Friday, December 28, 2012

Oefening vir die Attakwas en jaar se oorsig

Hierdie is 'n aangename tyd van die jaar. Werk drukte is nie te erg nie en daar is heelwat vakansiedae, wat tot baie tyd in die saal aanleiding gee.

Vanaf 1-7 Desember het ek 17.56 uur, 298.34 km met 3,550 meter se klim in gekry; vanaf 10-17 Desember 19.44 uur, 363.81 km en 3,538 meter se klim; vanaf 18-24 Desember 17.89 uur, 306.03 km en 3,908 meter se klim en vanaf 26-31 Desember 9.48 uur, 203.5 km en 1,467 meter se klim gedoen.

Ons was onder andere van 14-17 Desember op Leeuwenboschfontein met drie dae se lekker rustige fietsry aksie. 11 ure se fietsry en 201 km met 2,551 meter se klim. Die weer was baie lekker en die geselskap ook!

Op 20/12 het ek my nuwe Specialized Stumpjumper gekry.

 Op 22/12 gaan kyk hoe lyk die wereld bo van Koebergkoppie af!

Op 24/12 het ek ook n goeie dag ingekry en 105 km gedoen wat Hillcrest, Contermanskloof, Meerendal, Hoogekraal en kliprug ingesluit het.

Die jaar eindig met 582.94 uur in die saal; 11,136.71 km gery en 93,304 meter geklim! Ons vertrou dat 2013 ook 'n goeie jaar gaan wees.

Monday, November 26, 2012

2012 Double Century

The 2012 Double Century was scheduled for 24 November. After the labour unrest in the Western Cape since early November, the running of the event was in question, but fortunately sanity prevailed and things quieten down sufficiently by end November for the event to go ahead. The event was also "challenged" by the local weather when a section of road got washed away during October. But in spite of these challenges it was all systems go and on 23 November we all headed out go Swellendam for the early start on Saturday.

Our pre race training went will with 6 new people and the return of 1 "old hand". 10 people turned up for the second training ride, which is a record!

The team pre-race meeting took place at the Swellengrebel  Hotel on Friday evening at 19:00. We agreed that we were going to try and finish in 8 hours as a complete team this year and qualify for the special medal. The weather forecast for the race was not very promising with a 70% change of rain and a 20-30kph NW wind. During Friday night the wind picked up and when we woke up on Saturday morning was blowing at a frisk pace, but we had the luxury of starting with the wind on our backs. The sky was clear with no clouds about, so the prospect of a dry race was good.

We were off at 05:45 and made good time to Tradouw Pass with the help of the wind. Once we got into the kloof, there was very little wind. We reached the first water point, where we received our free bottle of water, at the top of the pass after an hour and twenty minutes of cycling.

The sky was still clear and there was still no real wind on the other side and on the road from Barrydale to Op de Tradouw.

Support was changed this year with no support vehicles allowed from the start up to Ashton and also on the last section from where the road was washed away to the end. A free water bottle was provided at the top of Tradouw Pass and we were allowed to fill a bag with water/race drinks and some eats for the top of Op de Tradouw.

As soon as we left the "feeding station" at Op de Tradouw, we started to encounter bad weather. It started with a light drizzle, which then turned into a heavy down pour. The rain was hurting us as we cycled downhill. To make matters worse, we picked up our first puncture! Fortunately the rain stopped and the sun started to break through the clouds. Unfortunately that brought the wind, which, at this point, was blowing diagonally across us from the left. This did slow us down and tiered us out and slowed our progress. We reached the first support station at 110 km after 5:11! That is about an hour longer than what we aimed for! The new rules also allowed us to spend 30 minutes in the "transition area". We used 27 minutes.

When we hit the road to Robertson, which is only about 15 km, we encountered a strong NW straight into our faces. In previous years we easily maintain 26-28 kph on this section. We were now averaging 13-15 kph! It took us 45 minutes to do the 14 km to the turn-off!

We were all very relieved on turning left at Roberston and getting the wind onto our backs. Our speed immediately climbed to 30 kph. We had a quick stop at the Bonnievale turn-off to the red bridge for some refreshments and s comfort break for Andre, who had some stomach problems. On the next section of about 20 km we had two more punctures. A heavy rainstorm also greeted us at the Bonnievale Kelder turn. At the second puncture, the slower guys continued on, while three of us helped to fix the wheel.

Some of the guys waited for us at the Drew water point, while we caught up to the rest on our way to the first of the lady three hills into Swellendam.
The sky was not looking to good, but we hoped that we would be able to get by before the rain hit us. By the top of the second hill we were all together again. Just after the top we got to the compulsory portage section where the road was washed away. We were just getting into our rhythm, when the first raindrops hit us. At least it was down hill and we had the wind on our backs. Over the last hill a heading home. All together and racing for the end. 5 to go! Our time is 9:02. Deducting the 27 minutes at the feeding station, hive us 20 minutes to break 9 hours. 3 km to go! Hold it, Jaco picked up a puncture! He some slime in the tube and as it is only 3 km to go, we "bom" some air in and get going. That worked until we get to the top of the hill just before the end with 500 meters to go it is completely flat and we have to stop again to put in a new tube! The rain is now coming down in buckets and we are freezing! We cross the timing mat in 9:28! It was raining all the way to the finishing area. We even encounter problems with our breaks due to all the water! Most of us miss the ladies handing out finisher medals in the rain and have to turn back to get it. We all are very thankful for the meal and drink voucher. Some wanted a hot shower first and some wanted to fill their tummies. I decided to go for the latter and was pleasantly surprised by the warmness inside the hall. The pasta meal and drink went down very well. We were all glad in completing as a group and enjoyed the "camaraderie"!

When I got to my tent, I found that the wind and rain has caused havoc! It is lying flat, there were a number of small pools inside the tent and most of my close has some degree of wetness! Fortunately there were enough dry clothes and my towel was still useable!

What a grand experience. Thanks to all the guys and to our support crew. Our official time was 9:01:58 and we finished 188 out of 216 teams which completed the race.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Trans Baviaans 2012

Everything is ready for the Trans Baviaans this coming weekend, Saturday 18 August. According to reports it is all systems go for the use of the route through the Baviaans, although the water crossings is bound to be about knee high. With enough luck we should be able to cycle through without getting too wet.

