A couple of weekends ago I travelled to the small town of Sabie in Mpumalanga to participate in the second leg of the six-leg National MTB Series. I decided to take a day off on the Friday and take a leisurely drive down to the Lowveld. A few people might have thought that it was raging in the town thanks to all the service delivery protests that had been taking place. Thankfully though, on Thursday morning the race organisers gave the race the green light.

This was my first trip to the Lowveld and I will definitely be going back. Awesome climbs, views and a cracker race route. Here’s a summary of my experience in one sentence: Sabie is a bike-riding paradise that definitely needs to be on your bucket list!

I raced the marathon – 73km – a good day out on the bike. I must admit I was pretty buggered when I finished… 32 degrees and a fair bit of vertical ascent takes its toll.

A quick race summary/reflection

(Hopefully my tired face in the pic above made you smile.)

Have you ever wondered how small things can sometimes make a major difference? In life there are plenty of things that we take for granted like running water, Wi-Fi, and electricity to name a few. The protest in Sabie around survey delivery prompted my thoughts around this topic. I am not a politician so I won’t go into more detail about these protests.

However, I would like to talk about the broader picture – about how small things we take for granted often make a major difference to our experience. Since this is a cycling blog, it’s appropriate that I use the Braamfontein Spruit to illustrate my thoughts.

A popular ride for many cyclists in Joburg is along the Braamfontein Spruit, or “the Spruit” as many people call it. I am constantly amazed at all the work that the spruit-fairies put in to maintaining this space. They keep the most popular trails in Jozi in tip-top shape. The Spruit turns into one of the busiest highways in Jozi over the weekend with bike riders, walkers, runners and dogs descending on to the trails and open spaces, bringing together people of all ages.

So what are some of the small things that the spruit-fairies do? Cutting the grass, building new jumps, making sure the berms are dialled… in simple terms, keeping things awesome so that bike riders can keep smiling and having a ball.

Have you ever heard of or met the spruit-fairies? I don’t know them, but the small things they do keep me and many others smiling. The work these unseen folk do prompted me to think about how we often take small things for granted, without even thinking about it.

The bottom line? Well these thoughts have changed my views about how I take things for granted. I can’t thank everyone personally who has done all these small things for me over the years, but here’s a massive thank you to you all sent up into the universe.

Next time you have an awesome experience, think about everyone who has contributed to it. The behind-the-scenes jobs make all the difference!

About the author:

At CN&CO everything boils down to relationships. When good people interact with other good people, magic happens. This blog is a great example of the nature of relationships – how everyone knows someone who knows someone who provides free surfing lessons every Saturday or runs a national insurance association or just got back from Bhutan or battles to say Merry Christmas without blushing

And we know Joshua Nuttall, who is part of the marketing team at Purple Group and a champion cyclist. One of Josh’s sponsors iscarelnolte.com, which is an affiliate company of CN&CO. Josh’s dad Tim, with whom he rides a lot, is the rector of St Stithians, where Carel is the chairman of the governing council. Josh also rides for PinkDrive, which is one of our favourite charities. Josh is also a keen runner and runs for Born2RunAC – which is also the home club of a couple of CN&CO team mates and sponsored by Purple Group – which is where we started in the first place!