An early start to the day called breakfast at 6:30am. The eager, hungry and rearing to go hoppers arrived for breakfast to find the doors locked, staff missing and definitely no coffee on the boil.
In direct contrast to this, the touring cyclists were the epitomy of cohesion, in our Buildit kit, as we “parlotoned” together and got to the top of the infamous Ladybrand hill.
In another superb Freestate morning, the first 25km were eaten up with very little effort as a healthy pace was set, with exceptional views of the Maluti/Lesotho mountains and no major hassles. Other than Debbie Love complaining about the lack of sexy asses to motivate her up the hills. This was a serious faux pas which had her back-pedaling to ensure that she did not ruin the egos of her guardian angles, Marc and Andrew, whose sexy asses she could not see as they pushed her up the odd hill or two. Go Debs.
As the hills lengthened and the group weakened, Sergeant Major Ralph lined us up, shouted orders to close gaps, keep up, fallout and get to the back in an effort to get a “parlotone” going which took us to our much needed lunch time stop.
After support driver John eventually found the perfect lunch spot, which was some 10km overdue, we enjoyed a hearty lunch pack prepared by the Cranberry Cottage staff. It wasn’t long before we were on the road again. Accompanied once again by Slim, aka Brendan, who is still recovering from his bout of flu, we cruised the last 18km to Wepener with Debbie and her guardian angels leading the way.
After arriving at The Lord Fraser hotel, the oasis of Wepener, we bee-lined to the watering hole for much needed thirst quenchers. We also bid a sad farewell to fellow team member, Jen Wilson, who joins her family in Durban for a much-needed holiday. We will miss you, Jen. But we welcome back Reg and Rob, who went missing in action for two days.
As the kilometers dwindle and the days become numbered, the spirit of the group continues to spiral to new heights and the awesomeness of the group shines out, with a quote from Leon, aka Di’s guardian angel: “I am training for life. To be the best I can be”.
Greg, Di, (missing) Richard aka Debz