Day 6 – 17th April 2017

No wind or hills formed against us shall prosper!

Well they almost did as we huffed and puffed up and over countless hills that make up the 67 kilometres between Wepener and Zastron.

It was not meant to be so hard nor was it meant to be so painful but the elements almost got the better of us as the knees and cramps conspired with the unrelenting rolling hills of the last bit of the Free State to stop what has probably been the fastest 1965 Ride yet.

Ntsika came up with the best excuse yet not to EFI to Zastron by citing a sore knee and that got Mike the medic into action and with the help of Lynn, Ntsika was rushed to hospital in Zastron.

The true extent of his injury was revealed through Lynn’s message that “Ntsika is resting at Mountain View Lodge”.

Resting!

What resting.

This is the same guy whose lower leg was literally falling off and everything the orthopedic surgeon had done to fix his knee a few months ago came to nought.

And then Ntsika had the audacity to introduce us to Dr Surtie who was having a picnic with his wife at the parking lot of the Mountain View Lodge upon our arrival, go figure.

But the real extent of the injury was whispered to me (Vata) by Ntsika when he said the doctor told him to ride on to Queenstown if he felt like it!

The real injuries were to Lauren and her left knee but that too left many of us in doubt as her lightweight frame had to carry the weight of the buffs provided by the Blue Bulls Company and all their Super Rugby woes around her ankles.

Not even the Bulls can carry their own Super Rugby load this season and Lauren thought she could do better than Adriaan Strauss and his team.

Katiso valiantly fought off a hamstring injury and heroically got over the hills while Vata painfully soldiered on until the end with endless cramps and with the help of Tony Frost’s words of wisdom and the proverbial helping hand from his 69 year matured left hand.

We must mention, though, that there is a problem with the support crew.

Chief of support Nathi can’t count nor can he provide any real support unless it is to the rolling hills and was nowhere to be found for the final pit stop which was so needed for another matured veteran of the ride Rodger Webb and Vata and Tony who were eating the hills at the back.

For that Nathi, you will relinquish your duties for next year and let’s see how you finish the day without a much needed pit stop.

Cynthia, on the other hand, was more interested in the lumbering long legs of hubby Lungisa and missed our whimpering whispers and cries for a lift when the hills got longer and steeper at Bosmanskop and beyond.

Our only saving grace was chief justice Morongoa who readily had two boxes of bananas at every pit stop but our stubbornness got the better of us as we rushed to devour the rusks, brownies and coffee that Nathi had laid out.

I (Vata) must say that Lynn had made for the best road tripping partner in many moons on our way to Wepener on Monday afternoon but with the benefit of hindsight, I should have left her in Thaba Nchu when we got lost in the same way she rushed off with Ntsika when the cramps conspired to have me lose my way. LOL!!!!

Lungisa, Leon, James, Hester and even Ryan know nothing of the pain we endured on the road and while they look good to break the 2hours 38 minutes record from Zastron to Aliwal North tomorrow, they have no idea that it is all downhill and the heavyweights rule.

DJ Cameron wouldn’t last at the public broadcaster with the 90% rule as the beats that were diligently downloaded in the early morning in Wepener lasted all of 10% of the way.

In the end we all made it to Mountain View, sore knees, hamstrings, cramps, sore bums, no final pit stop and no music.

The rolling hills and wind couldn’t stop us as the true spirit of the 1965 Ride prospered and will ultimately lead us to Queenstown and the Rec where we will be doing the rolling with the wind behind our back.

Vata Ngobeni and Katiso Letlaka

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