The Penultimate Day
The day started with the usual gathering of the team around breakfast and the daily banter that ensued which included “rubbing the riders”, the daily character assassination of Mr. Ian Dorrington and so forth. However, the most discussed topic was the dorm like sleeping arrangements and of course the snoring from Magic Mike. To say it was loud is the understatement of this century. it should right up there with the worst earthquakes on the Richter scale…..that led sadly to some team members being deprived of their much needed recovery time.
We set off out of Aliwal North and boy what start to the day with what seemed to be the never ending hill. The morning progressed without much excitement until we stopped for koeksisters, mini sausage rolls which were nothing short of “par excellence” kindly provided by Jon Jellinek. Thanks Jon.
From here we then set off again on a long and arduous ride in search of lunch which never seemed to end. We need to add again how awe struck we were by the beauty of our country and the beautiful autumn colours of the poplar trees. By now most riders were beginning to fail in having a sense of humour as the lunch stop kept eluding us. Finally Lynn arrived to announce that lunch was a mere 3 km’s down the road. Many a sigh of relief could be heard.
We arrived to find a splendid spread of sandwiches, croissants and rolls, accompanied by sweets and soft drinks. What a spread. The catering was kindly provided by The Gallery. Having consumed this excellent lunch we proceeded on our journey with trepidation as we approached the Penhoek Pass leg. This went off relatively easier than anticipated with one minor incident, a puncture procured by Gavin.
All arrived safely at the top of the pass with much jubilation and pride, a job well done by all. Leon was not too impressed as Hester kicked off first down this treacherous pass but managed to overtake her and a 18 wheeler truck.
Riding down the pass for us newbies was rather scary but yet exhilarating at the same time. We all arrived safely at the Lodge and cracked out the celebratory beers, as one does. A WOW day so far has been had by all.
The day ended with a final dinner where much hilarity and comradeship was had by all. This included a rendition of Queens forever sung by Ian and Setu. Ian was then asked to lead the war cry, but due to his relaxed sphincter he declined, until we agreed we would do a quite one which was done at a slower pace so all the words could be heard and in Ian’s humble opinion was the best he had ever heard. Tony made some presentation to special people which should be mentioned Jen and Rodger for the fantastic organising effort they put in. Then completion certificates to the team. Rodger then thanked Tony for the incredible effort that he puts in every year and suggested that this ride should be called the Tony Frost ride as he puts his heart and soul into this incredible cause. Tony declined this, but we believe in time we should consider this as an honour to the man who makes it all happen.
The evening was concluded with a fabulous meal provided by our hosts Paul and Glenda and numerous bottles of red wine kindly paid for by Raddison Blu.
What is left to be said but WOW WOW AND WOW. What a life changing experience with some of the world’s finest.
As a foot it has to be mentioned that Mr. Dorrington’s passion for killing innocent creatures on the road has progressed to bike mangling……
Alas time to say goodbye till next year.