I first began cycling about 4 years ago in 2006, when my dad got my brother and myself a bike for Christmas. Having always loved sport and playing cricket, hockey, athletics and pretty much any sport in season at the moment I was excited about trying something new! When we first started riding it was a family sport but in no time my competitive streak came through and my brother and I took to the races.
In 2007 we did our first “race” at Sadara and we loved it! Cycling quickly became a lifestyle for the entire family and moved from just being a weekend event to cycling everyday.
The good old days involved saddle bags, camel packs and pedals those became a thing of the past as we traded up and took to bottles and cleats. The first rides we did were pretty frustrating having to continually chase the boys in the front who had endless energy, being the youngest it was a struggle to keep up.
In 2008 my cycling took a turn as I started concentrating on it as a main sport and moved from fun rides to actually training and preparing myself for the 2009 season. In 2009 I started doing my first lap races, I ended as the 3rd youth in the KZN series behind now Team Jeep SA team member Brendon Davids who won that year.
2009 was also my first year riding with a private team, (Thanks to Mark Balton and Jono Downham) Team Dura Cycles with my Brother Elmo van der Spuy and other close friends. We started doing Thursday team rides, which were helpful to build camaraderie among the team and to gain support from each other. Actually I wouldn’t really call it a ride, more like a sprint, there was no neutral zones, we would sprint to every landmark and up every hill just to see who would get there first, think my brother would do it just to prove he was better☺ No Thursday would be complete without the skills coaching of Jono and a good laugh at the Wipeout King Rudi Kuhn (who still holds the title.)
Without Jono my cycling would not be where it is today, the patience he had with us and the countless questions we asked we often wonder why he kept coming back to help. He took the time to help us individually to improve our weakness and to keep us motivated. I think we must have driven him mad, the number of times I been told to ‘Shut-up’ for talking on a Saturday ride are countless, I think most people will agree I like to socializes when climbing up the steepest hills when people cant reply.
2010 marks the best year so far. This year I won my first ever KZN cup lap race and went on to win the series. I also competed in my first national series, which was an experience to remember. I learnt a lot in my first race where I came 3rd in Alberton and put that to good use and won my first nationals race a month later in PMB at Cascades, Things only got better as I ended up coming 1st in George and another 2nd in Mankelle. This is amazing considering it was my first time competing in the series and it was a success as I had already won the series before the final event in Mankelle.
However, 2010 was not all a fun and games as I had my worst placing of the year in Cascades during KZN champs where I came 4th. Soon after that I found out I had Coxsackie virus. After that I started training with the thanks to Wade Trotter who introduced me to motor pacing which was an eye-opener in preparation for the final of the SA series, however on the day I didn’t have one of my best rides and again ended off the podium in 4th however had won the overall series.
2010 was definitely my best year so far during my short cycling career in terms of results. However, with joining Team Jeep South Africa for the 2011 season the future is looking very promising. I am extremely excited to be riding with Team Jeep South Africa and for all the thrills and adventures that will come in 2011.