Craig McKune

Dispatch from behind the Portajohn door

This morning I peered with trepidation from behind the Portajohn door. The signs were good, though I don’t think you want to know precisely what they were. For four days I had suffered the effects of some sordid little stomach bug, and on each day I had climbed on my bike hoping to finish another…

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Cape Epic Day 4: Not real mountain biking

“Today I give a gold medal for the most stupid stage I ever done that’s not real mountain biking! Good luck to all the amateurs on the course.” This was a tweet from four-time Cape Epic winner Karl Platt after finishing a gruelling day 4 (Stage 3) this afternoon. Starting on Saronsberg wine farm outside…

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Cape Epic Day 3: Wow this is hard

The Voortrekkers who built the wagon track we rode up and down today were hardcore, and clearly they were desperate to reach the orchards of the Witzenberg Valley. The trail, and I use that term loosely, winds 1000m into the sky over about 10km. At times it looks no more than two and half metres…

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Absa Cape Epic: Update from a steep, filthy gulley

“When in doubt, go up” is useful dictum to use when one is unsure of which route to take in the mountains. Securing the high ground and keeping it keeps you from plunging down the wrong gulley and having to climb back out of it later. In theory. I think the chap who plotted the…

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My Steri Stumpie moment

I estimate my Cape Epic partner and I have downed about 100 chocolate, cream soda and strawberry flavoured milk drinks in the last six months. This has been my greatest, most deserved pleasure. When SMSs have flown around between friends — Are you surfing tomorrow? Wind’s looking perfect, let’s meet at Lakeside at 8.30; reserve…

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A beer at the finish line please

I rounded the final bend where a family of six, the spectators, pattered a modest round of applause, and as I wheeled up to the finishing table a thick-set man handed me a dewy can of beer. “A beer?” I stared at him in disbelief, tentatively extending my hand while an obnoxious, Lycra-clad, cyclist droid-type…

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Bandits in them hills

Over the past five months, I have pedalled my bike up and down the bandit-besieged tracks of Table Mountain on about 70 occasions, and only twice have I seen park officials on patrol. The first slapped me with a half-grand fine; the second snored in a bush while his dog tried to chew my face…

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The day I fell off the top of a mountain

Plunging down the side of a mountain today, incapacitating both my right leg and my bike as I did so, my mind was driven back to what might have been my first lie. In the years before I became a teenager, I would have a recurring dream. It was both bland and vivid, and it…

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A reason to get on my bike

“Were you smoking something this weekend? Because whatever you’ve got …” My new colleague lunged towards my face, forcing up my Wayfarers to peer into my glazed eyeballs. “Look at his eyes. I want some of that,” she said to her companion. Dark rings. Bloodshot. Vacant. I’d been peacefully sauntering up Long Street, fixated on my…

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