The morning was off to a good start and the team was bolstered by the arrival of Katiso and Morongoa. The pretty breakfast setting got Louis confused and an argument started around why all the ingredients could not have been in one bowl rather. Shortly thereafter the first plates of hot breakfast started coming through, it was at this point that Louis found his true calling and became the assistant waiter to Christian.
On this day the riders had the choice to wear their own kit or to wear their main sponsor. The bloggers found it necessary to award the wooden spoon to the ‘best’ dressed cyclist of the day. The decision however was made very challenging, with the main contenders being Farm Boy Cow print James and Princess Lauren without an i-phone and a mismatched three-piece regalia that transformed itself into a vest. After much debate and input from the non-bloggers the award goes to ….. drum roll please ….. and the winner is Princess Lauren, we hope that this will lift her spirits or she can just take Rodger’s advice and rather, stick to Samsung.
We were literally 1.8kms from our starting point and had only traveled 5 metres on the R26 to Frankfort and Ntsika had the first and luckily the last puncher for the day, at this point it was clear that we are in for a rough day.
Our first official half stop was at the Windfield 1 sign post, where Tony, Rodger, Leon and Blogger 1 had to reminisce about their lovely experience of tears in the ears due to a gale force headwind in the 2016 edition of the ride. We took off from this point, passing Windfield 2 and 3 thanks to the support of a tail wind and immediately got onto a 30km average as reported by Tony to Jen while we were having coffee and rusks at our first stop.
It was at this point that we realized Morongoa was more than just a pretty face, she really got stuck in and even had a go at Nathi for not having sunlight dish washing liquid, and returned from her car with all the necessary kit to clean our cups.
We immediately got on our bikes and we pushed forward through Frankfort for a short little stint on the R34 and soon we were back on the R26 to Reitz. Soon we had a beautiful stretch of road, a cyclist’s dream. Katiso’s fresh legs quickly fired up the diesel engine of Blogger 2 and within a flash Blogger 1 also responded to the smell of diesel and soon the bloggers were setting a pace that even the support vehicle struggled to keep up with. Even sensing trouble, the bloggers decided there is always strength in numbers, as the saying goes, ‘a cord of three strands is not easily broken’.
On reaching the half way mark, Tony still had his right cleat in and he was already having a go at the bloggers and Katiso for putting the group’s safety at risk. Mike the medic immediately relinquished his duties and took over Louis’ job to capture this very severe tongue lashing at the enjoyment of all the other non-bloggers.
On leaving the halfway mark, the clouds were starting to build up and out came the raincoats. Soon it was pouring with rain, not just a few drops, but buckets or rather truck loads. Soon Rodger put foot to try and catch up with the support vehicle, little did he know that his change of glasses is going to land him in hot water with Tony for endangering the rest of the group and the public by forcing the support vehicle to stop in the middle of the road.
At this stage of the day the weather really starting testing our spirits. The wind and rain started hammering us. Furthermore, the hills were never ending, forcing the group to really stick together which made the riding more bearable. A saying by President Nelson Mandela comes to mind: ‘After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb’, this is very fitting for a day like this and especially the purpose of this ride which is engraved in every cyclist’s heart. The dream is to raise funds and create a sustainable bursary platform.
Over and out from:
Blogger 1 (Annie Van Avermaet) and Blogger 2 (Diesel)