I begin this blog while sitting in a cafe at Casablanca Airport, Morocco. A six
–hour plane delay has left me with plenty of time to channel some creativity into some words on a screen, and reflect upon this past month.
For me, the beginning of August was fairly uneventful, racing wise. Besides racing a local marathon race – the 60km Eston Classic, which I managed to win, I had a chance to spend my weekends getting some quality training in at home, as opposed to traveling around the countryside from race to race. The second semester at university kicked off with a few tasks due here and there, but actually, most of my energy and focus was going towards my upcoming overseas racing expedition. I’d been looking forward to it for a while, but sorting out all the finer logistical details proved to be more challenging than I initially thought. Last-minute requirements are typical of traveling abroad, which brings a fair amount of stress!
Needless to say, I was more than happy to jump on the plane, as ready as I could have been for the adventure which awaited me in Morocco – the 2019 edition of the African Games. African Games proved to be one crazy yet enriching adventure. Team South Africa racked up an impressive 6 gold and 3 silver medals in the cycling events alone between the men and women. I managed to contribute to that tally with a Gold in the Cross Country Mountain Bike event as well as being a member of the winning team for the ladies Team Time Trial.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was being the youngest member of the team. As weird as this may sound, it meant that I had ample opportunities to learn from the older and more experienced riders. It was a privilege to have Ashleigh Moolman Pasio join us for a few days too – she truly is an incredible representative of women’s cycling, both in South Africa and internationally, and has so much experience to share with others. I was able to learn so much from Ash within those few days, with her helpful and constructive advice – a product of her incredible cycling journey.
So, as much as I would love to continue enjoying some long rides along the coast, and sipping on some delicious Moroccan tea; the time has come for us to wave goodbye to Casablanca and switch our focus to the next leg of our trip.
I’m looking forward to testing the waters in the Elite European road racing scene – be sure to read my next blog to hear all about it! But for now, you can follow my cycling journey on my social media, while I continue to learn and hopefully grow through the hardships and challenges along the way.
Let’s go race some bikes!
IMAGES: | Anthony Grote | Tim Keep | Support SA Talent |