Wednesday, June 18, 2014

RASA Day 7

RASA Day 7
We decided to opt for a 06:00 start and actually hot going at 06:10. The 68 km to Chesney Wold consisted of very undulated district roads and navigation was straight forward. The temperature went down to -9.8 Celsius. At one point it improved to 1.7, but then we went through a valley and within less than 200 meters it changed to -2.7!

Con and Coen really moved and left me and George behind. George was also making better progress than me and left me behind. He did wait for me at the first turn off, but there after decided that "Oupa" is just too slow and I only saw him again at Chesney Wold.

The scenery through which we were riding was awesome. Quite a bit of the route was down valleys with high mountains on either side. There also was some beautiful rock formations.

My three companions were just about  ready to leave when I arrived at Chesney Wold. George wanted to know if he should wait for me, but I declined. A while later he came back and said that he would wait for me. Something I am very grateful for.

We left Chesney Wold at 11:45 with 40 km left, but that included a difficult portage section after Kapokkraal. We took a short cut through the veld to link up with a dirt road, which took us to Kapokkraal. Once again we were riding up a valley with beautiful mountains on either side. The last section to Kapokkraal was very steep and we opted go push quite a large portion. Towards the top the road flattened and we managed to cycle to the beginning of the portage section. At this point we were over 2,000 meter above sea level. This thin air was getting me and I really struggled. It took us more than hour to cover the last 2 km. At the top we picked up an old wagon trail, which later became a jeep and then the path down to Slaapkranz. On one section with some loose gravel I decided to stop, before I managed to get off my bike I lost the front wheel and took a tumble. Fortunately there was no serious damaged and I got going again. In the meantime George was loosing air from his rear wheel. 2 km from Slaapkranz the seal broke and lost all the air. He had no option but to first repair it and we clocked in at 17:20.

Total time 11:20; total distance 102 km; 2,442 meters of climbing.

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