We, Danie Kotze, Pierre van der Merwe and myself, had a meeting on 7 August to sort out the logistics for our adventure. Pierre informed us that he has a "deadline" for a job on which the Navy must sign off on Friday 17 August! All we could do was to hope that things would work out. I did phone the organisers and confirmed that we may change to a two-man team at registration, should Pierre not be able to make it. We kept the option open for Pierre to drive through on his own if he cannot get away on time. 

Pierre confirmed on Wednesday evening that it seems as though he will be able to get away on Friday, but he will not be able to get away before 10:00. Our plan was to leave between 09:00 and 10:00. On Thursday evening Pierre phoned to confirm that he is bring his bicyle to me so that we can load it. He confirmed that his meeting is scheduled for 08:30 and he should be able to get away by 10:00. We decided that we will travel with one vehicle, proved we can get away before 13:00. We also decided that we will meet Pierre in Goodwood at my brother's house, as that would reduce travelling time by between 30 and 45 minutes.

I picked Danie up at 09:40 on friday morning and we set off to my brothers place. There we waited patiently for Pierre to arrive. He phoned at about 10:45 to let us know that he was on his way. We managed to get going at 11:20. Due to the heavy rains and floading in Montagu the previous week, and also because it is a bout 40 km shorter to Willowmore via Prince Albert to use that route rather than the route via Oudtshoorn. We made good time and really enjoyed the beatiful scenery of the Hex River Valley and prince Albert Valley with beautiful snow capped mountains. We arrived in Willowmore just after 17:30. Registration went off without a hitch, we collected our three containers for checkpoint 2, 3 and 4 and we set off to the Marlu Geuast farm, where we were going to stay the night. Supper was at 19:00. In total there were 19 guests, who were either going to ride the Trans baviaans or support the riders. Supper was a feast. We got to bed at about 22:00, except for my brother and the host, who enjoyed a delightful evening over some bottles of wine discussing anything and everything, except politics! We all decided to put some dry clothes into the container for checkpoint 4 packed them before we went to bed. 

We had breakfeast at 07:00 and arrived in town in good time to deliver our containers, pick up our timing tokens and the listen to the rider's briefing at 09:45. The race got going promptly at 10:00.

The 50 km to the first control point included 573 meters on climbing and a total decent of 663 meter, which was mostly down Nuwekloof Pass and took us 2:07:05. 

We also encountered our first water crossing, although these were no more than a couple of centimeters deep. The  scenery through the Nuwekloof was breath taking!. The distance to control point two at vero's restaurant, a dostance of 52 km, took us 2:01:15. Climbing was limited to 216 meters but we descended another 656 meters. The water crossings became more frequent and also a little deeper. Initially we decicded that it is safer to walk through the deaper crossings, but after a while we realised that we can ride through as most of the water levels were only up to about bottom bracket level. Danie usually was the last one through the water hazards, but as we sent along he became more "bould" and started to take the lead. That was until we got to a fairly short stream, which had quite a serious "flow" towards the middle. Pierre was about to worn Danie about the possible "fource" of the waves of the flow, when Danie's wheels were taken out bay the water and he and bicycle started flowing down stream! Fortunately he regained his balance quickly and managed to catch his bicycle, not everything was wet! On the otherside of the steam he took out his cell phone to dry it as quickly as possible. He also took his top of off and dried that. As cycle gear dries quite quickly and it was still fairly hot, his clothes dried out within the next 15-20 minutes.
The scenery was still something to behold and the adventure of the last water crossing was forgotten quickly as we continued towards the next checkpoint at 122 km, which came a climb of 150 meters over a distance of 5 km. Theer we were treated with sosaties, wors, potatoes and some drinks. After a stop of about 15 minutes, we were on our way again, ready for one of the big water crossings after which came the Mother of all Climbs.

The water crossing was about 100-150 meters, with no fast flowing steams, but about thigh high deap, which meant walking in the water with shoes on and carrying your bike. I was wearing water tight Sealskin socks, which are good for keep water out, but once the water is in. it stays in! I therefore had to stop, take them off and dry them out as much as possible. After a 5-10 minute delay to do that we were on our way again. Next came the two Fangs. These were two short hills with about 50-70 meters of climbing in a kilometer each.There after came the Mother of all Climbs and the biggest climb of the Trans Baviaans really started. 481 meters of climbing over a distance of 10 kilometers. Danie was really going strong and left me and Pierre in his wake. At this stage Pierre was also managing a good pace with me bring up the rear. The road has been repaired with the bad patches filled up with cement. It definately was in a better state than two years ago when we came through with a vehicle. I think fatigue was setting because along the way my front wheel went off the cement strip and the loose gravel on the side caused me to make experiance a close encounter with mother earth. The only damage was a scratch on my finger and a dent in my ego! I was up in a flash and got going quickly again. Pierre was feeling the feeling the strain of the kilos done and desided to take a break. As I got to him he got going again and we carried on to the top. Shortly after reaching the top, we arrived at Bergplaas, checkpoint 4 where dry clothes awaited us. We first helped ourselves to something to eat, including some very welcome soup. We then put dry tops and socks. This was quite a lengthy stop and we got going again after about 20-30 minutes.

By now it was dark and the descent down Combrinck Pass was tackled with dew care. Most of the serious climbing was out of the way and we settled into a good rhythm as the  kilometers ticked by. The starts were out and it was not to cold. Road conditions were good, which made the riding pleasant. It was a bit of a shame that we could not see the beauty of the Grootriver Poort as we were cycling through it. Just befoer Hadleigh and the 5th checkpoint we were treated to some tarmack. We arrived at Hadleigh at about 20:20 where we were welcomed my some friendly people who gave us a chip roll and Steri Stumpies. Our stop lasted for about 20 minutes. On our way out Danie realised that he still had some dry socks in the backup vehicle, which added some extra time to our stop over.

Now there was still one serious water crossing and the "Never ending hill" between us and the end. We got to the water crossing, which was about 150 meters long, after about 15 minutes. As this was the last water crossing, we took the decision to take our shoes and socks off and walk trough bare foot. That was a good idea for staying dry, but not so good for soft bare feet over rocks and cement with stones. It probably took us 5 minutes cross plus another 5 minutes to take shoes off and put them on again. This was followed by a hill, which I though msut be the "Never ending hill" because it did not seem to end, but I did remember that there was another hill before the real long one! When we finally got to the famous "Never ending hill", I realised very quickly where the name came from. It never seems to end and it is not one long hill. Every so often there was a small down hill, just to head up hill again! In total the hill was 12 kilometer long with a total ascent of 490 meters. The unmaned checkpoint 6, where we had to check in on our own was at 196 kilometers and the final checkpoint at 203 kilometers. Refreshments consisted of mince filled jaffels and some drinks. At this point my GPS indicted that the battery was low. At this point I had no other option but to hope that it would last to the end.

