IN THE SADDLE: A year gone by in the big smoke

It’s truly amazing where your mind drifts to when you are on a bike. I remember having a conversation a couple of months ago with a good friend of mine around what he thinks about when he rides. It’s as if your mind changes channels and takes its own path, relaxing and interesting when you look back on it. Last week I wrote about diversity, and how we need accept it and let it strengthen us – a relevant discussion in light of the predominant discourse in SA over the past week or so. I wonder what this week will bring … more of the same? Or are we going to see a change of direction? Only time will tell.

Life behind bars… sleepless mornings, amazing sunrises and constant challenges. No, I am not referring to burglar bars, rather the bars of a bicycle. You steer these bars and decide where you go, you are the decision-maker. So where are you going???

A photo to prove that I am not a robot, but human after all ... ticking that imaginary box or entering the verification code that has become a common feature on many website pages

A photo to prove that I am not a robot, but human after all … ticking that imaginary box or entering the verification code that has become a common feature on many website pages

Over the weekend I clocked up a bit of mileage behind the bars. With lots of time to think, my mind drifted to where I was this time last year. It’s crazy to think that a full year has passed, what’s that saying “time flies when you’re having fun”? I could never have imagined being where I find myself today. It’s an awesome space to be in and links back to steering the bars. You steer your bike and decide whether you take the easy, flat road or the steep climb. Sometimes you need to take the steep climb. It might not be easy, but at the end of it you will come out stronger.

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a time for the easy flat road, though! After all, we do need slow down for a breather every now and then. What have I learnt? Be adaptable and change it up every now and then; keep it exciting. The past 12 months also mark my first full year as a Joburger. I have always been optimistic about life in Joburg – strange, you might think, as I spent the last couple of years studying in Cape Town.

On Sunday morning from the top of Northcliff hill I took the photos below. There are often chirps that Joburg has no views. But these photos prove that it does! And the much needed rain we received in the last few days, gave it a “washed” feeling. Looking out over Joburg allowed me to gain perspective, a perspective that provided me with the bigger picture and how many different parts all fit into this awesome city that I am proud to call home. Joburg, like any other South African city, has many hidden gems. So get out there and find them for yourself. Having lived here for a year, I have found a couple but there is still loads of exploring to do on and off the bike. The view point I climbed to this weekend gave me a bigger perspective of Joburg. I am now more keen than ever to see all the different parts that make up the bigger picture.

Bottom line — Get out there! #outsideisfree, even behind the bars of a bicycle.

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 is, 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!