The 2017 1965Ride Tour
Jozi to Queenstown for Education
Day by Day:
Day 1 Heidelberg to Villiers:
Venue: Nicky’s Stone Cottages
Average Speed: 25.1
Maximum Speed: 61.5
Transit Time: 3::52:48
Wind: NW Tailwind 10 – 17kmhr
Commentary: Everyone was feeling their way. Even the veterans because only one of us had ever cycled this road before. The change was due to the fact that the routing via Denyesville and Oranjeville is being rebuilt. It was enjoyable cycling helped by the tailwind.
Everyone arrived in Villiers in good spirits and good to go. Except for poor Ntsika whose operated on right knee became just too painful to continue. He took to the support vehicle with Nathi after 28kms.
We experienced 4 punctures and replaced 1 tyre
We were thrilled to have Katiso and Morongoa join us during the evening. Katiso to cycle and Morongoa to provide us with a never-ending supply of bananas and an always joyous supply of support
Day 2 Villiers via Frankfort to Reitz
Average Speed: 24
Maximum Speed: 62.9
Transit Time: 4::04:40
Wind: NW Tailwind for the first 35kms and then gusting SE from Frankfort into Reitz
Commentary: The riding was fast and easy until just after the 50 km mark with a nice tailwind. When we turned left after Frankfort the weather changed dramatically. From cool warmish weather we were suddenly riding into a gusting South Easter and a cold punishing downpour. Tough cycling conditions. From an average of close to 30kms/hr for the first 50 kms we were down to a survival pace at and around 18 kms/hr. We were quite a grumpy bunch as we pulled into Poelanies for hot showers and a welcoming lunch
Today we lost a spoke on Rodger’s bike. Thank goodness we brought some spare wheels along with us. Ntsika suffered more bad luck and had his second puncture only 200m out of Villiers. He sensibly did not ride the whole way and took to the vehicle after about 20kms
Day 3 Reitz via Bethlehem and Fouriesburg to Ficksburg:
Venue: Woodpecker Lodge
Average Speed: 23.8
Maximum Speed: 56.6
Transit Time: 6::13:31
Wind: Very gentle breeze, variable
Commentary: Cool, not cold start of about 11 degree Celcius.
Fast transit into Bethlehem; welcomed in by Gerald Mokoena, Chief Traffic Officer in Behtlehem with his team of officers who once again gave us a celebrity welcome to his town. Through town to Bethlehem Auto GM for a coffee and muffin welcome by Philip Sterley, the GM Dealer Principal and owner of the dealership. This was more than going the extra mile on Easter Friday!! After photos and the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation to Officer Mokoena and to Philip Sterley it was on to Fouriesburg where we enjoyed really lekker Hamburgers and other delights at the Plaas Stoep and Grill.
After Fouriesburg and the long sweeping downhill which was great to get the cycling juices flowing again we had to deal with gusting winds for about 20 kms followed by brilliant parlotone cycling into Ficksburg and the Woodpecker Lodge where we received the usual warm welcome from Nadia and Jonathan. One of our favourite spots on the tour and one of very few that we have stayed at every one of our 7 tours to date.
Day 4 Ficksburg via Constantia Pancake Paradise to Ladybrand:
Venue: Cranberry Cottages
Average Speed: 22,5
Maximum Speed: 52.0
Transit Time: 3::01:41
Wind: Gentle, variable
Commentary: Magnificent cycling weather and super cycling conditions. Great to have someone who does so much for the 1965Ride, Jen Wilson, cycling with us for this leg.
We enjoyed our traditional stop at Constantia Padstal for their amazing cherry cheesecake pancakes. Rodger complained that he had overdone it and was unable to manage the sugar spike afterwards! It was great to welcome Charles Mansfield again who has joined us somewhere along this route for the last 6 years! He always provides everyone with a positive energy spike for the 35 kms into Ladybrand and Cranberry Cottages where many of us enjoyed a well-earned massage.
