This is not so much of a blog but a bitch! Riding through the Free State in the bitter cold in a gentle rain numbs the mind.
As usual, the Frankfort Guest House exceeded our expectations, the food and hospitality was exceptional, thanks to Estee and Elaine. Exhausted after a hard days ride all retreated to bed at 8:30 just as it started to rain, and it rained throughout the night.
At breakfast the ever optimistic Tony, after consulting three weather stations, assured us that the weather would change later in the day. Shortly before departure Rodger (aka “the dress maker”) and Annie launched a new rain top in the Refugee Fashion range (garbage bag with 3 strategic holes for head and arms) Not elegant but effective. We left the Guest House at 9am in gentle rain, the temp around 8 degrees.
Tony was right, the weather did change, it rained harder, got colder and an easterly wind greeted us, but fortunately not head-on.
Setu put in an astounding performance, ascribing his improvement to wearing Queen’s rugby socks. Ian’s dramatic improvement in culinary skills earned him an offer from Des to take up a retirement position with the Radisson Blu.
Gavin lost his sense of humour as a result of the weather and never ending up hills. He did however spot a pride of lions reclining not far from the road. At lunch, when a fellow sufferer, commented on the sighting he a concurred but admitted that he was not prepared to raise the subject as he was not sure whether he was hallucinating or would be accused of hallucinating.
Last year there was great rivalry between The Gautrain and the Komani Express and today after chasing Tony, the last remaining member of the Gautrain, downhill at 60 kph Leon decided to test the Gautrain’s hill climbing capabilities and found them wanting, only broaching the crest at 40 kph.
Just outside of Reitz we came across a truck that jack knifed blocking the road. Annie, the school teacher, took charge and suggested we leave Mike The Medic, with his flashing lights to control the traffic. The proposal was rejected seeing as we have a R10m indemnity with the Free State Roads Department and it was therefore felt that they should manage their own traffic situation.
All are settled in at Poelanies, rebuilt after the fire, and have experienced some unusual shower fittings. It was reported that Ian had to stand on a box to get wet!
After today’s never ending inclines, should you hear someone comment that the Free State is flat, know they have NEVER ridden a bike through the Free State!
Leon and Rodger.