Tuesday, April 19, 2016
BB2BB Day 18
Dit was 'n lang dag! 11:31. Die langste tot dusver!
Breakfast was at 5:15 and I managed to get going at 05:42. I decided not to try tge Freedom Challenge's technical route to Ongeluksnek, but rather stick to the district road. I added a few kilometers, but probably saved a bundle of time.
The first part of today's ride was very technical. It involved going down Thaba Chitja, up to Black Fountain and down Tinana hill. Both descends are very technical and rough and involves very little riding. The second one is huge. It took me nearly and hour to do the 2.5 km down the mountain.
I managed a reasonable pace taking the terrain into account. I was not to difficult, but involved a fair amount of "hiking a bike". A fair amount if the riding was down old cow tracks. The problem with these are that they are "U" shaped and about the same width as bicycle pedals on the crank. The result is that one can not go too fast, because either your pedals hit the sides or you loose your balance and then fall because quite often the sides are too high to get your bicycle out if the track the regain your balance. The other option is to ride next to the track, but that tends to be very bumpy. A catch 22 situation!
The descent down Tinana hill was very hasardous. At one point I lost my footing and slipped down a rock. Some of the gadgets on the bike picked up some scratches, but everything is still working fine. I think I also got some good footage of the more technical descends.
The first part to spaza shop at Tinana Mission took me 6:53. That is the longest first shift without a test of this adventure to date! I had my boiled eggs, sandwich, three tomatoes and some Coke while I took a rest.
The rest of the day was due to be a little easier. The first part to the Vuvu valley turn off involved quite a bit of climbing, so my average speed was still on the low side. This part used to include a ride down a disused road and some cow tracks. Somebody decided to upgrade the disused road and now is a beautiful, newly graded road.
At this point there were some rain around, but not enough to wet the roads and it helped to keep the temperature down.
I decided not to tackle the Vuvu valley, but rather take the district road to Vuvu. What a pleasant surprise! It is one of the mist beautiful roads I have ever travelled along. The scenery is out of thus world and make up for all the climbing. The nice about the climbing was that it all came in fairly short bursts. At one point I was straight across my destination, probably about 500 meters as the crow flows, the road down the valley was a further 7 km! This road was cut out of the mountain side with green valleys surrounding it. Just too beautiful.
I still felt quite strong when I finally reached my destination after 11:30:50 for 82.6 km at an average speed of 7.17 kph with 1,928 meters of ascending and 1,789 meters of descending.
A word about Vuvu hospitality. I slept in my host's bed. She gave that up me and slept somewhere else! They also now have solar power. No running water and the toilet is still the old pit system.