Archive for the 'Cycling' Category

A Great Reason To Do The 94.7

I know of nobody who is purely autistic, or purely neurotypical. Even God has some autistic moments, which is why the planets spin.”

Jerry Newport, Your Life is Not a Label

In 7 weeks this averagely fit human being will join thousands of cyclists to complete the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge. This year I’m not riding for a ‘best time’. In fact this year I may not even finish. This year I’m riding with a bunch of people, some of whom aren’t in the best shape to be doing this cycle event, to raise money for a school for Autistic children (The Key School) that’s having to close down at the end of November because of a lack of funds. When this cycle-group was put together by Shaun Murphy, it was to keep the doors open. Sadly in just a month it’s turned into helping the school close with dignity and ensure that a group of dedicated educators gets paid in December.

My interest in The Key School is via a 7 year old boy named Nicholas. He’s the son of Shaun and Leigh Murphy, and in the last few months Nicholas has had a profound impact on myself and my two daughters, Jordi and Carli. I can’t explain Nicholas to anyone. I’ve watched Jordi and Carli try, and they’re as lost for appropriate words as I am. I could sit and tell you of the moments we’ve spent with Nicholas, but to be honest they don’t sound very exceptional at all. I suppose the closest I can get is to ask you if you believe in magic? Yeah I know, magic? That’s what Nicholas has contributed to our lives, in small, but profound ways. When you spend time with Nicholas, he turns the ordinary into extra-ordinary, the invisible becomes visible, and a sheep grazing becomes an awesome adventure.

Nicholas isn’t a ‘Rain Man’. Dustin Hoffman has imprinted a very narrow and one-dimensional view of autism onto the minds of people who’ve never experienced someone with autism. Nicholas is simply Nicholas. A beautiful human being who has introduced us to a world we’ve long forgotten existed.

The other day I asked Carli what it was about Nicholas that she liked? She explained how she loved the way he does what he feels like doing. If he wants to play with something he plays with it. If he wants to roll in the grass he rolls. And when he doesn’t want to do something he doesn’t. As I listened to Carli I realised that through Nicholas she had recognised the social pressures that bare down on her constantly, to do the right thing, say the appropriate thing, and often be someone she didn’t want to be. What an amazing insight to get from a 7 year old. Go Nicholas : )

If you’d like to join the auSOMEtism squad and ride the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge for a good reason, then join us. Join us in helping The Key School close with dignity at the end of 2012.

It’s simple. Here’s how you go about it….

  • Enter the ride –
  • Go to the auSOMEtism Facebook page
  • Enter your details on the ‘tab‘ for the Cycle Challenge
  • Pledge at least R500
  • Shaun will contact you to arrange payment of your pledge (the details are on the FB page)
  • Meet us on the morning of the Cycle Challenge. We’re leaving at 08:32
  • For those that are shooting for a better time, and want to ride with their batch, you can still pledge your money and know that you’re riding for a great reason.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on September 16th, 2012 .
Filed under: Cycling, Fun, Road | No Comments »

Here’s to a long ride with the Toyota/MTN Bike Park

It’s no secret in our home at the moment, that Carli’s gymnastics future is hanging in the balance. She’s bored, or not into it, or over it, or something? But she’s certainly thinking about whether she wants to continue to do it or not. Leish got her to commit to the end of the term, and the end of the term, she is here.

If I’m honest I’m hoping this opens a little opportunity for Carli and I to ride bikes together. She certainly enjoys it more than Jordi, and I’m standing in the wings plotting and planning, that should she throw in her gymnastics towel, that I can offer her 2 attractive slots each week to go down to the MTN/Toyota Cycle Park in Bryanston to ride together. Of course it works for me because of my own BMX history, and the thought of having 2 or 3 hours each week focused on riding with one of our daughters, and maybe both from time to time, gets all the right bells and whistles sounding off in me : )

Of course I’ve got to tread carefully here. Nothing worse than living out your parent’s dreams and fantasies when actually you’d rather be doing something else. So I’m trying not to be too enthusiastic, doing less selling of the idea, and jumping at each opportunity Carli gives when she says anything close to, ‘Hey dad, can we go to the bike park?’. Rain, hail, snow or shine, I’m there : )

Last Monday we went together. Carli on her bike, and me on a rented BMX from the park. Wish I could take a camera with us, but I’m still not sure I’m not going to destroy myself in some over-zealous manoeuvre. So the pic included is in the parking lot before we headed out.

Click here for 2 larger pics.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on April 12th, 2010 .
Filed under: Cycling, Family, Fun, Photos, Weekend | No Comments »

The River Crossing

On Sunday we (Carli, Jordi, Leish and I) took to the river on our bikes. This week we went up stream. It’s a little more challenging and we wanted to see how J ‘n C coped? Our end goal was the Field and Study Center for brunch. Was a stunning day weather wise and we all ended up a little sun burnt. Niiice.

The girls were amazing and tackled everything in their path. Not a hint of pause at any of the obstacles, possibly assisted by a blind faith in mom and dad being able to catch them should something go wrong : )

For those that have ridden the Spruit (as in Braamfontein) then you may know that in order to get into the Field and Study Center, you’ve got to cross a smallish wier, with plenty of water flowing. It’s an awkward crossing as the water can make it look like your drifting, and then you overcorrect and end up in the river or in the little waterfall depending on which direction you’re going.

Neither of the girls flinched at the idea of going across. I rode on the outside of them to ensure that the overcorrection didn’t have them in the river and they both got across like stars. Carli did have a little wobbly and we both ended up putting one foot down. But no tears or disappointment, just one massive confidence boost that we’d gone so far and obstacled through so much.

