Whatever your snooze number, when you finally remember your mates are meeting you at the usual corner in 40 minutes, you hit the stop button and begrudgingly do your best cyclist ninja and creep down the passage hoping not to wake the house. It’s difficult in the dark – well except for the dim light of your mobile screen that keeps going dark. Hoping that one mate who lives alone doesn’t phone to check if the ride is still on, while your teeth are chattering and the dogs stare at you from their cosy beds weighing up whether they should bark or not… climbing into your merino under garments that must have shrunk in the wash, deciding whether being warm outweighs the ragging your going to get from the crew for wearing your leggings and knowing that despite the most convincing sales spiel your newly acquired winter gloves are still not going to prevent freezing fingers. So why do we do it?

Because we love it! The collective moaning, the icy breath, taking pictures of the lowest temperature to upload to Strava, the adventure of it and of course you are on your bike! I hate riding in the rain, there I said it. I don’t like wet chamois, soggy socks and having wrinkly everything for most of the day after. It’s just not pleasant. But there is nothing better than riding on a crisp winters morning, seeing the sun rise or even just blinking and realizing that the sun is up and it’s suddenly light. The quiet of it all offset by the crunch of the tyres as they bite into the sticky singletrack that grips like crazy after the rain. Then there is the coffee and toasted banana bread, the banter with your mates after a manic week with the chat never really going to far away from the ride, the speed, the cost of parts, the latest injury and what event we should do next. It’s cold but nothing really changes. You gear up and you get on with it. After all we are privileged doing the sport we love. Greeting the other hardy souls that got our of bed to experience the icy morning and smiling because we just know how lucky we are.

Winter has definitely arrived and the country is feeling the cold for the first time this year. But it’s lekker! It won’t be too long and the days will start getting longer and we will have forgotten about this season – do you remember last winter? Only the good rides, right? Enjoy the time and I look forward to seeing you on the trails!


Shayne Dowling



Dee Prehn



Shayne Dowling



Johann Potgieter, Max Menzies


Simone Sharpe


Anthony Grote, Max Sullivan, Rory Scheffer, Chris Taylor and Oakpics.

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Address: Cape Town, South Africa


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Limited daylight, freezing temperatures why do we do it?