A runner’s thoughts on a 40km bike ride…

So I managed to complete my very first cycle road race last week! *whoop* Having survived my first puncture as well as being shoved into a starting pack of almost 2 000 cyclists, I walked away feeling pretty chuffed with myself. 

40kms is not that far. It took me 2h18 mins to complete the route on my new bike, knobblies and all. But let me tell you, being new to the sport of cycling, a lot went through my mind during those 2 hours. Here are some of those thoughts… 

When I run, I am able to switch off and allow my mind to go into a different space. Not with cycling. There is no chance to switch off as you manoeuvre through other riders, constantly keeping a watch for traffic passing you and always analysing which gear to go choose for the best ride. It is quite draining, both physically and mentally. 

Running is quick and we are done by 10am. Not with cycling. Even though we had all completed our races by 12h30, we still only got home after 2pm. It’s a much longer day which requires much more of an investment in time. 

I slip my shoes on, strap on my running watch and off I go. Oh boy, with cycling, there’s a million and one things to remember to carry with: puncture repair kits, spare tubes, tools. The all in one cycling outfit makes it very difficult to go for a quick toilet break before the race. My apologies to those who might have caught a glimpse of my white bum and belly as I had no option but to strip down in order to do the job right. 

I cannot change a flat tyre to save my life but what I did find is that cyclists all stop to assist one another. If I happened to stop, a cyclist passing me would ask if I was okay. I liked that.

The same goes for accidents. Two accidents happened right in front of me on my race. All cyclists stopped and some got off their bikes to assist the fallen. This is something you don’t see very often with running. I’m ashamed to say that on the odd occasion that a runner has fallen, very few will stop and assist.

Most runners complain of running injuries and niggles. But ask cyclists and they come with war stories of broken collar bones and broken wrists from accidents. Especially those wearing cleats. Injuries are high and the injuries are serious.

The race was timed mat to mat. I will repeat that in case Two Oceans Half Marathon officials read this. Mat to mat!  

One last point: There is something to be said for being ‘bum fit’. I must confess that by the time I got to the 36km mark, I kept jumping up off the saddle as if I was doing show jumping on a horse, just to relieve the pain that I felt in areas of my lower body I never knew existed! Ouch! 

I am looking forward to my next race and will definitely apply suncream! Check out my legs. This was sore jong!


7 thoughts on “A runner’s thoughts on a 40km bike ride…

    • Oh no! I’ve only seen that now. Shucks! :(((((( that’s terrible! Does that mean cutoff is at 9? Oy, tough call for runners like me. I’m really disappointed too.


      • Hold up Bo look what I finally found on their web page, it is good news

        Home » Events » Half Marathon » Course Info » Cut-off

        The official cut-off time at the finish is 09:20 (3 hours 10). Runners who have not reached the intersection of Union Avenue (18.0km) by this time will not be allowed to continue.

        Runners who can’t walk an average of 8.5 minutes per km are strongly discouraged from entering. If you do not reach the cut-off points within the required time, you will be asked to retire from the Race and leave the road. YOU MAY NOT CONTINUE RUNNING.

        Athletes who fail to obey the race officials will be subject to disciplinary action and may be banned from participation in the Two Oceans Marathon in future. Transport will be provided at all the cut-off points to take the runners back to the Finish.

        This means we have 3:10 to do this race in not 2:50 🙂


  1. Hi Bronwynne, good to hear that, entries open at 10 today, for sure see you there I have stunning accommodation at Clifton for the race.

    I agree with pamiejane the cyclists in Durban are so damn rude, runners greet them and expect for a very few they never greet back.


  2. It’s funny, down here I find runners much more helpful and friendly than cyclists. Unless it is a mountain bike race – then they are all really nice. I thought it was because they were all concentrating so much on “staying with the bunch”.


    • Hi Dave! Oh gosh no, running is my first love! In fact, we are doing a race next week Saturday and I am all geared to enter Two Oceans tomorrow. See you there? 🙂


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