The end was in sight and and we set off without much of a delay. But this time Danie was smelling the end and really started motoring. The route took a obviously hastely made detour to utilse and small bridge to cross under the Humansdorp/Kabeljauws River road, which gave us a tast of the only single track on the route. On the otherside we linked up with a gravel jeep track. The dreaning on this was not too good, with the result that we encountered some seriuos mud patches. Pierre had the unfortunate experience of a guy knocking him of his bike! The mus patches was not too serious and we quickly got into a goos rhythm. Jeffreys Bay's strated flashing in the distance, but we still had to get over a couple of smaller hills. Even though my energy level was not on par wuth my partners, I was able to peddle up all of them, passing some guys who opted to walk. The kilometers ticked by and it was not long before we turned right on tar, which was the old National road linking Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. With the help of my two team mates, who were setting the pace, we managed to real in a number of teams on our way to the finish. At 23:58 we stil had about 5 kilometers to go, so breaking 14 hours was out of the question. We were glad to see the second last right turn, a short up hill, turn left, a short down hill, right into the school grounds and another 200 meters to the end where we were met by some cheering ladies and a Spur finish hoop. My GPS finally stopped working about 400 meters before the end!

Toatal distance 226.96; total time 14:07:16; total riding time 11:23:56; 2,627 meter acsent; 3,432 meters descent; maximum speed 70.2 k.p.h; minimum tempreture 6 degrees Celcuis and maximum of 31. We finised 109 out of the 246 mens teams which completed the race and 137 out of 315 for all comers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rit in Addo Nasionale Park

Dinsdagoggend 10 Julie 2012. Staan 06:15 op en maak reg vir my poging om van Kirkwood na Darlington Dam deur die Addo Nasionale Park te ry. Ry met motor tot by die ingang van die Park en parkeer daar. Na die formaliteite kom ek teen 07:22 aan die gang.
Die eerste probleempie is dat ek nooit die "track" op my Garmin afgelaai het nie. Die tweede probleem was dat ek net na die begin regs gedraai het waar ek eers links en dan kort daarna regs moes draai. Die pad waarlangs ek gery het was redelik goed en ook goeie oefening met heelwat bulte. Die algemen rigting was egter te veel Oos na my smaak en met die eerste geleentheid wat ek 'n redelike afdraai na links teekom, draai ek af. Die pad was redelik, maar hoe verder hoe slegter. Na 'n ruk loop die pad heeltemal dood. Ek volg toe maar die enkelspoor paadjie wat deur die plaaslike diere uitgeloop is, maar na omtrent 300 meter raak dit so dig dat ek maar eder omdraai. Oppad terug kry ek 'n afdraai, maar die loop ook gou dood. Na nog 'n entjie is daar weer 'n afdraai en die keer is ek gelukkig. Die pad is in 'n redelike toestand alhoewel dit duidelik is dat daar lanklaas voertuie daar langs gery het.
Na 'n hele rukkie se ry kom ek by 'n T-aansluiting met 'n rigtingaanwyser! Links is Kirkwood en regs is Darlington Dam en nog 'n paar ander bestemmings. Die pad is ook in 'n baie beter toestand. Ek gaan by 'n aansluiting, wat nie baie goed lyk nie, verby en hou maar aan op die beter pad. Na 'n kilometer of twee eindig die pad egter by 'n kamp. Ek draai dus maar om en ry terug na die aansluiting. Die pad word verder aan beter en ek ry lekker. Ek kry ook nog 'n T-aansluiting wat my 'n ander keuse Kirkwood toe gee en links na Darlington Dam. Ek gaan dus links. Die pad volg later 'n rivierloop en alhoewel die algemene toestand goed is, is daar 'n paar seksies waar die klippe so groot is dat mens slegs met 'n bakkie of behoorlike 4x4 daar kan ry.
Na die rivierloop klim die pad die berg uit. 225 meter se klim in 2 kilometer! Die eerste 120 meter oor 'n afstand van 450 meter met redelik baie los klippe! Na 'n paar "vals" bo-punte kom ek by die begin van die Darlington Dam 4x4 roete. Teen hierdie tyd is ek al 4 uur 30 minute en 40 km op die pad en ek besluit om maar liewer om te draai, anders kom ek te laat tuis.
Die rit terug is heelwat makliker en ek kry ook die regte pad na die begin punt. Kom ook heelwat werkers tee, waar ek met die gaan niemand tee gekom het nie. Vind ook dat hulle besig is om die pad te skraap, met die gevolg dat die oppervlakte lekker glad is.
Die terugtog na die begin punt, met die "regte" pad, duur toe net 1 uur 30 minute en is net 24 km. Toe ek na die tyd my roete op Garmin BaseCamp "plot" kom ek agter dat ek by die halfpad merk omgedraai het.
Een van die plaaslike inwoners het my ook ingelig dat daar 'n skermutseling tussen die Boere en die Engels was in die klipperige rivierloop wat ek op die roete tee gekom het.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Trans Baviaans oefenrit

Three of our Trans Baviaans team were scheduled to do a training ride today. Unfortunately Rob over slept and then had problems with his bike, so only Danie and myself got going at 07:00. The idea was to get some climbing in with a fair proportion of district roads included. The first bit of climbing was Hillcrest. That was followed by a ride  across the"green corridor" to Meerendal where we went up Dorstberg, which was the last hill in the Absa Cape Epic Prologue. There after it was mostly district roads past Occultdale, the wind generators, Leeuwendal, Leeuwenkuil, Klapmuts, Joostenbergvlakte, Spea Bona, the green corridor and down Contermsnskloof on to Blouberg. In total we did 149 km in 10:16 with a riding time of 9:06 and 1,876 m of climbing.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