It was here that we welcomed Cynthia and Onny Tshele. The joy on the Big Guy’s face was a tonic in itself. They would stay with us for the next few days
Day 5 Ladybrand via Hobhouse to Wepener:
Venue: Lord Fraser Lodge
Average Speed: 23.7
Maximum Speed: 61.4
Transit Time: 4::02:06
Wind: Gentle and variable breezes
Commentary: Brilliant cycling conditions and brilliant cycling by the parlotone! We enjoyed an awesome parlotone for all of 50kms. We had fun! The group stuck mostly together for the entire distance and everyone finished in high spirits. Katiso and Lauren were beginning to feel the effects of the continuous cycling with sore hamstrings and knee; and sore left knee respectively.
Our last worry of the day was that instead of coming to Wepener Lyn Webb and Vata Ngobeni lost their way and found themselves in ThabaNchu! Thankfully they did eventual see the light and joined us later in the evening. We were both thrilled and relieved as much for them as for us. Vata had come to ride and Lyn had incredibly kindly volunteered to come and drive one of our vehicles into Queenstown and in order to do this she had sacrificed a camping vacation in the Golden Gate. We will be forever grateful Lyn!
Day 6 Wepener to Zastron:
Venue: Mountain View Chalets
Average Speed: 16.5
Maximum Speed: 46.7
Transit Time: 4::03
Wind: Brisk South Easter into our faces
Commentary: We had a later start than usual as we waited for Ryan Schnell to join us all the way from Graaff Reinet! A nippy headwind for all of 67 kms! Most battled a bit today but none more so than Vata. The first 30 km or so went well but then Vata’s legs disappeared and he had to fight on for the next 35 kms. The second half took twice as long as the first 30kms! He battled and battled but he finished. Into the head wind and up to the highest point between Jozi and Penhoek was a struggle. Apart from the headwind the cycling conditions were excellent on the newly built road. It is clear that one has to be reasonably fit to tackle the 1965Ride.
Day 7 Zastron via Rouxville to Aliwal North:
Venue: Umtali Country Lodge
Average Speed: 21.8
Maximum Speed: 61.2
Transit Time: 3::19:15
Wind: A nippy, irritating SSE headwind
Commentary: Riding conditions were not bad apart from the headwind. After our ritual of a photo on the bridge in Rouxville we cycled onto our Hollard Sponsored 34 kms to Aliwal North from Rouxville. Many thanks Hollard for taking care of us again!
Day 8 Aliwal North via Jamestown to Penhoek:
Venue: Hazelmere Country Lodge
Average Speed: 20
Maximum Speed: 58.6
Transit Time: 05::14:49
Wind: No real wind until 20kms out and then it was a headwind all the way to Penhoek.
Commentary: It was a chilly start. We were all waiting for and were prepared for the big climb about 8kms out. Once on top it was rolling terrain until the final 15km ascent to Penhoek. This year Annie Lemmer was the clear winner to the pinnacle finishing 6 kms ahead of the back markers. The headwind had most people somewhat grumpy, and none more than Ryan. But when we reached the Penhoek 1844m sign there were only smiles. And then we all flew down the pass although were very wary of the gusting wind.
Day 9 Penhoek via Bailey to Queenstown:
Venue: The Rec, Queenstown
Average Speed: 25.2
Maximum Speed: 50.3
Transit Time: 2::17:55
Wind: Perfect and windless!
Commentary: Magnificent cycling conditions enabled some of the nicest parlotone cycling on the tour and especially the last 20 kms into Bailey. Coffee and goodies and then gentle cycling into Queenstown so cater for the inexperienced schoolkids and others that joined us along the way
Once again we received a great welcome on the Rec after the rest and regroup on the Parry Davies Fields where we joined forces with the team led by Mike Boy who had cycled up from East London. The schools gave us a special welcome and we were warmly welcomed by Mr Brendan Grant the Head of Queens’ College. Then to the Spur Buffalo Springs Steak Ranch for our traditional Spur Sponsored final lunch together