Our soft option entry sees us start @ 10:30 am & 9 min apart. I'll have to catch Doug now too dammit. Hopefully there's some damsel in distress that needs help so he'll stop or slow down so I can catch him.
|Almost at the top - Lehanna you windy ....!|
|View from Lehanna Cairn|
|On Black Fountain|
|On Black Fountain|
|In the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve|
|View from Allandale farm house|
Well I did just that and eventually got to Capetown after having a
life changing mtb journey. This time we're only going as far as Rhodes
but I must admit that I'm feeling extremely envious of those going all
the way to Capetown. My Freedom Challenge buddy from 2009 is out there
on his own now, 2 days in...
The pre-race briefing is always interesting, what with warnings to
preferably not cross the flooded Umkomaas river or try and summit
Lehanna's pass in extreme snow weather etc. I was watching the new
guys taking this in and it made me smile to see those very pensive
faces & looks that said "Four clubs, what have I gotten myself into !!!"
Well I now know exactly what I've gotten myself into - Another awesome
adventure with my friends where tommorrow will sort itself out...
No doubt you're thinking that Gadgets lost his marbles - again ?!
Going to work, it's only Tuesday and the boys feeling "suddenly
exuberant" @ 7am in the morning - Bloody nuts is more like it !!!
Well you'd be right but in the wrong sorta way. I'm probably a bit
whacky most of the time and that's exactly my point - Times a wasting...
We spend our lives striving & working & conforming to society's
notions of being grown up and mostly forgetting what it felt like when
we were carefree, laughing & joking with our school friends around the
Mountainbiking and the prospect of an adventure with my friends across
the Drakensberg to Rhodes in the middle of winter has brought me back
to my boyhood adventures with the school mates.
In short I'm so 'hepppy' I feel like a puppy exuberantly flick
flacking around the yard, throwing himself with joyful abandon onto
the grass and weeeing himself uncontrollably in the process !!!
Some of our riding party have temporary riding constraints on the
weekend and since we're trying to get it together for amongst other
things the Ride to Rhodes & the 230km non stop Trans Baviaans in August we need to train. Riding at night is a requirement and being able to test kit & night riding ability is a must.
So as I am won't to do at times, I had a senior moment by being forgetful
again. I packed everything I'd need, duly arrived at Hekpoort from
work and proceeded to kit up - weelllll sort of...
I would forget my damn cycling pants now wouldn't I, that all important
piece of lycra'd chamois for the preservation of the posterier !!!
Here I was 60kms from home, 3 buddy's waiting for me and no essential
cycling kit. Hekpoort is traditionally an extremely rough district
road too, so what to do ???
Well in the true spirit of a rider of the Transvaal chapter of the
'Dikwiel Commando' I went commando in me briefs & a pair of polyester
riding tights amidst howls of laughter !!!
Holy crap it was an adventure of note and in virtual sub zero wind chill conditions
combined with 50km's of damn rocky road, 400m up & down a mountain...
Yeeeeoooouuuuwwww and in the immortal words of Elvis: "My boys are all shook up ! "
Way back in 2009 on our epic race across SA we were thrust into a race
filled with bitterly cold winter weather, days of rain & mud and of
course some very interesting people dynamics. Humans are strange
animals at the best of times, but no less so than when thrust together
in a rather extreme environment with alot at stake.
Without regurgetating the whole saga the group dynamics at the time
resulted in a parting of the ways on the trail and ever since, a
certain male member of the 2009 race has delighted in poking fun at
the rest who had the unfortunate pleasure of having to deal with the
mental strain of a very negative energy first hand.
And thus credance was given to something that should have been allowed
to fade away along with the pains of the 2009 race...
I for one will be devoting my time & energy on the wonder & splendour
of the Ride to Rhodes. No 10kg backpack this time AND at the end of
this ride I'll be getting a whip instead of a blanket - wink wink
nudge nudge !