Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dirtopia 100 miler

Saturday 20 May 2011 was the day for the Dirtopia 100 miler in the Malmesbury district. The last event in preparation for the Freedom Challenge RASA. Picked up number at Dirtopia on Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning I got up at 04:25 to ensure that I get all my ducks in a row before picking up my cycling buddy, Mike Smit at 06:00 to ensure we get to the start at Swartland Cellars in good time.
Arrived there at 06:45, in good time for the 07:20 start. We got going at 07:21 just as the sun was rising over the mountains east of Wellington. The pace was quite brisk and the route had a number of twists and turns as well as a sprinkling of reasonable hills and descents, but nothing too serious. We were onto some district roads as well as minor farm roads. The weather was just about perfect with a hint of chill in the air, but that would disappear quite quickly. We were traveling in a southerly direction but north of Paardeberg. After about an hour and a half's riding we turned left on the tar road linking Paardeberg with the Wellington/Malmesbury road. We went straight across this road and onto a gravel road linking this road with the Riebeeckkasteel/Hermon road. After some ups and downs, we took a left turn towards the first major climbs of the day. At the foot of this was the "breakfast stop" where we got some muffins and bananas. Here I took my warm jacket and gloves off as the day was already heating up and with a major climb coming up, the body would soon heat up. This climb lasted for approximately 5 km and included a number of serious down hills, where we were reaching speeds of close to 60 k.p.h. This led us back to the district road and to the Riebeeckkasteel/Hermon tar road. Once across this we were back onto some minor road which was relatively flat, but with lots of corrugations. This took us through to another water point, which even had some peanuts! After that we continued along some more minor roads to the lunch stop where we were treated to some noodle salad and more muffins. With only one more water point to go, we could start thinking about the end. After a short stretch on the Riebeeckkasteel/Moorresburg road, we turned left back onto some nice district gravel roads. This stretch was very undulating and the hills just would not stop. As soon as one thinks this is the end, there was another downhill followed by another uphill. At the 130 km mark the last water point was reached. Here I treated myself to mini Red Bull and some Wine Gums, ready for the last challenge which included some major climbs. The view from the top was breath taking, but the thought of a good time ensured that I kept pedaling rather than stop to take a photo. The air was also a bit murky, so it would not have come out as good. Unfortunately a photo cannot always portray the actual beauty as seen by the eye! Once I was over the last hill, it was mostly downhill to the end with quite a bit on corrugations which made it very difficult to build up a good momentum. After 7 hours 51 minutes I completed the 162 km, a minute longer than last year. A thoroughly enjoyable ride, although some of the corrugations made life difficult. The route had a good selection of climbs and gravel roads, quite similar to what the Freedom Challenge is like once we get past Rhodes.

1 comment:

  1. Die koninkryk van die hemele het naby gekom.
    God het jou lief. Lees jou Bybel.