Was luverlee : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on September 15th, 2009 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, MTB, Weekend | No Comments »

The Heaven’s Opened

On Friday at around 13:00 there was a monster opening of the heaven’s and swimming pool loads of water distributed themselves around Jozi. I happened to be at Riverside Shopping Centre when it happened. You don’t see rain like this often, and it lasted all of 20 minutes. One minute sun shine, the next raining chaos and back to sunshine. Just like that.

As I was walking back to my car I noticed the roads backing up on either side of the bridge that keep Summit Road and Bryanston Drive from each other. I walked down and took these pics of the water that had collected on the bridge.

It’s not the river that came high enough, it’s the drainage on the bridge that couldn’t cope with the water that was streaming down the roads on either side.

At 17:00 the small bridge down the road from us still had the river only 30cm from the road level. That’s 4 hours later and still it hadn’t subsided much.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on January 28th, 2009 .
Filed under: Photos, Road, Stuff | No Comments »

Scooter Squad at the 94.7

Carli, Jordi and I headed off to the 94.7 with Ang and her 2 boys to support some friends and 28 000 other cyclists this morning.

It was a rough begining to the day with a 5am start, care of our house alarm, a wet bed and a Parkmore Prawn (yuck).

Scooters under our arms we went to our now usual hang out for this race, at the MnA across the road from Hyde Park Shopping Centre.

We had breakfast mixed in with a Vuvuzela (?) and the compulsory Italian Sparkling Wine : )

It’s amazing when you consider and then see the diversity of body shapes that attempt and largely finish the race. Hats off to all of them. It’s great to be a part of the event and do our bit for support.

The girls always seem to get a kick out of the event, and they do their bit standing on the side of the road cheering and offering their hands, carefully, for a high-five as the riders come whizzing past. It should be noted that it’s far easier high-fiving the last quarter of riders than the first three quarters. Speed has an important part to play in this realisation : )

Well done to Vince, Warren and Zane for getting to at least the 30km mark (in that order)

Pictures of our morning can be viewed by clicking here.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on November 16th, 2008 .
Filed under: Cycling, Family, Friends, Fun, Weekend | No Comments »

Lost Car

We had a long weekend last weekend. Our annual pilgrimige with the Durban mates to the Berg. A heck of a weekend it turned out to be.

A part from the great stuff we did as a family, there was at least one late late late night, which made the trip home ugly before we even got going.

With just 200km to go, a blasted red light appears in the dash. One that neither Leish or I had seen before. So with manual out a short sharp call to Audi, we were ordered to stop forth-with or sooner.

This, as you’ve calculated, had us right on top of Warden. Long story short, including the 4 of us on the back of a flat-bed, a couple of hours in the waiting room of a scrap yard, a car dispatched from Harrismith, we arrived home aprox 3 hours after we should have.

It’s all about the journey right? I’m not of that persausian this week? Sometimes journeys can drag on a little longer than your sense of humour allows. You can have ‘the journey’ for a little while still.

We did take a couple of pics and I’ll be sure to get them up soon.

And for those concerned about the car?I don’t know where it is or even who has it? That’s tomorrow’s task. God bless small towns with honest pick-up truck drivers.

Posted by Barrie Bramley on October 2nd, 2008 .
Filed under: Family, Friends, Fun, Holiday, Road, Travel | No Comments »

First ride of the season (really)

I already posted an announcement of the first ride of the season. I was wrong. That was just a warm up for this morning. This morning was the real deal. No doubt about it.

How I’m feeling now is how first ride of the season is supposed to feel : )

Thanks for inviting me (134)

Posted by Barrie Bramley on September 20th, 2008 .
Filed under: Cycling | No Comments »

Post Winter Ride – Done and Dusted

We did it. The re-entry into summer sport after a cold winter. This morning Leish and I got our bikes up and running, and hit the Spruit for 2 hours.

One puncture, two sore bumbs, and me glad it was over means we’re officially cyclists again.

Of course you always wish you’d kept your fitness up during winter, but in my case it’s not ever happened. One day I always say. One day : )

Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 23rd, 2008 .
Filed under: Cycling, Fun, MTB | No Comments »

Carli and the Road Trip

I had an opportunity, thanks to Leish, to take Carli with me to speak to AMASA in the Berg, at Little Switzerland. It’s been a wonderful day. So far we’ve:

• Played ‘eye spy’
• Played ‘count the cars’
• Played ‘first one to see’
• Sung ‘I’m an African’
• Played Putt Putt
• Jumped on the trampoline
• Had dinner together
• Checked out the venue for tomorrow, together
• Are about to fall asleep together

I had a chance to take Jordi with me to Cape Town earlier this year. These are trips that can’t be explained. They’re wonderful and beautiful and no matter what you go expecting, you end up with stuff you never imagined, and are so grateful for.

Leish, the next 2 trips belong to you. You gotta go. These 2 girls will teach you, and show you stuff you haven’t yet seen or experienced.

God bless them both.

Looking forward to tomorrow…

Click here for photos

Posted by Barrie Bramley on August 21st, 2008 .
Filed under: Family, Fun, Holiday, Photos, Road, Work | 1 Comment »

Bike Park in the making

I’ve been updating stuff this morning and found some pics of our Bike Park project we embarked on in December last year. Needless to say, as with all December projects, it didn’t get much further than that, although there were some grand plans.

Click here for the full set of pics

Posted by Barrie Bramley on November 25th, 2007 .
Filed under: Fun, Holiday, MTB | No Comments »