Monday, May 2, 2016
BB2BB Day 32
So the last day is here. My wife Sue, Hennie de Clercq and his wife Helena joined me in Tulbagh yesterday. We had a lovely meal at Patriot Restaurant, when the chef agreed to stay open after 17:00 to serve us even though his closing time was 17:00!
We got going at 05:56. Our aim was to reach the top of Oukloof Pass by first light. We achieved that but found that the pass was very eroded with the result that we had to push our bicycle for a large proportion of the time. The pass leads into a large wind farm with no fence on the mountain side. The security guard at the gate was quite surprised to see us, but before he could make up his mind on what to do with us, we said goodbye and were on our way.
We now were on the gravel roads serving the farms in the Riebeek Kasteel district. Generally the condition of the roads were good although we had negotiate more than our fair share of corrugations. We reached the Riebeek West/Moorreesburg road at the PPC Cement factory and then took a gravel left and left again to go via Riebeekrivier. Over the hill and down the other side to link up with the Malmesbury/Riebeek Kasteel tar road.
In meantime Danie Kotze and Mike Smit, who decided to join us half way was way too early. I told them that we should be at the agreed point between 11 and 12. They arrived at 10! I informed them that we were still more than 2 hours away. In the end we only reached the agreed point at 13:30! Fortunately they waited for us.
At the bottom of the dip we turn left and shortly afterwards right. Here we encountered a locked gate. We had no option but to climb over and continue. We encountered another locked gate before we reached a public road. That took us down to the Malmesbury/Wellington tar road. We crossed that and continued on the local district road up to the farm Welgemeend of Fanie Basson. We stopped for water and a bite too eat.
I visited Fanie Basdon and his two neighbours six weeks ago and received their blessing to ride over their property. This led us past some chicken broilers, over some fences, a 4x4 track where we saw Springbuck and Ostrich down to the Paardeberg tar road, which ends in a T-junction with the Klipheuwel/Malmesbury tar road.
The Spaza shop where we were to meet Danie and Mike was just around the corner. I was quite glad to see then appear out of the shadows as we arrived. Now we were four. We followed some back roads, a railway line and over a number of farms which took us over the Philadelphia and Adderley roads down to the Diep river. The water level was about knee high with a green substance floating on the water. We all got through by either walking through the water by negotiating the river via some tree stumps. My and Hennie's bicycles looked rather green when we got out the other side. The green stuff was quite harmless, being some water plant which grows on the surface of the water.
When we reached the old Malmesbury road we realised that we would have to ride into a south easter from Duynefontein to Bloubergstrand. We turned right on the Botterberg road, travelled over Phil Stofberg's farm Keert de Koe, with his permission, De Anker, a short distance on the old Darling road, left past Vaatjie's sand mine and on to Duynefontein.
Here we formed a train with Danie leading the way into the wind. Just after Van Riebeekstrand we received an escort in the form of Gerrit Snyman on his Harley Davidson with some pink lint to guide us through the traffic. Olof de Villiers formed the rear guard from Melkbosstrand onwards. Danie was setting the pace with Mike protecting me from the wind on the right and Hennie holding up the rear. I have never before had such a pleasant ride into the south easter from Melkbos to Blouberg! Normally I have to battle on my own. Now I was riding in people's slipstream. We continued like this right up go Big Bay Beach Club. Here the other riders fell back and allowed me to ride into Eden on the Bay on my own.
A large group of friends and family were waiting for on the grass in front of Eden on the Bay and so ended an epic journey of 3,314 km in 32 wonderful days.
Data for the day: left 05:56; time 11:02:36; distance 146.8 km; average speed 13.29 kph; ascent 1,791 meters; descent 1,915 meters.
For those following the blog, I will be posting a "reflection" in Afrikaans by the end of the week.
Thanks to everybody who followed my wonderings during the last 32 days. This definitely was the pinnacle in my cycling career and something I will not and do not wish to improve on!
All the glory to our Lord Jesus Christ who gave me the physical and mental strength to complete this amasing journey.