New Cycle Tour recruits

Last weekend I went with two couples on their first mini cycle tour. They had just got their bicycles and gear together. Now this was their first test to see what they need to carry with them on a New Zealand tour. They did 45 km to Nylsvlei where they camped the night and rode home the next day.




Must say I think they did very well on a day that reached 42 degrees celsius. The evening finished well with a very enjoyable braai (BBQ). All brought along something to eat. It turned out to be a very enjoyable meal with even a cup of cinnamon milk before bed.



I wish them well on their tour and hope they find the wonders of the world out there.

Tour de Dad 2014 video

The long awaited home made video of my Dad’s cycling trip is now on youtub. Take a look.

2015 tour plan

New year has begun and it is that time of the year when I have to submit my leave plan for the year. Is there anybody out there that would like to do a tour with me? This way we can get our times to come together. This is often the biggest hill to get over. Most times people cannot join you as their time table does not match yours. Unfortunately I am limited in time. I get four weeks a year but also need to spend some time with my family. Thus it would be nice to do a two to three week tour. That is also good for most people who have a real job and family. We cannot all be vagabonds.

The second question would be where to next. People are already asking me where my next crazy adventure will be. Well it could be a pleasure ride or a mad rush to get to a destination, to fit the most amount of km in before the leave runs out. I really enjoyed the slow ride with my Dad last month. To be honest I feel a lot safer on the roads outside South Africa. As the traffic is less and they travel slower. On the other had it my be time to get that book everybody is talking about. Riding the Dragon’s Spine  book uses back roads to travel the length of South Africa. That way we can get away from the traffic.

Well send me a comment or a tweet. Let me know if you available and what tour you would like to do. Then we can start planning.

Tour de Dad

Just finished a tour with my Dad so have called it Tour de Dad. I did 500 km and my Dad did 315 km. Very proud of my 76 year old Dad. I will make a page for this tour. I have already begun with the video. We landed up cutting the tour short as his circulation in his legs was giving him a hard time up the hills. Never the less he did an outstanding attempt for somebody of his age.


There were people along the way that thought we were doing it for a charity. However it was just a good father and son outing. Why do we need to do this type of thing for charity? Time to get out of your chairs and do it for yourself. For those of you who are not out riding your bicycles, it is now time to start.

Then there were wonderful people who stopped and give motivation along the way. It is nice to find good people out in the world. Gives you hope for the future of our world. There are people out there that are driven by more than just money. They have good hearts.

As always we learned things along the road. We are suffering from electrical load shedding in South Africa at the moment. As there is not enough generation capacity to cope with demand. It feels as the government has not been putting in enough energy as they should to correct this problem. However we found km after km of new road surface that had been laid to help the trucks that transport coal to the power stations. Then the volume of trucks transporting coal was impossible to count. There was a steady stream of trucks all the way from Balmoral to Volksrust. The amount of money that must be paid to keep this stream running is beyond my comprehension.

Pay a visit to my Bicycle trips page. Tour de Dad is now under construction.

Father son trip

They say part of a holiday is the planning . The next is getting there which in our case will be the holiday. The destination will be the smallest part. Last the way back is also part of the adventure.

I have been keeping touch with my dad regularly. He sure is living out the planning and training for his cycle holiday. He is working hard and has been on a exercise schedule. He is now on to the cycling every day stage. His exercise has effected his blood pressure. He is normally on blood pressure tables. He monitors his blood pressure and has had to stop taking tables as his blood pressure has come right. As with age there are lots of other things you have to look out for with your health.

He is concerned that his health will hold out for the whole trip. I just keep on telling him we are going to go at his pace and if he has any problems we can rest or if worse comes to worse we can find a bus home.

As with all first time tour cyclist, he has a long list of questions.

Gear is one question:

I just keep saying that you do not have to have the most expensive gear.

Take time to find the things you need and do not buy the first thing you see.

Normally we buy too much gear and cannot pack all. Land up having to leave some behind.

Find what you have around the house and modify it if you need to.

Bicycle requirement:

Should he get a more comfortable saddle or riding pants. Well I say that if you going slow and doing sight seeing. It is up to you. Which ever you feel comfortable in.

Should he put slicks on. Well he is not going to go heavy off-road. It will probably help to get a more easy roll.

Clothing to take with:

Hard to say to a person that is used to been set in their ways to leave most things at home. Time to rank needs and wants. Summer tour will always have rain in this area. Then there are the night time mosquitoes to keep off. Wind chill when it rains. The scorching heat at mid day and afternoon. Then something to swim in. Light backpacking towel.

Well back to me. I have stopped training and now resting for the Momentum 94.7 this weekend. Will let you know next week how it went.


Change in Trip in December

There have been no responses for anybody to join me to East London. However my father has been itching to take his first long ride. So I have changed my mind. I do not have many years left with my father. Thus I have decided to take to a shorter trip from Johannesburg to Richards bay via St Lucia Natal South Africa. This will be done at my fathers pace and we plan on doing about 50 to 60 km a day. Thus giving us time to rest and enjoy some time together. He is in his mid 70’s and not a spring chicken anymore.

