Cycle Lab Adventures

CLA offers cycling events for the discerning cyclist

We believe that cyclists deserve to get value for money, whether buying a bike, equipment, or services. We also believe that we cycle for fun, health, and sometimes to test ourselves. Cyclists know that TITS is important, and largely determines how well you ride. It is impossible to be a decent cyclist without reasonable TITS.
Until recently, the only organised rides have been races or club rides.
Club rides are essential, predictable, organised, safe, and routine.
Fundamentally, we pay for and ride races, to make use of the organisation on the day, to compare our performance either against past performance or other cyclists, and to receive an official time. So what does it cost us? The entry fee, number collection, sacrificing a Saturday ride if the race is a Sunday, the logistics of getting there and back, the angst and preparation the night before, and most of all, the stress of riding in huge bunches with cyclists whose abilities are unknown, and at breakneck speed. The danger of crashing is multiplied several times under these conditions.
Racing plays an important role in the build-up to main events like Argus and 94.7, where we hope to peak and are always looking for our best times. For the rest of the year we want to stay sharp and in shape, so we ride in clubs or with mates regularly.

Enter Cycle Lab Adventures

CLA events involve cycling and social interaction in a safety-first environment at value-for-money prices. CLA has adopted the Velogique© bunch riding system for maximum safety. Bunches have a managed pace, whether LSD or LTD, which remains steady throughout the ride. All the day’s details are taken care of; following vehicles, shower and lunch on arrival, and transport back for you and your bike. And the distances are always challenging (LSDs start at around 120km, and LTDs from 150km to 190km)

To facilitate logistics, one-day rides start at Cycle Lab Fourways (except the summer Sun City event), and the transport will bring you back there. Training camps start and finish at a base, usually a hotel or guest house.

What we do

Cycle Lab Adventures (CLA) has two primary objectives:

  1. To provide cyclists with alternatives to club riding and races.
  2. Nurture a cycling environment which is safe and challenging while adding a strong social element with adventure as the objective.

 

CYCLING STYLE

Cycle Lab Adventures uses a cycling style called Velogique. It has a spotless record for safety, because it adheres to the ‘best practice’ rules developed over decades by professional, amateur and social cyclists. We have tapped into them and adapted them to suit our needs. One thing we do not compromise on, is the safety of our riders during the ride, and every bunch has a following vehicle. Another key difference is that we don’t ‘attack’ the bunch. We try our hardest to do the opposite. We keep the tempo, we take turns, we keep the peloton tight, we behave like one big team. We suffer together, we look after each other, and for a day we get to know each other better by socialising during and especially after the ride. Our passion is to integrate cyclists into our rides, and then allow the rules and discipline of the bunch to become obvious guidelines. It is a supreme and accelerated method of being coached into bunch riding skills, and having fun at the same time. Our rides are always challenging, and by invitation only, thus ensuring a minimum standard of proficiency, which contributes to the well-being and safety of the bunch.

METHODOLOGY

We ride in tight bunches, two abreast, no ‘half-wheeling’, no surging, rock-steady pre-determined pace, disciplined and proper cycling etiquette. The group won’t stop for your puncture. If you get a puncture, you’ll get into the following vehicle, repair your wheel in the van while it continues to follow the group. When you have finished, the van will take you to a place some way ahead of the bunch, and you will reintegrate into the group seamlessly. If you can’t stay in the bunch, you get into the following vehicle until you have recovered. The following vehicle is there to protect the bunch, and must follow the main bunch, not individual cyclists who can’t keep up.

QUALIFYING

Our cycle adventures are cyclo-centric and include long rides. Our rides have two categories viz. LSD and LTD. The criteria for LTD rides are more stringent as the pace is higher, and the distances longer with more challenging routes. If you have not done one of these before, please speak to the organiser. Your fitness level may be assessed prior to being accepted on a ride.

NOTES

You will receive a detailed mail in the days leading up to each ride, with advice on preparation, departure times, stops, nutrition, ETA’s and more.
The above rules are there for everyone’s safety. These are social events designed for your enjoyment. You will get to know fellow riders, stay fit, and improve your skills.

