Susan agreed to make me some Jungle Oates for breakfast, which would be ready at 06:00. My plan was to leave at 06:30 so that I could ride up the kloof as the sun was rising.
I got going at 06:25. The ride up the kloof was something to behold. The rock formations were quite beautiful and the rays of the sun light up to top peaks of the mountains. The road was quite rough in some sections, but generally in a good condition. There were one or two very rocky and steep sections where I had to push, but I mostly managed to keep pedaling. It took me 1:39!to cover the 13.2 km to the top with an ascent of 486 meters.
Once on top, the road condition improved and it leveled out allowing for nice crusing. I stopped for my morning break after 3 hours, having covered 36 km. The gravel road connected to another even better gravel and then with the Ceres/Citrusdal road, which was tarred. At the top of the Gydo Pass I took the turn off to the Witzenberg Valley. This led me on to the old Witzenberg wagon trail, which was used in the Cape Epic this year.
On the Witzenberg Valley side the track was very rough and very steep resulting in lots of pushing at under 2 kph! Once on top, I picked up the single, which I presume was specially made for the Epic. There were some very rocky and steep sections, but though it was quite technical most of it was ridable and turned out to be one of those outstanding high lights of this adventure. I quite like technical riding and this fitted very well into my liking. I did managed to take a wrong turn towards the end, resulting in me ending up in the back garden of a farm house. There were ordinary barbed wire fencing around the house, but I managed to pick up a track again. Unfortunately this led to nowhere and I was forced to do a little bundu bashing, climb over a number of fences before I finally reached a road. From there it was easy going into town to Cape Dutch Quarters, where we were staying. A good day's riding!
Data for the day: started 06:25; time 6:36:52; distance 71.2 km; average speed 10.76 kph; ascent 1,051; descent 1,640 meters.