AMA Rider 100 miler

Saturday 26 May and time for the AMA Rider 100 miler in the Malmesbury District.  I had some business in Stellenbosch, so on Friday my wife and I took a drive put there and I popped in at Dirtopia to pick my number up. Took my bike to Cycles Direct to get the gears sorted out. They were not 100% after my Prince Albert/Wellington ride. That got done and I stocked up with "bombs" for the race. Our Trans Baviaans team agreed to use this race as part of our training, but on Friday Rob pulled out due to lack of training and on Saturday Danie pulled out due to a bad might with chest pains! Pierre was still riding, but I only had his email and having not yet met him I gad no way of finding him.  Mike Smit picked up at 06:00 and we arrived in Malmesbury just before 07:00. It was just as well that we were early, because there was a 10 minutes Stop and Go due to roadwork’s just before the start. Mike still had to get his "tag" validated with the result that we missed one another at the start. I down loaded last years course onto my Garmin so that I could monitor my progress. We got going promptly at 07:30 and as we were making our way through the vineyards, I saw guys, who were cutting it fine and were caught out by the Stop and Go, still arriving!
The tracks/roads were wet, but although it was over casted there was no rain. It was quite misty but the mist was not very thick. The first part of the course involves quite a bit of climbing. Nothing serious, but enough to ensure that your average speed remained under 20kph. My aim was to try and finish in 8 hours again, so I had to try and maintain an average above 20kph. At the first water point I have managed to get my average to 19. There is still quite a lot of climbing up to just after the "Breakfast Stop" where after we get into the undulations of some District and Farm roads. The wet roads are causing havoc with my gears. I oil them at the stop, but do not find an improvement. I cannot get into my big blade at the back, but as the climbing is not that serious; I manage to get over them without having to revert to pushing. I start maintaining a good rhythm and lead a bunch of riders into the next water point. At the point I decide to see how I am progressing compared to last year. I find that I am behind. At this point my average have increased to 19.7kph. By this time I am still optimistic of finishing at around 8 hours. The selection at the water point is not very good and I settle for a couple of glasses of Coke, a bit of banana and some oranges. I get going on my own. After a while some of the guys who were following before the water point comes past. I fall in behind them, but after a while decide that their pace is too high and fall back. Another lot went past me before the "lunch stop", with the same result. The "lunch stop" arrives at 110 km and we have a choice of soup, pasta, bananas and oranges. I settle for two cups of very nice vegetable soup. I also fill my water bottle with Powerade. I get going on my own again. The last 50 km will be a lonely  "slog" as I will most probably not be able to keep up with whoever comes past.  This is confirmed ad some guys come past. I do mot even try and stay with them. The route involves a number of steady climbs from this point to about 145km, so it is difficult to maintain a good average. I start accepting that 8 hours is out of the question and adjust my aim to 8:15-8:30. A number of other riders, including a guy and a girl, whom I passed earlier, came past. I manage to maintain eye contact! Just before the last water point Louis Loubscher, from Fairview Dairies comes past. We meet up again at the last water point and he tells me I "look strong"! My reply is the I do not feel so strong! Adrian Winsor is at hand to give my chain and rear derailleur a good dose of oil. Hopefully they will work better for the last 20km. I set off on my own again, in front of the guy and girl who passed me earlier. They come past before we start the climb of the hill just past this water point. Three quarters of the way up the hill I pass her and him just before the top. Over the top and onto a very nice down hill. I give it all I can to distance them. At the bottom of the hill we turn right onto a farm track, over some more ups and downs that leads onto the road that signals that the end is in sight. Along the way I pass a number of other riders. My Garmin also informs me that I have reached the finish at this time a year ago. From this vantage point I can see the buildings at the finish line in the distance. I still have 18 km to go and I have been in the saddle for 8 hours. I realise that I will only finish in about 8:45! By now I give it everything I have got. I want to make sure I come in before the guy and girl I passed on that long hill as well as the guys I have passed since then. My heart jumps with joy when I can see the Swartland Kelder buildings. Just before the end they have found a novel way if getting us over the R45. A single track has been constructed, taking us along the river and underneath the road. I complete the last km and finish in 8:48, a whole 57 minutes longer than last year. Well, at least I do have the challenge of improving again next year. Mike came in at about 8:30 and Pierre at 9:10. It seems at though Pierre and me are at the same strength for the Trans Baviaans!
Race distance 163km; 2,394m climbing; average speed 18.5kph; actual riding time 8:26:09. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Trouthaven to Wellington

Trouthaven to Wellington

After a good night’s rest, I managed to get going at 05:55. While I was busy getting dressed, I realised that it was rather cold. I therefore decided to put my leggings and winter jacket on. Once I got going, the temperature settled at about 4-5 degrees Celsius, but the closer I got to Rawsonville, the colder it got, reaching down to 2.4! As I had to go through Rawsonville, most of the day’s travelling would be on tar. Total distance would be about 10km further, but travelling time would probably be 6-7 hours shorter. I stopped at an open CafĂ© and bought my customary 1-liter Coke. At the same time I got my winter beanie and windbreaker out to help keep me warm. I was not too pleasant sharing a road with cars and trucks, especially after a couple of days with just about no traffic. I did find the drivers curteous and no one tried to push me off the road. A number a vehicles actually crossed the white line while passing me. The N1 also had a good shoulder. The section between Rawsonville and the N1 and the old Pass from the tunnel to the top did not have much of a shoulder, but had very little traffic. It took me 51:54 to do the 7km from the old tunnel to the top of the pass. From there it was down hill all the way into Wellington. I arrived at the Wimpy at 10:15. A relitive short and easy day. 56.78km; 3:57:59 riding time; 4:20:22 travelling time; 736m climbing.

Summary for the trip:

549.17km; 7,465m climbing; 43 hours in the saddle.

