The Epic Guide

Cape Epic Plan Train Ride Finish

Cape Epic Guide Planning Training Riding Finishing Team BBB

The Epic Guide

Check out our Cape Epic Guide, the story of our 3 past Cape Epic successes. Find out all our epic training secrets.

Other Cape Epic Resources

Mountain Bike Tours in South Africa


The Sunscreen Song for Mountain Bikers


If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own wobbly experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and ability of your body. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and ability of your body until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fast you really were. You are not as slow as you imagine.

Don't worry about the missed training. Or trying to catch up, but know that catching up is as effective as trying to run before you can walk. The real troubles on your bike are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you with 2 minutes to go on the start line.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with your bike. Don't put up with people who are reckless with theirs


Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember the encouragement you receive. Forget the pain. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old bikes. Throw away your old tyres.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know how to ride. The best riders I know didn't know at day 1 how to unclip. Some of the most skilled riders still fall off.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll crash, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll win, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll complete the Epic at 40, maybe you'll ride until you are 90. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest engine you'll ever own.

Sprint, even if you have nowhere to do it but your driveway.

Know the road signals, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read nutritional advice. It will only make you feel guilty.

Get to know your club members. You never know when they'll stop to help. Be nice to your fellow riders. They're your best chance of finishing and the people most likely to stick with you to the end.

Understand that form comes and goes, but a strong base is something to hold on to. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you will wish that you made the effort to get out there.

Ride on the road, but turn off before you die of boredom. Ride single track, but leave before it you get addicted.

Drink water.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Bikes will get better. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, bikes were cheaper and children still rode bikes in the streets.

Respect your age.

Don't expect anyone else to push you. Maybe you have a race physic. Maybe you'll have a race weight bike. But you never know when either one might come unstuck.

Don't put too much in your pockets or on your back, or by the time you head out you will look like a beached whale.

Be careful whose bikes you buy, but be patient with those who supply them. Advice is a form of sales. Dispensing it is a way of managing the stock, embellishing it, glancing over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.





Mountain Bike Tours in South Africa - LIVE2RIDE