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.

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