Montagu to Trouthaven

Montagu to Trouthaven
I woke during the to the sound of raindrops, the first thing I did when I got up was to check what it looked like outside. It was wet with a light drizzle. I could handle that ad long as it did not come down in bucket loads and a stormy wind.
My "breakfast pack" provided by the hotel because I left early consisted of two salami and cheese sandwiches and apple juice.
Windguru predicted 70% change of rain, so I decided to dress for the occasion! Out can the rain jacket and I now had an opportunity to try out the rain pants I bought for last year's Freedom Challenge.
I managed to get going just after 06:00. The rain was not to bad, but the road between Montagu and Ashton was quite busy so early in the morning. I stopped at the garage in Ashton go fill my water with Coke. In the darkness I missed the Zandvliet turnoff, but realised it quick enough not to loose too much time. I now stated raining harder. Fortunately I was on tar. It stopped raining by the time I got to the Bonnievale road. My bum was holding up quite well after yesterday's pounding! As I took the turnoff to McGregor at the Bonnievale/McGregor inter section, I really started to rain again. The road was getting very wet with some muddy patches, which caused me to become quite a site and settled on my bike. 
In McGregor I stopped at one of the houses and got permission to hose my bike down and oiled the chain. The sky was looking gloomy over the Greyton Mountains, but promising where I was going. I had some drizzle at the top of Coenies Rivier, but nothing serious. As I was making my way towards Kasra, my phone rang. It was Meryl informing me that traversing over the top of Stettyns is only allowed while the Freedom Challenge is in progress. I therefore would not be able to concur the” sting in the trail" of the Freedom Challenge again! I dropped in at the Oestervanger, Kasra to say hallo to the ladies, but nobody was home. I then took the liberty and hosed my bike down again. The mud was clogging up due to some wet patches I went through.
On my way to De Fonteine, I came across a most peculiar sight. Two guys counting traffic in this remote area. It must be equal to watching grass grow! Trappies Kraal felt more difficult than the previous times I went over. Very rocky, which made pedaling difficult, whit the result that I pushed a fair part of the way. 
From the top it was plain sailing to the store at Hammanshof, where I filled my water bottle with Coke again. Once I was over McKays Kop, I felt relieved, but the stretch around the dams felt very long and the same goes for the first part of the turnoff past Dashbosch. It just goes on and on and on. I finally reached Trouthaven at 17:45, only to find nobody home, not even the farmer! I made a number of phone calls but all were on voice mail. I saw light at one of the cottages and decided to see if it was open, but it was locked. As I was busy trying to arrange for somebody the come and fetch me, Meryl got through to me and told me to look for the key under the mat. Volla, I was settled for the night. Tomorrow will now be a bit of an anti climax seeing that I cannot go over Stettyns. I will have to go through Rawsonville and over the Du Toits Pass. At lest I will be able to enjoy the decent into Diemersfontein.
Statistics for the day: 155.4km; 10:10: 32 riding time; 12:41:22 total time; 1, 769 meters climbed.

Rouxpos to Montagu

Got up at 05:45, had oats for breakfast and hit the road at 05:55. The first section to the divisional road was uneventful in the dark with some fast flowing ups and downs and a mean little hill at the end. After s couple of kilometers I took the turn-off to Wagendrift. This is the section where I lost my way last time ending up using to tar options. This time I did my homework better and got it right. There is a reference in the notes not to take to left turn after the farmhouse. Last I had the wrong farmhouse. The route through the veldt was quite nice with s few sandy patches and a two meter high fence. 
Fortunately Johann Rissik warned me about this gate and told me to go underneath about 30 meters to the left. That definitely was easier than trying to scale a 2-meter gate! 
The condition of the track was generally hard and easy to follow. It ended at a major from which the next turn-off was 9km further on. This track took through the mountains, up some dry riverbeds, which forms part of the track, through the North Eastern part of the Anysberg Reserve, a farm of a farmer who is trying to restrict access and back into Anysberg. The road through the reserve generally was in a fair to good condition with some very bumpy and rocky sections, which did not go down well with a backside, which had to support a 10kg rucksack. I was glad once I reached the end of the reserve because the road improved immediately. This linked onto the Montagu/Touwsriver, linked with the Montagu/Ladismith road. Both roads were in excellent condition but with some more climbing leading onto die Ou Berg Pass. From there is was a mad dash to the bottom followed by some more mostly downhill sections resulting in me making good time, although some of the corrugations did not go down well.
Statistics for the day: 144.6km; 9:57:41 riding time; 11:13:57 total time; 2,160m climbed.

Prince Albert to Rouxpos

Got up at 05:45 managed to hit the road at 05:55. It took me 2 hours to do the 14 km to the top of Swartberg Pass. I once again was awed by the beauty of the rock formations of the mountains of the pass. Awesome! The sign to Gamkaskloof indicated 37km and 2 hours travelling time. I would have loved to do it in 2 hours but I knew it would take me longer. I actually managed to do it in 2:27:15 riding time with a maximum of 53.7kph. Stoppages probably added another 30 minutes. I once again was amazed at the number of "false tops" in the hills on the way. Numerous times I thought I was at the top of the final hill only to encounter a” bit" more. It took me another 1:23 to cover the 20km to foot of The Ladder. From there it was a hard grind up the 900m with 275-elevation gain of The Ladder. This took me 30 minutes of moving time, giving an average of 1.8kph. The actual journey took me about 1:30 if I include all the rests I had. I even picked up a puncture while carrying my bike! A thorn from one of the bushed punctured it. As this was some way up and as I was pretty exhausted, I decided to first fix it before carrying. I also had two "lunch" stops, which I also used as "recovery" time. Today The Ladder was Hell!!

The 10km to the divisional road also was heavy going being quite rocky and having some steep sections. It took me 1:16 and I was very relieved once I had the main road in sight. The last 41km was nice smooth Divisional road with a fair number of hills, which did take its toll as I was fairly tired by now. I did manage to cover it in 2:30.

Total traveling time was 12:02 and I cover 125.19km; climbing 3,153m and burning 6,439kal! Actual riding time was 9:48:23. The other 2:24 was resting (especially up The Ladder, taking pictures and eating.

Blouberg to Prince Albert

Left home at 07:25 and cycled to Cape Town to catch the train to Prince Albert Road. Got to the station at 09:00 and handed bike in for transport in the goods van. Shosaloza Meyl left on time at 10:00. Journey to Prince Albert Road was quite pleasant with two other guys in the compartment with me. They were both on their way to Johannesburg. One, a very healthy looking 80 year old was quite talkative and shared various stories from his life with us. We also discovered that we both were at Kings Park in 1961 when the All Blacks and Natal played and drew 11-11! Had a very generous Curry and Rice for lunch for R40! Initially the train was running about 8 minutes late, but by the time we got to Laingsburg, it was made up. We arrived at Prince Albert Road 10 minutes early. I got my bike from the goods van and set off to Prince Albert. I knew to road was fairly easy with no serious hills but a number of "ups and downs". After about 15 km it got dark, but there was very little traffic and my lights were working fine. At 20 km I could see lights in the distance and was looking forward to a nice downhill run into Prince Albert. Unfortunately this did not materialise as the last km is either flat or with a slight incline with the result that I only finally saw lights again when I had 1 to go. Dennehof also is right at the other end of town so it was quite a "drag" before I finally arrived there at 19:25. Supper was ready and after a few minutes Johnn Rissik arrived to join me for supper. We had a nice pleasant chat over the meal talking about the surroundings, access problems and the Freedom Challenge. We finished at 20:45 and I bid my farewells and went to my room. My first priority was to see if I could not lighten my pack. I took out some excess clothing, which Johann agreed to bring to Cape Town early June. I probably managed to save a kg or so, but realised that one of the big weight factors was the water in my pack. The easiest solution to that problem was to half empty it. As water along the way would not be an issue, I decided to follow that route. Well I have had my shower and now am ready for a good night's rest. I have a hard day in front of me tomorrow.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Voorbereiding vir reis

