What does it take to ride the Epic?

As one of the smart lecturers told us in our MBA class, most questions can have the following answer: IT DEPENDS.

It depends on a lot of factors, but I will discuss our run-up and training to the 2020 Epic thus far in a few categories:

  1. Partner
  2. Bike
  3. Training
  4. Village
  1. Partner:

In the partner sense, I’m blessed.

As some of you know, I completed the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic with my friend Gher Rabie. As we rode over the finish line at Val de Vie, my current partner (and also my wife), Chantélle, said to me she also wants to complete this race.

My obvious first answer is that there is no way we can afford this race as a young family, and I left it at that. Chantélle had other plans and kept exercising as if she already successfully entered the 2020 ABSA Cape Epic. We planned the cycling year and her enthusiasm was infectious. We had already planned to do the Sani2C; thus, I could keep the pedals turning to stay fit for the Sani.

In the time after the Sani, we had a call from a friend that asked if we would consider riding as a couple in the 2020 ABSA Cape Epic. We would be riding for the charity CANSA Active. I got home one night and asked Chantélle, “What would be the best news I could give you now.” She didn’t guess it, but our dream came true, we had a chance to ride the 2020 ABSA Cape Epic.

CANSA Active is a charity organization, and they gave us a chance, as we could help with raising funds for people with CANCER. Please consider donating to the cause (CANSA Active) and also a massive THANK YOU to all that have supported CANSA Active already.


Back to partner Chantélle. She is driven and almost like an attack dog when she sets her mind to something. She is fully committed and had done nearly 12,000km on her bike in 2019!

  • Bike

You need a good bike to ride the Epic -Period (as my good NY friend would say).

Again, luck was on our side as I already had a good bike that completed the 2019 ABSA Cape Epic. I built up my bike over the years, and it was (almost) exactly as I like it. It’s a South African brand, the PYGA Stage Max.

Pyga Stage Max

Chantélle had a shorter route to her perfect bike. She only really started riding a bicycle in May 2018. She borrowed my brother Hennie’s old bike for the first three months. We got an excellent deal on Momentum Multiply’s cycling program and ordered her a Scott Contessa 27.5 trail bike.

Chantélle’s luck was in when she was able to purchase Jennie Stenerhag’s Silverback Sesta SBC bike just after the Epic 2019. She was absolutely in love with the bigger and better machine, and her riding improved immensely.

Trying to make this fantastic trajectory short, but it has been a blur.

The next step for Chantélle was the call from Silverback (via our preferred dealership and mechanic) to be a brand ambassador and to pilot their 2020 Stratos for them. She was elated when the Silverback Sesta upgraded to the 2020 Silverback Stratos SBC. After being fine-tuned, she settled well on the new bike. I think Silverback is happy with the feedback they had from her.

2020 Silverback Stratos SBC
  • Training

This is a piece that can be a blog post on its own. And as I write this, I think I will keep training as a separate blog post for next week.

  • Village

After the December holidays, we realized that you need a village’s support to train for and ride the Epic. Hours and hours spent on the bike mean that your children need adults around. Grannies, Grandpas, Aunties, Uncles, Au-Pairs, Nannies. We cannot thank every one of them enough!

2019 / 2020 is the most realistic year we could train for and complete the Epic. Our children are still young (5 and 3), and after this year, the school will intensify, giving us much less of a break to do crazy things like this (together).

Our precious Mini-Me’s

We want to thank you all again for helping us thus far in the journey. We owe our village big time!

The last point before I sign off this blog – if you haven’t already, CANSA Active is our charity, please donate.


#RideforGerald #CANSAActive #CapeEpic #SilverbackBikes #KnipeRacing #PYGA

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