Wednesday, April 13, 2016
BB2BB Day 13
The day did not start too well. When I got to the gate at 05:20 and pressed the button, nothing happened. The host did say that they switch it off at night, but that it would be on by the time I leave. I now had to find out where they were staying in the complex. After searching around for 10 minutes I found their dog sleeping in front of a door with "Staff Only" on it. I knocked and after a while voice asked if I wanted the gate opened. I replied "Yes" snd the voice said that it will be switched on. As I rode off I heard a hissing sound and saw the tell tail sign of white sealant squirting from my front tyre. I said a quick prayer and just carried on riding trusting that the sealant would do its job. The squirting carried on longer than I what liked, but did stop eventually. I did not check the wheel and have not yet done do, but I did not loose that much air that it was noticeable.
The day's riding started with a 8.5 km hill which took me an hour to ride up while I ascended 425 meters. That is 50 meters per kilometer. Anything beyond 20 is extreme! This was a monster! I had magnificent views from the top, but that was the end of good views for the day until I got to the outskirts of Weenen.
After an hour and 41 minutes (15.1 km) I reached the R38. For the next 38 km I had go ride on tar and most of it through rural areas. Initially there was a glorious down hill where I reached s maximum of 58.3. I then went through Pomeroy and that was followed by Tugela Ferry. After Tugela Ferry the area along the road remained very rural and the road was typical Keazulu-Natal road surface. Hard and very bumpy! The road followed the contour line with a number of undulations. It reminded me of the road after Centacow on day 2 of the Freedom Challenge.
The rural nature of the surroundings stopped with about 30 km of the days riding left. Here the scenery improved again with agricultural areas next to the river. There were a number of challenging short climbs. One in particular was 1 km long and ascended 76 meters. During the first 500 meters the ascend wad 50 meters, that is equal to 100 meters per 1 km!
When I got to Weenen I went the first service station to by a cool drink only to be informed that the shop is closed. They did confirm that my lodging for the night is only 2.5 km down the road, so I set off there. I was pretty sure that i would get a cool drink there. I arrived there after 106.34 km in 7:47:41 with 1,39( meters of climbing. At one point the temperature was 35 degrees centigrade! Total distance done in 13 days is 1,261 km.