Anybody who wishes to join us is welcome. This my be in the range of more people. We will be camping wild and stopping at some nature reserves. Then ending with some swimming in the Indian ocean. My father is an avid bird watcher so he will want to stop and look at birds.

Departure from my house will be on 12 December and will meet my father at my sister’s house at Balmoral on the 13 December. From there we will hit the road together and head east. Doing a mix of sand and tar roads. We will be avoiding all major routes to keep out of the traffic. Plan to bus it back to Johannesburg on 27 December. Once I have done more planing I will post it on my Next trip page.


Vaalwater trip

Took a training ride to Vaalwater this past weekend. The aim was to ride hills on tar roads to get fit for the Momentum 94.7 cycle challenge. On top of it was to do a two stage ride. To make sure I am getting fit enough for my December adventure to East London. I covered a distance of 209 km for the weekend.

Left at 09H45 on Saturday and stopped for lunch at Nylstroom (Modimolle). From my house to Nylstroom there are no hills.

From Nylstroom to Vaalwater is in the Waterburg hills. Must admit they are big for me but will be small for those of you that are riding in Europe or in Natal. Must be getting fit as the hills did not seem as big as I remember from the previous time I did this route.

The road climbs up out of Nylstroom in steps leaving the Springbok flats behind in the distance. The hills are fenced with game fencing. From time to time you can catch a glimpse of Impala, Kudu, Nyala, Vervet monkey, Baboon,Wildebeest or a cow. The scenery then opens out to grasslands and crop lands. As you start to descend again into the next valley the peach orchards begin. Peaches are now in season and can be bought along the road at small stalls. Not to mention all the Sekelbos wood been sold for camp fires or braai (barbecue). After this there is a goat farm that has a restaurant and makes goat cheese. This would be a nice little outing for the family.


To climb out of this valley is the steepest part of the ride. After passing some game farms comes the monster climb. On the way back home I had to make some noises to chase the Baboons off the road, as I was freewheeling and reached a speed of 65 km/h. It would have caused a terrible accident if I had hit one of them. My heart rate monitor started to beep as I was not peddling down the hill. To the mother baboons in the trees this was terrifying. They just dropped out of the trees baby and all. Their feet were running in the air, so when they hit the ground they hit it running.  Fortunately the up hill is not to long in the direction of Vaalwater and then you are rewarded with a nice long down hill to Vaalwater.

First time I went to Vaalwater I had all these romantic ideas of a town surrounded by game farms and pumping with tourists. Well it has some game farms around it. It has a grain silo and a rundown town centre. This town centre could have come out of some middle African town. The buildings are in need of paint the roads are very fill of potholes. There are street vendors selling vegetables. Must say some of the nicest tomatoes I have seen in a long time. Signs everywhere to sell biltong (beef jerky). There are any type of biltong, starting at beef all the way to Eland.


I camped at a small lodge come camp site tucked away behind the sports bar. The sports bar is a nice neat restaurant come bar that serves very nice pizzas or steaks. Their salads are nice and crisp. They say there are two other places to eat in town. I have not tried them. The local farmers sometime come with their wives and children to eat out. Open people if you start to talk to them. They will enjoy a chat with you. Note big topics are the weather, rugby, crop farming and game farming.

Word of warning there is a night club where the local blacks like to hang out. This place has the music up loud and goes all night. Almost until the sun comes up on Sunday. Then there is the busy road that runs through the centre of town. This is one of the main routes to the mining and game farming towns to the west of Vaalwater. So any place you choose to stay at in town will have the back ground noise of the road and night club. The town’s name is also Vaalwater which means unclear water. This means the water source is caring a high particle load and the local municipality can not clean it up so good. Do not think it will harm you but bottled water tastes much better.

Left Sunday at 7H00 and was home by 11H30. Much more down hills on the way back. Early riding is best as it is cooler. For example on Saturday it went to 35 degrees on my cycle computer just before getting into Vaalwater.

Date to start Joberg to East London

Having done some organizing of my December holiday. I plan to set off from my house on 12 December 2014. Will be able to link up with anybody who wishes to join me along the road. I must be home by 28 December 2014. I am planning to catch the train back on the night of 26 December to be in Johannesburg by 27 December.

This gives 14 days to complete the trip. We will have to put some good kilometers in on the good roads to give us some time on the gravel roads and hilly sections.

20140914_165501See Life is coming back into the bush as Spring comes. This means it will be more pleasurable to do some training rides in the evening. Not much time left to get into shape. Remember if you are doing a long extended ride you do not have to do training before as you have time to strengthen up on the ride. However if you have to do 1200 km in two weeks there needs to be a level of fitness before starting. The fitter you are the more you will enjoy the ride. It will also give you more time to explore.

So leave a comment to this post if you can join me. On the other hand tweet me @kennyfagan.

Feel the adventure of tour cycling

I made a short video to let you feel some of the adventures that I have had. Well I see it would be far better to write a book or sit and have short videos of some of the best stories. I am currently editing my first book. Looks like it should be finished by the end of the year. Take a look at this video. Hope you feel some of the excitement I felt when tour cycling.

You could join me along the road and make your own stories.