Sunday, April 24, 2016

BB2BB Day 24

We had a wonderful evening with Francois and Ina. Francois went to tremendous length to try and help me with the rear shock. He welded some pieces of a valve and cap together and we managed ti get some extra air into the shock. It still is not right, but it is better.

I decided to use an alternative entry to the Elandskloof/Erasmuskloof trail and we therefore decided to leave at such a time that we reach the turn off at first light., so we started moving at 06:07. We found the turn off without any problem. The weather forecast indicated that the minimum temperature would be 5 degrees Celsius. My GPS confirmed that about one kilometer into the trail, but then it started to drop further and in no time I noticed -1.8! I was freezing and looked with fore long eyes towards the mountains to see if the sun would not poke its head above the horison to heat things up a bit, but at this point my hope was in vain. My body and feet were fine, but my hands were freezing. It was not until after about when we started climbing some hills, that the temperature reached normal levels again. For once I was looking forward to the hills because the extra effort generated some additional body heat.

The first part of the road through this trial was in superb condition and we were making good time. The scenery was also something to behold. We also the restored house where Andries Pretorius lived before he joined "The Great Trek". The trail then climbed up a very steep neck, where the surface was also washed away in places. By the time we reached the top the temperature rose to about 8 degrees. A little while later we stopped for our morning break and to get rid of our warm clothes.

The climb continued for a while, but as steep as the first part. We then started our descent. This carried on for quite most of the rest of the trail up to Erasmuskloof. Here the road leveled off as we made our way past sone steep cliffs. Once again the scenery was exquisite! We finally reach the  Graaff-Reinet/Middelburg tar road and cycled into Graaff-Reinet having covered 82 km in 4 hours 30 minutes.

We stopped for water and continued onto Allemanskraal where my second cousin, Elsa Featherstone lives and where we were going to spend the night. The road from Adendorp to Kendrew was a real ordeal. The surface was bad with lots of corrugations and very boring straight sections. It was endless! We were really glad when we took the right turn to Marais Siding. The road surface improved and the direction of the road had some variation which made the ride a little more interesting.

It really was sad to see what have become of Marais Siding. There are no roofs on or windows in any of the buildings! The platform is covered in weeds. It is only about 5 km from here to the farm and we arrived there at about 15:30. It was a good day's riding.

Data: started at 06:07; time 08:24:05; distance 138 km; average speed 16.45 kph; climbed 857 meters; descended 1,621 meters.

I have now covered 2,398 kilometers. I also managed to weigh myself! My normal weight is 71-72 kg. I now weigh 68 kg!

Garth, Elsa's husband went to his farm in Aberdeen district and came back with a shock pump that works! So I am back with a working rear shock. I nearly kissed him!

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