#1965Ride Day 9: Queenstown here we are!

Well by now many of you will have seen a Facebook or Twitter posting or two and will know that we made it safely to Queenstown by 12 noon.

The day started at 9am under very heavy skies and with a light breeze. We had a few eager supporters join us from Queenstown and we picked up more cyclists along the 60km route. The first 30km were tough going. We got rained on, it was freezing cold and the wind was strong and in our faces. Toni and i struggled yo maintain our sense of humour. But once I saw The Gallery sign pointing me to the halfway rest stop, I felt much better. More food! And delicious coffee.

The last 25km were easier on the legs. We made good time to the quarry hill on the outskirts of town, where we were met by Jackson’s GM dealership. They escorted us in, accompanied by Aldersons Ambulance Services, who provided much of the medical equipment we had with us. The traffic police were also out in full force, stopping cars at intersections so we could pass through safely. We felt like celebrities!

We were joined by learners from all the schools in Queenstown, some on bikes, some in cars and some walking. After a stop to wait for all the learners to gather on The Rec field, we then made our way slowly there for the official welcome from the local schools and the Queenstown community. A victory lap to the sounds of “Chariots of Fire” made this a very emotional moment.

It’s hard to describe in words the feeling of accomplishing an 850km cycle with a truly fabulous bunch of people and to know that our pedaling efforts will offer underprivileged kids the chance of a good education and thus hope for their future. We’ve had so many laughs, a few grumpy moments, many punctures. We’ve been hosted by friendly and gracious people wherever we’ve stopped. And as you may have noticed we have eaten well too. Some of us have even admitted to gaining a few kilograms.

Tour organiser Tony Frost chatted to three of the four 1965Ride beneficiaries shortly after we arrived and they were all so enthusiastic about our efforts. Apparently our cycle tour is the talk of Queen’s College for weeks before we arrive.

So that’s it for the 2013 Ride. Thanks everyone for all your support and wishes along the way. Only 356 days to go before next years Ride leaves Johannesburg.

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