Alles is reg vir my jongste avontuur. My fiats is reg. Cycles Direct het hulle werk goed gedoen en alles het baie goed gewerk tydens my oefen ritte gedurende afgelope 10 dae. My sak is gepak en ek is 'n bietjie bekommerd oor die gewig, maar eerder te veel gewig as om koud te kry! Had a skype chat to Jens Hildebrandt from Das es Salaam this morning. Was very encourageing. I trust that the people who access my blog will enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Freedom Challenge Recci

I planned to do the Freedom Challenge route from Rhodes to Darlington Dam with some friends in preparation of a possible asault on the Freedom Challenge RASA again. Unfortunately, like the parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22, all the invitees found reasons not to partisipate. I therefore decide to take on another challenge. Cycle from Prince Albert to Cape Town via the Freedom Challenge route. I will get on the Shosholoza Meyl to Prince Albert Road, Cycle to Prince Albert and sleep over. During the next four days I will do the balance of the Freedom Challnge route, unsupported and on my own. The time has arrived and on Friday 11 May I will be on my way to Prince Albert. Watch this space for progress reports.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Argus MTB

The Grape Escape was followed by The Argus MTB at Boschendal on Sunday 4 March. I arranged to sleep with my friend Gerard Cooke, who lives on the grounds on the Boschendal Estate, on the Saturday night. On Saturday afternoon, as I was checking my bike over, I noticed that I routed the chain incorrectly through the rear chain guide, with the result that I had to break the chain again. This I did at one on the master links and at the same time I decided to add the piece, which I picked up on Friday when my chain broke the first time. I joined this with the chain with a normal chain pin. I did realise that I may pick up problems with this the next day, but that was a gamble I was willing to take.

My start time was 07:05 and I left the house at 06:35 and cycled to the start. The Boschendal course is quite hilly and the way the route for the Argus MTB is laid out is such that the main climbing is divided into two sections, with lots of smaller climbs in between. The first 12 km took me 38 minutes and included 194 meters of climbing. We then hit the first serious hills and the next 16 km, which include 319 meters of climbing, took me 56 minutes. We then had tackled the next big climb with the next 12 km including 407 meters of climbing and that took 59 minutes to complete. There after the going was easier again and the last 22 km, which included 240 meters of climbing, took me 1 hour 10 minutes. As I faired, the repair of the previous afternoon was not good enough and my chain broke again after 12 km. This time it took me only 4 minutes to repair and it lasted the rest of the day. The riding was very enjoyable with lots of other competitors around and a continual varying terrain. It did pass two guys, at different times, who must have fallen very hard because they were lying very still. Both were attended too. My riding was fairly uneventful until I got to the first river crossing after 50 km. It was fairly steep and the guys in front of me "chickened" out. They stopped to let me through, but I had to slow down and as I tried to get back onto my saddle, the point caught the back of my cycling shorts, with the result that my weight was to far forward leading into a spectacular somersault when my front wheel hit the first rock. The landing was not to bad and the guy behind me commented, "It is not why you fall, but how you fall!" At the next river crossing, on 61 km I was in the wrong gear and did not have enough momentum to take me through so that I had to stop just before the end and push up a small hill. The race ended after 62 km and my time was 3:52:06. We climbed 1,161 meters.

And so ended four days of mountain biking at an average of 70 km and on average 4:15 per day in the saddle.

Grape Escape Dag 3

Saterdag 3 Maart was die finale dag van 2012 se Grape Escape. Die skof het op Diemersfontein, die eindpunt van die Freedom Challenge, begin. Die tydsberekening van die organiseerdes was weereens perfek en ons val 07:00 in die pad. Die dag se roete begin egter met die ernstige klim en in die eerste 36 kilometer klim ons meer as 1,205 meter en dit neem my 2:46. My ketting breek weer, maar gelukkig kry het ek dit gou reg gemmak en weer in die pad geval. Die klim was teen die hange van die heuwels aan die voet van die Du Toitskloof berge, met heelwat paaie deur die plantasie en 'n paar baie oulike "single tracks" ingegooi. Die bome het heelwat skadu voorsien, met die gevolg dat ons nie te warm gekry het nie. Die laaste stukkie teen die berg af onderdeur die Hugenoottonnel se voerpad was nogal redelik tegnies, maar baie interessant. Van daar tot die einde was dit redelik op en af met die laaste redelik gelyk. Dit neem my 1:45 om die laaste 30 kilometer te voltooi. Ek eindig met 'n tyd van 4:58:01 vir die 71.82 km met 1,651 meter se klim en 166 uit 241 wat klaar maak.

Totale tyd oor die drie dae is 13:08:27 vir die 216 kilometer en ek eindig 132 uit 226 wat die wedren voltooi. 'n Heel skaflike vertoning vir die drie dae.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Grape Escape Day 2

Friday 2 March and time for day 2 of the 2012 Grape Escape. The journey to the start was longer than yesterday, but as I could travel down the back roads, I left at about the same time and arrived at the Boland Aricultural School in good time. Light breakfast was available again and this I helped myself to a cup of coffee. Timing was perfect again and we got going at 07:00. The initial riding was pretty fast as most of the route, at this point was fairly flat. A matter of fact, the first 40 km took me 1:46 at an average speed of 22.6 k.p.h.! Then to tougher section started, but fortunately the initial climbing was not too strenuous. That was until we were past Groenberg. When we hit the slopes of the Bianskloof mountains, things started getting serious. At about 46 km my chain broke. I had all the necessary equipment to repair it and got going again after 8 minutes. Just as I was about to get going again, I saw three links on the ground. I was not sure if it was mine, but put them in my pocket for "just in case"! When we got onto the tar road, I realised that I had another problem. My front derailleur was not working properly! It seems to have shifted down and was touching the front big blade. As there was still a fair amount of climbing to do, I moved it over to the middle blade and continued in this manner. It was not sounding to good because the chain was rubbing against the derailleur, but it did not really effect my peddling. After "fiddling" around with the adjusters while riding, I managed to get it work without making a noise. I did not want to put much strain on the chain and therefore "walked" a number of technical steep sections, without loosing too much time. Everything lasted well and I reached the end after 4:15:52, having covered 69.01 km and climbed 1,311 meters. In spite of my problems, I managed to finish 138 from 264. The schuttle got me back to the start by 12:30 and I had my bike at Cycles Direct by 14:00 for a check over to ensure that I could tackle Day 3. I got it back at 18:00 and was ready for the final day of the Grape Escape.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grape Escape Dag 1

Registrasie was onder andere Woensdag 29 Februarie by Columbia Store se winkel in Canal Walk. Behalwe vir jou nommer het elkeen ook 'n mooi wit langmou top en 50 liter Columbia sak gekry! Ons kon ook op die dag enig iets teen 50% van die normale prys koop. Ek het toe maar vir my nog 'n lekker kortbroek aangeskaf.

