By Barend Erasmus
Just a few short years ago not many people had heard of Barend Erasmus. Since then he has been seen on numerous endure podiums and raised many eyebrows with his impressive skills and performances. This is how he’s got there.
After having a tough Roof 2015, I have been given the opportunity to go and race in one of the biggest extreme events there is – Red Bull Romaniacs! This is one of my biggest dreams come true.
Knowing it requires top skills and fitness to finish this event, my training started off immediately. Preparation is key to success and here is how I manage to make time for training.
Having a full time job from 7am to 5pm, I have to use the very limited free time I have very efficiently for training. So my day starts with me hitting the gym at 5am every day, where I swim for an hour just to get my lungs open. Swimming helps with the smooth and consistent breathing required for swimming and during extreme enduro.
After work it is Bootcamp for an hour where hard and high intensity training gets my heart rate up as high as possible. This helps to improve my recovery time, builds strength and conditioning and at the same teaches my body to be able to still perform when tired. Increasing my fitness day by day has helped make riding so much easier and it is rewarding to be fit.
But my main focus is trying to get as much riding time to improve every skill and to be at my best for Romaniacs. So my weekends consist of working until midday and afterward’s straight to riding for the rest of the weekend. On the bike skills is my main focus! I take one technique at a time and practice it over and over again to ensure that there is no doubt in any movement.
Balance, clutch and throttle control, slow riding on obstacles, keeping feet on the pegs, pivot turn feet on the pegs, slow wheelies, the list goes on and on. This has helped me to be able to do whatever obstacle-wise with my bike, how I want it and have full confidence in what I’m doing. Concentrating on one skill at a time and practising it over and over rather than just going out riding has helped me to improve my riding so much.
Having a perfectly set up reliable bike and a fit and healthy body and mind, riding just became so much more fun and has seen me being more successful in events. I surely believe that improving the small things in my riding style has made me a better rider, given me more confidence and definitely made me feel ready to conquer events like Red Bull Romaniacs.
I’m looking forwards to this opportunity and the best is yet to come.