 

CLA Ts & Cs

Disclaimer

Cycle Lab and Cycle Lab Adventures shall not be held liable for loss, damage or injury, from any cause whatsoever, before, during or after our events. Each participant is aware of the potential risks travelling to and from the venue, as well as the risks involved in the activity of cycling, and all participants enter and take part in the event entirely voluntarily at their own risk. By registering and entering the event, the participant acknowledges that he/she has read and understood the disclaimer, and thereby indemnifies the organisers.

Refund Policy

  1. One day events
    3 Days prior to the event, no refund
    4 – 7 Days prior, 70% refund
    Longer than 7 days, full refund, less R 50 admin fee
  2. Training camps and local tours
    7 Days prior to the event, no refund
    7 – 14 days prior, 70% refund
    Longer than 14 days, full refund, less R 100 admin fee
  3. Overseas tours
    30 Days prior to trip, no cancellation
    30 – 60 days, 70% refund
    Longer than 60 days, 90% refund
     

 

BCA Jargon and Terminology

LSD rides

We’ve all heard the term before. It usually means Long Slow Distance. We at BCA prefer to call this Long Steady Distance aimed at the competent but intermediate cyclist. The objective is for the bunch to ride in formation, keeping its shape at all times. This is achieved with no surging in front, paying attention to the dynamics in the bunch, and ensuring that the integrity of the bunch is not compromised.

LTD rides

We at BCA are using this term to differentiate between riding speeds. It stands for Long Tempo Distance and is aimed at the more competitive cyclists. The rules remain with no surging, no ‘half-wheeling’ in front, with the integrity of the bunch being the primary objective. We aim to arrive at the destination as one unit, tired but happy.

TITS

Stands for Time In The Saddle, which we all know is a basic ingredient to being able to ‘peak’ on demand. All our rides provide excellent base training.

BCA

BCA = Baobab Cycle Adventures = fun, Fun, FUN
We do not compete with anyone. We offer an alternative to cycling races, and complement club cycling. Although we acknowledge the benefits of races and the need to defend a national seeding, we think that they are often dangerous, with no road closures, and huge undisciplined bunches. They generally pose a logistical challenge, as well as compromising the Saturday club rides. BCA events are held mostly on public holidays and we believe, offer better value for money. We offer a contrasting style of cycling which is predictable and as safe as cycling can be, with varying speed components, coupled with great social interactions.
There is always a destination and an opportunity to make new friends during and after the ride. The journey home, often in a luxury coach offers some well deserved rest and relaxation, as well as possible social interaction.

VPL

A Visible Panty Line is always bad, but under your specifically tailor-made lycra shorts, it is positively criminal. Cycling shorts and padding manufacturers go to extreme lengths to make sure you are as comfortable as possible for long periods, while keeping your acidic body fluids away from your tender areas. Inners are seamless for your cycling comfort. Don’t spoil that and your appearance by wearing underwear under the lycra. You will be shown up as a novice.

FT

Funtional Threshhold Power is a test done on a stationary bike or Watt bike to see how you can hold maximum power output. It is a killer test and a sufferfest.
The other meaning for FTP is F$#k This Pace! When you’re about to get dropped and are contemplating the reality of a lonely ride home.

PDA

Often used in its plural form, it signifies Public Display of Affection. This takes on more significance when talking about people you already know, and infinitely more if they are both cyclists whom you have known previously. 

 

Vélogique

The Velogique cycling system is based on best practices gleaned from professional, club, and social cyclists over many decades.
It is aimed at non-professional cyclists who do not have the road closures or the supporting cavalcades which exist in the professional cycling world.
It is a bunch riding system known for its ‘safety-first’ approach.
It involves inter alia:

  1. Riding two abreast, handle bar to handle bar
  2. Not surging on climbs
  3. Predictable riding within the bunch, with no sudden speed changes
  4. Using voice and hand signals to warn the rest of the bunch of potential problems ahead
  5. Riding within certain pre-determined effort zones
  6. Keeping the bunch tight and together
  7. Having a following vehicle directly behind the bunch, acting as a protection, and sheltering the cyclists from traffic coming from behind.

The word Vélogique is derived from a combination of two French words:

Vélo is an abbreviation of Vélocipede, an old word for bicyclette (Bicycle),
Logique is the French form of Logic.
Bunched together, it could refer to the logical cycling alternative.
Bicycles and professional cycling have their roots in France. Hence the world’s biggest road race is the Tour de France, and many everyday cycling terms and bike parts are French.