Donderdag 1 Maart 2012. Dit is dag 1 van 2012 se Grape Escape, wat vanjaar oor drie dae strek, en wat nie die Argus MTB, soos verlede jaar, insluit nie. Die begin is ook vanaf Eden on the Bay na die Durbanvile Perde Renbaam verskuif. Ek kon dus nie net op my fiets klim en na die wegspring ry nie! Verder moes ek sorg dat ek 06:00 deur Blaauwbergweg se verkeer kom. Ek moes dus maar redelik vroeg wikkel om seker te maak ek is betyds. Alles het goed afgeloop, Blaauwbergweg was nog nie te besig nie en ek het ongeveer 06:20 by die renbaan aangekom. 'n Ligte ontbyt is voorsien en ek het myself gehelp met 'n piesang en 'n ekstra "Energy Bar". Vir die eerste keer in 'n baie lang tyd het ek skielik 'n groot "nommer twee" ontwikkel. Gelukkig was daar 'n hele paar mobiele toilette en ek het gou in een ingeduik en van die nodige ontslae geraak!

Net voor 07:00 is ons nader geroep en stiptelik op 07:00 val ons in die pad. Na 'n neutrale stukkie deur Durbanville daar ons langs Aurora op en begin met die eerste klim. Dit neem ons langs Aurora om, links om die koppie teen die hange bo die Durbanville/Tiekiedraai pad tot net duskan Boemendal Restourant verby. Net na die restourant sluit ons by die Hillcrest roete aan en gaan bo oor Kanonkop en teen Contermanskloof af tot heel onder. Halfpad met die terug roete van Contermanskloof op draai ons links en vat die pad Malanshoogte toe. Bo op Malanshoogte draai ons regs deur 'n hek en kies koers in 'n Oostelike rigting deur 'n paar graanlande. Oor Adderley pad en dan sluit ons by die Spes Bona pad aan. Na die eerste draai hou ons egter reguit aan voordat ons later eers weer regs draai in die rigting van die Wellingtonweg. Net voor Melish kruis ons Wellingtonweg en vat weer koers in 'n Oostelike rigting. So gaan ons aan met redelike goeie plaas paaie en en elke nou en dan deur 'n land of verby 'n plaas huis. Ons ry onder andere verby Leeuwenkuil. Net anderkant die Perdeberg Kelder kruis ons 'n teerpad. Verby 'n paar wingerde, met 'n paar kronkelinge en na 78 km eindig ons by die Boland Landbou Skool. Daar word ons ingewag met 'n gratis fiets was en 'n middag ete van 'n lekker Woolies toebrooitjie, aartappel slaai en 'n bakkie sjokolade mouse! My tyd vir die dag was 3:54:39 en ons het 1,128 meter geklim. Ek eindig 132 uit 272 wat klaar gemaak het. Deel van vanjaar se pakket het vervoer terug na die begin ingesluit. Dit was redelik effektief, maar die verkeer in Blaauwbergweg teen 13:00 was nie, aangesien daar verbouings is. Dit het langer geneem om die 2 km daar af te le as die hele rit van Durbanville tot in Bloubergstrand.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Oak Valley 24 hour race

Saturday 21 January was the date for Dirtopia's 24-hour race at Oak Valley. Having, unexpectantly won this last year, I had no option but to enter again. I had no illusions about winning again, but I would give it my best shop. I decided to employ the same strategy of riding continuously with only taking some "longer" laps during the night. We heard that this year's lap was a little longer than last year.
My brother agreed to take care of the back up again, but as his son, Leon, was also riding, he would look after both of us. He had additional support from my wife, his wife, Leon's wife and their kids. So the Erasmus clan was out in force.
We arrived at 10:10, by which time all the shaded camping areas were taken, but we managed to get a reasonable spot, especially seeing that we had enough gazebos. I collected my number and went back to help with the erecting of tents and assembling my bicycle. The sky was overcast and the temperature was rising.

