Saturday, April 30, 2016
BB2BB Day 29
It turned out to be quite an interesting day, although I did not think so after 12 hours in the saddle, but more about that later.
I did managed to get going at 04:20 in the hope of beating the wind! My hope did not materialise as there was s breeze going as I left. Initially I made good time, but once I got to the turn off take me west, the climbing started and the breeze was in my face. The wind was not too bad and once I got to the top of the climb, I managed to maintain an average speed of around 14 kph. This continued for the first 30 km.
When I started, I could see a number of stars, but there were some clouds in the sky. Once dawn broke, I noticed that the bad weather tended to move to my left. This did not last and eventually the rain caught me. it did not rain that hard and my windbreaker and warm top kept most of the wetness off my body.
I had my first stop at sunrise (07:07) and was not disappointed. It was quite spectacular! I had my second stop at Patatstivier, out of the wind after 5 and a half hours riding. The rain was coming and going, but never became a real problem. The wind was in my face, but not too strong. My average speed came down to about 12 kph. During this time I had to negotiate a number of gates. The Patatsrivier then linked up with a large, well kept district road.
The going on this initially was good, but then the wind picked up and I was labouring along at 8-10 kph. To make matters worse, the road had a steady incline. This continued from km 86 to 121 when I turned right on the R355. Now the wind was on mu back and I was crusing along at between 20-30 kph. The 11 km to the Kareekloof turn off was completed in no time.
My brother arranged for me to stay with Karel and Susan at Kareekloof. On my way to Kareekloof, I passed the dwelling of Rooifontein. Further up the road was a rock with Kareekloof written on it. Next to it was a board indicating Uitkyk. I continued up this road, which went up and up and up! There were no houses, but the scenery was breath taking. After quite a while some unoccupied dwelling appeared. In the meantime the road continued to climb. Eventually I got to the last house where a 4x4 was standing in the yard. A guy came out of the house and I said I am looking for Karel. He informed me that Karel was in the first house as I came up from the R355! I therefore rode about 7 km up some very steep inclines, to be informed that I have passed the hone if my hosts more than an hour ago! I had no option but to go back. Along the way I met Ross from Rondebosh, who was out on his mountain bike, exploring the local jeep tracks! He agreed to take me to Karel's house. The ride down was much easier and also considerably quicker. This ride added about 2 hours to my days riding time, but the beauty of going up this valley more than made up for the extra time spend out on my bike. Ross took a selfie of us and was on his way back to Commando, one of the cottages let by Karel. I finally arrived at my hosts after a ride of more than 13 hours!
Data for the day: started 04:20; time 13:08:47; distance 151.72; average speed 11.54; total ascent 1,309 meters; descent 1,247 meters.
What a day! It also what a human being is capable off. When I turned off the R355, I was exhausted and ready to turn off at the first house. In the end I spent another two hours on my bike, riding an additional 14 km and climbing nearly double of what I did during the rest if the day, during this little "excursion"!
Total distance after 29 days: 3,023 km.
Môre is my enigste rusdag aan gesien ek een dag voor skedule is. Hennie de Clercq en Mike Smitvkan eers 2 Mei saam met my ry, dus bly ek twee dae oor op Rooifontein(Karee Kloof). Indien my gewasde firtsry klere betyds droog raak, nag ek by die Tankwa Padstal 'n draai gaan maak.