Its been a hectic couple of weeks but it ended with some great riding in Sabie. Every year we host a pre ride for the four day Sabie Experience where we test the race routes for the event in December. This year we also had the Sabie Experience Lite route options. I arrived earliesh on Thursday to do some admin and meet with the race office. Glenn, the race director for the Lite, also pulled in and the team assembled over dinner to run through the millions of details that make up the successful hosting of a stage race. The weather was hot and dry and we headed off the next morning through town to tackle what would be Stage Two of the race. The banter was soon replaced with heavy breathing and cursing as the riders sweated their way up the first climb. And the group soon splintered all over the plantations. I struggled with a hectic heart rate and worse than useless energy levels and eventually I suffered the ignomy of calling it a day and getting into the back up vehicle. As the temperatures soared there was a lot of bartering for my seat but I hung on for all I was worth. The upside was that I converted to riding the Lite routes which gave me some insight as to what these riders were in for. Great decision. We were finished before the heat of the day kicked in and we had many hours of extra R&R before the others staggered back, hot, weary and thirsty. The last day saw a quick shower as we were about to start but 5kms up the road it was dry and stayed that way until we started on a mean climb. Then it was a fine drizzle which kept us cool and hydrated. Our group was somewhat larger on this day with a lot of riders opting for the shorter option. A hot shower and a snack brought three great days to an end. The Sabie Experience remains one of the toughest events on the calendar and located on the edge of the escarpment means there is no respite from the climbing or the weather of that region. The Lite will also test riders who will have dramatically improved their riding when they complete these four days. It comes down to mental tenacity. Why do something if its not a challenge. We have to go out of our comfort zones to feel alive. Do you agree?