Last year I took part in my second Tsogo Sun AmaShova Durban Classic, cycling a full 65km with my GoPro Hero 3+ Silver strapped to my bike.
This race is one of the oldest classic cycle races in South Africa and offers a classic 106km race, 65km half challenge and a 35km fun ride with full road closures. The 106km from Pietermaritzburg to Durban follows a similar route to that of the Comrades Marathon. It’s a fantastic race for both beginners and advanced cyclists who are looking for a good challenge.
I started the 65km half challenge at 5.30am in Cato Ridge. It was a chilly morning but it didn’t take long for the cyclists to be warmed up and full of excitement for the race ahead.
My excitement turned into horror as I was faced with the notorious slow climb up Inchanga! By now the sun was sitting high and the day was getting warmer. Not long after the first major uphill, came another punishing climb out of the Drummond bowl.
At this point, I began questioning whether I had prepared myself enough for the race!
The slow, winding uphills of the first 15km or so seem like they are never-ending. After pushing through, it was a breeze cycling down Botha’s Hill and Fields Hill, with even more easy free-wheeling stretches into Durban. All the negative thoughts from the beginning of the race had disappeared and I got that same rush that keeps me coming back each year.
Like most endurance sporting events, I find, you'll say to yourself during the race that you're never going to do it ever again; this is the last time you’re going to put yourself through that experience. By the end of the race, however, you’re overjoyed that you fought through the temporary pain and begin the countdown to next year's event!
There is a unique freedom and thrill that comes from gliding downhill on a bike surrounded by beautiful green scenery with clear sunny skies above. I tried my best to capture it with my GoPro Hero 3+ Silver which you can check out in the video I made below.
I used the handlebar mount to attach my GoPro to the handlebar of my bike. It was really steady and surprisingly, didn’t shake or vibrate at all while cycling. Using this mount allowed me to focus on my cycling while easily capturing a few videos and photos of the race. I edited all the footage into a short video showing the highlights of my race using GoPro Studio
This year’s Amashova takes place on 16 October and entries are now open. I hope you’re gearing up for the big day and challenging yourself this year, whether it’s to the 35km, 65km or 106km! You can find out more information and enter online here. http://www.shova.co.za/
To see more of my GoPro photos, check out my Instagram account