is still tired, but what an absolutely fabulous ride it was!

What did I learn from this Endurance Ride?

โญ๏ธ Lesson 1 – the ability to keep going even when you are tired is a simple question of mind over matter.
โญ๏ธ Lesson 2 – Always be prepared to go further. There are adventures around every corner, and a short ride might become a long ride, in a split second ๐Ÿคฃ!
โญ๏ธ Lesson 3 – how you fuel your body when you take on these long rides, plays a big role, in how your body manages the paces it is put through. On this ride, I fueled my body with:

  • 32Gi Endure Sports Drink – Sustained Energy
  • 32Gi Endure Tabs – Sustained Energy
  • 32Gi Sports Gel – Quick Releasing Energy (Coffee Flavour)
  • PVM Energy Bars
  • Energade Sport Jellies 
  • 2 x Bananas
  • Sweet treat, Future Life Crunch On-The-Go Mini Snack Bar

Also, I tested a product from Woolies, it’s called GO! It comes in various flavours and is a special blend of fruit and veg with added Pea protein. It is handy for use during multi-hour sports activities. Servings are 120 g, sachet with a screw cap, similar to baby purity. It is; high in carbohydrates, dairy-free has no added preservatives and is easy to eat on the bike.

Adventure aside, I’m very happy with the combination of the products I used to fuel my ride, and how my body reacted to them. Occasionally I also enjoy TWO POINT ZERO Protein Bars. These are so delicious, I have to hide them from myself ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜ƒ.

‘Never say no to adventures. Always say yes, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.’ – Ian Fleming

What have you got planned for the weekend? Any adventures on the cards? Have Fun! Stay Safe! Rubber Side Down ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ๐ŸŒปโ˜˜๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ!

Photos by Allan Webber and Luculle Stols โ€“ @real.life.rebel on Instagram, 32Gi, Woolworths, PVM, Energade and Future Life