Anriette Schoeman and John-Lee will be forming a formidible partnership in the Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek. In her own words and signature humour, Anriette will be blogging the journey. – TREAD
Hmmm… What started off as small talk and big dreams on my bucket list became an absolute reality when I decided to invest some time doing one of TREAD magazine’s skills clinics in Aug. When Sean Badenhorst offered me to suffer for 7 days with some proper pedigree in the BRIDGE CAPE PIONEER TREK.
But let’s start from the beginning…
As a seasoned roadie, Merida was kind enough to give me a 650b mountain bike early this year which was pretty much collecting dust and becoming part of my cool equipment toy display, when I got a last minute invite to ride Sani as part of the Aca Joe. So, my crash course training added up to a total 1 week of pedaling my mtb next to a tar road. I was clearly not ready to part with smooth road surfaces. My experience at Sani2c (we did it campervan style) was convincing enough to realize maybe mtb is not so bad afterall. You see, previously when anyone asked me why I dont mtb my answer would be “I dont like getting dirty on a bike” little did I know that I would still become quite a cow poo connoisseur.
My first ever experience of single track was at Sani2c where I teamed up with Gary Marecia from Aca Joe. I approached the race with closed eyes and hoped for the best. I learnt so much from him and enjoyed it SO much even after our 6h mudfest on day 2. There was nothing wrong with my fitness but it was clear as daylight my guardian angels were working overtime on the technical sections to keep me upright as I had NO idea what I was doing!
After the Sani, I didn’t touch my mtb again and was thrown in the deep end when after I was suckered into doing the RE:CM KNYSNA 200 in June, my partner had to pull out of the race on the morning of stage 1 after falling terribly ill. I was standing on the startline, feeling like an astronaut not knowing what to expect or even how to fix a tube on a mtb. I ended up loving the race SO MUCH that I decided to do a couple more mtb races. My next tour would be the PE to Plett race where I teamed up in the colors of POWASOL with the most patient and classy person I have ever come across in the form of Yolandi Speedy. She dragged me around the bush for 4 days and I learnt bucketloads from her, but mostly I built one hell of a character and she exercised her levels of patience. Both of us passed with flying colors.
So, back to The Bridge Cape Pioneer Trek… In August, I decided to attend a Tread skills clinic where I chatted to Sean about where I want to take my mountain biking. He offered me a ride the CPT in the colors of Tread magazine and after putting heads together he suggested John Lee Augustyn as my riding partner… Well, I kinda agreed to it thinking to myself “yeah right whatever Sean, getting John Lee to ride with me coming all the way from Italy… Whatever”
The next day I got a message saying John Lee is looking forward to riding with me! Now, we all know John Lee’s history and he has a resume longer than my arm, I was in shock at first that he agreed to ride with me. So the next logistical hiccup would be to import my classy partner all the way from Italy.
After we brainstormed a bit, we approached 32GI, one of my sponsors and they were incredible enough to even book his ticket for him! Luckily just in time so he could warm up his engines at the Crater Cruise finishing a brilliant 4th!
So here I am, counting down in single digits the days to my Bridge Cape Pioneer experience with world class… So I hope John Lee has exercised his bicep curls for this one, coz pushing me might be the only way to keep up! It still feels unreal, but being part of this world class event would’t have been possible without Tread magazine, 32GI, TAVCOR Embassy (I always have the coolest cars) and AFRICA SILKS. So I hope you’ll follow me on my adventure through the Swartberg mountains because I’d hate to suffer in silence.
To be continued…
Blog: Anriette Schoeman