Sunday, March 8, 2015

Cape Town Cycle Tour

Sonday 8 March 2015.

Time for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. The race Adré was training for when he was so tragically killed on 20 January 2015.

Due to some devastating fires in the Western Cape during week leading up to the tour, some of the routes became unsafe and the 109 km race was reduced to 47 km! A number of us decided to start in a lower group so that we can ride together in memory of Adré, so my start time was changed from 6:47 to 7:58. I joined up with Schalk and Johan from State Street and Danie and his friend Renier. Willie van Heerden, who studied with Adre also stared in that group, but we missed one another in the chaos of the start. The same happened to Jayson, also worked with Adré, and his wife

Danie, Renier and myself cycled in from Table View. It was a nice gentle ride and it took us about 1 hour to cover the 22 kilometres. It was quite a struggle to get to the starting shoot, but we did managed it in the end and arrived there at about 07:35. We were fortunate enough to find Schalk and Johan quite quickly.

We got going at 07:58. The pace was fairly sedate and it took us 3 minutes to cover the first 500 meters! We reached Hospital bend after 17 minutes while ensuring that everybody stays in contact. Danie was doing quite well riding his single speed. Johan and Renier were on borrowed bikes and Schalk and Grant were on mountain bike. I was riding my 25th Tour on the same bicycle! We did pick up some speed on the downhill and made good progress until we got to Wynberg Hill. Here the group spilt up quite badly, but we agreed to wait for everybody at the top of the hill. We did not have to wait too long for everybody to get to the top and than had the enjoyment of racing down the Blue Rout to the turning point after 23 kilometres. After a brief wait, everybody was together again and we set off on the return journey. It was quite difficult to keep the group together and at Ladies Mile Drive the front goys stopped again to wait for the "rearguard"! After quite a lengthy wait, we decided to continue and wait at the top of Wynberg Hill. The group managed to regather again after a wait of about 10 minutes. The "rearguard" having stopped for some Cokes along the way. We managed to stay together down the hill, up Paradise Road and past Newlands Forest, but then we somehow lost contact. Danie, Renier and myself (the front guys), agreed to enjoy the ride up Hospital Hill and regather at the top. We stopped at the top of the hill and waited and waited and waited! After another 10 minute wait, we decided that we must have missed them or that they had some other problem and continued with our ride. The ride down Nelson Mandela Boulevard and through the City Centre was quite nice and we finally arrived at the finish after 2:25. I, illegally, rode with Adré's timing chip on my left leg and managed to get him to complete his 21st Tour. The interesting fact is that although his time was the same as mine, he finished 3 positions in front of me. I know that it is against the rules to ride with someone else's chip, but as this year's Tour was such a casual affair and considering the circumstances of Adré's death, I though that it was worth the risk! The "rear guard" eventually came in at 2:52, a whole 27 minutes after us. Our total riding time was only about 1:55!

So that is the end of a chapter. Next year I can, hopefully, do a proper tour again and make it 26 with the same bicycle!

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