Tuesday, May 15, 2012
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.