Race briefing was at 11:45 and then we lined up for the traditional "Le Mans" start. Due to this, I decided to not start with my hydration pack, which also carries all my tools, on my back. Bikes were at the Western end of the rugby field and lined up on the Eastern end. On "Go" we had to run the length of the field, get on our bikes and start the race.
Initially we started along the same route as last year, but after about 2 km we turned left where we turned right last year. Then it was right along some trees, up a small hill and over a dam. This was followed by some nice switchback single track through some trees on the other side of the dam, down a slight hill, through some ferns onto some more switchback single track which end with quite a climb up a farm road to the highest point of the course at 465 m. The down hill started with a ramp with quite a scary down section to some more switch backs with banked curves, more single track at the edge of some trees to the fastest part of the course which led us into another fast single track among some trees which ended with a reasonably difficult uphill ramp onto a level section where we could maintain good speed. This was followed by two short, but monster downhill sections, up a hill over as small ramp which led into another single track amongst the trees which was started with a steep downhill ramp into a sharp right followed by a left and some single track under the tress. Once out of here we were unto a farm road from where we turned right onto some more single, which was part of the course used last year. From here we followed last year's course, but whereas we used the road next to the orchard last year, we now had a new rough single track with many ups and downs, which demanded a lot more effort and concentration. The loop through trees just before the end from last year was not used. The rest of the last bit was the same as last year. Total length was 11.2km against last year's 9km, with only about 2km the same as last year. Total climbing per lap was more than double and technically this year’s course was most definitely more difficult than last year.
Half way through my first lap my number came loose. That was sorted out with some cable ties. Two kilometer into lap two I got a flat. Due to me not using my hydration, I had nothing to inflate my wheel except my pump and a pump on a MTB wheel is a bit of a nightmare. Fortunately a "good Samaritan" stoped and lent me a "bomb" and an inflation valve. On inflation I could hear the air escape. After a few yards I realised that it will be better to go back to the start, where all my back up was, and get my spare wheel. I phoned my wife and asked them to bring the spare wheel to the back of the start area. In the mean time I cycled as best I can with the flat wheel. When I got there I changed the wheels, with the "normal" trouble of struggling to get it in properly due to haste, but I managed and was on my way again. In total I lost about 20 minutes. There after the cycling was pretty uneventful, knocking off the laps in a shade less than 50 minutes at a time. I did have one minor mishap when I took a tumble due to missing a turn on my effort to stay in front of some faster guys. Fortunately nothing was broken, but my upper leg took most of the impact when I landed on tree trunk. My leg was quite sore, but I struggled on. Dusk arrived between 19:00-20:00 and I had to stop to fit my lights. Night riding is quite interesting and different. It normally is cooler, which makes cycling very pleasant, but you have to concentrate harder on where you are going. At 01:40 I had my second minor mishap when I took a head over heels tumble, which was the direct result of lack of concentration and fatigue. I wandered a bit too to the right on one of the single tracks, me front got stuck into the banking and I went flying over the tip. Fortunately I was not going to fast, but the result was a broken rear derailleur cable. These happened about 2 kilometers from the midway point and I now had only one gear to ride. As soon as I put any sort of pressure onto the pedals, I also encountered "chain suck". The result was that I had to push up all the hills, but could ride the down hills. I phoned my brother and asked him to arrange for somebody who could repair my bike. The ride home was fairly uneventful, except for pushing the up hills. On arriving at the start area, I was directed to the on site mobile workshop where they proceeded to replace the broken cable. I also managed to bend the hanger bolt, so the repair took about 30 minutes. Once done, I was on my way again. Two laps on and another problem. The battery of my riding lights gave up the ghost. I tried one lap with my secondary light and made it, but it was like riding with a candle! In the meantime my brother managed to borrow a light. I filled it and was on my way again, being able to at least see where I was going. A this point it was taking me about 90 minutes to do a lap.
Dawn arrived last after 05:00 and the pace started picking up again. Fatigue also started to take it's toll a and it was taking me about an hour to do a lap. With the sun rising the heat also increased. We were fortunate to have some cloud cover and a breeze to cool things down. I had a bacon and egg burger for breakfast and was back in the saddle quickly losing only about 15 minutes. The final laps was rolling off at 60 minutes a time and I was relieved when my last lap started at 11:10, ensuring that I would not get in before 12:00 and having to do another lap. At this point I was so tired that I opted to push some of the steeper sections. I was relieved when I came in just past 12:10 to complete my last lap.
Overall I was pleased with my effort in completing 23 laps and finishing 7th put of 98. Not as good as last year, but good enough. Why do something like this? Because of the sense of achievement when you cross the line after 24 hours and being able to say "I did it"!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Attakwas

Saterdag 14 Januarie en weer tyd vir die Attakwas. My mikpunt was om in onder 8 uur klaar te maak. Om dit reg te kry moet ek 'n gemiddelde speod van 15.5 k.p.u. volgens my Garmin handhaaf oor die 121 km.

Voorbereiding het goed verloop met geen "dratiese" oefen program nie. Al wat 'n bietjie "abnormaal" was, was die 118 km wat ek op Saterdag 7 Januarie afgele het.

Ek, Danie Kotze en my broer is Vrydag middag 13:00 uit die Kaap weg. Ons was net voor 19:00 in Oudtshoorn. Val gou by Pick n Pay in en koop braaigoed vir die aand. Daarna het ons ons nommers by Kleinplasie gaan haal en so teen 19:30 by NA Smit Vaklansieoord ingeboek. Lekker gebraai en was voor 22:00 in die bed.

Saterdagoggend 05:15 opgestaan en teen 06:00 by Chandelier aangekom vir die 06:30 begin. Vanjaar het ons weer in groepe weggespring. Die eerste groep was die vinnige manne, daarna volg 'n groepe wat skynbaar mense is wat al van tevore gery het en dan die res. Ek was in die tweede groep. Die eerste paar kilometer is nie te moeilik nie, behalwe vir die "verkeer". Die meeste ouens het egter 'n redelike pas gehandhaaf en na die eerste uur was my gemiddelde spoed 18 k.p.u. Die Attakwas roete is egter een wat geleidelik begin met die werklike angel in die middel. Alhoewel daar 'n paar lellike bulte op die einde is, kan 'n goeie gemiddelde spoed gehandhaaf word. Die roete bly baie mooi met wisseling van droe Klein Karoo na die fynbos van die Attakwas Kloof en die digter bosse aan die see se kant van die Outeniekwa berge. Die pas wat ek gehandhaaf het was deurgans heel goed. My fiets het geen probleme gegee nie en ek het die meeste tegniese gedeeltes sonder enige moeite aangedurf. Die bult net na die eerste waterpunt was nog altyd moeilik en ek het nog elke jaar die laaste derde gestoot. Vanjaar weer. Van daar tot by die kruising van die Oudtshoorn/Mosselbaai pad het ek 'n goei pas gehandhaaf. Daarna volg die Attakwaskloof met 'n paar erstige klimme en rowwe afdraandes. Hierdie terrein het egter veroorsaak dat my gemiddelde spoed by Bonniedale, na 65 km. geval het na 14.4 k.p.u. Ek moes dus aanvaar dat ek nie 8 ure gaan breek nie, of ek moes baie hard werk oor die laaste 55 km. Om sake nog verder te be moeilik klim ons 222 meter in die volgende 6 km. Nie idiaal om die gemiddelde spoed te laat styg nie! My oog bly op die gemiddelde spoed en die bly onder 15 k.p.u. Daar volg gelukkig 'n paar lekker afdraandes voor die eerste van die laaste twee groot bulte en ek sien dat my gemiddelde stadig begin klim. Halfpad teen die bult trek Gavin Viljoen langs my in met die opmerking "tell me this is the top" en ek antwoord "no chance of such luck" en ek sien hom nie weer nie! Aan die voet van die laaste bult is dit op na 15.3 k.p.u. Daarna is die pad meesal gelyk of met 'n helling waarteen 'n goeie gemiddelde spoed gehandhaaf kan word. My moed styg saam met my gemiddelde spoed wat nou op 15.5 staan. Aan die bopunt van die finale afdraand weet ek dat ek in minder as 8 uur gaan klaar maak. Dit is ook so en my tyd is 7 uur 53 min vir die 121 km. Ek sou later sien dat Gavin Viljoen, wat 5 minute later as ek begin het, my met 7 sekondes klop!

Weereens 'n baie lekker wedren met fantastiese waterpunte, goeie weer en van die mooiste natuurskoon.