200km on a bike is a very long ride, even for experienced riders. Add nearly 2000m of climbing plus occasional severe heat and regardless of your fitness level, you’re in for a tough day out, period.
We South Africans rise to extreme physical and mental challenges, we're seemingly hard wired that way. You may have accepted an invite to a team you know little about and thus are not sure what to expect or you race it every year wondering how soon you'll hit the wall then suffer in silence, salt-encrusted, hiding your tears as you cry inside over the 3 seemingly endless climbs in the last 40km.
It's not pretty, but with some investment in planning and strategy, the Old Mutual Wealth Double Century can be the most enjoyable day you’ll spend on a bike, anywhere in the world.
Having ridden the ‘Deecee’ over 20 times since the 90’s we have been part of the journey as this event has evolved from a brutal bare bones survival test into the well oiled machine it is today with a flowing scenic route and excellent rider support. It can and should be great fun, there are no excuses besides poor planning and lack of teamwork.
We have suffered, we have styled, we have cramped and we have smiled. Riding with all kinds of teams you learn the rider dynamics that work and those that don’t. The difference is often subtle but over time these become glaringly obvious. Over 4500km kilometres over different courses, in different weather and with different team mates has provided wisdom we wish we’d had at our disposal all those times we suffered in the past.
To pay it forward and save our readers from similar hard knocks we compiled and published a series of 6 videos to help you survive this iconic annual team time trial. These tips were very well received so we headed onto the scenic route to talk you through how to best manage your team and personal energy over 5 to 10 hours in the saddle.
The 2023 event is almost here so your physical preparation is largely done. Strategy and planning is now paramount to making the most of your fitness, so sit back and enjoy our series of advice videos.
Just one tip may be the difference between a funfest or a sufferfest on the day.